Does Year Round Schooling Impact Learning?

Jared Cooney Horvath is a globally recognized Science of Learning expert committed to helping teachers, students and parents achieve better outcomes through applied brain and behavioral science.

The Summer Slump Buster ...

"Time is what we want most, but what we use worst" ~ William Penn


From 8:00 am start times, to 50-minute class periods, to 3-month summer vacations, our modern schooling system is rife with time-based organizational practices that have long since outlived their historic function.


In Chapter 9 of my book '10 Things Schools Get Wrong - And How We Can Get Them Right', I dive into the interesting history of these practices ... but in the interest of brevity, suffice it to say that many of these time-based rituals are maintained out of habit, tradition and routine.


Although people may try to fight against them, routine is a like a moving train: it’s difficult to stop once it has momentum.


In this ‘From Theory To Practice’ video, I discuss the summer vacation issue. Specifically, I look at a meta-analysis from 2019 that helps us understand the learning impact that a 3-month summer break can exact on students:


Single‐track year‐round education for improving academic achievement in U.S. K‐12 schools (Dan Fitzpatrick and Jason Burns)


Here are some of the questions I tackle in this installment:

  • What is The Forgetting Curve, and what does it say about how long we generally retain new knowledge?

  • What is Spaced Repetition, and how does it help you combat the normal erosion of memory?

  • What is The Summer Slump, and how far do students generally regress after a 3-month summer break?

  • According to the research, what is the learning impact of implementing a year-round school calendar versus the tradition 9-month on/3-month off model?

  • What are three practical takeaways that schools and teachers can draw from this meta-analysis?

Give it a watch, and let me know what you think in the YT comments section.


And, as always, if you find this video valuable, interesting and/or entertaining, you can support us by liking, sharing and subscribing to our YouTube channel ;)



Video Transcript

Hello everybody, and welcome to this week's From Theory to Practice, where I take a look at the research so you don't have to.


Now, as you may know, I have a new book out called '10 Things Schools Get Wrong - And How We Can Get Them Right'.


So, for this series of ten videos, I've deliberately selected research papers that align with the different chapters of that book.


In this installment we're looking at Chapter 9, which is entitled Organization: The Problem With Structure.


Now in this chapter we dive deeply into a lot of the organizational patterns and/or processes that are prevalent in schools. So, for instance, why are classes typically 50 minutes long? And why does school start at 8:00 am.?


One of the topics we discuss concerns summer break. Specifically, why is it that summer break is three months at most schools and districts?


The article I've selected this week that aligns with this topic is called Year-round Education for Improving Academic Achievement by Fitzpatrick and Burns.


Now to understand this paper, we first have to wrap our heads around the concept of the forgetting curve ...            

Click to view remainder of the transcript ...

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