Monday, April 23, 2007

Block Scheduling

A reader sent me some research and links on block scheduling. Thank you.

  • Goodrich, Kathlene J. An investigation of block scheduling in high school string ensembles: Student performance, attentiveness, and attrition. Dissertation Abstracts International. Volume: 62-06, Section: A, page: 2063. (This is an abbreviated review of the study. Consult the reference for full details.)

Alternative school scheduling patterns were examined to determine whether they have an impact on string music education and student performance levels in two A/B block, two 4 x 4 block, and two traditional-scheduled high schools.

Findings indicated that regional festival ratings were highest in schools maintaining a traditional schedule and lowest in schools using a 4 x 4 block schedule. Performance levels over time remained fairly consistent at each school. Difficulty grade level of repertoire fluctuated slightly for some of the block schools. When student performance achievement was measured, a statistical significance was found between type of schedule pattern. Performance achievement also revealed a significant difference between schools and between schedule patterns. No difference existed for student attentiveness between schools or schedule patterns. The 4 x 4 block schools had the greatest number of students unable to maintain consistent membership in the string program. Enrollment figures for the past eight years indicated: traditional schools string programs have had consistent growth, 4 x 4 block schools remained fairly consistent, and A/B block schools had a large increase in enrollment for the first two years after switching to block and thereafter maintained steady growth

  • Carpenter, David Karl. Block scheduling implementation in secondary school music programs in Louisiana. Dissertation Abstracts International. Volume: 62-05, Section: A, page: 1645. (This is an abbreviated review of the study. Consult the reference for full details.)

The general purpose of this study was to determine the perceptions of music educators in Louisiana regarding the block schedule and its effect on music education.

Questionnaires were mailed to 77 high schools using the block schedule in Louisiana. An equal number of mail-outs (for a total of 154) were sent to schools subscribing to the traditional schedule to provide comparative characteristics. Using a variety of Likert-type scales, the respondents rated various characteristics of music program enrollment, scheduling problems, and individual student musical proficiency

The analysis of data reported higher enrollment means for performing arts classes in schools with the Traditional schedule. This is attributed to the smaller amount of schedule conflicts. The enrollment means of choirs and bands in schools subscribing to the Full Block were also reported higher than the same type of programs in the Modified Block schools. Subjects also reported problems with student drop-outs as a result of schedule conflicts; however, the proficiency level of the student musicians
increased under the Full Block schedule.

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