Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: February 22, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412957403 | Print ISBN: 9781412956642 | Online ISBN: 9781412957403| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Larry D. Burton
Block scheduling emerged as a solution to the constraints of the typical Carnegie-unit course schedule. Typical daily high school schedules were split into six to eight class periods each day lasting 45 to 55 minutes. In block schedule schemes, students often have fewer courses on any given day or grading period. Each class generally meets for a double period of 80 to 120 minutes. Benefits of block schedules include the reduction of the number of daily preparations for both teachers and students and a reduction in the number of students each teacher serves daily. However, this reform effort requires the shift to longer class periods and a related shift in pedagogy to maximize student interest and learning during the block. Schools sometimes adopt block schedules without providing adequate training or support for teachers during the transition to block scheduling. The short class periods associated with the Carnegie-unit system are remnants ...