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How Do Schools Use Block Scheduling

What is Block Scheduling?

Every so often, we hear of new techniques, strategies and innovations, all in pursuit of quality education. Why give a big deal out of it? What's with the fuss with all these recent advancements?

Block scheduling is one of those that emerged out of the country's desire to improve the quality of education among secondary schools and therefore prepare them for a much tedious and demanding college life. Is it the best solution as what it promises to be? Is it as effective as what it claims to be?

In a nutshell

Block scheduling had its maiden implementation in the District of Columbia sometime in 1960 as part of its remedial program. It was however in 1980 when the trend took full swing. Several schools have implemented block scheduling in their curriculum while most schools stick with the existing system.

Some schools attest to its effectivity while others claim otherwise. Of course, you can never please everybody and the same holds true even to block scheduling. This kind of educational restructuring has elicited feedbacks not just from students but parents and teachers as well.

How it works

Would you rather have four classes in a day than seven? Then block scheduling is for you. It means that there are fewer classes for longer periods. Instead of the 45 to 55 minutes per subject, such runs for ninety minutes. This is done alternately in a given school week.

Another type of block scheduling is the 4x4. Every quarter, each student only takes four classes instead of the usual six. In which case, a class intended for a year is taken only in one semester and each class for a semester meets only for a quarter.

The two sides of a coin

Block scheduling, is it a boon or a bane? When its implementation went full swing in some schools, reactions came in different poles. However, there is always two sides to a coin and reactions, both favorable and adverse, is inevitable.

Among others, teacher resources are maximized allowing them to come up with more creative lesson plans resulting to better learning among students. The relationship between studdents and teachers is likewise strengthened due to longer periods spent.

Additionally, students are able to develop better study skills because they have more teacher worksheets to work on.

On the contrary, block scheduling can be a disadvantage. Teacher worksheets must be challenging enough to sustain the students' attention span which is under normal circumstances is up to thirty minutes only. Some students do not have better memory thus retention can be a problem.

As for the teachers, it is always a challenge to come up with lessons that can sustain the attention of the class for an hour and a half. Others even complained to having difficulty in creating an effective rubrics that will work well with block scheduling.

Debates are ongoing regarding this kind of restructuring in the educational system. We all know that the state only has the best intentions especially if it involves our children's future.

More Information On Block Scheduling

Professional Literature on Block Scheduling

  1. Alternative Scheduling Options at the Secondary Level
  2. Block Scheduling Effects on a State Mandated Test of Basic Skills-
  3. Block Scheduling: Problems with Academic Performance
  4. Case Against Block Scheduling- Why it doesn't work.
  5. InfoWeb: Block Scheduling Information
  6. Prisoners Of Tim
  7. Schools and Programs Making Time Work for Students and Teachers
  8. The Block

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