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What is the Best Time of Day for Student Learning?Ron Banks and Beth Atkinson
2002 (Last updated August 2004)
Some of the research on individual learning styles relates to the relationship between time of day and student learning. The following is a discussion of research reports summarized in major databases such as ERIC and MEDLINE related to (1) matching teaching time to student learning style preferences, (2) whether certain subjects should be taught at certain times, and (3) what the best time of day is to start school for different age groups.
A number of studies suggest that matching time of day to student preference can raise grades, improve test scores, improve behavior, and reduce truancy and tardiness. However, identifying a "best time of day" to teach is difficult because research on preferred time of day shows considerable variation in preference, no matter what the age group. Callan (1998) reported that, based on his research with high school students, less than 10% preferred the early morning, less than 10% preferred late morning, 15% preferred afternoon, 15% preferred evening, and 33% reported no time-of-day preference. The remaining students had two or even three time preferences. Dunn (1985) summarized her time-of-day preference work with elementary school students and reported that 20% preferred early morning, 33% preferred late morning, and 33% preferred afternoon. Comparing Dunn and Callan's statistics on the time-of-day preferences of elementary school students with preferences of high school students suggests that more than twice as many elementary school students as high school students prefer mornings. The data also suggest that throughout childhood and adolescence, children have a wide range of preferred times of day, and there is no one time of day that is good for everyone in any particular age group.
After determining their students' preferred learning styles across a variety of factors (e.g., time-of-day preferences, lighting, kinesthetic hands-on learning preferences), teachers in a North Carolina school scheduled more academically challenging subjects at times when the majority of students said they were most alert. There was a vast improvement in teacher reports of overall behavior of the 264 students involved in the study, and test scores gradually improved as well (Klavas, 1994).
Gadwa and Griggs (1985) studied learning style preferences of 103 high school dropouts and compared the results with time-of-day preferences of 213 randomly selected high school students from five area high schools and 214 alternative education students. These researchers reported that, among other learning style variables, high school dropouts in Washington preferred evening as their optimal time for learning and had difficulty learning in the morning.
does suggest that among very young children, morning appears to
be the best time of day to engage in learning activities. Staff
surveyed by Wheeler (1995) at a child development center reported
that children who attended preschool in the morning were better
adjusted to school than children who attended in the afternoon.
In another study, 154 preschool teachers in a survey conducted in
Greece reported twice as many behavior problems in the afternoon
than in the morning (Papatheodorou & Ramasut, 1993). It is possible
that very young children do better in the morning because they need
naps in the afternoon.
Overall, few studies have shown conclusively that, for example, elementary students progress in reading better in the morning or math better in the afternoon. Rather, studies appear to suggest that students do best with any academic subject at their individual preferred time of day. However, some research has been conducted that indicates that elementary students working below grade level do better on reading tasks in the afternoon. Barron, Henderson, and Spurgeon (1994) discovered that below-grade-level first- through fourth-graders at one elementary school (number of subjects not reported) significantly increased their reading achievement scores when instructed in the afternoon as compared to the control group that received morning instruction. Davis (1987) found similar results for 100 first-grade beginning readers (both low-ability and high-ability readers); greater gains were achieved when instruction occurred in the afternoon.
In one small study (n = 36), Ammons, Booker, and Killmon (1995) administered the Learning Style Inventory (Dunn, Dunn, & Price, 1990) to fifth-grade students to determine their preferred time of day for learning. The students were then split into two groups and given a science lesson in the morning or afternoon. When tested, students whose preferred time of day matched when they were taught and tested scored significantly higher than students whose time-of-day preference was not matched. Although the authors stress that individual differences preclude saying that all students of a certain grade/age learn best at a certain time, in this study, 24 of the students preferred an afternoon time, 2 a morning time, and 10 had no preference. The authors suggest that schools might consider scheduling more demanding courses in the students' preferred time of day. If this kind of scheduling is not possible for all students, some form of class rotation might be attempted so that all students could have a chance to learn at their preferred times.
