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Topic: block scheduling
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Howard Swann

Posts: 6
Registered: 12/6/04
block scheduling
Posted: Dec 11, 1997 2:24 PM
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Greg Fleisher comments on block scheduling-

<<.... The gentleman who responded has seen the effects of the block on
an AP program that expects the students to learn the content and pass the
test. It has nothing to do with being creative! It has to do with
attention span. No matter how varied the activities, it is difficult to
keep one's attention span for more than an hour. The business world
figured this out long ago. It also has to do with losing total class
time. I'm sure you agree that the more contact time with students, the
better chance they have to learn the material. >>

This is certainly my experience at the college level. We are on semesters;
each week a section of the same course may be taught with 50 minute
classes on MWF or 1hr. and 15 minute classes on Tuesday and Thursday. A
good math class is very intense and focused and both teacher and students
are exhausted after the 50 minute classes; to continue invites burnout; to
take a `5 min. break' in the middle of a 75 minute class ruins the
concentration. I know of no teacher in our department who would disagree
with this; all prefer the 3-day-a-week schedule, and agree that more can
be taught and retained meeting three times a week than twice with longer
sessions.

I would appreciate it if someone could give me the rationale for block
scheduling for the AP calculus classes in high school, and any test data
available that can give us some guidance here,

Howard Swann
San Jose State U.
San Jose, Ca.

swann@mathcs.sjsu.edu





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