What would you teach in 15 minutes?

Genetics Y8 - Spring term

Traditionally, secondary school timetables are constructed from a limited number of standardised blocks of time; a single period might be 50 minutes. The timetable is imposed upon the teachers who must then craft their lesson around the specified amount of time. Does this method provide the best opportunities for learning and teaching? Would the freedom to decide the length of the class enable teachers to offer a wider more effective range of learning experiences?

What do you think
Imagine that as a teacher you had the opportunity to decide on the length of your classes. Would you want to? Would it be useful? What might you teach in 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 50 minutes or 2 hours?

Please reply with your thoughts and ideas – we’d love to hear from you.

Ideas to get you thinking
Knowledge that students acquire in school is often quickly forgotten [1]. Even though many things can now be quickly looked up on the internet it is still useful to have some knowledge at our fingertips, for example language vocabulary. Research [2] has shown that relearning at periodic intervals improves retention. So, how about a French lesson that was followed up by a series of 15 minute vocab booster lessons.

Trips are an excellent way to deliver learning in an engaging and motivational way. However, often a trip takes longer than a single lesson period. What if a teacher had the power to incorporate a 2 or even 3 hour into their next teaching module?

References:
[1] Kuepper-Tetzel, C E et al. (2014) The lag effect in secondary school classrooms: Enhancing students’ memory for vocabulary, INSTRUCTIONAL SCIENCE Vol: 42 Issue: 3 Pg: 373-388

[2] Bahrick, H. P., & Hall, L. K. (1991). Lifetime maintenance of high school mathematics content. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 120, 20–33.

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