In other research,
Virostko (1983) conducted a study with 286 third- through sixth-graders
at one elementary school where either reading or mathematics was
offered at the student's preferred time of day for one year. Based
on the New York State PEPS test, the students scored significantly
higher in the subject that was held at their preferred time of day
for learning. In the second year, when the course times were reversed,
the results were reversed, and 98% scored higher in the subject
that was held at the preferred time of day. Finally, Lynch (1981)
studied 136 chronically truant 11th- and 12th-graders and discovered
that their attendance and grades in an English class improved dramatically
when the scheduled time for the class matched their preferred learning
The topic of the best time to start school has recently received attention in the media and has been debated among school superintendents. The debate usually focuses specifically on high school starting times. Relatively recent findings about teenagers and sleep patterns and needs have spurred this debate (Lawton, 1999).
Circadian rhythms and school schedules
Research supports the idea that most people have a certain time of day when they are most alert and able to perform at their best. Humans have internal timing mechanisms, called circadian rhythms. Human body temperature gradually rises during the day and lowers at night (signaling a decline in alertness), usually reaching its lowest point around 5 a.m. Circadian rhythms can change throughout a person's lifetime. Typically, as children enter puberty, they experience a change that orients them toward a later bedtime and later rising; as people age, their rhythms shift back to an early-morning schedule. However, the ideal time of day can vary a great deal from person to person, and there is no one time of day that is ideal for everyone in a particular age group. For many people, the cycle of body temperature changes occurs in a different pattern, or peaks are reached at different times of day. School schedules inherently do not benefit "all students all the time" because not all students are at their peak during the morning hours when many educators schedule the most difficult subjects. The slump in peak temperature/alertness after lunch is also recognized by educators but seldom accommodated by school schedules (Biggers, 1980; Carskadon, 1999).
Sleep research and adolescents
According to research conducted by Mary A. Carskadon (Carskadon, 1990; Carskadon, Vieira, & Acebo, 1993; Carskadon, Wolfson, Tzischinsky, & Acebo, 1995), age does not seem to predetermine a person's best time of day. However, hormone and physiological changes that come with puberty do affect teenagers' sleep schedules so that they find it difficult to go to sleep early or get up early. Puberty causes shifts in teenagers' sleep cycles to favor a late night schedule, and teenagers who stay up late at night and are difficult to wake in the morning may not be "lazy" but may simply be following their natural cycle. Carskadon et al. studied sixth-grade students and found that, given a choice of their preferred bedtime, those who had started puberty preferred a much later bedtime than those who had not yet started puberty (although each group needed the same 9 hours total of sleep). The researchers were also surprised to discover that factors such as peer pressure or academic demands had very little to do with the shift in preferred bedtime (Carskadon, Vieira, & Acebo, 1993).
The changes associated with puberty unfortunately often coincide with the transition to middle school or high school. These schools often have earlier starting times than elementary schools. Later work by Carskadon and colleagues suggested that many teenagers in a high school with an early start time showed signs of sleep deprivation. The researchers followed 40 students who in 9th grade had a starting time of 8:25 and then moved on to a high school that had a starting time of 7:20 a.m. They went to bed at similar times (10:40 p.m. on average in 9th and 10th grades). The earlier start time was associated with significant sleep deprivation and daytime sleepiness. In fact, when given the opportunity as part of the experiment to try to fall asleep in the morning upon arrival at school, almost half of the 10th-graders went into deep REM sleep (sleep that usually only occurs in the middle of the night), and they fell asleep on average within 5 minutes. According to Carskadon, the students' brains--at 8:30 in the morning, during second or third period--were essentially still asleep. The researchers concluded that psychosocial influences and changes in bioregulatory systems controlling sleep limit teenagers' capacities to make adequate adjustments to an early school schedule (Carskadon, Wolfson, Acebo, Tzischinsky, & Seifer, 1998).
Wolfson and Carskadon (1998) found that sleeping and waking behaviors change significantly during the adolescent years. The objective of their study was to describe the relationship among adolescents' sleep/wake habits, characteristics of students (age, sex, school), and daytime functioning (mood, school performance, and behavior). A Sleep Habits Survey was administered in homeroom classes to 3,120 high school students at four public high schools from three Rhode Island school districts. Self-reported total sleep times (school and weekend nights) decreased by 40-50 minutes across ages 13-19. The sleep loss was due to increasingly later bedtimes, while rising times were more consistent across ages. Students who described themselves as struggling or failing in school (students receiving Cs, Ds/Fs) slept about 25 minutes less and went to bed an average of 40 minutes later on school nights than did students who received As and Bs. Students in the short-school-night, total-sleep group (i.e., students sleeping less than 6 hours 45 minutes) and/or large-weekend, bedtime-delay group (going to bed more than 120 minutes later on weekend nights as compared to school nights) reported increased daytime sleepiness, depressive mood, and sleep/wake behavior problems. In contrast, students sleeping longer than 8 hours 15 minutes with less than a 60-minute weekend delay did not report these problems (students in the "adequate sleep" group get more sleep and have more consistent bed times throughout the week).
