The impact of the semestered block schedule on mathematics achievement in Chattanooga City and Hamilton County schools

Joyce Ann Eskridge Hardaway, Tennessee State University


This study addressed the effect of the semestered block schedule on the achievement of Hamilton County high school students in the areas of Prealgebra, Algebra I, Algebra II, Unified Geometry, and Mathematics for Technology. The tests administered were developed by CTB McGraw Hill for the State of Tennessee and were administered to 1955 students in eleven block scheduled and four traditionally scheduled schools in Hamilton County. The study also examined 69 teachers' perceptions of student achievement and their own staff development as preparation for block scheduling. The results of the study indicated that there were no statistically significant differences in the mean scores of the Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, or Mathematics for Technology I tests. There was a statistically significant difference in the means of the Prealgebra tests in favor of the traditional schedule. The Likert scale survey that teachers completed indicated that there were significant differences in teachers' perceptions based strongly on the variable of staff development. Teachers who had staff development prior to the implementation of a block schedule had fewer problems with discipline and indicated that they did not have difficulty keeping students actively involved for 90 minutes. Open ended responses confirmed the literature support for staff development. Teachers indicated that they needed staff development on active strategies for involving the learner within their own discipline. Study recommendations provided for schools that were planning to implement block included the following: (1) provide extensive staff development within discipline prior to implementation with follow-up staff development during the school year; (2) examine the curriculum to ensure coverage in depth of the core subject content; (3) vary teaching strategies during the block schedule and include more hands-on activities to provide student engagement; and (4) conduct ongoing action research by maintaining and evaluating results from student achievement data as well as school climate/discipline data.

Subject Area

Mathematics education|School administration|Curricula|Teaching|Secondary education

Recommended Citation

Joyce Ann Eskridge Hardaway, "The impact of the semestered block schedule on mathematics achievement in Chattanooga City and Hamilton County schools" (1997). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI9821870.