With the momentum for expanding learning time (ELT) building, we have been reading a lot of articles commenting on the importance of more and better learning time. Earlier this month, I came across an article by Dr. Terry Wallace in the West Virginia Watchdog discussing the National Center on Time & Learning’s announcement of 40 schools and 11 districts participating in the TIME Collaborative and expanded learning time more broadly that really grabbed my attention. The humorous tone was my hook:
“In a world economy that increasingly demands higher performance and lifelong learning, while we cling to an agrarian calendar, what answers are there? Educational research has long given us the answer, but research is so dull, boring and overly complicated that almost no one reads it, including educators.”
But then as I continued to read, Dr. Wallace humbly mentioned his work with school districts, and as I came to find out, it was one with more time. I dug in deeper and found out he has over 40 years of experience in education. In that time, he has been a bus driver, a classroom teacher, an administrator, and helped shape public law. He has seen and worked in almost every aspect of the education system. Now a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Innovation in Education at West Liberty University and the Public Policy Foundation of West Virginia, and a Professor at Muskingum University, he continues to write about and discuss the changes that need to be made in education for today’s world.
The theory and research behind expanding learning time are often cited advocates – including us at TSC – like common sense. However, we realize that with 1,000 ELT schools of the 100,000 schools in the country, there are relatively few educators who have first-hand experiences of the challenges and opportunities of implementing it. Dr. Wallace is one of the few who has had that kind of opportunity.
We are proud to announce that yesterday he became a featured signatory to the coalition. We look forward to working with him to help spread the message of more and better learning time.