Altogether, the researchers concluded that most of the adolescents surveyed did not get enough sleep and that their sleep loss interfered with daytime functioning.
Schools system response to sleep research: The Minnesota experience
Minnesota is responding to research about teenagers' sleep patterns: a number of school districts have changed their start times in response to recent sleep research, including Edina (a suburb of Minneapolis) and the Minneapolis Public Schools. A major research effort by the University of Minnesota's Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI) studied the implementation and ramifications of these systemwide school start-time changes (Wahlstrom, Wrobel, & Kubow, 1998; Wahlstrom, Davison, Choi, & Ross, 2001).
After learning that teenagers' sleep cycles typically range from 11:00 p.m. until 8:00 a.m and that as many as 20% of their students were falling asleep in their first two class periods (Wahlstrom, 2000), the Minneapolis Public School District (MPSD) changed the high school starting time from 7:20 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. CAREI researchers compared MPSD's new starting time with the 7:25 a.m. and 7:15 a.m. starting times of two other school districts that had not changed. Researchers found that the average bedtime for students in all three districts was roughly the same (around 11:20), but that students in the districts starting at 8:30 averaged an hour more of sleep than students in the earlier starting districts. Both students and teachers in the later starting district reported a decrease in daytime sleepiness, tardiness, skipping of first-hour classes, falling asleep in class, depression, and illness. Counselors reported that the number of students referred to them with stress-related problems was also significantly reduced. Teachers and administrators observed that students seemed more alert and there was generally a more positive and calmer atmosphere in the school. Teachers also reported that they also felt less sleep deprived and worn out by the end of the school year. Participation in after-school sports and related extracurricular activities did not appear to be affected, and student jobs did not have to be cut back in terms of number of hours worked (Wahlstrom, Wrobel, & Kubow, 1998; Wahlstrom, Davison, Choi, & Ross, 2001; Lawton, 1999; Wahlstrom, 2000).
Lawton (1999) discussed the results of the Minnesota study and reported drawbacks to the change in schedules, particularly with regard to the logistics of implementation. Bus and facilities scheduling had to be reworked. A later start time resulted in less time at the end of the day for extracurricular activities and jobs. However, Wahlstrom (1999) stressed that districts should not automatically assume that athletic coaches and transportation directors will be unwilling to discuss changes; the CAREI research showed that individuals in these positions are open to discussing ways of implementing these changes to benefit students. Wahlstrom, Davison, Choi, and Ross (2001) suggested that allowing lead time before making the changes appears to be beneficial (make plans known in the spring, not the summer, so that everyone has time to prepare), and that it is imperative to involve principals at elementary/middle schools as well if the changes will affect their schedules.
In reference to the Minnesota study, Wrobel (1999) reported that a few high school students preferred mornings and did not like the time change, although the overall student response was positive. Elementary school principals in general did not mind starting school earlier because they felt that the best time for their students to learn was in the morning. At the same time, these principals expressed concern about elementary students waiting for the bus in the dark each morning; or, alternatively, when elementary students went to school later, they expressed concern about excessive TV watching or the need for before-school child care. In general, the 9:40 starting times required of some elementary and middle schools because of transportation issues created problems with afternoon motivation/attention. Moving to an earlier starting time seemed to work better for students and teachers in elementary schools (especially an 8:40 a.m. start time) because the students were more energized throughout the day and alert, and school staff perceived that there were fewer behavior problems (Kubow, Wahlstrom, & Bemis, 1999). Earlier starting times for students with special needs might also be preferred because teachers reported that their students' behavior tends to deteriorate in the afternoon (Wrobel, 1999).
