Saturday, April 9, 2011

Length of lesson times and attention

It was recently reported by the popular Turkish newspaper, The Hürriyet, that the Ministry of Education had decided that the length of school lessons would be decreased while the break times would be increased.At present primary school lessons are 40 mins and high school lessons 45 mins.

The Ministry of Education referred to the fact that Turkey was one of the countries with the longest lessons !!!

In the report it stated that the an average students attention span was 16-20 mins, but this of course would vary from person to person.Naturally younger students would have shorter attention spans , as well as those with learning disabilities.

Of course reducing lesson time and increasing break time is good news for all students, but it is particularly important for students with learning disabilities. Students with dyslexia and other learning disabilities often have problems regarding concentration and attention.

It must be pointed out that only cutting lesson time is not just sufficient.Teachers in Turkey should to be made aware that they also need to provide interesting and varied activities within the lesson in order to maximize students attention levels .

The other problem the Minsitry of Education needs to address is not only reducing lesson time but in reducing the syllabus and lightening the workload of students. Most students after normal school has finished attend cramming schools, in order compete in the hard exams which students have to sit in order to get a place at a high school and or university.

At the other end of the scale Turkish schools have very long holidays of over 3 months. It would be much better if students had more regular breaks and worked more evenly throughout the year.

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