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Block scheduling: A view from the inside

1 June 1998


The purpose of this study is to answer five research questions: 1) What are the benefits of block scheduling?, 2)To what degree are the perceived block scheduling benefits evident in the high school?, 3) How has block scheduling affected high school mathematics instruction? 4) Do block teachers use the block differently than non-block teachers? and 5) Do mathematics students respond and perform differently in a block schedule compared to a traditional schedule? My research is firmly rooted in and understood though concise research conducted by Canady and Rettig. Block scheduling is not completely understood without the analysis of these men. This study took place in a suburban Pacific Northwest high school. Participants ranged across all ages of secondary students. Information for analysis of block scheduling was gathered through observation and comparison of block class time in mathematics classrooms in a block scheduled high school and a non-block (traditional) scheduled high school. All participants and high school names have been changed to protect the anonymity and privacy of the students, teachers, administrators, families, and communities involved. After collecting and observing mathematics classrooms, and gathering school wide data comparing the non-block and block schedules, conclusions were formed that linked scheduling to various indicators throughout the high school system. My research showed that scheduling issues are multifaceted and cannot be directly determined by analyzing all possible areas of educational interest. The effects of block scheduling are profound, however not every educational issue can be linked exclusively and directly to scheduling. When switching to the block is a consideration, that decision cannot be reached by attaining agreement in all areas of educational discourse.


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