Audaces fortuna juvat

Working towards my dream

Early Bird vs. Night Owl

Posted by C Moon on January 25, 2008

I wake up at 6:20 am and leave home at about 6:50 am (the traffic condition requires me to do so). I arrive at the school at about 7:10 am, and, after attending the morning study session, I wait until the class starts at 8:00 am. Half awake and half asleep. Recently, I’ve encountered an article The Early Bird Gets the Bad Grade, which argues that we should “stop focusing on testing and instead support changing the hours of the school day, starting it later for teenagers and ending it later for all children.”

As a person who “worships” the power of sleep, I agree with this argument. Most high school students around the world may have a similar daily routine to mine, struggling to get up early in the morning and taking classes before their body starts to function. I love learning, but I do not enjoy sacrificing my sleeping time to learn more (though I do that, every morning in school). Here are some quotes from the article, telling us the importance of sleeping enough.

Indeed, no one does well when they’re sleep-deprived, but insufficient sleep among children has been linked to obesity and to learning issues like attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

In 2002, high schools in Jessamine County in Kentucky pushed back the first bell to 8:40 a.m., from 7:30 a.m. Attendance immediately went up, as did scores on standardized tests, which have continued to rise each year. Districts in Virginia and Connecticut have achieved similar success. In Minneapolis and Edina, Minn., which instituted high school start times of 8:40 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. respectively in 1997, students’ grades rose slightly and lateness, behavioral problems and dropout rates decreased.

While there is sufficient research backing up that sleeping enough is important to teenagers, why aren’t we applying the results? The article also gives a reason for that.

Well, it seems that improving teenagers’ performance takes a back seat to more pressing concerns: the cost of additional bus service, the difficulty of adjusting after-school activity schedules and the inconveniences to teachers and parents.

If that is the reason, I would say, it is a truly sad reality.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Photo Credits: “Asleep in Class VI” by ach_mein on Flickr

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , ,


One Response to “Early Bird vs. Night Owl”

  1. Clay Burell said

    I love this post – read the same article and drew the same sad conclusions. It’s what kills a lot of us who work in schools. We know so many of the causes of education’s decline, yet experience a stunning indifference to that knowledge by those with the power to change it.

    The excellent foppery of the world.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: