How Block Scheduling Effects Academic Success

Essay by rudog April 2005

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In recent years many educators have voiced their concern about as losing our edge in the global marketplace as well as an apparent decline in American students' achievements. This has become a recurring belief for many teachers, parents, and school districts throughout the United States. As a result, many states have begun to increase the amount of units necessary to fulfill graduation requirements in hope to enhance education and make American students more globally competitive.

As many districts have found, it is not feasible to add more subjects to the already demanding 6-or 7-period days. The problem in doing so is that there was little time for electives. At the same time they began to find that adding classes only took away time from other parts of the curriculum already established. While some districts fumbled with the idea of adding classes and minimizing losses in other areas, a large number of schools, more specifically 25-40 percent of U.S.

high schools adopted block scheduling

(American Federation of Teachers, 1999). It is apparent the block scheduling craze is thought to be a fix all solution to the problem, at least for those districts and individuals looking for anything to help increase the status quo.

In a nutshell, block scheduling is the practice of breaking up school time into blocks or units of classroom time. More recently we have seen this practice redefined to stand for a restructuring movement for longer classroom periods. Typically average class periods ranged from 45-50 minutes long. Block scheduling has taken this traditional style of time management and have increases class periods anywhere from two to four times longer. As one might be amazed at the novelty of more time in the classroom, it is vital to understand that number of class periods are correspondingly decreased, thus...