The Minneapolis experience also suggests that teachers who taught in the suburb were more positive about the change than teachers who taught in the city, with a clear majority approving the schedule change in Edina compared to about an even split in Minneapolis (Wahlstrom, 1999). Issues such as urban traffic and its effects on teachers' personal time affected these data. Similarly, the urban students tended to be generally dissatisfied with the change because of the impact on after-school activities (lack of athletic field lights, for example, led to sports practices being held in the early morning, negating the potential sleep gains; some students felt that there was less time to work). Overall, the suburban students in Edina, Minnesota, were positive about the change, feeling that they were more rested and alert without major impact on extracurricular activities. The change in time increased the number of students seeking academic assistance before and after school in the suburbs, but the change decreased such help seeking in the city. The researchers hypothesized from the data that this difference between the suburban and the urban district might be explained by easier transportation options for suburban students (having their own car or a parent to drive them, comparatively more congested traffic in the urban areas, etc.). Problems existed for both groups related to the last period of the day, when many students had to be excused for extracurricular activities (Kubow, Wahlstrom, & Bemis, 1999).
The impact of changing school starting times can be profound. Families may experience a wide range of positive and negative effects as a result of a change in school starting times (Wrobel, 1999). Involving parents early in the decision-making process may be an effective strategy. The strategy of alerting families early to school schedule modifications and letting them know the reasons for the change allows families to understand the research behind the change and begin to consider adjustments in family routine. The socioeconomic status of families has a significant impact on their ability to adjust and cope with the changes; more affluent suburban families are often better able to accommodate changes in routine than are inner-city, low-income families. Older siblings who in some families provided interim after-school care were at times unable to do so due to later closing times. Mismatches between family routines and new starting times can lead to frustration and poor adjustment if family child care obligations or other duties cause high school students to rise early to do chores that they had done in the afternoon when school closed earlier. In some cases, the net effect is no increase in the amount of sleep for these students (Wrobel, 1999).
Sleep issues were related to school grades in the Minneapolis district study (Wolfson & Carskadon, 1998). These researchers found a positive correlation between higher self-reported grades and more sleep. But a high-quality body of research that links school starting time/sleep issue to overall academic achievement as demonstrated by improved grades or improved performance on standardized tests does not yet exist. CAREI researchers note that analyzing grade data across schools/starting times is time-consuming and subject to confounding variables such as differences in course names, length of class periods, missing data, and student mobility. In the final CAREI report (Wahlstrom, Davison, Choi, & Ross, 2001), there was a slight, nonstatistically significant improvement in grades as a result of high schools switching to a later start time.
problems associated with changing schedules, the sleep research
suggests that adolescents benefit from later starting times. Participants
also state that districts should explore creating flexible scheduling
so that some students begin the school day earlier than do others
(to accommodate students with heavy extracurricular schedules as
well as teacher preferences), and that any options that are implemented
should be given a long evaluation period (Kubow, Wahlstrom, &
Bemis, 1999; Wahlstrom, Wrobel, & Kubow, 1998; Wahlstrom, Davison,
Choi, & Ross, 2001).
the primary focus of education is to help each student maximize
his or her potential, more research on the relationship between
time of day and student learning is clearly needed. However, the
research to date does point the way toward options that might be
explored in these areas, including offering instruction in the evening,
utilizing distance/online education for certain courses and students,
attempting to match each individual student's time-of-day preferences
with his or her more difficult subjects, or creating flexible scheduling
Ammons, T. Lorraine; Booker, James L.; & Killmon, Courtney P. (1995). The effects of time of day on student attention and achievement. Unpublished manuscript. Charlottesville: University of Virginia, Curry School of Education. (ERIC Document No. ED384592)
Barron, Bennie G.; Henderson, Martha V.; & Spurgeon, Rebecca. (1994). Effects of time of day instruction on reading achievement of below grade readers. Reading Improvement, 31(1), 59-60. (ERIC Journal No. EJ483273)
Biggers, Julian L. (1980). Body rhythms, the school day, and academic achievement. Journal of Experimental Education, 49(1), 45-47. (ERIC Journal No. EJ239588)
Callan, Roger John. (1998). Giving students the (right) time of day. Educational Leadership, 55(4), 84-87. (ERIC Journal No. EJ556871)
Carskadon, Mary A. (1990). Patterns of sleep and sleepiness in adolescents. Pediatrician, 17(1), 5-12.
