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Later School Start For Teenagers Brings Drop In Absenteeism

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the could-have-told-you-this-for-free dept.

Education 436

krou writes "Monkseaton High School in North Tyneside, UK, began an experiment in October that saw its 800 pupils ranging in age from 13-19 attend school an hour later than normal, at 10am. Early results indicate that 'general absence has dropped by 8% and persistent absenteeism by 27%.' Head teacher Paul Kelley supported the idea because he believed that 'it was now medically established that it was better for teenagers to start their school day later in terms of their mental and physical health and how they learn better in the afternoon', and he now claims that the children are becoming 'happier better educated teenagers' as a result of the experiment. The experiment is being overseen by Oxford neuroscience professor Russell Foster. 'He performed memory tests on pupils at the school which suggested the more difficult lessons should take place in the afternoon. He said young people's body clocks may shift as they reach their teenage years — meaning they want to get up later not because they are lazy but because they are biologically programmed to do.'"

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What About The Parents? (5, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31580838)

Teens starting school later? Who's going to supervise the teen until they get to school? Won't somebody think of the parents?

Re:What About The Parents? (5, Insightful)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 4 years ago | (#31580858)

Who says kids need to be supervised? I was left without supervision as a young adult on lots of occasions. I still have all 10 fingers and toes.

But then again, my parents gave me repsonsibility and consequences for my actions from a very young age. It's time to stop treating young adults as toddlers, and give them a bit of leeway to be just what they are. Young Adults.

Re:What About The Parents? (1)

santax (1541065) | more than 4 years ago | (#31580882)

Yes, but assuming you would be my daughter I would knew I could count those parts. It's your virginity that I would worry about!

Re:What About The Parents? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31580898)

If you don't trust her with it why don't you take it from her? :p

Re:What About The Parents? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31580912)

If he doesn't, some big fat hairy niggers from the bad part of town will.

By force.

http://gnaa.eu/ [gnaa.eu]

Re:What About The Parents? (1)

linzeal (197905) | more than 4 years ago | (#31580940)

Why, are you going to marry her off? As long as it is not rape, I don't think it is really any of your business.

Re:What About The Parents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31581080)

You're right. catching a nasty disease or getting knocked up when you're 12 is a total hoot!

Re:What About The Parents? (1)

Forthac4 (836529) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581262)

Because that's a reasonable concern. Seriously, how many girls actually get knocked up at 12 that have a stable family situation? I don't think the majority of students should suffer starting school at 8 AM (at least where I'm at), to allay they concerns of a few parents who should be doing their job better. If your 12 year old is the kind of person who is going to get knocked up, I doubt starting school earlier is really going to change that.

Re:What About The Parents? (1)

sonamchauhan (587356) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581238)

If she's ready to bed, she's ready to wed. So yes, marriage is a good idea in that case. Don't gnash your teeth too much

Re:What About The Parents? (5, Insightful)

tirefire (724526) | more than 4 years ago | (#31580956)

Unless your daughter becomes a nun, she will almost certainly have sex at some point in her life. As a parent, this is beyond your control. Not only that, but you can't control *when* she has sex, either.

The only thing you can control is whether she'll have to worry about hiding her sex life (or lack thereof) from you or not. As her parent, this is up to you, but it's been my experience that girls tend to be less worried about using condoms and choosing good partners when their #1 worry is Mommy And Daddy Finding Out.

Source(s): My own rebellious teenage years.

Re:What About The Parents? (2, Funny)

santax (1541065) | more than 4 years ago | (#31580984)

Ok, I know this is /. and I know we all like to explain stuff and such. But dude, you don't tell a dad that his girl is gonna have sex one day. You just don't :(

Re:What About The Parents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31581018)

You're from the south, aren't you?

Re:What About The Parents? (2, Funny)

santax (1541065) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581058)

Get of my trailerpark.

Re:What About The Parents? (4, Insightful)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581028)

Everything you've done with your wife is something your little is likely do at least once. And then some.

Re:What About The Parents? (1)

santax (1541065) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581056)

Let's see if you're still laughing when I start jumping here. Judging by your name, you just might fall of the earth. You insensitive clod!

Re:What About The Parents? (1)

yabos (719499) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581340)

PIITB

Re:What About The Parents? (3, Insightful)

Idimmu Xul (204345) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581250)

Ok, I know this is /. and I know we all like to explain stuff and such. But dude, you don't tell a dad that his girl is gonna have sex one day. You just don't :(

Burying your head in the sand out of fear is the fast track to a teen pregnancy, knock yourself out if you'd rather have a conversation about child rearing than one about condoms when she hits 13!

