Student Attention Span
Students on average only have an average attention span of about ten minutes, particularly when it comes to sitting in a chair and listening to instruction. Any lecture that last longer than that is sure to end with students missing a chunk of the instructional material as their minds wander. While there are plenty of strategies for maintaining student attention, including removing distractions and providing plenty of movement breaks, one of the most critical strategies for improving student attention is to break up the instruction into smaller periods of time–and that’s exactly what The Tenney School provides for its students.
Disadvantages of Longer Class Times
Many teachers argue that they’re able to break up student learning time on their own. A teacher who conducts ninety minute lessons has to break up class time.
- Teachers spend more time on classroom maintenance. This takes time away from class time instruction.
- Students lose focus over time.
- Requires more active lesson prep for the teacher.
- Quality can diminish more rapidly.
- There’s often empty instructional time at the end of the class.
- There’s little evidence that offers any benefit concerning longer class times.
The Advantages of Shorter Classes
Shorter classes, on the other hand, provide a number of advantages that students at The Tenney School are able to enjoy every day.
- Constantly shifting classes break up the day and prevent boredom.
- Learning time is maximized as teachers work quickly to incorporate the day’s necessary instruction.
- Instruction is fresh and changed on a regular basis.
- Teachers dive straight into instruction as soon as the class starts, with fewer interruptions for maintenance.
- Students actually receive more total class time as a result of shortened periods. Longer class periods lead to less total time spend in a given class.
- There’s less instructional time lost for each individual class as a result of days off, including both days off for weather-related emergencies and individual sick days for students.
- Students have more time to learn new material. This is particularly useful for classes like math and languages, where one skill builds on another and students need time to practice and consider the material before proceeding to the next step in the process.
So What Are Your Options?
If you’re looking for a school where student needs are taken into consideration, contact us. We’ve setup our school so that student attention rates during class time is increased. This is through our shorter class periods, and one-to-one instructional model which we’ve been developing for over half a century!