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Alternative Vs Traditional School Calendar In The United States

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Jacob T.
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  1. Year-Round Education.
  2. Benefits of year-round education.
  3. Long vacations make schools inefficient.
  4. Conclusion.

There is an increasing popularity in year-round school programs that are seen as alternatives to the traditional ten-month school calendar. This alternative was seen as necessary in order to match the educational superiority of economically leading countries such as Japan which have longer school days than that of the United States. However, both educational experts and parents have very different and extreme views about this new concept. Debates have often been done whether or not there is really a need for this alternative school schedule. Educational experts and a number of parents, which are in favor for this year-round school calendar, believe that there are academic benefits to be obtained because of the continuous schedule of schooling and learning. They also believe that shorter summer breaks would also give additional academic benefits and would be more convenient to working parents.

[...] One reason is that educational reformists contend that large-scale demographic and economic changes over the past twenty years have rendered the current traditional month school calendar obsolete (Anton, 1995) Students tend to forget a lot during long summer vacations and it is harder to instill the knowledge back to them after long vacations. Shorter vacations for students might be able to increase the students' retention rates of previously-learned knowledge. It was found out that most students would experience about regression over the long summer vacation (Tilley, B. [...]


[...] Teachers in year-round education programs also believe that the quality of instruction is higher than in traditional programs due to the continuity of instruction (Quinlan, George, & Emmett, 1987). Teachers also believe that the year-round education schedule has a positive impact on how they plan their lessons for one term (Shields & Oberg, 2000). The organization of the instructional time and the frequent breaks allow them to reflect about how they taught the previous term and to adjust their teaching methods after reflecting on them (Shields & Oberg, 2000). [...]

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