Commentary

If It Isn’t Broken…

The recent discussion about the schedule change resulted in four possible schedule options outlined in the October 23 Issue of The Phillipian. At first glance, each of them seems to have been carefully planned to benefit the student body. After reading over the four potential schedules multiple times and comparing them to the current schedule, however, I have to say that I would prefer to have the schedule remain the same.

I favor the current schedule over the new schedule options because the 45 minute periods are long enough to cover important material and short enough to keep students focused for the majority of class. While I do concede that some students may lose interest at some point during the 75 minute double-periods, we can easily address this problem by requiring teachers to give students two minute breaks between lectures. Besides, teachers usually find something interesting or important to teach students during the extra 30 minutes, motivating students to pay close attention. Therefore, I don’t see a practical reason to implement a completely new schedule to change class length.

In addition, the number of classes that we are able to take now seems quite sufficient. We take basic subjects like math, science and English, yet we still get to pick electives based on preference.

I feel like keeping the current schedule would benefit many students. While some students complain about the homework load, most students have free periods that they can use to complete homework. I also feel that taking five courses gives me the right amount of work. Granted, some students do take six courses, but they do so on their own volition. Taking six courses is not mandatory.

Although I recognize that attention span can vary from student to student, students generally pay attention in ten minute intervals, according to BBC News in a 2010 study. One new schedule option mentions cutting down each term from ten weeks to five and lengthening class time from 45-75 minute classes to 75-90 minute classes. Thus, I see no point in adding on 15 to 20 extra minutes per class if the majority of students are not going to be able to focus during the extra time.
I also think that increasing the number of terms from three to seven by cutting the term length to five weeks will not benefit students. Each term will go by so quickly, and students will not have enough time to process the topics that they have learned. I cannot imagine that students will be able to accomplish too much in five weeks, because as soon as a term starts, it will come to an end. Because having three terms per year does not seem to have caused any major problems for students in general, I find it unnecessary to add extra terms.

I am against implementing the third schedule proposal because starting 15 minutes later and ending at 3 p.m. will not help students in any practical fashion. Most students need some time to get ready for sports, and our current schedule gives students extra time to go back to their dorms, grab their things and change into athletic clothing for sports.

I think that keeping the current schedule is much better than changing it. As much as people dislike the current schedule, it also has merits that we have overlooked so far. If the new schedule changes are implemented, we will not be able to enjoy the benefits that our current schedule has.

Nov 12, 2015