Voice of Teacher Survey 2016: Study finds decline in attention span of students, blames gadgets

Teachers feel decline also in academic engagement, values, ethics, discipline due to excessive use of mobile phones, tablets

Written by Priyanka Sahoo | Mumbai | Published: September 3, 2016 3:00:59 am

EXCESSIVE USE of mobile phones, tablets and other gadgets has led to a decline in the attention span of students, feel many teachers surveyed by Pearson India.

According to the Voice of Teacher Survey 2016, 29 per cent of the teachers surveyed in the state said use of personal gadgets had distracted students resulting in a decline in academic engagement.

Half of the teachers surveyed said there was no active engagement among students and 32 per cent felt there had been a decline in the attentiveness of students in the classroom. While 74 per cent agreed that there had been an increase in participation in extracurricular activities, 44 per cent thought there was a decline in values and ethics and 41 per cent vouched for decline in discipline.

A large number of teachers — 85 per cent— said real-life examples and stories worked as effective technique in improving learner engagement. At 91 per cent, Pune found higher number of teachers agreeing to the effectiveness of the technique compared to Mumbai (84 per cent).

Teacher training was found not adequate enough by 42 per cent who said there was scope for more.

The fourth edition of the survey, aimed at understanding teachers’ perspective on the level of engagement among students and ways to enhance engagement, was conducted with 6,494 respondents across 546 cities in the country.

The opinions of teachers in Maharashtra resonated with that of respondents across the country.

In terms of active engagement among students, 45 per cent teachers said students did not actively engage, while 29 per cent said use of personal gadgets resulted in distraction and 12 percent attributed the lack of engagement to lack of parental support.

Technology platforms enhanced interactions between teachers and students, agreed 81 per cent of the respondents.

Overall, 59 per cent teachers said learner engagement had increased in the last five years, of which 78 per cent said the trend could be attributed to changes at the school level than at higher education level.

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