Term of Award

Winter 1999

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Committee Chair

Ron Davison

Committee Member 1

Michael D. Richardson

Committee Member 2

Illegible

Committee Member 3

Fred Page

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to compare the efficacy of the 4 X 4 block schedule, offering four 90-minute classes per semester for a total of eight credits per year, to the traditional schedule offering six 55-minute classes throughout one school year. The findings of this study confirmed earlier research that the 4 X 4 block schedule offers a more efficient structure for meeting the needs of students and teachers.

Data were gathered from 30 grade 9-12 block-scheduled Georgia high schools. These data were compared to those from 30 traditionally-scheduled 9-12 Georgia high schools (N = 60 high schools). The schools were matched to control for criterion variables that would otherwise have affected the comparison: size; rural, suburban, or urban locale; racial composition; and socio-economic status of the population.

Data were gathered from various sources to triangulate results. Part one of the study surveyed the 60 school principals, plus ten randomly-selected teachers at each ofthe schools. The actual response rate was 53 of the 60 principals, and 444 of 600 teachers for a total response rate of 75%. Data were also obtained from the Georgia Department of Education to compare standardized achievement and attendance data.

Responses from principals and teachers confirmed that they perceived the 4X4 block schedule allotted time more efficiently for offering more courses, and improving delivery of instruction, while facilitating collaborative planning and teacher input into school improvement.

One can conclude that the 4 X 4 block schedule is an efficient scheduling policy to increase course offerings, facilitate optimum use of instructional time, and allow time for increased collaboration between teachers, peers, and administrators. When these needs justify the change to 4 X 4 block scheduling, concerns about student achievement and attendance should not limit decision-making. However, 4X4 block scheduling alone should not be expected to increase student achievement. After two years of block scheduling, students in 4 X 4 block-scheduled schools maintained achievement on standardized measures, and attendance levels that were not statistically different from those in traditionally-scheduled schools.

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