Rsearch of Scheduling Impact on Student Academic Performance
The purpose of this study was to identify the academic performance of students based on their current schedule. The study sought to find out what types of schedules are currently in use, the current state data available for school with different schedules, and what teachers and staff see as major benefits and challenges of schedules available. This research was conducted through the use of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction?s District and School Report Cards website and an online survey tool. In total, 52 teachers, instructional support specialists, and principles from two different schools were sent an email invitation and explanation to participate in the survey. The survey consisted of both closed and open-ended questions. These questions sought to determine teaching experience and whether a teacher taught in block schedule, traditional schedule, or both. It also sought out the opinions on the advantages and disadvantages of the block and traditional schedule. Results of this research indicate that there is very little difference in academic achievement in the modified block and traditional schedule, although both schools used were both academically below the state average scores in reading and mathematics. The participants surveyed indicated to the advantages of the block schedule include smaller class sizes, longer periods to complete lab exercises, an increase in homework completion and turn in ratio, and a feeling a being more prepared for the lessons because fewer classes need to be prepared for. Some of the disadvantages include planning for double the amount of material for each class on a daily basis and the amount information that is covered in a short span of time. The participants surveyed indicated the advantages of the traditional schedule included offering a wider range of class options and the classes are then being taught year long, which allows for more content contact before the various state testing. The survey responses also indicated that some educators felt a traditional schedule led to larger class sizes and teachers preparing for multiple classes every day. This project did not uncover enough evidence to recommend one schedule over the other.