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Block Scheduling

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/10/2009 Category: Education
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,469 times Debate No: 6862
Debate Rounds (4)
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Resolved: high school's undergoes a change from eight classes a day to four, a block schedule

More Time to Learn

By giving the student only four classes to deal with at a time, he or she can devote more concentration and time to each subject. Having 3-4 classes per day rather than the traditional 5-6, the teacher experiences a decrease in required work load and preparation time, allowing for more prep time per lesson, more grading time per class, and more teaching and one-on-one interaction per student. (Overall class size and student/teacher ratio decrease due to the increased number of total classes from 7 per year to 8.) Students spend less time changing classes, and teachers spend less time getting students settled and handling administrative tasks.

More In-Depth Learning

With longer, more highly-concentrated classes, students can take on more projects and papers, rather than the less time-consuming multiple-choice quizzes. Varied and innovative methods of teaching can be incorporated as the old lecture style becomes incompatible with the new, longer classes. The daily schedule gains flexibility, making it more conducive to team teaching, multidisciplinary classes, labs, and field work.

Higher Morale and Better Grades

Proponents say these factors foster a less pressured, more intimate atmosphere in the school, creating a place where children are excited to learn and teachers are inspired to teach. They claim this combination leads to better attendance, higher grades, and lower failure and dropout rates for students in a block scheduling program.


Thanks for the debate and the interesting topic

More time to learn:
Anyone who has spent five minutes in a high school knows that more time is a bad thing. In an age of instant gratification, people, especially high school kids, are difficult to be kept focused. As you lengthen the class period this becomes more and more difficult, actually curbing the learning process. By halving the number of class periods you're creating 90 to 120 minute sessions, virtually doubling the length of the class. As you are in high school, I'm sure you can attest to the unrest experienced after the first half hour or so of class. Sure, you're sitting the child in the seat longer, but the actual amount of material absorbed is hardly worth the sacrifices I will discuss later.

Also, if you could clarify your point on student to teacher ratios, as I don't see how on one hand you are decreasing teacher work loads and increasing the number of classes on the other, I would greatly appreciate it.

Higher Morale and Better Grades:
I'd like to see any evidence of this. It would seem that sticking a sixteen year old in the same room for two hours and discussing the same subject would lead to lower morale (the old clock-watching cliche'). Actually, a study across the state of Texas found no significant changes in attendance, test scores or teaching methods. This is problematic for multiple reasons, if attendance rates don't change, but periods are extended, students are missing twice as much work and most importantly the shift doesn't produce any results. In fact, a Canadian study found that block scheduling was actually DETRIMENTAL to not only academic progress (full year students outscored blocks) , but attitudinal views on subjects as well; debunking your claim that students are more inspired to learn and proving lengthy classes correlate to a decrease in interest.

Subject-Based Learning:
I'm not sure exactly what kind of scheduling you are talking about, but either one of two things happen with a block schedule. Either you are simply cutting four subjects or are limiting the duration of the courses to a quarter rather than a semester. If the first is the case, you are eliminating critical subjects such as foreign language (an obvious need in a shrinking world), art, music, or even things more concrete that lay outside the scope of the four traditional subjects like business or engineering. If you don't want to cut subjects, squash student interest and stunt creativity; you would have to halve the duration of the class, cramming a semesters worth of material into 9 short weeks. A further problem with this cramming is the gap between classes. I may take math one quarter and then, because of our allowance for all subjects currently taught, not take it again for six months or more, clearly harming rettention.


Raphael, D., Wahlstrom, M.W. and McLean, L.D. "Debunking the semestering myth." Canadian Journal of Education, 11(1), 36-52

Bateson, David J. (1990). "Science Achievement in Semester and All-Year Courses," Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 27(3) pp. 233-240.
Debate Round No. 1


I would like to thank you for Debatting aginst me in my first one on here :)

yes as a high school student i under stand sitting in one classs for a long time period is bad but.. being in class long give you more time to under stand what is being said. and can go more in depth . I spend a lot of my class time asking questions like.. How do we do this?.. or.. Am i doing this right. By making class time longer .. there is more one on one teaching going on. more time to ask questions.. And.. It Gets us ready for Collage . Which has Block Periods.

My Evidence is from ... I can't find it.. :(
either way it is valid and correct. You see its not weather the kids are going to be able to sit in class long enouf its to make sure they are learning what they need to. So that they can go on in their life.

as you got A... i would like to point out A!.. just one.. Study across the state of texas found no significant changes in attendance. Yeah it would. seeing that you would not awalys be studding either way that will not go but.. thats is their prolbem. Me being somone who has arthis.. would end up attending more classes for not having to walk around from class to class all day!.

And i see you also have one from Canada Showing about the same thing.. i would love to point out that we are talking about the USA and not Canada I'm guessing i did not make that clear my bad.. Im sorry =)

The thing about this block scheduling is. One say you would have your first 4 Periods and the next day you would have the last 4. Making it double the time in class per day. Increasing your learning, and one more time One on One learning.

Thank you for Accepting once again ;)


SuperPerfundo forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


XXXRema forfeited this round.


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Debate Round No. 3


XXXRema forfeited this round.


SuperPerfundo forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by XXXRema 8 years ago
Epp! i found my Information! :)
Scheduling: On the Block
CER Action Paper
November 1, 1996
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by SuperPerfundo 8 years ago
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