Effect of Three Different Types of High School Class Schedules (Traditional, Rotating Block, and Accelerated Block) on High School Biology Achievement and on Differences in Science Learning Environments
Description: This study analyzes the effect of three different high school scheduling options on the delivery of biology instruction, on student achievement, and on student perceptions of their instructional activities. Participants were biology students and teachers from twelve high schools in a north Texas urban school district of 76,000. Block classes had 11 to 18 percent less instructional time than traditional classes. Texas Biology I End-of-Course Examination achievement results for 3,195 students along with student and teacher surveys provided information on instructional activities, attitudes, and individualization. Using an analysis of variance at a j i< .01 the following results were found; student achievement was significantly different for each of the scheduled comparisons groups, test score means were not statistically significant between the scheduled comparison groups for different ethnic groups, economically disadvantaged students, and magnet students. No significant differences were found between the science learning activity index for each of the scheduled groups. Student response data when disaggregrated and reaggregrated into program groups found a statistically significant higher index of science activity at a p. < .01 for magnet students when compared to both the regular and honor students. Regular program students had a significantly higher index of individualization than honors program students. Accelerated and rotating block classes were found to hold a significantly more positive attitude about their science learning conditions than did the traditional students. These data suggest that during the first two years of block scheduling, the initial impact of block scheduling, where total time for science is reduced, results in lower student achievement scores when compared to traditionally scheduled classes. Yet, block scheduled student attitudes and perceptions about science learning are significantly more positive than the traditionally scheduled students.
Date: May 1997
Creator: Keller, Brenda J. (Brenda Jo), 1942-