Instigator / Con

Should Schools be Approximately 7 Hours?


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Contender / Pro

A debate on whether school should be 7 hours or not

Round 1
The length of the school day in the United States is subject to state regulations, with the average K-12 public school session spanning approximately 180 days annually. This figure emerges from an analysis by the Pew Research Center, which examined data from the Education Commission of the States. However, the uniformity ends there, as the definition of a ‘school day’ and the total educational time varies significantly across different states.

In the United States, the regulation of the school day length is characterized by significant diversity, with states adopting various criteria such as minimum days, hours, or minutes per school year. This variety reflects the unique educational needs and preferences of different regions:
  • State Regulations on School Days: 39 states have laws or policies setting minimum school times. Notably, Oklahoma offers flexibility with options like 180 standard school days or 1,080 hours over 165 days.
  • Variation by Grade Level: Among these states, 26 have varying annual time minimums based on grade level. For example, South Dakota requires 875 hours for fourth graders and 962.5 hours for eighth graders.
  • Average Instructional Hours: There’s a significant range in instructional hours across states. On average, fourth graders receive about 997.8 hours annually, while 11th graders experience a wider range from 720 hours in Arizona to 1,260 hours in Texas, averaging 1,034.8 hours.
  • Daily Time Requirements: Additionally, 29 states and the District of Columbia have specific daily hours or minutes requirements, often differing by grade. Pennsylvania’s daily minimum varies from 2.5 hours for kindergarten to 5.5 hours for high school students.
  • Extremes in Daily Hours: The school day length for eighth graders can range from as little as 3 hours in Maryland and Missouri to as much as 6.5 hours in Tennessee. New Hampshire and Oregon even have maximum daily limits.
  • Texas’s Unique Approach: Texas specifies a total of 75,600 minutes (1,260 hours) per school year, including breaks, allowing districts to decide how to allocate these minutes. Previously, Texas had a 7-hour school day, which equated to a 180-day school year.
This diverse array of regulations across the U.S. showcases the adaptability in meeting educational needs, balancing instructional requirements with practical considerations in various school environments. Each state’s approach is tailored to the specific needs and preferences of its districts, illustrating the varied landscape of educational time management in the country.

  • In AsiaTaiwan and China exhibit significantly longer school days than the U.S., with Taiwan leading at 10 hours and China close behind at around 9 hours and 30 minutes. These extended hours reflect the intense academic focus prevalent in many Asian educational systems.
  • European countries like France and Chile (although not in Europe but demonstrating a similar approach) have school days lasting about 8 hours, which is slightly longer than the U.S. This duration tends to balance academic instruction with other activities.
  • The United Kingdom, with a 7-hour school day, is quite comparable to the U.S. However, Commonwealth countries such as Canada and Australia have slightly shorter school days, around 6 hours and 30 minutes and 6 hours and 15 minutes, respectively.
  • Further contrast is seen in countries like Russia, Spain, Mexico, and Italy, where the school day spans approximately 6 hours, offering a more balanced approach between academic pursuits and other aspects of student life. Finland and Brazil, known for their progressive educational policies, have even shorter school days, averaging around 5 hours, focusing on efficiency and student well-being.
  • Germany represents the shortest average school day at 4 hours and 30 minutes, indicating a different educational philosophy that may emphasize the quality of instruction over the number of hours spent in school
These comparisons show that the U.S. falls in the middle range of school day lengths. Unlike the longer days seen in Asian countries, which focus heavily on academics, and shorter than those in countries like Germany, which prioritize concentrated and efficient learning, the U.S. school day reflects a balance of instructional time and other educational activities. This diversity in school day lengths across countries underscores varying educational approaches and priorities, shaped by cultural, social, and pedagogical factors unique to each nation.

My argument is simple. Pro gives many examples of diversity among society to try to prove that an ideal school time is impossible to agree on, however that does not mean the 7 hour is not reasonable. We already know the political policies across the world differ so the school Hour argument is not unique in this regard. US is a democracy and North Korea is a dictatorship, does that mean we are forced to argue both have to give up government and reset? Of course that’s absurd. So just because one country says 3 hour and the other country says 10 hours, does not help my opponent at all. In fact it shows that it is going to cause arguments. Having a standardized hour is going to help settle our differences and establish a uniformed agreement among education. The eight hour work place is already very standard in the US. I think giving an extra hour break for children would definitely help them a lot, and this could ease them into the professional standard.

In addition, if school for five days is too tough then you can always reduce it to four days. Just because the hours are restricted doesn’t mean I can’t also restrict the days. Even if we agree with my opponent with example three hour per day that’s normally 15 hour which can be translated to two 7 hour days approximately. As you can see there is a plausible way to translate the flexible schedules into seven hour segments. I think on average if school has about four subjects and a one hour lunch break then it would be approximately 1.5 hour per subject which seems like a perfectly reasonable amount of time to explain. So this time is good to let students learn without being overwhelmed. Or six subjects of one hour each to keep the variety.
Round 2
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Round 3
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Round 4
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