Carskadon, Mary A. (1999). When worlds collide: Adolescent need for sleep versus societal demands. Phi Delta Kappan, 80(5), 348-353. (ERIC Journal No. EJ579410)
Carskadon, Mary A.; Vieira, Cecilia; & Acebo, Christine. (1993). Association between puberty and delayed phase preference. Sleep, 16(3), 258-262.
Carskadon Mary A.; Wolfson Amy R.; Acebo, Christine; Tzischinsky, Orna; & Seifer, Ronald. (1998). Adolescent sleep patterns, circadian timing, and sleepiness at a transition to early school days. Sleep, 21(8), 871-881.
Carskadon, Mary A.; Wolfson, Amy R.; Tzischinsky, Orna; & Acebo, Christine. (1995). Early school schedules modify adolescent sleepiness. Sleep Research, 24, 92.
Davis, Zephaniah T. (1987). Effects of time-of-day of instruction on beginning reading achievement. Journal of Educational Research, 80(3), 138-140. (ERIC Journal No. EJ353277)
Dunn, Rita. (1985). It's time to handle instructional time correctly. Early Years K-8, 16, 47-49.
Dunn, Rita; Dunn, K.; & Price, G. E. (1990). Learning Style Inventory. Lawrence, KS: Price Systems, Inc.
Gadwa, Karol, & Griggs, Shirley A. (1985). The school dropout: Implications for counselors. School Counselor, 33(1), 9-17. (ERIC Journal No. EJ323245)
Klavas, Angela. (1994). In Greensboro, North Carolina, learning style program boosts achievement and test scores. Clearing House, 67(3), 149-151. (ERIC Journal No. EJ479200)
Kubow, Patricia K.; Wahlstrom, Kyla L.; & Bemis, Amy E. (1999). Starting time and school life: Reflections from educators and students. Phi Delta Kappan, 80(5), 366-371. (ERIC Journal No. EJ579413)
Lawton, Millicent. (1999). For whom the school bell tolls. School Administrator, 56(3), 6-12. (ERIC Journal No. EJ585528)
Lynch, Peter Kevin. (1981). An analysis of the relationships among academic achievement, attendance, and the learning style time references of eleventh and twelfth grade students identified as initial or chronic truants in a suburban New York school district. Dissertation Abstracts International, 42(05), 1880A.
Papatheodorou, Theodora, & Ramasut, Arlene. (1993, September).The effects of nursery school environment on teachers' perceptions of children's behavioural difficulties. Paper presented at the European Conference on the Quality of Early Childhood Education, Kriopigi, Greece. (ERIC Document No. ED362310)
Virostko, Joan. (1983). An analysis of the relationships among academic achievement in mathematics and reading, assigned instructional schedules, and the learning style time preferences of third, fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students. Dissertation Abstracts International, 44(06), 1683A.
Wahlstrom, Kyla L. (1999). The prickly politics of school starting times. Phi Delta Kappan, 80(5), 344-347. (ERIC Journal No. EJ579409)
Wahlstrom, Kyla L. (2000). School start time and teen sleep. High School Magazine, 7(9),40-41. (ERIC Journal No. EJ606494)
Kyla L.; Davison, Mark L.; Choi, Jiyoung; & Ross, Jesse N. (2001).
School start time study. Executive summary. Minneapolis:
University of Minnesota, Center for Applied Research and Educational
Wahlstrom, K., Wrobel, G., & Kubow, P. (1998). Minneapolis public schools start time study. Executive summary. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement. Available: http://education.umn.edu/CAREI/Reports/SST-1998ES.pdf
Wheeler, Gay. (1995). A study of half day vs. all day pre-kindergarten readiness. Unpublished manuscript. Huntsville, TX: Sam Houston State University. (ERIC Document No. ED383461)
Wolfson Amy R., & Carskadon, Mary A. (1998). Sleep schedules and daytime functioning in adolescents. Child Development, 69(4), 875-887. (ERIC Journal No. EJ572360)
D. (1999). The impact of school starting time on family life. Phi
Delta Kappan, 80(5), 360-364. (ERIC Journal No. EJ579412)
Time (and Sleep): Making the Case for Starting School Later
Time - The Sleep for Science Research Lab, Department of Psychiatry
and Human Behavior, Brown Medical School
On My Own Time:
The Conflict Between Adolescent Sleep Needs and High School Start
Key to learning
ABCs: catching enough Zs?
examines sleep needs, school start time
Learning Styles Research from Price Systems, Inc. (publishers of
the Learning Style Inventory by Dunn, Dunn, and Price).
