Effect of increased instructional time on student achievement

Yeşil Dağlı Ü.

Educational Review, vol.71, no.4, pp.501-517, 2019 (SSCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 71 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/00131911.2018.1441808
  • Journal Name: Educational Review
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.501-517
  • Keywords: student achievement, vacations, İncreased instructional time
  • Yıldız Technical University Affiliated: No


Determining the number of hours and days students should spend in school per year to improve student achievement has been a central policy issue, influencing, for example, authorities’ attitudes toward disciplining pupil non-attendance and fining parents for the withdrawal of students for vacations. This paper is a review of research studies on the effect of amount of instructional time. It focuses on how the amount of time spent on core subjects (mathematics, science and reading/language arts) and number of instructional days in a school year relate to students’ academic achievement. Reviewed studies give difficult-to-interpret findings. While there is a broad association between allocated instructional time and achievement, as would be expected, there is evidence that there may be a ceiling effect of instructional time and that peer composition of classrooms may mediate the effect of additional instructional time.