An upper secondary school class at Björneborgs svenska samskolan in Pori. LEHTIKUVA

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More instruction time and good teachers help students perform better. This is the result of a study conducted by the ifo Institute. “On average across the countries studied, the effect of instruction time on student achievement is greater when the teachers are better qualified,” says ifo researcher Katharina Wedel. However, when only developing countries are considered, instruction time has on average no effect.

“Even so, increased instruction time in these countries also improves student achievement when children are taught by well‑qualified teachers,” she says.

Wedel examined achievement differences in math and science in international data from the year 2015. This includes information on student achievement, student characteristics and attitudes, teachers, school resources, and instructional practices in more than 60 countries, both developed and developing.

To measure the quality of the teachers, Wedel turned to their formal qualifications: subject specialization with a pedagogical background, multiple years of experience, highest degree of education in specialist subject, and participation in professional development. While the effect of instruction time on student achievement is greater under teachers with either a subject specialization, professional development, or at least a bachelor’s degree in the relevant subject, it is not affected by multiple years of experience.

Source: ifo Institute