This paper reports on a Missouri study that compared block scheduling to traditional schedules in small high schools (schools with fewer than 500 students in grades 9 to 12). The study focused on small-school administrator and teacher perceptions of the effects of block scheduling on student achievement, school climate, and teacher methodology. Only those schools that had implemented some form of block scheduling during or before the fall of 1996 were considered for the study. Principals of 101 high schools that met the definition of a small high school were mailed questionnaires and asked to randomly select three teachers. The questionnaire was divided into four categories: student achievement, school climate, teacher methodology, and an overview section. A total of 62 administrators and 152 teachers participated in the study. The results indicate that teachers and administrators generally believe block scheduling has improved student achievement. Educators perceived an improvement in the quality of student work, depth of subject matter covered, student retention of material, and an increase in enrollment in advanced courses. However, when teachers were divided by subject area, math/science teachers did not necessarily agree with this general assessment. Overall, it was felt that block scheduling improved the teacher-student relationship, stimulated changes in teacher methodology, and improved school climate. (Contains 15 references.) (RJM)
Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Professors of Educational Leadership (Jackson, Wyoming, August 1999).