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Are Spanish Children Taking Advantage of their Weekly Classroom Time?


  • Luis Alejandro Lopez–Agudo

    () (Universidad de Málaga)

  • Oscar Marcenaro–Gutierrez

    () (Universidad de Málaga)


Abstract There is a common belief in Spain that a large amount of classroom time is supposed to be an indicator of better academic achievement, due to children’s prolonged exposure to the teaching-learning process. Nevertheless, international evidence does not seem to support this concept, as the amount of weekly instruction hours that children receive in Spain is well above the one provided in other countries, which clearly perform better than Spain in international assessments. Because of that, this current research proposes to analyse two issues regarding weekly instruction time: firstly, whether or not instruction time per week affects the academic achievement of Spanish children; secondly, if this potential effect differs across Spanish regions –Autonomous Communities–. In order to do that, we have made use of student fixed effects between-subjects to obtain the potential causal effect of weekly instruction time on students’ academic achievement. The main results of this analysis have indicated that, in general for Spain, weekly instruction time does not seem to affect children’s academic achievement. However, this lack of influence may reflect the compensation of different effects of instruction time per week on students’ academic achievement for some Spanish Autonomous Communities –concretely, Catalonia, Navarra and the Basque Country–. In the view of these results, we propose some policy interventions. We also highlight the importance of studying each country’s particular case in respect to this instruction time issue, as it may present different effects in each country.

Suggested Citation

  • Luis Alejandro Lopez–Agudo & Oscar Marcenaro–Gutierrez, 2019. "Are Spanish Children Taking Advantage of their Weekly Classroom Time?," Child Indicators Research, Springer;The International Society of Child Indicators (ISCI), vol. 12(1), pages 187-211, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:chinre:v:12:y:2019:i:1:d:10.1007_s12187-018-9537-4
    DOI: 10.1007/s12187-018-9537-4

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Maria A. Cattaneo & Chantal Oggenfuss & Stefan C. Wolter, 2017. "The more, the better? The impact of instructional time on student performance," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(5), pages 433-445, September.
    2. Lipscomb, Stephen, 2007. "Secondary school extracurricular involvement and academic achievement: a fixed effects approach," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 463-472, August.
    3. Hille, Adrian & Schupp, Jürgen, 2015. "How learning a musical instrument affects the development of skills," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 56-82.
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    5. Metzler, Johannes & Woessmann, Ludger, 2012. "The impact of teacher subject knowledge on student achievement: Evidence from within-teacher within-student variation," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 486-496.
    6. Woessmann Ludger, 2010. "Institutional Determinants of School Efficiency and Equity: German States as a Microcosm for OECD Countries," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 230(2), pages 234-270, April.
    7. repec:wly:econjl:v:125:y:2015:i:588:p:f397-f424 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Steven G. Rivkin & Jeffrey C. Schiman, 2015. "Instruction Time, Classroom Quality, and Academic Achievement," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 0(588), pages 425-448, November.
    9. J. Ignacio García-Pérez & Marisa Hidalgo-Hidalgo & J. Antonio Robles-Zurita, 2014. "Does grade retention affect students' achievement? Some evidence from Spain," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(12), pages 1373-1392, April.
    10. Victor Lavy, 2015. "Do Differences in Schools' Instruction Time Explain International Achievement Gaps? Evidence from Developed and Developing Countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 125(588), pages 397-424, November.
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