How long the school day?

Description

Several years ago I was in a meeting at school. It was probably a department chairs meeting but it could have been a faculty meeting - I'm not sure. But the topic of discussion was the length of the school day. Several people wanted to make it longer. More teaching time and perhaps more time between periods so that students would not be out of breath when they arrived at classes after moving the lenght of the building.
No one disagreed that longer days would be a good idea. The point of contention was should the day be made longer by starting earlier or ending later. Seems simple doesn't it? But it is not.
The down side of starting earlier is that high school students don't function very well early in the morning. Some of it is a function of them staying up too late working, playing or doing what ever else young people do. But part of it is that this is just the way teens bodies work. Younger children work better earlier; teens later. You may notice that most school districts start high school earlier in the day than elementary school even though the research pretty much suggests the other way around would be better. It's not about the kids - it's about what is easier for parents.
So if starting earlier is not a good idea educationally what about ending later? Easy right? Well not quite. You see if school ends later it causes all sorts of programs for sports teams, especially those who compete outdoors. We can't have that now can we?
And that dear readers is why the school day is too short.

Tag:

Education

The Discussion

  • User profile image
    racebikeguy

    Well i dont know if i agree the current school day is to short. I remember sitting threw plenting of class feeling like the day was long enogh. I couldnt wait to get out of having to sit at a desk all day. Some classes where so boring. Its a different story when your having fun though. then time seems to fly by.

    Edit: just adding more thoughts-I guess the question i ask when reading your post is, is it quantity of education that would best help the students? at the current state of edjucation wouldnt longer hours be just that, more of the same stuff? Or is it the quality of the education that should be focused on first? How about even shorter days with bursts of quality learning. more learning and less tests. (tests do have there place but currently i think there aplication is really sceuwed and they arent used for the right reasons) I know teachers probably hate the idea of having to entertain students to give them an edjucation. But when your compeating against every thing ells that yells for kids attention makes me wonder if making school days longer would help.

    I do agree with you and think the time of day students go to school fall under the quality of the expierence.

    I am a product of US public education and so i feel kind of akin to this subject.  Great Blog you have!

  • User profile image
    racebikeguy

    Well i dont know if i agree the current school day is to short. I remember sitting threw plenting of class feeling like the day was long enogh. I couldnt wait to get out of having to sit at a desk all day. Some classes where so boring. Its a different story when your having fun though. then time seems to fly by.

    Edit: just adding more thoughts-I guess the question i ask when reading your post is, is it quantity of education that would best help the students? at the current state of edjucation wouldnt longer hours be just that, more of the same stuff? Or is it the quality of the education that should be focused on first? How about even shorter days with bursts of quality learning. more learning and less tests. (tests do have there place but currently i think there aplication is really sceuwed and they arent used for the right reasons) I know teachers probably hate the idea of having to entertain students to give them an edjucation. But when your compeating against every thing ells that yells for kids attention makes me wonder if making school days longer would help.

    I do agree with you and think the time of day students go to school fall under the quality of the expierence.

    I am a product of US public education and so i feel kind of akin to this subject.  Great Blog you have!

  • User profile image
    Alfred Thompson

    Actually the reason for increasing the school day is not as much about adding instruction time but adding break time between instruction. Especially with younger children it would be better if they had more time to get up and run around and burn off energy. The day would likely feel shorter and the lessons be easier to take if this were done.

  • User profile image
    Alfred Thompson

    Actually the reason for increasing the school day is not as much about adding instruction time but adding break time between instruction. Especially with younger children it would be better if they had more time to get up and run around and burn off energy. The day would likely feel shorter and the lessons be easier to take if this were done.

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