Title

An exploratory study of a student achievement, classroom environment and school environment within the context of an alternate-day block scheduled suburban high school

Date of Completion

January 2000

Keywords

Education, Administration

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

The concept of block scheduling has expanded rapidly in high schools across the United States over the past decade. However, the research on block scheduling is limited. The purpose of this study is to describe the possible association between block scheduling and student achievement, the classroom environment and the school environment. Three research questions were designed to address these issues. ^ The first research question quantitatively examined how student grades changed since the adoption of an alternate-day block schedule at this high school with respect to student Grade Point Average. Mean G.P.A. scores were calculated to determine changes over a three-year period. There was an increase of .07 in mean G.P.A. scores, which was statistically significant at a p < .001 level. ^ The second research question quantitatively examined students' perceptions of classroom environment in a school in which block scheduling has been implemented. Senior class students responded to perceptions of classroom environments through the Learning Environment Inventory. The students perceived three of the fifteen variables as positively evident within their classroom environments: diversity, cohesiveness and satisfaction. ^ The third research question quantitatively examined teachers' and administrators' perceptions of school environment in a school in which block scheduling has been implemented. Staff members responded to their perceptions of the school environment through the School Level Environment Questionnaire. The staff perceived seven of the eight variables as positively evident within their school environment: affiliation, professional interest, achievement orientation, formalization, innovativeness, resource adequacy and work pressure. ^ The evidence on G.P.A. scores suggests that student achievement improved over the three-year. The findings from this study are consistent with the literature on student satisfaction with the block schedule. The findings are also consistent with the literature on staff satisfaction with the block schedule. ^ This study provides information which may be useful to districts considering a move toward a block schedule. However, there are limitations to this study. This study did not have a pre and post test design and was limited to a selected population. Teacher ability, subjectivity in grading and conditions within the instruments used also posed limitations to this study. ^