Block scheduling refers to a type of academic scheduling that lets students have fewer classes in a day than the usual scheduling allows. Since there are fewer classes, each class lasts longer than normal; a 50-minute class, for example, can be extended to 90 minutes or so. There are a few kinds of block scheduling: the 4×4 semester plan, for example, allows students to take four 90-minute classes each quarter instead of six classes. The alternate day schedule, meanwhile, lets students meet with their teachers every other day with a longer classroom time, instead of having a shorter class every day.
Block scheduling has been praised by many people who believe that it can revolutionize education. Others, however, are not so impressed. If you don’t know where to stand, you need to learn the pros and cons of block scheduling.
List of Pros of Block Scheduling
1. It gives students more time to learn.
Compared to traditional scheduling that allows only 50 minutes of class time, block scheduling allows classes to extend to 90 minutes. As a result, teachers have more time to engage their class in various activities; instead of just giving a lecture, for example, they lead their students through small group discussions, role plays, or film showings. This can help dispel boredom among the students while catering to those who have different learning styles.
2. It allows teachers to have more time to plan.
Since teachers meet fewer students per day, they have more time to prepare their lessons for the next day. This makes it easier for them to come up with creative activities that will help their students learn more.
3. It helps students experience less stress.
Block scheduling allows students to have fewer classes per day, which means they’ll deal with less information throughout the day and will have less homework to tackle at night. This greatly reduces their stress levels and makes learning easier and more enjoyable for them.
List of Cons of Block Scheduling
1. It can lead to monotony.
For students who like variety, block scheduling can result to a monotonous day since they have to take fewer classes but spend longer time in them. This makes it hard for them to concentrate on their lessons.
2. It doesn’t foster continuity.
Continuity is important for many students. Seeing and interacting with their teachers every day makes it easier for them to remember their lessons. When this continuity gets lost (as what happens in certain types of block scheduling, they find it difficult to keep fundamentals in mind and build good relationships with their teachers.
3. It makes it harder for students to catch up.
Since block scheduling makes classes longer, teachers have to pack more lessons into one session. So, if a student becomes absent for a day, he actually miss two days’ worth of lessons or even more. This makes it more difficult for him to catch up with his studies.
These are just some of the pros and cons of block scheduling. Learn more about this type of academic scheduling to know if it’s the right choice for you or your children.
Brandon Miller has a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a seasoned writer who has written over one hundred articles, which have been read by over 500,000 people. If you have any comments or concerns about this blog post, then please contact the Green Garage team here.