
Re: US teachers are overworked and underpaid
Posted:
Oct 15, 2012 12:40 PM


This is mostly not about pay levels but about teacher work loads *in terms of teaching hours" and to a lesser extent, the grand total number of students that a teacher must deal with.
To see that the average level of teaching hours for US teachers is not overstated by the OECD charts which I give again further below, here below for each of many states in the US is the *absolute minimum* number of instructional hours that a student must receive each day or week required by state law:
"Focus on the school calendar" http://publications.sreb.org/2010/10S03_Focus_School_Cal.pdf
This *absolute minimum* required by state law ranges 57 hours among the states for both primary and secondary, for an average of about 6 hours, which is consistent with the US figures in the OECD charts, about 6 hours per day when calculated from the charts (1080 teaching hours per year on a 180 day school year).
Here is something about the instructional time of Japanese students:
http://webjpn.org/kidsweb/explore/schools/q9.html
The number of classes that Japanese students attend per day are about 4 for early primary (only about 4045 minutes each) and about 5 for late primary and middle school and above (about 50 minutes each at middle school and above), in some cases 6.
(Note on the minutes: A schedule on socalled 1hour classes is not such that each class is 60 minutes but less to allow time between classes. There can be some confusion as to whether "teaching time" or "instructional time" includes those inbetween minutes, but either way, the data all presented here remain consistent with each other in terms of comparisons, especially since the comparisons present drastic differences.)
Here again are the OECD statistics for many countries:
http://www.oecd.org/education/highereducationandadultlearning/48631419.pdf
Look at all the charts including the ones that give total teaching time per year and look at Table D4.1  it gives a breakdown of teachers' "oncampus" working time, the total per week being relatively the same for the countries of Northern Europe, Japan, Korea, and the US. The big difference is total teaching time per year and by calculated extension, average teaching time per week and per day students are in school, in topperforming Japan, Korea, and Finland these teaching hours being at about half that in the US, these three ranging in the mid500s to mid600s hours per year for primary and secondary, for the latter actually less than for the former. These three countries' schools years are respectively 243, 225, and 190 days. It is about 1080 hours per year of instructional time for a US teacher, primary or secondary being very close together with the former slightly higher, from a 180 day school year. The averages are therefore roughly 3 hours per day for these three countries and roughly 6 hours per day for the US.
As I said before, the total number of students can come into play here: If a US teacher has 6 different 1hour classes per day with all different students and a teacher in each of these three countries has 3 different 1hour classes per day with all different students and the *inclass* pupiltoteacher ratio is the same at 20:1, then the US teacher has 120 total students to deal with and the teacher in each of these three other countries has 60 total students to deal with. This very much applies to secondary level teaching since at this level teachers always have different students in different classes.
And as I said before, these three countries' k12 teachers have about the same teaching hours per week as US community college teachers, about 12.515 hours per week depending on whether those inbetween minutes in question are counted in the teaching time, a US community college teacher typically having a full time load of 5 different 3hour courses each typically meeting for an hour (literally 50 minutes of actual time) three times each week.
This combination of vastly greater teaching time and many times on top of that vastly greater numbers of students to deal with means much less time during both oncampus time and offcampus time for planning and preparation and what could be considered most importantly, *professional collaboration* with other teachers.
On Sun, Oct 14, 2012 at 1:31 PM, Haim <hpipik@netzero.com> wrote: > GS Chandy Posted: Oct 13, 2012 8:40 PM > >>'Salary levels' in different countries are a very >>complex matter (which economists have not adequately >>understood yet  at least they've not explained it so >>that I've been able to understand). > > Many thanks for that remarkable assertion, which I have savored like a fine wine, > http://youtu.be/JRDOQBPstEI > > Haim > No representation without taxation.

