A Comparative Study of Block Scheduling and Traditional Scheduling on Academic Achievement

By Lawrence, William W.; McPherson, Danny D. | Journal of Instructional Psychology, September 2000 | Go to article overview

A Comparative Study of Block Scheduling and Traditional Scheduling on Academic Achievement


Lawrence, William W., McPherson, Danny D., Journal of Instructional Psychology


This study compared the academic achievement of high school students on the block schedule with the academic achievement of high school students on the traditional schedule. The goal was to determine what impact if any block scheduling would have upon academic achievement.

The sample included secondary students from two high schools in the same school district in the Southeastern region of North Carolina. The four North Carolina End-of Course tests (Algebra 1, Biology, English 1, and U. S. History), which are required of all students who graduate with a diploma, provided the necessary data. T-tests were used to compare the two groups' means for each of the four subject areas to determine if a significant difference existed at the .05 level of significance. The findings revealed that students on the traditional schedule scored significantly higher on the Algebra 1, Biology, English I and U. S. History tests than students on the block schedule.

Background

Since the National Commission on Excellence in Education published its report, A Nation at Risk (1983), Americans have questioned our educational effectiveness. In the 1980's and continuing into the 1990's, school administrators and teachers have been criticized regarding the inefficient and ineffective use of school time.

The National Education Commission on Time and Learning (1994) published a report addressing national concerns regarding allocations of time and use of the school day for instructional purpose. According to the report,

   learning in America is a prisoner of time. For the past 150 years, American
   public schools have held time constant and let learning vary. The rule only
   rarely voiced is simple: learn what you can in the time we make available.
   It should surprise no one that bright, hardworking students do reasonably
   well. Everyone else from the typical student to the dropout - runs into
   trouble. The degree to which today's American school is controlled by the
   dynamics of clock and calendar is surprising even to people who understand
   school operations (National Education Commission on Time and Learning,
   1994, p. 7).

Cushman (1989) emphasized that today's secondary schools are designed as though students face the same lifestyles their grandparents did while noticeable differences are obvious. Previously, students learned punctuality, obedience to authorities, and tolerance of repetition,k boredom, and discomfort. During the 18th and 19th centuries, students were trained for farm and industrial work. According to Edwards (1991),judgment, decision-making, creativity, high technological knowledge and independence were neither taught nor expected.

The 1990's called for different thinking, behaviors, and practices. Society and its expectations have changed drastically. Things that were once objectionable are now required such as creativity and technology issues.

In an effort to better meet society's expectations and to make better use of gained knowledge, educators are now focusing on educational restructuring. One such focus has been the school calendar year. Another focus has been the time scheduled for classes. Secondary educators now ask the question, "Does the traditional high school schedule most appropriately meet the instructional demands and expectations of teachers and students?" An even more poignant question emerges- "How does student achievement vary with different class schedules?"

Purposes of the Study

The purpose of this study was to compare the test scores in selected school subjects (Algebra 1, Biology, English I and U. S. History) for students on a traditional class schedule with those on a block schedule.

In the early 1990's, the allocation of instructional time (Edwards. 1991: Canady & Rettig, 1993; and Schoenstein, 1944) has been investigated from different perspectives. Yet, there is a lack of scientific support regarding the effect of block scheduling on student academic achievement. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A Comparative Study of Block Scheduling and Traditional Scheduling on Academic Achievement
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.