A study of the current status of block scheduling programs employed in Tennessee public high schools

Martha Marie Day-Campbell, Tennessee State University

Abstract

This study was undertaken to determine the current status of block scheduling programs employed in Tennessee public high schools. The first phase of this study attempted to determine the demographics of block scheduling in Tennessee. The block scheduling demographics questionnaire was mailed to 138 superintendents/directors of schools in the public school districts of Tennessee. The questionnaire consisted of 5 questions regarding the location, amount and types of block schedules employed in each of Tennessee's 138 public school districts. Valid questionnaires were returned by 138 (100.0%) of the survey population.^ The second phase of this study attempted to ascertain information regarding rationale for using block schedules, implementation of block schedules, school policy reform as a result of the schedules and administrators' perceived advantages and disadvantages of block schedules. The questionnaire consisted of 10 closed item selection and 2 open-ended responses. The block scheduling questionnaire was mailed to the 177 building administrators/executive principals of the schools identified as using block schedules from phase one of the study. Valid questionnaires were returned by 99 (56.0%) of the survey population.^ The results of this study indicated the following: (a) (58.0%) of public school districts operating in the state of Tennessee have schools using block schedules; (58.2%) of high schools in the state of Tennessee are using some type of block schedule with the highest incidence of block scheduling use in Eastern Tennessee and the lowest incidence of block scheduling use in Western Tennessee and the most widely used type of block schedule is the 4 x 4 block schedule; (b) Most block scheduling programs have been in use for 2 to 3 years (72.8%); (c) The most frequently cited primary change agents initiating change to block schedules were school administrators and faculty; (d) The most common selection methods were on-site school visits where a block schedule is used and current literature; (e) The school administrator and faculty are cited as accepting the primary responsibility for implementing block scheduling change; (f) Reasons for changing to block schedules were providing more electives for students and more hands-on learning for students; (g) The majority of respondents indicated the use of 3 or more days of staff development to prepare for change to a block schedule; (h) The most frequently cited school policies revised as a result of a changeover to a block schedule were increasing the number of credits required to graduate and att endance policies; the majority of schools do not allow students to graduate early as a result of block scheduling implementation; and (i) Respondents perceived advantages and disadvantages of block schedules were provided. Recommendations for practice with regard to block schedules and implications for further research, were offered. ^

Subject Area

Education, Administration|Education, Curriculum and Instruction

Recommended Citation

Martha Marie Day-Campbell, "A study of the current status of block scheduling programs employed in Tennessee public high schools" (1998). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI9907841.
http://digitalscholarship.tnstate.edu/dissertations/AAI9907841

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