Block Scheduling Review

1099 Words5 Pages
In this article, Slate and Jones seek to determine the social validity of block scheduling, as one “specific [factor] that can either contribute to or undermine” its effectiveness at a large Georgia high school. The researchers use Wolf’s (1978) definition of social validity; that is, “the extent to which the participants in a program perceive the program is accomplishing worthwhile outcomes through acceptable means” (as cited in Slate & Jones, 2000). The importance of this article stems from the idea that much conflicting research has been done on the effectiveness of block scheduling versus traditional scheduling, and that such research will most likely remain conflicted. Rather than complete another trite comparative study, Slate and Jones decided to start the process of determining what causes the efficacy rate of block scheduling. As social validity is one of the most basic factors influencing the success or failure of a program, it is important to assess the social validity of any potential policy shift. When administrators at a large high school in southern Georgia were considering a shift to block scheduling, they decided to run a one-week trial. After the trial, the researchers distributed questionnaires about the experience via teachers during regular class sessions to assess the participants’ attitudes towards block scheduling. Out of the 2100 students enrolled in the school, 1205 (57%) participated in the voluntary, anonymous survey. Forty-eight percent of those surveyed were male. Thirty-three percent of those surveyed were racial minorities (compared to 26% of the school population). Students were surveyed from each grade level. The surveys sought to answer the following research questions: · What... ... middle of paper ... ...ule, and determined the length of the trial, the results may have been dramatically different. Despite all the aforementioned limitations, this is an important and practical piece of research for practicing school administrators. While it may not conclusively add to the academia of block scheduling, it certainly would be helpful to have as an administrator considering the implementation of block scheduling. Further, this article sets up an operable framework from which practicing administrators can explore these issues within their own school environment. For that reason, if no other, this is important research. Works Cited Slate, J., & Jones, C. (2000). Students’ perspectives on block scheduling: Reactions following a brief trial period. High School Journal, 83(3), 55. Retrieved Monday, March 12, 2007 from the Professional Development Collection database.
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