Classroom-Level Working Conditions Hinder Student Learning



    Better teacher working conditions can benefit students say researchers

    TORONTO, Aug. 13 /CNW/ - Classroom-level working conditions, which
include class size, are less favourable for elementary public school teachers
than for secondary teachers says a new research study, and this can have a
negative impact on student learning.
    Classroom-level working conditions are one of nine "working conditions
that matter" on which the study focused to arrive at the conclusion that
working conditions are more favourable for secondary public school teachers.
The report suggests that "insofar as teacher working conditions are student
learning conditions, better working conditions would seem to be an obvious
focus for school improvement."
    The study was undertaken by Kenneth Leithwood, a professor at the Ontario
Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto, on
behalf of the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO). Evidence for
the study was collected from interviews with a small number of teachers who
had recently worked in both elementary and secondary schools and from survey
responses from 3,000 elementary and secondary teachers.
    "As teachers, we know that positive working conditions in the classroom
can provide a more positive learning environment for each and every student,"
said ETFO President David Clegg.
    "If teachers work in smaller classes, for example, their students benefit
in a number of ways: they receive more individual attention from their
teachers, they perform better on reading and math tests, they participate more
in school, and they have fewer discipline problems.
    "Reducing class sizes in Grades 4-8 is a winning strategy for our young
children. Teachers have known this for years. That's why we have consistently
urged both school boards and the provincial government to reduce class sizes,"
Clegg said.
    Details of the teacher working conditions study were released at the ETFO
annual meeting in Toronto. The meeting continues until August 14.

    The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario represents 73,000
elementary public school teachers and education workers across Ontario and is
the largest teacher federation in Canada.





For further information:

For further information: Larry Skory, (416) 948-0195 (cell),
lskory@etfo.org; Johanna Brand, (416) 948-2554 (cell), jbrand@etfo.org; Mary
Morison, (416) 948-3406 (cell), mmorison@etfo.org; August 11-14, ETFO Media
Centre, Queens Quay 1, Concourse Level, The Westin Harbour Castle, Toronto,
Phone: (416) 957-7181, Fax: (416) 957-7180

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Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario

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