Saturday, January 19

More reasons to not like early classes

When I was in school, I never liked early classes. I never felt like I accomplished much in them, and I didn't learn as much as from classes later in the day. I know that many current students feel the same way. Now there is some scientific evidence that explains why.

According to this article in the New York Times, the body clocks of adolescents are different than the ones of younger children or of adults. In most adolescents, the body doesn't start producing melatonin, the hormone that produces sleep, until about 11 p.m. and it continues producing it until about 8 a.m. This means that the body is still producing the hormone that causes sleep after many students, particularly high school students, have started class. Studies indicate that as many as 28% of students fall asleep in their first class of the day.

Some schools have seen dramatic effects by simply starting and ending their school day later. In 2002, high schools in Jessamine County, Kentucky, changed their starting time from 7:30 a.m. to 8:40 a.m. Attendance immediately went up, and standardized test scores increased and have continued to increase each year since. Similarly, schools in Minneapolis and Edina, Minn., moved their starting times to around 8:30 and saw grades increase while lateness, behavioral problems and dropout rates all decreased.

So moving anything important involving adolescents to after 8:00 in the morning can have a dramatic impact on the results.


ashley said...

That reminds me of Danny at winter camp a few years ago. It was so early, he couldn't focus. "I'm not doing ONE LICK of devotions." Hahaha. Anyway, a teacher of mine showed us a study about that a few years ago. I'm always sure to bust that out when older people accuse us of being lazy and too tired in the morning.

The_BGRT said...

To play devil's advocate, I can, with enough money and backing, make a study verifying anything I want. I am not disagreeing with the study being done, I just feel like playing devil's advocate.