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< Back to question Should the U.S. mandate year-round education? Show more Show less

Year-round school in the U.S is neither a new concept nor an unusual one. Traditional school calendars and year-round schedules both provide students with about 180 days in the classroom. But instead of taking off much of the summertime, year-round school programs take a series of shorter breaks throughout the year. Should this model be mandated by the government?

No, the U.S should not have year-round education Show more Show less

Opponents say year-round schooling hasn't proven to be as effective as its advocates claim. Some experts claim that such schedules make it more difficult for healthy development in students and to plan family vacations and finances.
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Time off in the summer is vital for development

Some childhood-development experts believe that, particularly when it comes to younger students, time off in the summer months is a vital component of healthy development.
development education vacation
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The Argument

Kids are not designed to spend so much of their time inside classroom walls and the warmer, pleasant weather of the summer provides a perfect opportunity to get outside and experience childhood. A recent Harvard University study found that school-age children tend to gain weight at a faster pace during the summer months than during the school year.[1] Traditional summer vacations can provide unique learning opportunities you can't get in a classroom. Taking that time away from kids means they could miss out on art, culture and special adventures. During a summer break, students can get all sorts of experiences they wouldn't get in school. For instance, summer camps and other similar entities can also be education rich experiences. Older students who want to attend college classes in the summer are prevented from doing so if a year-round schedule is in place. On the flip side, these opportunities are diminished for teachers as well, who might otherwise use the summer break to work towards a higher degree, participate in professional development courses, have summer jobs of their own, or volunteer for educational endeavors.

Counter arguments

The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry reports that by the time children graduate from high school, they will have spent more time watching television than in classrooms.[2] Children who watch an excessive amount of television generally have lower grades in school, read fewer books and have more health problems. While some children visit summer camps or attend childcare when school is out, many stay at home, inside, with not much else to do than watch TV or play games on electronic devices. This is especially true for kids who are middle-school age or higher and are able to stay home alone when parents work. The “down time” of the summer months is really just empty time, often void of anything academically or developmentally advantageous.

Premises

[P1] Summer break is vital for students to gain life experiences that cannot be taught in a classroom.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Many students do not use their summer vacation in an advantageous way.

References

  1. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2014/06/12/kids-gain-weight-more-quickly-over-summer-school-break-research-shows/
  2. https://www.aacap.org/AACAP/Families_and_Youth/Facts_for_Families/FFF-Guide/Children-And-Watching-TV-054.aspx

This page was last edited on Wednesday, 8 Jul 2020 at 11:18 UTC

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