Time Factors. School Improvement Research Series
Students the Time of Day
Later Start Times for High School Students
Needham Public Schools School Starting Time Report and Recommendation
Time: Report of the National Commission on Time and Learning
Time Study Reports
Should Teens Sleep In? New Choices in School Starting Times:
Drugs, Teen Pregnancy, and Other Reasons to Change School Times
In Some Districts
the Bell Tolls Later for Teens
during the School Day?: Time Diaries from a National Sample of Elementary
How to Obtain
ERIC Documents and Journal Articles:
This ERIC database search was conducted in part by creating a set using the term "Time Factors (Learning)" (as an ERIC Descriptor) OR Chronobiology OR Circadian Activity Rhythms OR Time of Day (as ERIC Identifiers) in combination with (AND) a set containing resources that have the keyword "time" in front of and within one word of "day" OR morning OR am OR afternoon OR pm OR the word "starting" in front of the word "time" OR the word "start" in front of the word "time" (all as keywords or keyword phrases.)
Search of the ERIC Database through 6/2004
healthy, adequate sleep fosters longevity and the optimal use of
waking hours, and that adolescents, although rarely included in
previous studies of sleep, are among the most sleep-deprived populations,
this book explores the genesis and development of sleep patterns
during adolescence, including biological and cultural factors that
influence sleep patterns, risks associated with sleep deprivation,
and effects of environmental factors such as work and school schedules.
The chapters are: (1) "Sleep and Adolescence: A Social Psychologist's
Perspective" (Sanford M. Dornbusch); (2) "Factors Influencing
Sleep Patterns of Adolescents" (Mary A. Carskadon); (3) "Endocrine
Changes Associated with Puberty and Adolescence" (Gary S. Richardson
and Barbara A. Tate); (4) "Maturational Changes in Sleep-Wake
Timing: Longitudinal Studies of the Circadian Activity Rhythm of
a Diurnal Rodent" (Barbara A. Tate, Gary S. Richardson, and
Mary A. Carskadon); (5) "Nutrition and Circadian Activity Offset
in Adolescent Rhesus Monkeys" (Mari S. Golub, Peter T. Takeuchi,
Tana Hoban-Higgins); (6) "Toward a Comparative Developmental
Ecology of Human Sleep" (Carol M. Worthman and Melissa K. Melby);
(7) "Sleep Patterns of High School Students Living in Sao Paulo,
Brazil" (Miriam Andrade and L. Menna-Barreto); (8) "Sleep
Patterns and Daytime Function in Adolescence: An Epidemiological
Survey of an Italian High School Student Sample" (Flavia Giannotti
and Flavia Cortesi); (9) "Risks of Driving While Sleepy in
Adolescents and Young Adults" (Mary A. Carskadon); (10) "What
Can the Study of Work Scheduling Tell Us about Adolescent Sleep?"
(Roger H. Rosa); (11) "Accommodating the Sleep Patterns of
Adolescents within Current Educational Structures: An Uncharted
Path" (Kyla L. Wahlstrom); (12) "Bridging the Gap between
Research and Practice: What Will Adolescents Sleep-Wake Patterns
Look Like in the 21st Century?" (Amy R. Wolfson); (13) "Influence
of Irregular Sleep Patterns on Waking Behavior" (Christine
Acebo and Mary A. Carskadon); (14) "Stress and Sleep in Adolescence:
A Clinical-Developmental Perspective" (Avi Sadeh and Reut Gruber);
(15) "The Search for Vulnerability Signatures for Depression
in High-Risk Adolescents: Mechanisms and Significance" (James
T. McCracken); and (16) "The Regulation of Sleep-Arousal, Affect,
and Attention in Adolescence: Some Questions and Speculations"
(Ronald E. Dahl). Each chapter contains references. (KB) Descriptors:
*Adolescent Attitudes; *Adolescent Behavior; *Adolescent Development;
*Adolescents; At Risk Persons; Attention; Biological Influences;
*Child Health; Childhood Needs; Depression (Psychology); Individual
Development; Nutrition; Psychological Patterns; Puberty; School
Schedules; Secondary Education; *Sleep; Social Influences; Stress
Variables; Young Adults
students are often victimized by time constraints--arbitrarily imposed
timetables for mastering material and meeting standards. People
learn best from experience, not by information acquisition, skill
development, rote memorization, or assessment. Reading, writing,
arithmetic, scientific understanding, and civics require student
participation in relaxed settings. (MLH)
Title: Time and Learning: Scheduling for Success. Hot Topics Series.
