In recent years, schools have begun exploring the concept of block scheduling for the major academic subjects. Having classes meet for an extended period of time has been shown to increase student achievement and also allow teachers greater flexibility in planning lessons and utilize a larger variety of instructional techniques. Of particular interest to me, however, is the question� is block scheduling appropriate for all learners? I plan to explore the differences in student achievement (in traditional and non-traditional settings) in specific subgroups of students�those classified as special education, gifted, and those that are considered �on-track.� There are many different categories of students within the on-track students that can also be studied, as these students differ greatly in motivation, family support, academic background, socioeconomic status, gender, and general demographics.
I will gather my data using my experiences student teaching (Fall 2006) as well as through interviews and observations of teachers and students at various local schools. There are local schools (of similar demographics) that differ in their scheduling plans, which will allow me to get first-hand impressions of both the traditional and non-traditional schedules. Recently, some schools have switched from traditional to block schedules, so I would also be able to get the pros and cons of both plans from particular teachers. This project is relevant to my personal interests in special education as well as my career aspirations in education. In addition, this research would be beneficial to the future of traditional vs. non-traditional scheduling options.