Working in Classrooms looks at how arrangements of time and space shape school teaching; and at how teachers, principals and government departments of education shape the time and space for learning in schools. The module is theoretically informed by an understanding of teaching as a practice, and is practically useful in addressing the question of how teachers might best organise classroom space and time to promote systematic learning.

For students in initial teacher education, the module develops very useful understandings of the contexts in which they will practice; for practising teachers, it provides rich material for reflecting on their own experience. For all, it provides insights that are valuable for teaching and that may well disturb our understanding of basic issues we assume or just take for granted!

The five sections of Working in Classrooms present a coherent progression. Access the full version here. Alternatively, each section is downloadable as an individual unit.

The Working in Classrooms Learning Guide is supported by a set of 9 readings, some of which can be accessed from this website (highlighted in blue). For those not available, you can contact the publishers listed below for permission to use the readings. A full set is available from Saide at infoatsaide [dot] org [dot] za.

Reference list for Section One

  • Reading 1 : Hargreaves, A. 1994. Time quality or quantity? The Faustian bargain. Chapter 5, Changing Teachers, Changing Times. New York: Teachers College Press.
  • Reading 2: Meighan, R. 1986. Timetables. In A Sociology of Educating. Third edition. London: Holt, Rhinehart and Winston.
  • Reading 3: Moyles, J. 1992. Time for teaching and learning. In Organising Learning in the Primary Classroom. Open University Press.

Reference list for Section Two

Reference list for Section Three

This 36 minute long video is interesting in its own right as well as being a valuable resource to support the learning guide. The video is a lively stimulus for thinking about teaching strategies that promote effective learning. It has much practical value.


The video has four downloadable sections:

  • Part 1 introduces us to the nature of time and space in society in general. We also meet a learner and a teacher who are both somewhat over-awed by the new arrangements of time and space they encounter on their first day at a new school.
    DOWNLOAD (36.87 MB) OR VIEW (4:19 MINS)
  • Part 2 looks at timetables and addresses the question of how much classroom time we actually have for organising teaching and learning. Teachers discuss various strategies, and we see a number of experiments in using classroom space in different ways.
    DOWNLOAD (95.98 MB) OR  VIEW (11:53MINS)
  • Part 3 has two sections. In the first section we witness a rather chaotic classroom in which things go wrong because of ineffective use of time and space. In the second we see how teaching and learning can be much more purposeful in the same classroom – but when time and classroom layout are used with different teaching approaches.
    DOWNLOAD (119 MB) OR VIEW (13:47MINS)
  • Part 4 focuses on teachers’ use of time and space to meet particular needs and we see the necessity for teacher flexibility in organising learning in different situations.
    DOWNLOAD  (32.94 MB) OR VIEW (04:08MINS)

A DVD of the full video can be ordered from SAIDE - infoatsaide [dot] org [dot] za (info[at]saide[dot]org[dot]za) or 011 403 2813 .