Time and Education

by Jeff Camp | January 7, 2024 | 1 Comment
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Installment #4 of ten!

What’s the most precious investment in the education system? Not money — it’s time. When kids miss a day of learning, that day is gone. The clock only spins one way, and none of us can make it otherwise. Learning happens moment by moment when kids have their brains turned on, stretching toward the pleasure of understanding or mastery or achievement.

Each chapter in Ed100 takes an aspect of education and breaks it down. In Chapter 1 we set some baseline terms and reviewed history. In Chapter 2 we looked at students, including their challenges and identities. Chapter 3 looked at teachers, including how they are recruited, prepared and compensated. Chapter four focuses on time.

As always, the lessons in this chapter cover a lot of ground. Topics included in Chapter 4 include:

  • When do kids start learning?
  • Why is early education important, and how does it work in California and other states and countries?
  • Kindergarten has been around for generations. Why is it so hard to add just a little more education time for pre-K?
  • What should class sizes be thought of as an investment of time?
  • Why don’t class sizes vary in size more than they do?
  • How many hours in a school year?
  • What’s a Carnegie unit?
  • How much does public education cost per hour?
  • How do teachers learn to spend time powerfully?
  • How should school time be organized to be most productive?
  • How do summer vacations make us more unequal? What can be done?
  • Why are after school programs important — and vulnerable?
  • A lot of kids miss a lot of school. Why does it matter, and what can be done?

The video below summarizes it all in less than seven minutes. Check it out and please share! It really helps.

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We will continue updating Ed100 Lessons and releasing summary videos like this on our YouTube channel over the coming months. Please tell friends to sign up on the Ed100 home page to receive our weekly email.

How to use these videos

School communities get the most out of Ed100 by using it together.

The big idea: Help communities get in the habit of talking and learning about the education system proactively, not just in response to tragedy or partisan provocation. It’s painless to add watching a video to the agenda of a PTA meeting or as a homework assignment for site council members.

For example, PTA leaders in Burbank used Ed100 to prepare their community in advance of a parcel tax proposal. Educators at CSU Monterey Bay are currently using Ed100 to help future educators learn about the education system they will work in.

Spark the conversation

Want to take this idea further? Each video in this series comes with a discussion guide, in English and Spanish. You can find it by looking for the orange star in the “In This Lesson” sidebar of each lesson (see image above).

To really go big, follow the example of Beacon Park Elementary, where a motivated parent spurred dozens of others to use Ed100 to become informed. The Ed100 Parent Leader Guide and drawing are tools to help groups build momentum.

Do you have other ideas about ways to put Ed100 to use in your community? Drop us a note!

Questions & Comments

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user avatar
Genee Woodson January 19, 2024 at 4:34 pm
I disagree that the amount of time spent learning makes all the difference. In my experience, it has been HOW the time is spent learning regardless of how much time is involved. As one example, a middle school aged special education student with perfect attendance and intellectual disability was placed on independent study for the majority of a school year. In that time, the student was allowed to follow differentiated methods that were quite simple in style and allowed structured creative outlets. Learning time was limited to 3.5 hours a day plus breaks every 30 minutes as/if needed. Upon return to campus, IEP assessments showed the student had improved so greatly that the school could no longer justify including an intellectual disability label in the IEP. There are more experiences like this one.
user avatar
Jeff Camp - Founder January 19, 2024 at 6:24 pm
I totally agree that there is a huge difference between time logged and time spent well. Lessons 4.3 and 4.4 pursue this more deeply. Your reply underscores the value of having an adult involved in the learning process with an eye on outcomes.
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