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Lesson Plans

block scheduling and the arts

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Sally L. Shumard (sshumard)
Tue, 12 Mar 96 17:57:37 EST

This is my first year in Richmond, Virgina and 4 by 4 block
scheduling has become very popular here. Four classes offered to
each studnet each semester DOES mean that they can take 32 courses
during high school, but means that the teachers are teaching only 24
classes during any four year period, because of their preparation
period. This costs the schools more money in the long run, because
they have to have more teachers to cover the students.

Some of the complaints I've heard from area arts teachers include:
* since each art teacher can teach only three classes a day, the
guidance counsellors are more likely to mix students into classes
where they don't belong, e.g., art I students in to art IV classes.

Performing arts teachers really don't like the schedule because they
feel their students need to be in music all year in order to go
through important developmental stages. They need the prolonged
exposure throughout the entire year and the practice to help
reinforce what is being taught in the classes.

One alternative to the 4 by 4 block schedule is to have only two or
three long classes a day (that will end after one semester) and have
two or more short classes that will last the entire year. This
flexibility will allow all learning styles & teaching styles to be

By the way...I moved here from Ohio...used to teach school in
Appalachia and supervise student teachers while going to ohio State.
The only instance I'd heard of block scheduling being prefered
during that 16 years was in schools where the failure rate of
required subjects was high. If you HAD to pass Government and Senior
English to graduate, you could make it up the second semester if you
failed it the first.

sally shumard
virginia commonwealth university