Re:What About The Parents? (4, Funny)

garethwi (118563) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581314)

And I certainly don't want to know that nun's don't have sex. That's half of my video collection ruined.

Re:What About The Parents? (3, Insightful)

shilly (142940) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581356)

I remember when I read Tom Clancy for the first time and saw this kind of fucked-up attitude expressed by Jack Ryan -- horror at the idea of some teenage boy pawing at his daughter. It struck me then, and strikes me still now, as being a clear demonstration of sexism and bizarre Christian attitudes to sex: the daughter as father's property who needs to be "preserved" in her "innocence" and a ridiculous failure to acknowledge young women as sexual beings. You don't have to be a fan of sexual licentiousness to see this kind of attitude as deeply damaged and damaging. I think it's on a continuum with sex-related violence ("jealousy" and "honour" violence). People need to grow up. I can comfortably cope with the idea that both my son and daughter will be sexual beings. All I care about is that, as far as possible, their sexual encounters are positive: enjoyable without negative consequences.

Re:What About The Parents? (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581392)

"But dude, you don't tell a dad that his girl is gonna have sex one day. You just don't :( "

Every willing wench we ever spitroasted at biker parties was, at one time, "Daddy's little girl". :)

Newsflash:
Chicks are lusty beasts like anyone else.

Re:What About The Parents? (4, Insightful)

EL_mal0 (777947) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581322)

You know, not all teens have sex. Some of us even chose not to have sex in our teenage years. You're right that parents cant control when teens have sex, but parents can have a huge impact, good and bad, when it comes to how children think of sex and when they choose to have it.

Re:What About The Parents? (3, Interesting)

crmarvin42 (652893) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581370)

There is a difference between an 18 year old HS student deciding to have sex and a 14 year old HS student deciding to have sex. Only one of them is of the legal age of consent in most western countries. If a child is bound and determined to have sex they will. There is little to be done to prevent it when the child is actively trying to make it happen. However, there are a lot of children (and a 14-16 year old is still a child no matter how much they protest) whom are willing to accept prolonged virginity if the opportunity does not present itself. One of my sisters sought out opportunities to have sex, while my other sister, myself and 2 brothers were willing to wait. Nothing my parents did could prevent her (she ended up nocked up by 19), but their involvement in our lives, and perpetual presence in our home probably kept some of us from having sex earlier than we did.

Furthermore, my wife lost her virginity at 14 and said she felt it was a huge mistake. In fact, most of the women I know who lost their virginity before 18 have told me they wished they hadn't. That's not my perception as a new father, but what women have been telling me for over a decade and I have no reason to believe they lied to me. Many of them did so out of a perception that "everyone is doing it", but felt totally unprepared before, during and after the event. Many of them didn't have sex again for several years after breaking up with their first partner because they didn't feel they could handle it yet (my wife incuded). I realize that the Baby Boomers here in the US believe that they are the first generation to have ever had a good idea, but I though that most /.ers were smarter than that. Cultural norms with regards to age of consent, and age appropriate behavior evolved over time for a reason. They many not be the best, but their is usually a good reason for the norms being what they are/were.

Now, with all of that being said... I don't believe that pushing back the start of classes at the HS by an hour will result in increased teenage sex. The vast majority of students will use the extra hour in the morning to get more sleep. I could see a little more recreational drug use (had a friend who used to get high before school), but it's not like it's going to make kids use drugs that wouldn't have anyway. I've been wanting schools to move start times back for years. I was a morning person in HS, but my older brother was not. I had to get up an extra half an hour early just to get my brother out the door on time. Even as a morning person, I would have appreciated the extra hour of sleep.

Re:What About The Parents? (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31580926)

The older ones should be treated as young adults, but 13, 14 & 15 y/o's need supervision (and some even older). If you want to increase the levels of tardiness & absenteeism, and speed the overall decline of adolescent maturation, you just leave teens to supervise themselves and get themselves out of bed and to school.

Re:What About The Parents? (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 4 years ago | (#31580960)

The older ones should be treated as young adults, but 13, 14 & 15 y/o's need supervision (and some even older). If you want to increase the levels of tardiness & absenteeism, and speed the overall decline of adolescent maturation, you just leave teens to supervise themselves and get themselves out of bed and to school.

Holy crap, I wasn't supervised after 10, until after 6pm.

There is an easy solution - if the student has more than 3 or 5 (or X) amount of absenses that year, make it school policy to call the parent's work number to verify that it is a legit reason. Then said parent can go to the house and whap their kid over the head.

A determined kid can ditch school regardless when it starts. By looking like he going to the bus stop but walking right past it, or after getting dropped off, looking like he's headed to the parking lot or wherever and leaving school grounds, or a million other ways.

