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Old 05-11-2013, 08:13 AM View Post #1 (Link) Longer school days
Valkyrie (Offline)
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The British head of education, Michael Gove (Tory) has made a lot of ridiculous decisions this year, but his latest is probably the worst yet.

He's going to make school days longer. At the moment, comprehensive schools usually run from 8:40 - 3:00, and we get a six week Summer holiday, but Gove wants to have days that run until 4:30, four week Summer holidays and fewer half term holidays. Does anyone actually think this is a good idea?
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Old 05-11-2013, 01:33 PM View Post #2 (Link)
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That does sound like quite a lot more time (in a bad way). I came from a high school where everyone bused home, so while our school ended at 2:40 (but started at 8, so we were there longer than you, I guess) I didn't get home until 4. I can't imagine getting home from school at 6. Not to mention this would completely upset any after-school programs, especially ones that aren't connected to schools--with a whole hour and a half gone from their schedule, they'll have to pack their stuff tighter, and extra-curricular activities are just as (if not more, in some ways) important than class to developing children.

I wonder how teachers are reacting to this. It'll mean longer hours for them, especially if they continue to look after after-school programs. Recently, in Ontario (it might have been Canada-wide, but I don't know) all the teachers went on strike; they still taught classes, but there were no more field trips, and no more after-school activities or anything that had to be organized by teachers: meaning no sports, no clubs, no prom. And that was just going til 4. I can't imagine how a teacher would react if they were told they now had to stay til 5:30 or 6 (time that is, largely, volunteered by them).

So the longer day is the one I have issue with. The shorter summer is bad, yes; I've read that, since students lose so much information over the summer break, it'd actually be better to have several week-long breaks spread out of the year, instead of one constant break. What do people think of that idea?
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Old 05-11-2013, 01:46 PM View Post #3 (Link)
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This has been something of a debate in the U.S., too, namely because our schools tend to run shorter than European schools and our education ranking has declined. In my high school we went from 7:30-2:15, which is a little under seven hours. That felt like quite enough for me, personally.

I can't speak for anywhere else, but in the U.S. our big problem is the governments imposition of standardized testing. Students don't learn how to think; they learn what to think, and as such are imparted only with memorization skills.

Breaks are also important. Politicians have a tendency (it seems everywhere) to mechanize the populous. Children already stress greatly over their current school year; lengthening hours and reducing breaks would probably cause a new generation of anxiety-based diseases to pop up.

I do like the idea of, instead of having a huge break at the end of the year, you have a series of week-long breaks spread throughout.
 
Old 05-11-2013, 06:33 PM View Post #4 (Link)
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I think it's absolutely ridiculous.

Kids are in school long enough to be taught the information that they are "required" to learn. If I were education wassimachaulit I would dump half the shit kids learn anyway and replace it with important life skills, proper sex education etc. But that's not the point.

The point is is that too much of kids lives these days are surrounded by schooling and their education and they're not getting chance to live. It even goes for like me in college now: most of my life is centred around letters which will define my life, which is a) not true and b) ridiculous. Extending that even more is ... ugh.

My school day at Secondary school was 9 - 3:35 with an hour for 5 classes a day, getting home at 4. Now it's 9 - 4:15 with hour and a half classes, but I only have 9 classes out of a potential 20 a week. I get home at 6 most days at college and I still find myself tired, regardless of less lessons.

So uh yeah. This is bullshit.
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Old 05-11-2013, 09:19 PM View Post #5 (Link)
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I remember my time in school being enough too. So I agree with Dabs.

It's not like grades are falling because classes are too short, it's because the system doesn't work properly. If the system is broken, fix it; don't force students to spend more time in that broken system and expect a better result.
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Old 05-12-2013, 04:02 AM View Post #6 (Link)
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I agree. School days at most schools are long enough. I highly doubt increasing the length of a school day will increase educational success. Students, I speak for students in the USA, should have more than enough time for most of their classes. In my experience, it all comes down to the teachers. When the teachers are able to control and maintain a class, they are able to teach all necessary material in the given amount of time. However, I have often encountered teachers who can't control their students (or who can't stay focused themselves). Those are the classes in which time is wasted. However, would increasing the length of those classes have any impact on how well they are taught?

Here's a real life example: My Spanish 3 class. I can personally speak for the intelligence of all students in the class room, I have known all the students in the class for at least four years. All the students in the class are capable of learning spanish pretty damn fast. However, being teenagers and generally good slackers, my friends (and often I) find ways to waste time in that class. The reason we're not learning is not because we do not have enough time but because we do not spend the time usefully and because the teacher does not manage the time wisely. When we walk into class on any given day (I'd guess) there is 90% chance that the teacher has no plans set out for the class. Which means we're working on a whim. Some days, in fact, the teacher will not be in the room for several minutes after class has started. Those days, we'll look up youtube videos and watch them on the smartboard. Then, when the teacher does get to class, she lets us watch a few more. So eh, 20 minutes of a 45 minute class have passed without any spanish being learned. Then the teacher teaches in a distracted and uninteresting way.

So anyways-- that of course is an extreme example. I gave up on learning in that class. I use it as a study hall and do my cal homework in that class. I still get an A.

So my argument is that increasing school hours would not increase student productivity. In order for students to learn properly though, good management of given time is required. The lack of control and abilities of teachers is one of the main problems which I have noticed in school. Teachers should make effective use of the time they are given.
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Old 05-22-2013, 10:04 PM View Post #7 (Link)
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I don't think that class should be longer at all. My school day is from 7:30 to 2:00 and we have block scheduling. It's not really the time at school that makes the kids tired, it's the routine. We do the same thing every day. Maybe if kids were being taught in a way that got them more involved in what they were learning and got them to use their previous knowledge then build on it, that would be constructive. I agree with Dabs, our whole curricular revolves around the tests. I have heard rumors that elementary school teachers were going to be paid by the amount of students passed the tests. That would mean that all those things happen in schools that would change people have instantly been swiped from the school day. I did plays at my old school where you had to write applications and resumes to be part of the cast or crew. And they were serious , if your application sucked than you would get to sweep. Now I have enhanced my leadership skills as well as professionalism. We also did formal letters and gardening in my old class. Because of this all of the kids with that teacher passed the MSP (the test that lets you go to the next grade). We really need to have better teachers that will give kids life skills as well as education, not a longer school day.
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Old 05-23-2013, 02:12 AM View Post #8 (Link)
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Weird how for a lot of universities, we're having the opposite problem with not enough time in class for what we pay. There are supposed to be three terms, yet most of my classes finished the week after Easter break. My exam is tomorrow and the new term doesn't start until mid-October. So that's . . . four and something months of summer. This year all my classes were bundled onto two days. Two days a week in class. Like srsly. My uni isn't even big on research, so like what are they even doing all that time there's no students around?

Yeah the longer days thing will probably be shouted down, or I hope so anyway. The UK's education system is terrible enough without forcing kids into classrooms they mostly don't want to be in for longer. I heard there was also an idea to extend compulsory education up to 18, which is also a dumb idea. Basically I'm always angry at everything to do with this forcing-people-to-learn education system, so I'll stop here before a rant happens.
 
Old 05-29-2013, 01:14 PM View Post #9 (Link)
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-IagreewitheverythingLilysaid-

-whichisnotsurprising-

Also, the education guy is a douchebag.
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Old 05-31-2013, 08:38 AM View Post #10 (Link)
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Also, the education guy is a douchebag
He is.

Also, the changes are almost definitely going to come in after September next year.
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