Author(s) Kennedy, Robert L., Ed.; Witcher, Ann E., Ed.
Author Affiliation: Phi Delta Kappa, Bloomington, IN. Center on Evaluation,
Development, and Research.(BBB24992)
Publication Date: December 1998
Available from: Document Not Available from EDRS.
Availability: Phi Delta Kappa International, P.O. Box 789, Bloomington, IN 47402-
0789 (Product Code: HTTLSS, $30; members $25). Tel: 800-766-1156 (Toll Free); Fax:
Document Type: Book (010); Information Analysis (070)
Geographic Source: U.S.; Indiana
Journal Announcement: RIEAUG2002
provides information for educators considering ways to make the
best use of time available for learning. Twenty-one articles are
divided into 5 chapters. Chapter 1: "How Can We Make the Most
of the School Day?" includes an overview and 6 articles: (1)
"Block Scheduling" (Karen Irmsher); (2)"The Hybrid
Schedule: Scheduling to the Curriculum" (Gerald L. Boarman
and Barbara S. Kirkpatrick); (3) "Improving School Climate:
Alternating-Day Block Schedule" (Donald G. Hackmann); (4) "Parallel
Block Scheduling: Accommodating Students' Diverse Needs in Elementary
Schools" (Martha E. Snell, Dianne Koontz Lowman, and Robert
Lynn Canady); (5) "A Colorado School's Unrocky Road to Trimesters"
(Tom Stumpf); and (6) "Designing Classroom Spaces: Making the
Most of Time" (Deborah W. Tegano et al.). Chapter 2: "When
Will the School Day Begin and End?" includes an overview and
4 articles: (7) "Killing Time" (Kathleen Kennedy Manzo);
(8) "Extending School Hours: A Capital Idea" (John Hodge
Jones); (9) "The Effects of Full-Day Kindergarten on Student
Achievement and Affect" (David Hough and Suzanne Bryde); and
(10) "Too Little, Too Late" (Millicent Lawton). Chapter
3: "How Long Should the School Week Be?" is followed by
an overview and 4 articles: (11) "Evaluation of the Four-Day
School Week in Idaho Suburban Schools" (Richard L. Sagness
and Stephanie A. Salzman); (12) "Perspectives: Implementing
the Modified Four-Day School Week" (C. Del Litke); (13) "A
Matter of Time: Schools Try Four-Day Weeks" (Robert C. Johnston);
and (14) "Saturday School" (Saturday School Associates,
Inc.). Chapter 4: "Can the Length or Configuration of the School
Year Affect Learning?" includes an overview and 4 articles:
(15) "Year- Round Schools: Matter of Time? Cost-Saving Opportunities
and Pitfalls" (Jared E. Hazleton); (16) "Year Round Education:
Is It Worth the Hassle" (Carolyn M. Shields); (17) "Review
of Research on Student Learning in Year-Round Education" (Carolyn
Calvin Kneese); and (18) "Quality Schools and the Myth of the
Nine-Month School Year" (Larry L. Dlugosh). Chapter 5: "Can
Looping Increase Time for Learning?" is followed by an overview
and 3 articles: (19) "Looping Catches on as a Way to Build
Strong Ties" (Linda Jacobson); (20) "Multi-Year Instruction:
Establishing Teacher-Student Relationships" (Robert D. Lincoln);
(21) "Looping: Adding Time, Strengthening Relationships"
(Daniel L. Burke). (Contains 109 references.) (RKJ)
time of day of optimal attention for 204 5th graders and 202 10th
graders who varied in their aptitude for mathematics. Attention
levels of fifth graders were especially high in the afternoon, but
10th graders reported increased concentration in the morning hours.
