Also tell me what increases should be happen in our study area?
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We grade on a semester system at our high school -- grades run cumulatively for 17 weeks and are worth 80% of the semester grade. The final exam is then worth 20% of the semester grade. The good news on this system is that every day of the semester the student knows exactly where they stand. There is no quarter grade to be later average with a 2nd quarter grade. Under that kind of system, the students feel like they have a "fesh start" or "clean slate" at the start of the second quarter, but in reality they really don't -- they still will have to average the first half of the work with the second half of the work. On the down side, because the grades/points are just accumulating, students have a harder time affecting significant change in their grade as the semester goes along and more and more points are in the gradebook. Some students see that there is no way to really change a grade and start to kind of phone it in. Even in my AP literture class -- if I student has an 85% on November 15th, an A on a paper isn't going to change the overall grade more than a percentage point, so why should they knock themselves out when a A-, B or any kind of even a C+ won't change their grade. Kids are motivated by seeing a change in grade, and a quarter system does give that (in theory).
There are community colleges in our area that have switched from the quarter system to the semester, so it seems that the traditional semester is more beneficial to teachers and students alike. Certainly in colleges in which students do not attend every day as in high school, the semester schedule allows the professor to become acquainted with students much better than the quarter. In a Composition class, for instance, the extended time of a semester allows a student the needed time to grow as a writer.
I've never taught outside of the semester system, and I love it. I get 18 weeks with my students (and sometimes 36) instead of 10 or 12, so I get to know them and their learning styles and abilities more clearly and effectively for my teaching. You can also cover so much more subject material, attempt projects and go more in depth with the curriculum than you can in a quarter system.
The semester system, to my knowledge, is nothing new. It has been the norm for colleges as long as I can remember. I am not sure what the question is referring to, however I think the semester system works quite well at both the college and high school level. Although most high schools I am aware of do not have a true semester format in that you do not complete a course at semester you just earn or lose credit at the semester, the course is a year long course.
Are you talking about semester systems for high school in addition to college? If you are, we run a semester schedule at my high school. Students take four classes for one semester (they have 90-minute class periods) and change classes at semester break. I have seen benefits and negatives for this type of schedule. For science classes, the longer periods enable teachers to help their students with beneficial labs. For English classes, my students have more time to complete meaningful in-class writing assignments. The disadvantages are that students can go a whole school year and summer between having classes that rely on continuity and skill-building.
Nearly every university is designed to meet, either in semesters or in quarters, in both the spring and the fall. Summers are an option but are not as commonplace as the normal semesters. The advantage is that summers can be free for students to work or pursue internships without interfering with their educations. One advantage to running more of a year-round schedule (as is common in tech or trade training) is finishing school sooner in order to start a career.
A large portion of today's universities are set up on a 2 semester system with a shorter summer semester being optional. Are you asking about the idea that colleges might stretch the academic year into three equally long semesters? If this occurs, it would probably benefit many students as taking the summer off causes some college students to lose study habits and information acquired during the regular fall and spring semester. You know what they say, "If you don't use it, you might lose it."
I'm afraid I don't completely understand your question. Are you asking about a semester system as opposed to a quarter system? Or is there some other alternative to a semester system that you are talking about?
I went to college and graduate school on the quarter system rather than the semester. I think the quarter system is nice because you do not have as many classes all at once and so it's easier to concentrate on the classes you do have.
On the other hand, a semester system is good because it's longer and so each week isn't such a big part of the term. In a quarter system, if you are sick for a week you miss 10% of the term and that's rather a lot.
I hope that is what you are asking. Please feel free to respond and clarify your question.
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