Scheduling Alternatives in Secondary Education, the Block
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As the nation prepares to enter the twenty-first century, it is easy to say that there will be a myriad of changes made. A common trend in schools of late is a change in the scheduling of classes for the students. Schools are moving away from the traditional schedule, six to seven yearlong classes lasting 45-55 minutes, and toward some scheduling alternatives. 'Block' schedules extend the class period to 90 minutes or more and reduce the number of classes meeting per day. As with any issue, there are advantages and disadvantages. By changing to a block schedule, teachers are encouraged to utilize more student centered learning activities and promote more active, inquiry based learning throughout the classroom. Many different block scheduling plans are available for schools to consider. Schools may then modify the schedule to best suit the individual needs of the students to promote and foster a better learning environment. Yet extensive planning and research are essential in the implementation of a new schedule. There are a great deal of considerations to be worked out and decisions to be made so that the schedule and school can serve their intended purpose: to facilitate learning and promote achievement in students.