Re:What About The Parents? (3, Interesting)

Jellybob (597204) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581480)

My brother recently finished secondary school in the UK, and for several years before he left the school had an automated system that would send a text message to my parents if he missed registration for any lesson, and request a response. If one wasn't received, then it moved onto making voice calls to secondary contacts.

It has a bit of a big brother feel to it, but it does mean that the parents can't claim that they didn't know it was happening.

Re:What About The Parents? (5, Insightful)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 4 years ago | (#31580964)

So what you're saying is that since my parents let me play outdoors (including both downtown and in the woods) from an early age and pretty much didn't supervise me at all from about age 12 I've clearly failed completely at life? Or could it be that the level of supervision needed is dependent on how well parents have raised their children earlier in the childrens' lives? Nah, that sounds crazy, I'd better go quit my job and pick up a good old fashioned heroin addiction so as not to become a problem for your hypothesis...

Re:What About The Parents? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31581272)

my parents let me play outdoors

I've never heard of that MMORPG.

Re:What About The Parents? (4, Interesting)

crmarvin42 (652893) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581442)

I agree that the OP is guilty of a broad generalization. Plenty of kids developed the ability to supervise themselves before they turn 18. However, unsupervised time is directly correlated with delinquent behavior. You sound like someone who developed a strong ethic early on, but many children at 14, 15 or even 16 are still highly impressionable by peer pressure, gang culture, etc. It's not that an increase in unsupervised time will always result in increased deliquent behavior in every child, but that it increases the proportion of children that will engage in such behavior, and increase the amount of deliquent behavior in others.

Four of the 5 kids in my house participated in delinquent behaviors to some extent (my youngest sister is damn near a saint) with similiar exposure to unstructured/unsupervised time. When that time increased my youngest brother increased the amount of delinquent behavior, but it stayed below the level of police invovlement. The same cannot be said of my other sister. My older brother and I managed to keep our delinquent behavior relatively unchanged, in part becase we were responsible for watching our younger siblings during that time.

With all of that being said... I don't believe that starting HS an hour later will be the problem they invision. The added hour of unsupervised time in the morning is most likely going to be taken up by sleep or time in front of the TV. Besides, starting an hour later in the AM means getting out an hour later in the PM. That means there will be 1 less hour between release from school and when the parents get home. I almost never got into trouble before noon on the weekends, and never during the school week. If anything I believe that this will lead to decreased delinquent behavior in the hours after school.

Re:What About The Parents? (2, Insightful)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 4 years ago | (#31580990)

That's funny, when I was going school, we used to get in there earlier just to play sport (I know, very un-Slashdot of me). Though I was rather unlikely to be absent from school without a damned good reason (one that came from my parents sadly).

Also, when I was at school, I found that all of our exams were in the morning - especially for the "harder" subjects like Math, Science and so on. The "easier" subjects like art, music and various other smaller subjects were generally at the end of the school day. I always found myself much more awake earier in the day, but that could have been from the sport we played. Generally towards the afternoon of the day, I found my attention waning and my concentration slipping greatly.

Re:What About The Parents? (1)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581084)

13, 14 & 15 y/o's need supervision (and some even older).

Just out of curiosity, what country are you in? And if the US, what state?

I'm in the UK. Aged 11, it was pretty normal for me and most of my peers to find our own way to the bus stop, get the bus 5 miles into town, walk the rest of the way to school, then get back. The school allowed us to walk into town for lunch, unsupervised.

At 16 you're old enough to leave school, get a job and live independently.

Re:What About The Parents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31581244)

same here, I walked to and from school, alone or with my friends, with no supervision from the age of 8 ( though my primary school was just around the corner, secondary school was a good hours walk )

we also we allowed off site at lunch, went to the local park and ate, played some footy etc.

kids are smarter than you think, it's all about teaching them the right way to use their intelligence.

Re:What About The Parents? (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581366)

Exactly. At 13 years-old I would get on the ferry to cross the river, then on a tram [ac-amiens.fr] to get to my school. (Well, sometimes I would walk, but it's a hefty vertical distance, so I usually didn't had the time)

Good times. I did plenty of reading while commuting.

Re:What About The Parents? (3, Interesting)

Forthac4 (836529) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581306)

The majority of the times I ever considered skipping school was because I was being woken up at 7 in the morning and would have prefered another 2 hours of sleep when I would have been far more accepting of the idea.

