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High School: Long Blocks Versus Short Blocks


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#1 The Polymath

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 04:44 PM

In my high school, the daily schedule changes based on the day of the week. On Thursdays and Fridays, blocks A, B, and C are all 45 minutes or an hour long, respectively, while blocks alpha, beta, gamma, and delta are all ~50 minutes long. On these days, we have all of the blocks. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, however, we have one-and-a-half hour long blocks, (A/B, B/C, or C/A), and either alpha/gamma or beta/delta for ~2 hours each. Personally, I prefer the long blocks, and would support every block being long, but I would interested to see what everyone else here thinks.

I'll be updating this in a bit with more elaboration, but feel free to start posting in the interim.

#2 CraigD

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 08:54 PM

It’s hard for me to have a very well-informed opinion, because my school experience was a many years ago, and atypical. Frades 1-6 in typical (for the 1967-72) one classroom fashion, grades 7-8 in a typical 50 min in/10 min between scheme, then grades 9-12 in an unusual, college-like high school where classes were generally 1 hr, but were 6 days a week, and might be arranged so you had only a few classes with hours between in a given day. After college, I taught college for a year, and followed a plan of getting through the required lesson plan as quickly as possible, leaving as much of the term as possible for practice tests, and all question and answer classes. If nobody had any serious questions for Q&A, I’d let the class go and use the time for individual office conferences.

In college, a put a lot of work into designing and coding what was then called CAI (computer assisted instruction). Like the majority of folk in that field, I expected that by 2010 at the latest, the physical classroom would be a thing of the past, and that everyone would get all their schooling via computers. Only years later, when I had school-aged kids of my own, did I realize that schools have 2 distinct and important functions: education (obviously); and child care.

For many to most families with children, having a happy life means having to work at a job while leaving your children under the supervision of people outside of the family. For the majority of these folk, that free brick-and-mortar public school provides supervision that no online, at home education can at present match.