The Advantage of Year Round Education:
“Successful school reform will come from a clear understanding of what it is that we want our children to know. Subsequently, consideration about how much time is needed for students to learn and how that time is structured is required…After considering what our students need to know and how much time it will take, only then can decisions about financial resources be made. Once the goals, time, and money required are known, educational reforms can be layered atop.” (Kneese, 5)
Year round education, the change of the calendar system for students that presupposes studying throughout the whole year, caused many hot disputes and acquired opponents and supporters. In general American schools are involved in a ten-month system, which was established when America was an agrarian country and students had to work in the fields in summer. Nowadays the situation changed and the idea of year round education developed. This innovation became a controversial question and the aim of this paper is to prove that year round education is the best way of arranging the students’ schedule.
The opponents of the new system claim that the cost of the implementation of the year round education is very high as it is necessary to renovate the buildings because of very fast deterioration of schoolhouses. In order to provide the proper conditions for students the school administration will have to spend much money. However, the truth is that the implementation of year round education helps to postpone or even to avoid the construction of new buildings and thus bates expenses of the school. As every year the number of enrolling students increases, the need to build new schoolhouses becomes urgent. Year round education is a way out of the problem. It is always easier to provide some money only for renovation than for both renovation and grand-scale building. According to the statistics, “the multi-track program could reduce the number of buildings by one-fourth”. (Arambula, 23)
Another possible disadvantage that may be mentioned is that schools, practicing multi-tracking, will have to enhance the fulfillment of typical school functions such as open houses or parent conferences. It can make the process of schooling more complicated and more difficult to manage. Nevertheless, the fact that a great number of students is accommodated compensates this disadvantage. Besides, when school administration and the staff are professionals who can control the process in a proper way, school activities will not be poor. Furthermore, year round system is used in many countries all over the world and drawing on their experience, the majority of problems can be solved.
Many parents also do not understand the advantages of year round education and claim that for students involved into this system it is impossible to work, to go in for sports or to go to camps in summer. On the other hand, it is obvious that shorter breaks inspire the students to continue going in for athletics and prevent them from becoming couch potatoes. Besides, short vacations throughout the year help students and their families to plan holidays in off-peak seasons. Due to short breaks there is a tendency in decrease of juvenile delinquency in the districts, practicing year round education. Intensive studying prevents students from wasting their time.
Another benefit of shorter breaks, which take place usually once in 45 days and last for about 15 days, is the lower need for review. Though opponents say that year round education leads to the loss of focus on studies, it is proved that such pattern of schooling helps students to improve the process of learning. The breaks called intersessions are brief and do not let students to forget the material, therefore when coming back to school they need less time to refresh their memory. Moreover, intersessions may be used for tutoring, remediation courses. The experience of schools using this system shows that students are more enthusiastic and encouraged about going to school. It is pointed by both students and teachers. School results are improved and the impact of year round education on academic life of students is undoubtedly positive.
Continuous work and changed calendar-system can also be inconvenient for teachers. Intensive work and rigid schedule might lead to collapse. Still, “surveys in year-round districts indicate that between 60% to 90% of teachers prefer year round education”.( Arambula, 10) Practice shows that year round education leads to less fatigue due to shorter school periods. Teachers are also encouraged by the opportunities given by this system, including alternative pay, adaptable staffing patterns and benefit programs. They can use intersessions efficiently, teaching students and thus getting extra income.
Making a conclusion, it is necessary to state that year round education is a complex and controversial problem, so there are supporters and opponents of this idea. However, this system spreads across America and every year more districts start operating 12-month system. Analyzing advantages and disadvantages of year round education, I have come to a conclusion that despite possible inconveniences that may be at the very beginning, on the whole this system is profitable for all people, involved into educational activities: teachers, students and parents.
It is obvious that year round schooling saves money but still the main aim of the system is to improve studying. America is not the first country that tries to implement this system. Year round education is time-proved and the fact that it raises the standard of knowledge should the main motivation in its realization. “Increasing access to learning opportunities is imperative, for evidence indicates students need to learn more in order to attain the high standards that America demands.” (Fager,2)
Nowadays only hard-working and competent people can succeed in life and I am inclined to believe that year round education is the system that can really help students to do it.
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