<<.... 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,