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An analysis of time-use patterns of primary school teachers in Tasmania

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Ngwenya, E (2012) An analysis of time-use patterns of primary school teachers in Tasmania. EdD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

The thesis is a study of the time-use patterns of primary school teachers in Tasmania. The time allocation behaviour of primary teachers is described using diary data on teachers’ workloads. The diary data describe teachers’ daily and weekly time use inside and outside schools. The time allocated to the myriad of tasks undertaken by teachers is described using actual time allocated and the proportion of total available time allocated to each activity or each teaching day. Throughout the thesis, the actual time allocated by teachers is referred to as the time budget, and the proportional allocation of time is referred to as the time share. The use of time budgets is common in time-use research. The use of time shares in the analysis of teachers’ time-use that is developed in this thesis is novel, and complements the traditional use of time budgets. A conceptual framework of teachers’ time use that uses these time budgets and time shares and describes teacher time allocation behaviour, is developed in this thesis. The conceptual framework has embedded within it a set of activities that teachers perform in the school, after school, outside classrooms, within classrooms, as they allocate time to the complex myriad of activities that they perform. Also embedded in the conceptual framework is a set of structural equations that describe allocation of time to teaching and non-teaching activities, days of the week, and weekend work. These structural equations first, depict the realities of primary teachers’ work and the dynamism thereof, and are then estimated using a suite of regression techniques that included ordinary least squares (OLS), seemingly unrelated regressions (SUR), multivariate regressions (MVREG), instrumental variables regressions (IVREG) and error in variables (EIV) regressions. These techniques are estimated using the software (STATA 9.2). The use of this suite of econometric modelling in the analysis of teachers’ time allocation behaviour is novel.
The results obtained from these techniques provide evidence on the determinants of: (i) the number of activities undertaken by teachers, (ii) the time budgets and time shares of each type of activity undertaken by teacher, (iii) the time budgets and time shares of each day of the teaching week; and, (iv) the extent to which teachers are overloaded – that is work in excess of mandatory hours. The results reported in this thesis show that time budgets and time shares provide different, but complementary, types of information about the time allocation behaviour of teachers. The results also show that selected teacher characteristics and school characteristics are important determinants of the time use patterns of primary school teachers in Tasmania. Of particular significance is the high level of time allocation to activities undertaken in schools on Tuesdays. Equally significant, although alarming, is the extent to which primary school teachers in Tasmania are overloaded and work during unsociable hours that include evenings, weekends and, in particular, Sundays. Throughout the thesis it is posited that the main aim of teachers’ work is to leave a significant, positive, and indelible imprint on student’s learning and other developments. The conceptual framework and the structural equations thereof are thus described as representing the teacher’s ‘thumbprint’. The use of the metaphor of the teacher’s thumbprint highlights the focus of teachers in meeting the various challenges of teachers’ ever-changing domains and realities of work.
The thesis provides a conceptual model of teachers’ work and time allocation thereof. A set of structural features of teachers’ work is captured, within the teachers’ thumbprint. The analytical framework is then evaluated for empirical validity using the two concepts: time budgets and time shares. The use of the metaphor of the teacher’s thumbprint, the supporting analytical framework, and the use of time shares to complement time budget analysis is novel.
This thesis makes a significant contribution to knowledge, methodology, and policy-making. The findings from this thesis will contribute to informing public policy with regard to schools as workplaces, and lead to an understanding on welfare implications of teachers’ work. The findings also contribute to an understanding of time-use data in a way that allows for providing an interpretation of the link between time allocation, teacher emotional states, job satisfaction, and general wellbeing of teachers. The time allocation patterns of teachers also have economic and non-economic incentives that alter teachers’ time-use behaviour, the teachers’ view of their work, as well as community views of teachers’ work.

Item Type: Thesis (EdD)
Keywords: time-use, workloads, teacher's work, thumbprint, time allocation, econometric
Additional Information:

Copyright 2012 The Author.
Doctorate in Education (EdD)

Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2013 23:55
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2017 00:59
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