Date Approved

5-7-1998

Embargo Period

8-10-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. in Mathematics Education

Department

Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math Education

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Sooy, John

Subject(s)

High school teachers--Attitudes; Mathematics teachers--Attitudes; Schedules, School

Disciplines

Science and Mathematics Education

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of block scheduling on mathematics instruction at the secondary level in New Jersey public schools.

Surveys were sent to ten high schools identified as using block scheduling in New Jersey. Mathematics teachers and supervisors were asked to evaluate block scheduling and rate the impact it has on a scale from great effect to little effect in the areas of curriculum coverage, amount of time spent reviewing previously covered material, coverage of the New Jersey Core Curriculum Standards and sequence of mathematics courses a student takes. AP Calculus instructors were asked to rate the impact of block scheduling in their classes. All respondents were asked to identify what they felt were the advantages and disadvantages of block scheduling.

Analysis of the data indicate that block scheduling has little to no effect on mathematics instruction at the AP Calculus level. The majority of AP classes are scheduled in block for the first semester and every other day the second semester. The results of the AP Test were not affected. Overall, AP Calculus instructors are satisfied with block scheduling.

The advantages of block scheduling include more time for labs, experiments, hands-on activities, cooperative learning and greater one-to-one contact between the teacher and student. Block scheduling also allows a student to take more mathematics classes.

The disadvantages of block scheduling include less time for the student to absorb and process information, less curriculum covered and more preparation required by the teacher. Absenteeism is also a problem under block as it affects the student's ability to make up larger amounts of material.

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