In Favor of a Year-Round Block Schedule

The traditional assembly line six-period schedule is not an effective way to teach students in this day and age. The most effective method is block scheduling and many schools are starting to take action.

You might be thinking, ‘Block scheduling? You mean I have to listen to my teacher ramble about antebellum America for two hours?’ First of all, history is great. Second of all, a block schedule does not necessary mean longer lectures.

“[The traditional six-period schedule] provides inadequate time for probing ideas in depth, and tends to discourage using a variety of learning activities,” writes Karen Irmsher in her ericdigests.org report, Block Schedule. She later states, “Larger blocks allow for a more flexible and productive classroom environment, along with more opportunities for using varied and interactive teaching methods.”

This means that instead of sitting down and just listening for two hours, you’ll be able to go into in-depth discussions without feeling pressed for time. Moreover, teachers will be encouraged to incorporate new teaching methods to facilitate discussion and learning.

“I would really have to look at arguments on both sides. My first sense is probably not,” said Social Science teacher, Mr. Robert Hertenstein when asked if he would support a shift to a block schedule.

While switching to a block schedule may seem like a daunting and pointless task, the benefits of such a system cannot be ignored. “Teachers have a lot more time to go over [homework] to make sure we [understand],” said Raymond Yang, junior at Leland High School. While most schools around that area have been on a block schedule for years, the San Jose high school made the shift just last year. “With the 2 hr periods, we can review information that’s relevant, get questions answered before we have to take [the test],” he added when discussing simulating AP test scenarios.

“By the time you get people indoctrinated with it, it might have a lot of positives,” replied Mr. Hertenstein when presented with the benefits of a block schedule.

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