I went through a period of roughly 2 months in my senior year where I went to sleep at 6PM and woke at around 2AM, now the absurdity of that aside, one benefit of doing so was I didn't miss a single day, wasn't late for a class, and my grades improved significantly. I believe these effects were a direct result of me being well rested, and with the ability to get an extra hours worth of sleep if I felt like it with time to spare.

Re:What About The Parents? (1)

yabos (719499) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581350)

13 year olds are often babysitting younger kids. If they can handle that responsibly they can be on their own as well. It depends on the kid more than anything else, not some strict age limit.

Re:What About The Parents? (1)

cbope (130292) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581428)

I would propose a counter-argument: By giving teens responsibility (and consequences) in getting themselves ready and to school on-time, you speed up their maturation because if they do not get to school on-time, well, there are... wait for it... consequences.

Teach kids responsibility, and don't treat teenagers like toddlers. It's bad enough that many adults today don't even know what personal responsibility means, let's not raise a whole new generation of even less-responsible adults. All you have to do is look at the 'blame game'. Every time something bad happens, the first thing many so-called 'adults' do is try to find someone or something else to blame. Wreck your car; sue the car manufacturer. Burn your lips on hot coffee; sue the restaurant. Someone says something you don't like or agree with; sue them for libel. I could go on and on...

Today it's all about blaming someone or something else when something doesn't turn out the way you think it should, rather than taking personal responsibility for your own actions or mistakes. We all make mistakes and it's the fool who does not learn from them.

And yes, I have kids, two in fact. I treat them with respect and let them make most of their own decisions. They are responsible young adults and do not need to be supervised 24/7. I was home alone quite a lot during my childhood, but my parents taught me responsibility. I have done the same with my kids. I have a very successful career and still have all my fingers and toes, shocking as it may sound.

Re:What About The Parents? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31580888)

>> Who's going to supervise the teen until they get to school?

Now I know what's wrong with your country.

Re:What About The Parents? (4, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581044)

They don't get sarcasm? Oh, sorry - I was getting confused with yours.

Re:What About The Parents? (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#31580938)

Who's going to supervise the teen until they get to school?

Who supervises them at 2am when the parents are sleeping? Why don't you start installing security cameras in their bedroom while you're at it? Oh, wait. [slashdot.org]

Re:What About The Parents? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581052)

Before any "OMG!!1! Orwell" clowns mod the parent up, that article is about special housing units for families that are basically on their last warning before prison.

Re:What About The Parents? (1)

Mikkeles (698461) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581222)

So, the theory being: the family that's jailed together, stays together?

Re:What About The Parents? (4, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581094)

Who supervises them at 2am when the parents are sleeping? Why don't you start installing security cameras in their bedroom while you're at it? Oh, wait. [slashdot.org]

I already do, and the camera in my daughter's bedroom is a nice little earner on the internet.

Re:What About The Parents? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31581178)

Daddy?

Re:What About The Parents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31581216)

Links or it didn't happen

Re:What About The Parents? (1)

carolfromoz (1552209) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581344)

OK let's think about the parents. After seeing my step-mother shouting herself hoarse trying to get my then teenaged half-brother out of bed in time to get to school every day, I think both of them would have welcomed the extra hour!

As a parent myself, with a son about to go into high school next year, I'd have no problem with going off to work and leaving him to get himself to school. I think the opportunities for mischief are less in the morning, and they've got to start taking responsibility for themselves sooner or later!

Works for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31580840)

I would say the same should be applied to all the other places - like, jobs we adults do.

I can totally understand this (2, Interesting)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 4 years ago | (#31580844)

I never used to kick into gear until about 11 am as a schoolkid. Even at university this didn't happen. I was just never a morning person.

Now that I'm a working stiff, I get up at 6am every morning, but *believe* me, I'd prefer to mosey on in to work at 10 am and work later.

Re:I can totally understand this (1)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 4 years ago | (#31580876)

I've never had any trouble actually getting up in the morning but I'm always a wreck for the first few hours if I'm forced to get up early (the exception being if it's a weekend and I have nothing better to do than watch a movie or something but that's not exactly hard work). In my teen and college years I would get up around 14-15 (that's 2-3 PM for you americans) on weekends and it took a lot of effort to go from my teenage 9-10:30 wakeup to getting up at 7 for some lectures in college, the only reason I pulled that off was because unlike HS it was actually subjects I wanted to learn about instead of random classes that someone else had decided I needed to take and which were often watered down to the point where there was little to nothing interesting left, as an example our HS biology class seemed to spend more time learning what the leaves of different trees looked like than anything useful (come on, I don't need to spend several hours in early-morning classes to learn how to identify birch trees, they're all over the place).

My take: WHAT?!?! (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581060)

People perform better when they have had enough rest!?!?!

