In addition to lost instructional time, as proven above, it is also an ineffective way to teach.
Six classes a day, five days week, every day the same schedule. Telephones and radios were still novelties when high schools nationwide petrified the school day into this rigid pattern. We live in a very different world now, and we know immeasurably more about how students learn.
Yet most contemporary high school and middle school students are still locked into the same archaic schedule that their great-grandparents experienced when they were teenagers.
This Digest looks at problems inherent in the traditional scheduling pattern. Then it examines the benefits and challenges of block scheduling, and ends with a few tips for making the transition. For starters, say critics, the pace is grueling. A typical student will be in nine locations pursuing nine different activities in a six-and-a-half-hour school day.
An average teacher must teach five classes, dealing with students and multiple preparations. This frantic, fragmented schedule is unlike any experienced either before or after high school. Opportunities for individualization of instruction and meaningful interaction between students and teachers are hard to come by.
No matter how complex or simple the school subject, the schedule assigns an impartial national average of fifty-one minutes per class period, say Robert Canady and Michael Rettig And despite wide variation in the time it takes individual students to succeed at learning any given task, the allocated time is identical for all.
And a great deal of time is lost in simply starting and ending so many classes in a day. Flexible scheduling patterns are a much better match for pedagogical practices that meet the educational needs of students and the professional needs of teachers.
Gordon Cawelti defines it as follows: Some of the possibilities detailed by Canady and Rettig include: Teachers meet with students three days out of four—twice in single periods, once in a double period.
And there are many more. Any of these can be modified, of course, to meet the specific needs of a school. Scheduling changes are usually linked to decreased reliance on the standard lecture-discussion-seatwork pattern, and an increase in individualization and creative teaching strategies.
They are often part of a major restructuring effort. Larger blocks of time allow for a more flexible and productive classroom environment, along with more opportunities for using varied and interactive teaching methods.
Other benefits listed by Jeffrey Sturgis include: In evaluations of schools using block scheduling, Carroll found more course credits completed, equal or better mastery and retention of material, and an impressive reduction in suspension and dropout rates.
He posits improved relationships between students and teachers as a major factor. This pattern allows students to enroll in a greater number and variety of elective courses and offers more opportunities for acceleration. Students who fail a course have an earlier opportunity to retake it, enabling them to regain the graduation pace of their peers.
Teachers have fewer students to keep records and grades for each semester, and schools require fewer textbooks. All change is painful, say Gerald Strock and David Hottensteinand often controversial. The process of making the transition is probably the biggest challenge: Adequate staff development time is also essential, say Canady and Rettig.
Teachers who have taught in thirty-five to fifty-minute time blocks for years need help in gaining the necessary strategies and skills to teach successfully in large blocks of time.
They observe that teachers who are most successful in block scheduling typically plan lessons in three parts: Most teachers have much less experience with the latter two phases than with the first.
Teachers may also need training in cooperative learning, class building, and team formation. Ideally, the superintendent, school board, principals, teachers, students, and parents should all be provided with opportunities to learn about the proposed innovations, and have plenty of chances to discuss the ramifications.
Canady and Rettig suggest the following: A Catalyst for Change in High Schools. Eye on Education, Educational Research Service, National Education Commission on Time and Learning. One such attempt, block scheduling, affects many aspects of the school environment, both organizationally and educationally.Are Block Schedules the Stress-Buster Students Need?
By Tim Walker.
but block scheduling, hardly a new idea, is making something of a comeback. A successful transition from a traditional school schedule to a block schedule . Introduction block scheduling. 4X4 BLOCK PLAN This plan typically divides the school day into four minute periods with time added for lunch and passing help illustrate the change process that occurs as schools move toward block scheduling.
There are both pros and. Block Scheduling in Schooling vs. Traditional Scheduling Block Scheduling in Schooling vs. Traditional Scheduling Block Scheduling has become a popular reform movement that schools are using to replace traditional schedules (Flinders & Veal ).
Even though block scheduling . Block Scheduling- Articles. Block Scheduling. To make the transition from traditional to block scheduling, teachers need training to expand their repertoire of strategies (Wisconsin Association of Foreign Language Teachers, ).
Show your support for Jewish education, your colleagues, and The Lookstein Center by . Aug 22, · Unlike traditional high school schedules with periods a day, many high schools today use block scheduling.
Block scheduling has taken America by storm in recent years. School districts tout it as a fantastic way to offer increased instruction time and help students focus on their studies, but detractors say longer class periods are Reviews: Making the Most of a Minute Block.
August 13, Jennifer Gonzalez. facebook My observations of block scheduling have been a shocking education for me. Block scheduling has resulted in less emphasis on core content and more on gimmickry. My school is currently trying to decide if we want a block schedule or traditional schedule.