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Service Learning

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Essay title: Service Learning


A common issue in American high schools today is the time allotted for class instruction. Many instructors complain that there just is not enough time to cover all the material required of their subject curriculum in 50 to 60 minutes a day. For the past 150 years, American public schools have held time constant and let learning vary (Lawrence, 2000). Block scheduling is a readjustment in the way time is divided within the school day in order to provide longer instructional blocks of time for teachers and students (Nichols, 2005). In departure from the traditional scheduling of six to eight fifty-minute classes per day for two semesters, block scheduling allows students to take four classes in ninety-minute blocks each day for one semester. Larger blocks of time allow for a more flexible and productive classroom environment, along with more opportunities for using varied and interactive teaching methods.

Statement of the Problem

This study will compare the effects of block scheduling on the academic performance of high school students with the academic performance of high school students on the traditional schedule. Yet, the goal is to determine what impact, if any, block scheduling would have on academic performance.

Research Questions

1. Do students who attend classes on a block scheduling format have more academic success than students who attend classes on a traditional scheduling format?

Operational Definitions

The variable in this study is the scheduling format in each school. Worth County High will be on a blocked- scheduling format while Dougherty Comprehensive High will be on a traditional schedule. The following are definitions for the terms used throughout this proposal:

Block-scheduling: four ninety-minute blocks per semester (4 X 4); a two-day rotating system, with students completing eight classes during the year (A/B or eight block); or two to three ninety-minute blocks and variable or split forty-five minute classes.

Traditional Scheduling: six to seven forty-five to fifty minute classes, with students attending all six to seven classes every day.

Academic Success: Overall student achievement increases at least 20% while attending classes on a block-scheduling format.

Review of Related Literature

Change is difficult, involves risk, is a challenge, takes time, and does not guarantee success or satisfaction. Working out class scheduling at schools has become a routine challenge for many administrators, as well as for the teachers, who must adapt to new schedules (Bevevino, 1998). Innovations in scheduling seem to be a popular reform for schools across the country. One reform movement that has gained in popularity in the past few years is block scheduling. More than fifty percent of secondary schools in the United States have opted to change their schools' schedule to one that involves longer classes (Canady & Rettig, 1995). Block scheduling was developed to create more time for teachers and students for instruction

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