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More days make students learn more?
Old 01-13-2020, 06:32 AM
 
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Anyone know of any research that shows a correlation between adding school days to the year increasing student learning?


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no reasearch that I've heard
Old 01-13-2020, 07:44 PM
 
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I haven't heard about any research in that area.

However, I do wonder about more days just to spread out what we are currently trying to shove down their throats.

I'm also sure that plenty of parents would love the extra child care, too!
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Not an answer, just some thoughts...
Old 01-14-2020, 06:15 AM
 
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I also teach in a state regulated program for adults. We have ďseat timeĒ requirements that are quite inflexible. I donít have data but after more than a few years of doing it, I am comfortable saying thereís not much correlation between seat time and actual learning.

Thatís not to say increasing school days is a bad idea. I suspect that there are a lot of factors that enter into that discussion. It would be interesting to look at how much learning should take place (hard to quantify) in a school year and how long it realistically will take to achieve thatóincluding recess, lunch, and flex time.

Thereís an old saying that work always expands to fill the time allotted.
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Old 01-14-2020, 06:33 AM
 
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Quote:
Thereís an old saying that work always expands to fill the time allotted.
How I agree with that!

I also think that many of the factors that are stopping many students from learning (trauma, homelessness, no food, abuse in the home, poverty) are not fixed with this. Of course, it does give them more days with a hot breakfast and lunch, a schedule, and a warm place to be. But are they going to learn more?

Maybe if we stopped pushing skills down earlier and earlier, students in elementary could actually master skills that they need at that level. Focus on adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing and knowing those facts. Learning to read and enjoy reading. Working with others. Problem-solving. Actually doing science and social studies. Let us focus on basic skills so they can really master them.

Sigh. I have a dream.....
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Old 01-14-2020, 07:24 AM
 
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I don't have research, but my opinion is it would be good IF AND ONLY IF no additional requirements were added to the teacher or student and more actual recess time was included!

If those things happened I think it would give that extra time to give those who need extra support the time they need to learn concepts.


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Old 01-14-2020, 08:51 AM
 
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I don't have research, but my opinion is it would be good IF AND ONLY IF no additional requirements were added to the teacher or student and more actual recess time was included!
I agree with this statement completely. It only goes to reason that if our students had more time to learn and practice the skills already required of our them, we would all perform better. This goes without saying - I would expect teacher salary to be adjusted accordingly to an extended year and more contract days.

Fortunately, I teach in a district that values recess and physical activity. Our elem kids have 30 min of unstructured recess and 30 min of physical education class with a licensed PE teacher each day!
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article
Old 01-14-2020, 03:01 PM
 
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Here are several articles and studies.

Interesting article concerning this topic was written in 2013. Evidentally a pilot program was started when Arne Duncan was the director of education.

Quote:
A pilot project which will encompass 20,000 students across several states and schools aims at adding at least 300 hours each academic year.

Quote:
Arne Duncan, along with his supporters, claim that there are several benefits to increasing academic hours each year.

It reduces the summer learning gap that some children experience (usually those living in poorer neighborhoods and in families with fewer resources).
Longer school calendars will extend the opportunities for children on poverty to receive free and reduced meals.
Families without stay-at-home parents donít have to find interim daycare for the entire summer.
The only answer so far that I have found to arne duncan's pilot program is this (and it does not offer any definitive proof.) https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/...ebate/5367289/

Another group:
Quote:
A review by the Center for Public Education found that students in India and China (2 countries that have been cited by Duncan as examples of calendar and academic models), in reality donít require their students to spend more hours in the classroom.

Several states, including Minnesota and Massachusetts, have higher than average test scores yet still implement school calendars that donít start until after Labor Day.

In the great state of Minnesota, there was talk of extending the classroom calendars to begin school in late August, but it was quickly shut down by teachers, families, and businesses that rely on vacationing families.


Teachers lose out on opportunities to develop their skills through extended learning courses and practical applications when they are expected to spend more time in the classroom.


Finland, while it outscores America in many academic areas, requires its students to be in school for fewer hours.


Students lose opportunities for free play, to exercise their imaginations, to work summer jobs that help pay for college, and time with families.
http://success4yourchild.com/2013/01...-smarter-kids/

And the article offers other suggestions instead of extending the school year or hours.

Then here is a newer article that says basically...maybe, but maybe not.
https://www.businessinsider.com/year...acation-2017-6

And here is another study.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/release...0811151449.htm
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Old 01-14-2020, 03:24 PM
 
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Many years ago I interviewed at a nearby district that was claiming this. They had an extended day for students and did this weird thing where they extended the school year, but on "flex" days, only below grade level students attended. I'm sure that made those kids feel great . It was typically several days to a week around other school breaks, so the on grade level kids would get a long break while below level kids got a shorter one.

Yes, teachers were paid more. As you can probably guess, it was a very high poverty district. As you can also probably guess, their test scores continued to be very low. As previously stated, the issues that were behind this obviously weren't fixed with a longer school day- poverty, trauma, etc. I didn't get the job I interviewed for. In hindsight I probably dodged a big bullet there.

And sometimes there is just only so much that you can shove in a child's brain. My school does an excellent job of providing intensive interventions, but there is still a percentage of kids who are very low and will continue to learn at that pace. I have a small group of 2nd grade students who are getting over 2.5 hours of intensive reading intervention per day when you add together the time I spend with them, the time the interventionist spends with them, and after school tutoring (which is also run by me). And we've met to make sure we're using the same language/explaining things to the kids the same way.

And these kids are STILL barely at a beginning 1st grade reading level. It took well over a year for them to learn to blend CVC words accurately and without having to say each sound out loud prior to reading the word. They are getting better, but no amount of more time in school is going to make them start reading at grade level and have the ability to keep up with very rigorous grade level standards. In fact, a globally longer school day/year will just make the higher level kids get even further ahead, which will then advance the standards for every child and widen "the gap" even more.
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