A Four-Day School Week: Worth The Hype?

A four-day school week is hitting the news (again) in Australia, but is the juice worth the squeeze?

Recently the proposal of a four-day school week is hitting the news.

But, don’t be fooled into thinking that this is a new prospect. For years, the thought process of a shorter school week has been in and out of the news. Hell, here is an article I found from 2015.

Some overseas schools are already using a shorter week. There are a few in the UK and USA trialing the concept.

But, is a shorter school week worth the hassle?

Well, I guess it depends on what you want to achieve by trimming the school week by a day.

If you’re looking to give students more time to learn outside of the school walls, then there is definite scope to do that:

“A lot of learning requires students to work on projects outside the classroom, conduct online research and study in their own time. Also, many school students work part-time and many are involved in vocational learning that involves work placement or structured workplace learning… For these students, the added flexibility of a four or four and a half day week would be quite valuable.”

Professor John Polesel, Director of the International Centre for Classroom research and professor at the University of Melbourne’s School of Education

Teacher recruitment and retaining top performing staff are also added benefits.

However, if the four-day school week is to battle lowering test scores and literacy/numeracy levels, then we are barking up the wrong tree.

For many, the issue isn’t how long we teach for…. the problem is how we teach, and what we teach.

Cutting Fridays off the timetable won’t fix that, you’ll just condense the inefficient teaching into fewer days; It is a bandaid solution.

There are a range of positives that can come from a shorter school week. However, we need to make sure we are using the hours we do have to the best of our ability.

Your Thoughts?

Comment below with your thoughts on the four-day school week.

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