The Day Reconstruction Method: A New Tool for Measuring Teachers' Work and Work Contexts

This project is developing a measure of how teachers spend their workday and how they feel about their work while working.

Improving on previous measures of teachers’ work we will develop and validate the Day Reconstruction Method (DRM) for use with teachers.

The DRM has been used to measure well being and its relation to time use in the general public. 

This study is the first adoption of the measurement tool in education research. The instrument captures rich evidence about teachers’ work activity, including the the different contexts in which teachers work, and teachers’ affective responses to their work.

An advantage of the DRM is that it captures the simultaneous occurrence of teachers’ activities and feelings in a particular context at a particular time. The DRM has the potential to shed light on facets of teachers’ work that are not well documented by current research.  For example, the tool will capture how teachers’ feelings about their work varies by activity and by context. We believe that measuring these kinds of things is timely given the considerable pressure and public scrutiny placed on teachers. When analyzed at the school level, DRM data may provide diagnostic information about schools' organizational functioning and climate.

The project is funded under an IES measurement goal which supports the development and validation of innovative measurement tools. An initial pilot study will attempt to identify optimal field procedures for collecting high quality DRM data. The pilot will also investigate teachers’ use of DRM response protocols and whether and how teachers’ responses to the DRM change after completing the instrument multiple times.  A larger validation study will assess the validity of the DRM instrument in many different ways including examining the correlation of DRM data with data from an experience sampling instrument, a teacher survey, and student achievement data. 

The project is a collaborative partnership of Eric Camburn at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Nate Jones at Boston University, Ben Kelcey at the University of Cincinnati, Esther Quintero-Corral at the Albert Shanker Institute, and the University of Wisconsin Survey Center. 

More information about the DRM can be found at these links




Eric Camburn


Active through July 31, 2020

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Eric Camburn