Lynn Westfall

Document Type

Research Report

Original Publication Date


Date of Submission

January 2017


Some researchers believe scheduling techniques have changed frequently and dramatically since the early 1960's. And, there is no doubt that changes have occurred in education. Changes such as the development of computerized scheduling techniques in the 1960's; the increase in the number of courses offered; the concern for equal opportunity; the individualization of instruction; and the increase in the variety and flexibility of scheduling models available to schools, led to a growing awareness of accountability by the 1970s (Dempsey * Traverso, 1983). The quality of individual opportunity prompted educators to revitalize conventional scheduling, and to consider diverse options.

Though such changes have taken place, however, other researchers maintain that there has been little variation from the basic format of secondary education established over one hundred years ago. Indeed, the research data indicates that the schedule currently being used by the majority of secondary schools in the United States is the traditional schedule (Kosanovic, 1994). Proponents of the traditional schedule model (also known as the classic model, the conventional schedule, the Carnegie structure, or the mass-production classroom model) point out its many advantages. For example, the conventional schedule offers security and ease of scheduling work experience programs; builds on ability grouping, subject matter, and grade-level divisions; and encourages teacher specialization and separation of teaching from administration.

Some educators, however, believe the "old" schedule restricts teaching strategies, flexible grouping, individualized instruction, and independent study, and may have outlived its usefulness (Carroll, 1989; Kosanovic, 1994; Northwest Regional Educational Lab, 1990). Such educators believe that alternative scheduling will best meet the needs of their students and staff. But, the use of non-traditional scheduling sometimes leads to confusion during the process of implementation (Weiss, 1972).

Is Part Of

VCU MERC Publications

Included in

Education Commons