At a time when OECD and partner countries are trying to figure out how to reduce burgeoning debt and make the most of shrinking public budgets, spending on education is an obvious target for scrutiny. Education officials, teachers, policy makers, parents and students struggle to determine the merits of shorter or longer school days or school years, how much time should be allotted to various subjects, and the usefulness of after-school lessons and independent study.
This report focuses on how students use learning time, both in and out of school. What are the ideal conditions to ensure that students use their learning time efficiently? What can schools do to maximise the learning that occurs during the limited amount of time students spend in class? In what kinds of lessons does learning time reap the most benefits? And how can this be determined?
The report draws on data from the 2006 cycle of the Programme of International Student Assessment (PISA) to describe differences across and within countries in how much time students spend studying different subjects, how much time they spend in different types of learning activities, how they allocate their learning time and how they perform academically.