Education improvement undermines call for longer school day

Need for government reform calling for more school hours being questioned after international study shows students near top of reading and science tables

HIV treatment: the sooner the better (photo: iStock)
December 12th, 2012 4:10 pm| by admin
facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

Danish fourth graders improved 13 places in the most recent Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), which found Denmark had jumped from 18th place in 2006 to a tie for fifth place overall in the most recent 2011 study, released yesterday.

Fourth graders also scored high on the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), which ranked students eighth internationally for their comprehension of mathematics and science.

The two studies, carried out every five years, come at an inconvenient time for the government, which last week unveiled a school reform that would see students spending more time in school, while also increasing the number of hours teachers spend in the classroom. 

The findings have given opponents of the reform new ammunition.

“There has been a lot of discussion about whether students should spend 37 hours a week in school,” Anders Bondo Christensen, the head of teachers' union DLF, told Politiken newspaper. “Maybe we need to do something else entirely if we want to improve student performance. These studies appear to be giving a clear indication of that.”

He commended teachers for the results.

“Despite budget cuts, these results show that teachers have still managed to deliver high-quality education.”

But the TIMSS and PIRLS results also show that teachers might not be faring as well as their students.

Some 23 percent teachers said disruptive students significantly hindered their ability to teach, and 62 percent said they accepted disruptive behaviour as a natural part of the classroom.

Organisers insist, despite the location, that the programs are no holiday (photo: iStock)
Young Danish drug abusers sent on two-year Caribbean ‘cruises’
Since 2010, Frederiksund Municipality has spent almost 8 million kroner on ...
Copenhagen shot past Amsterdam to top its namesake list (photo:  Copenhagenize Design Company)
Copenhagen claims title as world’s most bicycle-friendly city
Copenhagen has surpassed Amsterdam to be named the most bicycle-friendly ci...
Finger-licking good (The Donut Shop Facebook page)
Don’t miss out on this one, yer donut!
Think of round, fried, sweet, glazed, mouthwatering donuts ... and now imag...
The award ceremony took place at PWC's offices in Hellerup (photo: Pwc.dk)
TDC wins accounts prize: Disappointing year but well reported
It may have been a difficult year for TDC, marked by a price war with compe...
Share price has been rising steadily since January (photo: iStock)
Novo Nordisk to join elite Stoxx Europe 50 index
The medicinal giant Novo Nordisk will soon take its place on the prestigiou...
The historic institute was founded in 1921 (photo: Soerfm)
Man jailed for setting fire to Niels Bohr Institute
A man has been jailed for setting fire to the historic Niels Bohr Institute...