A comparative analysis of English language learners' achievement and attitude in block and traditionally scheduled high schools

Mark Hayes, Fordham University

Abstract

There are many attributes to block scheduling and its corresponding pedagogical methods that could be useful in the context of secondary (English Language Learners [ELL]) education. By assembling existing information on block scheduling and its relationship to bilingual education programs, it was the intent of this researcher to clarify where the two educational movements intersect. The key element of this comparative analysis was to determine if block scheduling is contributing to ELL students' academic progress and success, while simultaneously in an adjoining school district, finding out if a traditional schedule constrains ELL students' progress. ^ The sampling unit of the block school consisted of 46 ELL students in grades 9 through 12 at a suburban high school in New Jersey. The sampling unit from the traditionally scheduled high school included 85 ELL students in grades 9 through 12. Achievement and attitude were assessed along 4 major dependent variables: (a) grade point averages, (b) the Maculaitis Assessment Program, (c) attendance rates, and (d) the Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI) Student Survey. Two ESL teachers from each of the participating high schools were asked to respond to a semi-structured interview designed to complement the student survey. ^ The use of analysis of variance allowed a comparison of the school types, block or traditional, and grade levels, 9 through 12, on all dependent variables. This analysis also allowed an examination of the interaction of school type and grade level. ^ The results indicate that there were no significant differences among the means of the grade point averages, Maculaitis test scores, or daily average attendance of ELL students enrolled in block scheduling and in traditional scheduling. However, significant mean differences exist between the block and traditional schools on 7 of the 9 scales that comprise the student survey, supporting the traditional schedule. Furthermore, an analysis of the teacher interviews reveals that the semi-structured interview protocol generated the same results as those found in the analysis of the student survey, supporting the traditional schedule. ^ A major recommendation of the study was that additional research is needed to determine if an A/B form of block scheduling or trimester system of scheduling could provide useful information. ^

Subject Area

Education, Language and Literature|Education, Curriculum and Instruction

Recommended Citation

Mark Hayes, "A comparative analysis of English language learners' achievement and attitude in block and traditionally scheduled high schools" (January 1, 2001). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI3021702.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI3021702

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