An investigation into the change from block to traditional scheduling in selected Alabama high schools

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University of Alabama Libraries

The traditional seven-period day has been the dominate type of class scheduling for high schools since its conception in the early 1900s. The only current alternative is the block schedule, which was adopted by high schools to offer more progressive pedagogic practices tailored to college preparation. Block scheduling allows teachers extra time during class periods and lowers the number of courses students must prepare for each day. Many schools in northwest Alabama adopted this timetable in the early 1990s. However, many are now reverting to traditional scheduling. There is no research on the reasons for this revision and no studies on its mode of implementation. Accordingly, this study investigates why particular school systems in the region decided to return to traditional scheduling and examines the administrative process by which the change was effected. The researcher employed a multiple case study approach involving three school systems in northwest Alabama. Data were gathered through interviews of school employees who had experience on both schedules and were employed in the system when the change of schedule occurred. Administrators, teachers, and school counselors were interviewed. The primary reason all three school systems changed schedules was to save money. In contrast to the earlier move to block scheduling, the recent change was quick with little input from teachers and no professional development.

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