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The 21-Hour School Day
Contrary to our policy of bringing to you articles you will find nowhere else, if you have an extensive collection of old issues of The Journal of Irreproducible Results, you will find this one.
From: THE 21-HOUR SCHOOL DAY
Robert O. Neal, Ed.D. and Louis deJour Hicks, Ed.D.
The Magnun University Graduate School of Education
Published in The Journal of Irreproducible Results, 36 (6): 17 (1991)
The crisis in American education has been attributed to many causes. Our study, conducted with 140,000 school children in 120 school districts over a period of three weeks indicates that one of these causes--length of school day --has such a large effect on test scores that no other factors need be considered. We determined that the optimal school day is 21 hours long.
EXPERIMENTS WITH SCHOOL DAYS OF DIFFERENT LENGTHS
We experimented with school days of various lengths: 1 hour, 21 hours, and 84 hours.
A one hour school day provided clear benefits and clear disadvantages. The chief benefit was brevity. The main disadvantage was a lack of time for anything other than test taking.
The 84-hour school day had many merits. However, U.S. federal labor regulations and the pressure of public opinion virtually rule this out as a viable alternative.
Therefore, the 21-hour school day provided optimal.
RESULTS: HIGHER TEST SCORES
The 21-hour school day permitted teachers to spend more time each day administering tests. With more tests being given, the cumulative test scores (the sum of all the scores of all the tests added together) were dramatically higher.
Our findings indicate that while the length of school day is important, so too is the manner in which the classtime is used during the day. It is crucial that classes be conducted continuously during the entire 21-hour school day, with no breaks, except, of course two breaks for meals and one for a lavatory visit.
The 21-hour school day also had a marked effect on students' attitudes toward learning. The average student was able to sleep approximately two hours per day. The continuous sleep deprivation lessened the students' rebellious implulses. Classrooms were much quieter with the 21-hour school day than with the traditional shorter school day.
ADDENDUM: THE IMPORTANCE OF NUTRITION
Medical authorities maintain that growing children require appropriate amounts of food. We are conducting studies to confirm or refute this claim.
Robert O. Neal and Louis deJour Hicks
The Journal of Irreproducible Results
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