No shit!

Re:I can totally understand this (1)

value_added (719364) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581300)

I never used to kick into gear until about 11 am as a schoolkid. Even at university this didn't happen. I was just never a morning person.

I was the same. A lot of that was due to staying up into the wee hours working on school projects. Unlike many of my classmates, I actually enjoyed school work, and I found most all my classes interesting.

But here's the funny bit. After staying up late to, say, do some work on a term paper, I *would* show up late to school. Picture this kid walking into school several times a week at 11:00 a.m. for the better part of school year, and that's me.

How did I get away with it? Well, the teachers rarely complained (I was typically a favourite pupil, and then, I'd never interrupt a class by showing up late but instead skip it), but the school administrators certainly raised a few objections. The visits to the principal's office did little to change my habits (nor did the occasional detention I received as punishment), so they started calling my parents at home.

When the principal or vice-principal would call, my mum (God rest her soul) would be the one to answer the phone, and she would, I shit you not, tell him matter-of-factly, "He's sleeping." He'd raise a fuss, and an argument ensued. She'd start yelling "How dare you accuse my son of being a ... he's a good boy ... he works and studies hard..." The phone calls eventually stopped (a good thing because they often woke me up), and I carried on as before.

It wasn't until long after I graduated that I realised what I had gotten away with. The really weird thing about all this is that even though I was always a night owl for most of my life, I now find myself getting up early. How early? My neighbour keeps (illegally) a few chickens. I'm on my second or third cup of coffee by the time the rooster starts crowing. I've found that if nightclubs aren't your thing or getting laid isn't on top of your agenda, the early morning hours are a lot like the really late ones.

It's probably true that most would prefer to be getting up later. Most don't get enough sleep as it is.

Real World (0, Troll)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 4 years ago | (#31580856)

I can appreciate the justification given for the experiment, but real working life doesn't run to that timetable, so unless there's a major shift in that respect, a lot of young adults are going to be in for a bit of a shock when they join the real world and seek employment.

Re:Real World (4, Insightful)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#31580920)

Maybe instead of training them for a life of drudgery, we could let kids be kids.

Re:Real World (2, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581394)

Come on, this is the UK we're talking about here. Junior Assistant to the Deputy Permanent Undersecretary for Traffic Cones (North East Region) is about the peak of realistic ambition.

Re:Real World (5, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 4 years ago | (#31580928)

What is the reality of the "real world"? There are shifts at all hours of the day. Making everything 9-5, 8-4, etcetera doesn't even make sense traffic wise. And how will work-from-home affect things?

Now, I can agree that many kids will eventually work office jobs, but hardly all of them. And shouldn't the school day be structured in the way best times for them? I mean, it is said schools were once structured around the realities of factory life, things like hearing a period bell and shuffling to the next station and what not - but is the reality for most adults factory work anymore either?

The real-world changes. Often times because of a new generation with different ways of thinking.

Schools should be structured to teach effectively. Not to emulate the current workplace in superficial ways for no real good reason.

Re:Real World (1)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581148)

in superficial ways for no real good reason.

Like teaching young adults that pretty soon they'll be required to conform to a fixed working schedule, same as the rest of us ?

It's not about the actual timing, hell half the students will end up working graveyard shift in a call center or fast food restaurant anyway. It's about teaching some responsibility to the kids, rather than saying "hell, turn up when you like, it'll be cool".

Re:Real World (1)

ImNotAtWork (1375933) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581284)

Responsibility is taught at home, if the school system is teaching basic forms of responsibility instead of parents then the Nanny State they will inherit will actually be justified. Academic subjects are what school is for with supplemental help at the home.

For all those who are against this schedule change realize that HS students may almost look like adults but they are still developing/growing and are going through a lot of hormonal changes. If it takes school opening up 2 hours later so that we can have communication techs instead of burger flippers I think the schedule shift may be warranted.

Re:Real World (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581294)

They're not saying "Turn up when you like, it'll be cool".

They're saying "OK, from now on school starts at 10:00am. Make sure you're here then.".

Re:Real World (3, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581346)

It's not "turn up when you like", it's just been moved an hour back. It probably also means working for an hour later. I know I find it much easier to get up when there is actual daylight. Over here school and university are usually from autumn to spring with a break over summer, meaning that for a lot of the year it's dark when I get up (and over winter it's even dark again when it's time go home..).

Re:Real World (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581410)

It's about teaching some responsibility to the kids, rather than saying "hell, turn up when you like, it'll be cool".

Sounds like someone woke up too early when commenting. Perhaps try getting up later and reading the summary..

