How Much Time Do Teachers Need?

  • In a recent survey of 178 principals in urban high schools undertaking major change efforts, lack of time, energy, and money were identified as the key implementation problems. On average, teachers devoted 70 days of time to implementing a project, while “the more successful schools used 50 days a year of external assistance for training, coaching, and capacity building.”
  • The staff of the Effective Schools Network reports that it takes 10 to 20 teacher days per month to develop and implement improvement plans.
  • To learn a “moderately difficult teaching strategy could require that teachers receive 20 to 30 hours of instruction in its theory, 15 to 20 classroom demonstrations, and 10 to 15 coaching sessions before mastering the technique and incorporating it into routine classroom practice.”
    Source: Purnell and Hill, Time for Reform (1992)