Among 10th graders, there was significant interaction between mathematics
achievement and attention levels at different times of day. (SLD)
This report summarizes the presentations and discussion at a workshop on adolescent sleep. The workshop was organized by the Board on Children, Youth, and Families and the Forum on Adolescence of the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine. The workshop brought together policy makers, researchers, and practitioners to examine research on adolescence and sleep, focusing on adolescents' sleep needs, typical sleep patterns, influences on sleep problems and disturbances, and the consequences of insufficient sleep. The topics covered are: (1) adolescent development and sleep; (2) adolescent sleep patterns and daytime sleepiness; (3) consequences of insufficient sleep; (4) identifying and intervening in clinical sleep problems; (5) changing school starting times; (6) educating the public about adolescent sleep needs; (7) next steps, including increasing public awareness about sleep needs, documenting the sleep debt in high school students, and designing appropriate interventions. The workshop agenda and a list of participants are appended. (Contains 37 references.) (KB)
*Adolescent Development; *Adolescents; Attention; *Child Health;
Childhood Needs; Comparative Analysis; Emotional Response; Employment;
*Fatigue (Biology); Learning; Performance Factors; Psychological
Patterns; *Sleep; Time Factors (Learning)
Sleep studies have shown that teenagers' internal clocks are incompatible with most high schools' early hours. Research in two Minnesota districts indicates that later school starting times can benefit teens and everyone dealing with them. Student participation in sports and other after-school activities remained high. (MLH)
*Adolescents; Athletics; *Educational Benefits; Fatigue (Biology);
High Schools; *School Schedules; *Sleep; *Student Participation
A key task for schools is to ensure that the conditions in which learning is to take place address the biological needs of the learners. This book examines sleep needs of adolescents and discusses the implications of these needs for school starting times. This book is a collection of five articles that appeared in a special section of the Phi Delta Kappan in January 1999. The chapters are: (1) "The Prickly Politics of School Starting Times" (Kyla L. Wahlstrom); (2) "When Worlds Collide: Adolescent Need for Sleep versus Societal Demands" (Mary A. Carskadon); (3) "The Consequences of Insufficient Sleep for Adolescents: Links between Sleep and Emotional Regulation" (Ronald E. Dahl); (4) "The Impact of School Starting Time on Family Life" (Gordon D. Wrobel); and (5) "Starting Time and School Life: Reflections from Educators and Students" (Patricia K. Kubow, Kyla L. Wahlstrom, and Amy E. Bemis). (KB)
*Adolescents; Biological Influences; Educational Administration;
Family Life; Family School Relationship; Physical Development; Puberty;
*Scheduling; *School Schedules; *Secondary Education; *Sleep; *Student
Needs; Time Factors (Learning)
At the same time their biological systems program them for later sleep and waking times, adolescents' schedules and lifestyles keep them from getting a healthy amount of sleep. Although a few schools have altered their schedules, most are confounded by costs and contractual complications. Minnesota schools are leaders. (MLH)
*Academic Achievement; *Adolescents; *School Schedules; Secondary
Education; *Sleep; *Social Development; *Student Behavior
Using teacher surveys and focus groups, a University of Minnesota study examined the effects of changing school starting times on school operations at all levels and on the community. The least desirable start time was 9:40 a.m. at middle schools. Later schedules benefited high school students. No one schedule can accommodate everyone. (MLH)
Adolescents; *Educational Benefits; Elementary Secondary Education;
*Flexible Scheduling; Focus Groups; *School Community Relationship;
*School Schedules; Sleep; *Student Attitudes; *Teacher Attitudes;
A Minnesota study showed that changing school starting times to accommodate adolescent sleep patterns profoundly affected many families. Implementation processes substantially influenced how families received changes. Policy makers should inform and involve all stakeholders, allow ample time, provide research-based justifications, support families' decision process, and provide adequate followup. (MLH)
*Adolescents; Community Involvement; Economic Factors; *Educational
Policy; *Family Life; Guidelines; High Schools; Life Style; Parent
Participation; Program Implementation; *School Schedules; *Sleep
A school transition project examined effects on sleep and circadian rhythms in a group of 25 youngsters shifting from an 8:25 a.m. junior high school starting time to a 7:20 a.m. high school starting time. The average amount of sleep on school nights fell substantially for 9th and 10th graders, and was below the amount required for normal alertness. (16 references) (MLH)
*Adolescents; *Behavior Patterns; Grade 10; Grade 9; High Schools;
*School Schedules; *Sleep; Social Influences; Student Employment;
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