Re:Real World (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31580932)

High school is not supposed to be exactly like the real (employment) world. It is supposed to teach children stuff like mathematics and grammar. If this can be done better by starting lessons an hour later and shifting the more difficult subjects to the afternoon to accomodate (what appears to be) biological facts - then great.

Having teachers, specific schedules en sitting together with 30 of your peers is not exactly like the real world either.

Re:Real World (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31580980)

I had also trouble getting up to be in school at 8:30 AM. In weekends and holidays, sleeping in until noon and even afternoon was not exceptional.

Now, as an adult, I have no trouble getting up at 7 or even 5:30, and never sleep in during the weekend after 10AM. Most of the time, I'm already awake at 9. Same deal when I was younger than 12 years old, where I would watch cartoons at 7AM on a sunday morning while my parents were still in bed.

So maybe body clocks change back and forth, depending on age.

Re:Real World (2, Interesting)

Beezlebub33 (1220368) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581140)

The whole point is that as they are currently teenagers, they perform better when classes start later. The research does not apply to adults. So, now that they are teenagers, have school later, and when they graduate from college, they will be ready for earlier start times.

10 am sounds really late to me. My school started at 7:30, which meant that the bus picked us up at 7 am. That felt like 4 years of punishment. The reason for the early start time was all the afternoon activities. School got out at 2:30; at that point it was sports (swimming for me) or various clubs, until 4:30 or 5. How on earth can you have any sort of sports when school starts at 10 am?

Re:Real World (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581374)

In Scotland school classes are from around 9am to 3:40. I had "Physical Education" classes a couple of times a week, each class was a double time slot meaning 80 minutes, but the exercise levels weren't very strenuous.

This cultural difference could explain why everyone here is so fat.

Re:Real World (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581228)

It's OK, once they get a job in the UK, they won't have to do any more thinking.

Re:Real World (1)

yabos (719499) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581360)

It's pretty well known that teenagers have a different biological clock that starts later in the day and ends later in the day as well when compared to adults. This just proves that even more.

Re:Real World (1)

Velex (120469) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581438)

I can appreciate the justification given for the experiment, but real working life doesn't run to that timetable, so unless there's a major shift in that respect, a lot of young adults are going to be in for a bit of a shock when they join the real world and seek employment.

I didn't have a job that started before 10 AM-11 AM until I was 22. Then that company went belly-up, and I didn't get another position that started before 3 PM until I was 26. When I was in college, there was only one class I needed to schedule before 10 AM.

The older I get the more I learn the real world is completely out of whack from what I was told to expect as a kid, and I'd appreciate it if those of you who live in your fantasy "real world" would just shove it. Thank you.

Uhu (1)

santax (1541065) | more than 4 years ago | (#31580870)

Sure son, now go brush your teeth and go to bed. Else you won't be awake and fresh tomorrow when school starts.

Now only if they had thought of this 30 years ago! (1)

TheRealQuestor (1750940) | more than 4 years ago | (#31580872)

I might have actually enjoyed school. Ok maybe not. But I sure would have enjoyed sleeping in an addition hour. The only problem with this here in the US is when you take into account that you have to get up 2 or 3 hours before school starts to wake up, showered, eat, and go to the bus stop and wait forever for the bus to show up then the hour plus ON the bus you still are having to get up WAY too early. And does that mean instead of getting out of school at 3:15 you don't get out until 4:15 now? So you are getting back on the bus and riding it back home for another hour and not getting home until 5:15 or later? That part would kind of suck.

Re:Now only if they had thought of this 30 years a (1)

danny_lehman (1691870) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581110)

maybe then a solution is full curriculum night/afternoon highSchools/universities to be made available, adjusting employee(teacher) hours and positions based on the times The Students decide are best for them to learn at. now that im actually thinking about it, after elementary (grd 1-8 - no middle school around here) there isnt much reason to start school at the stroke of 9. perhaps for students that need rides from parents there's reason. for many students at that age though, the need for supervision after parents leave for work isnt there. and then the need for school to start at a time that corresponds with the parents work is no longer there and high school start times become unjustifiably inconvenient... for students at least. id expect "alternative" secondary schools to experiment with this first before anything changes... it might even stay in the alternative area in the end as i expect a lot of people(certainly not the students) wont cater to the change. it's 630 and i have to leave now for class at 9... guhh

Re:Now only if they had thought of this 30 years a (3, Insightful)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581274)

Yeah, the school bus really wastes time-out-of-your-life, especially if you're one of the first stops. It doesn't even really save that much on fuel, because of the way the routes are planned, the many stops and acceleration, and the sheer bulk of the thing. We really need a better option for places where walking doesn't work for whatever reason.

