Alberta Teacher Workload Study
The Alberta Teacher Workload Study was commissioned to define and understand teachers’ workload in Alberta. The Government of Alberta, the Alberta Teachers’ Association, and the Alberta School Boards Association formed a cooperative venture for the purpose of coordinating and overseeing the project. The study provided stakeholders with a comprehensive assessment of the reality of teachers’ workload in Alberta to help guide future policy discussions and work negotiations amongst these parties. The issues reviewed included the tasks performed by teachers in their role as teachers, the time spent completing these tasks, the obstacles teachers faced in completing their professional duties, the fluctuations in workload that occur throughout the school year, and the relationships between workload and school characteristics. Populations of interest for the study included teachers at public, separate, and Francophone schools in Alberta and school administrators and central office staff who are members of the Association Bargaining Unit.
This time use study was conducted in two phases, including a pilot study to design and evaluate the time use log and a full study that included the collection of comprehensive time use data from teachers and administrators over a 10-month period.
The core data collection activity, the time use diary, required teachers and administrators to complete a daily log of activities for a week. In addition to the time use diary, teachers and school administrators completed two rounds of a summer time allocation survey and a workplace experience survey. Central office staff completed a workplace experience survey and a survey to estimate their work hours.
We developed a comprehensive data collection system that included communication materials, and supported sample management, as well as the administration of the time use log to thousands of teachers and administrators and hundreds of central office staff. The data collected was cleaned and coded using complex cleaning rules developed in consultation with the client to ensure that the findings were reliable and appropriately reflected the scope and scale of work completed by Alberta teachers across the year.
Finalized data was used to help guide future policy discussions and work negotiations amongst the Government of Alberta, the Alberta Teachers’ Association, and the Alberta School Boards Association.
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