Monitoring students changes the outcome? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31580878)

Monitoring students changes the outcome?

Re:Monitoring students changes the outcome? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31580934)

Quantum tots

Clock shift Or Late Surfing / Night Parties ? (3, Insightful)

advid.net (595837) | more than 4 years ago | (#31580936)

He said young people's body clocks may shift as they reach their teenage years — meaning they want to get up later not because they are lazy but because they are biologically programmed to do

I believe they start to sleep very late and thus need to wake up late, otherwise memory and concentration fail.

I've noticed such a shift with myself, when I started to go bed around midnight or 2am. Suddenly I was much less efficient at work in the morning but rather good around 5pm. No biological change. Just stupid habits.

Re:Clock shift Or Late Surfing / Night Parties ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31580972)

And why did you start going to bed at 2am?
You've "explained" the obvious with yet another mystery.

Habits are driven by your biology (1)

Nicolas MONNET (4727) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581252)

The circadian cycle is a PLL. It does not cause you to fall a sleep at a particular time, but it drives you towards one, based on a feedback loop, with input from light exposure, notably. It might be just bad habits .. or it might be that your circadian clock is out of phase.

Wellington High School already does this (5, Interesting)

gringer (252588) | more than 4 years ago | (#31580982)

At Wellington High School [wikipedia.org] , they have been starting the seniors about an hour later for the last few years. It seems to work well, and the students are happier for it.

Wait a second!! (1)

billsayswow (1681722) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581086)

Going to school at 9am? Dear lord, lucky kids. Schools here start at 7:45-8:00am...

Re:Wait a second!! (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581144)

Yeah I've noticed American schools start a lot earlier than in many other countries.

9am is the standard school start for both primary (elementary) and high schools here in Australia, as it is in the UK school in TFA. End time is typically 3pm for primary school and 3:30pm for high school (although of course, you may have extra-curricular stuff such as sport or music afterwards).

I only wish! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31581090)

Here in Mass my kids have to be on the school bus at 6:40am, so classes start at around
7:25. This is so they can use the same buses to make a second round later and pick up
the elementary school kids.

Everyone here is constantly sleep deprived, and I know their learning suffers for it.

Same shit (5, Insightful)

bwashed75 (1389301) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581092)

If 10am is the new 9am then 1am is the new midnight. Give them some time to adapt and they'll still be late for school

WHat time is it ? (2, Insightful)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581114)

I don't understand. Time is that totally arbitrary number we put out, and change twice yearly, as arbitrarily. Basically, make yoiur clocks run 1 hour early. You'll feel soooo much better, if you believe what the say.

Hawthorne Effect? (5, Informative)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581118)

I bet this is just the Hawthorne Effect [wikipedia.org] . I bet that if they had another school and told them that they were going to start an hour earlier, as they believed that this would allow pupils to get the work done and have more free time in the evenings, this school would also have shown an improvement.

Re:Hawthorne Effect? (1)

krou (1027572) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581182)

Really fascinating, thanks for posting that. Wasn't aware of this effect. Would give you mod points if I had them. For anyone too lazy to click on the link provided:

The Hawthorne effect is a form of reactivity whereby subjects improve an aspect of their behavior being experimentally measured simply in response to the fact that they are being studied, not in response to any particular experimental manipulation.

The term was coined in 1955 by Henry A. Landsberger when analyzing older experiments from 1924-1932 at the Hawthorne Works (a Western Electric factory outside Chicago). Hawthorne Works had commissioned a study to see if its workers would become more productive in higher or lower levels of light. The workers' productivity seemed to improve when changes were made and slumped when the study was concluded. It was suggested that the productivity gain was due to the motivational effect of the interest being shown in them. Although illumination research of workplace lighting formed the basis of the Hawthorne effect, other changes such as maintaining clean work stations, clearing floors of obstacles, and even relocating workstations resulted in increased productivity for short periods. Thus the term is used to identify any type of short-lived increase in productivity.

Puritan pferd merde stops it in US (1, Flamebait)

dltaylor (7510) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581132)

It's really too bad the Mayflower didn't go down with all hands instead of inflicting the Puritans on what became the United States.

The sleep phase shift at puberty, and back again at about 20, is well documented. Simple application of intelligence would then indicate that school start, relative to childhood, should be adjust during those years to maximize students' potential to learn.

In the USofA, however, the Puritan cultural and genetic infestation will cause the evidence to be simply dismissed, to the detriment of our childrens' education, bacause they "should just learn to adapt".

BS (2, Interesting)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581134)

Everyone is different. You cannot paint all people with such a broad brush. There are always morning people. When I was in High School, I was up at 4AM every day (and still am) to do my homework and/or study for tests.

For me, mornings were for learning, and afternoons were for doing. My brain has always worked that way. A late school day would have been horrible for me.

Re:BS (1)

carolfromoz (1552209) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581328)

When I was in High School, I was up at 4AM every day (and still am) to do my homework and/or study for tests.

I've always been a morning person too - never needed an alarm clock, that sort of thing. But I certainly remember it wasn't like that for most of my friends when I was a teen!

Afternoon is relative (3, Insightful)

binkzz (779594) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581200)

Isn't afternoon relative? Won't teenagers just stay up an hour later until eventually they have the same problems with 10 am as they do with 9 am now?

Re:Afternoon is relative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31581408)

Isn't afternoon relative?

Won't teenagers just stay up an hour later until eventually they have the same problems with 10 am as they do with 9 am now?

Nope. They tend to stay up until they get tired. If you send em to bed earlier, they just lay in bed unable to sleep. On the other hand, my personal anecdote says that if you make the classes earlier, they will sleep through them (although to be fair this was college, which I started when I was 16, so I think it still counts).

Re:Afternoon is relative (1)

DaTrueDave (992134) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581464)

Nope. People have natural and very different sleep rhythms. There really are "night owls" and "morning larks". http://www.physorg.com/news164989094.html [physorg.com]

If I take a vacation and totally unplug from the rest of the world, my natural sleep schedule has me going to sleep around 5 or 6 am and waking up around noon or 1pm. I feel more refreshed from that schedule, even though I might be getting less hours of sleep than if I went to bed in the evening and awoke in the morning.

Lawsuits? (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581226)

I wonder if some teenager's parents will sue for a later start to the school day, due to the health risks to adolescents of starting early.

After all, if "think of the children" can be used to justify all kinds of things, including taking kids away from parents, surely school systems can be compelled to shift their work day a few hours later.

Re:Lawsuits? (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581458)

This is about the UK not the US so no.

Blame the electric light bulb (3, Interesting)

SomethingOrOther (521702) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581290)


Thomas Edison has a lot to answer for (at least for adult sleep patterns).

Electric lighting may have given massive boosts to human productivity. However, if it wasn't for electric light, we would all be going to bed much sooner (as you can't do any real work by candlelight), and then waking up in the morning with the natural daylight. Anyone who has spent time wild camping has experienced this..... and also knows how much more refreshed they feel waking up to the wavelengths inherent to natural light.

Of course, those that live above/below certain latitudes might argue differently when winter comes along and there is no daylight in which to do any work. You can only spend so much time in bed ;-)

Re:Blame the electric light bulb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31581380)

Why does Thomas Edison have anything to do with it? He might have been a manufacturer and promoter of electric lighting, but it's not like he invented them.

late enough already (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31581332)

Does anybody else think that 9am was already late enough? I mean, come on! I started school at 7:45! I'd be kind of pissed if they pushed school back so far that I was in class until 5pm...

Nuts!!!! (1, Troll)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581382)

In junior high as well as high school my classes started at 7:20 am.. Since I lived about 12 miles from my school I got up at 5 am. and cooked my breakfast and drove to school. Because I worked until at least 9 Pm after school and at times until midnight by the time I studied and did my homework there were many nights I did not sleep at all.
                  So if the teens don't want to push their limits we should not wait for them to drop out. Throw them out and save everyone the bother. Education is no different than business, war or sports. If you want to survive you had best be willing to hump it.

Are you kidding me? (2, Insightful)

mahiskali (1410019) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581406)

These kids need to get over it. I'm only 6 years removed from high school now, but back then 1st period started at 7:10am and I'm pretty sure that hasn't changed since I graduated. And TFA is talking about 10am? Wow.

Guess what? If you move the start time back an hour or two, the kids will just start to take up an hour or two later. Nothing will change. I didn't RTFA, but I can almost guarantee that if they left this "start later" system in place long enough, they'd see absenteeism rise back to 'normal' levels anyways.

Re:Are you kidding me? (2, Funny)

s1lverl0rd (1382241) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581474)

So, uphill both ways to your high school too, huh?

What about the buses? (1)

tmroyster (309750) | more than 4 years ago | (#31581448)

What really drives things (no pun intended) around here are the school buses.

First they go around and pick up and deliver the High and Middle schoolers ,
then the Elementary school kids.

Suggesting two sets of buses or (gasp!) doing the elementary kids first would
be dismissed as lunacy.

John Henry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31581456)

I want to know how the researchers are guarding against the John Henry effect. That is, the subjects exceeding normal expectations because of the study.

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