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Re: [Phys-l] trimester course set-up


If you still meet the same number of minutes each day, how does changing the schedule give more flexibility? If the state is mandating more required classes, that will mean less time for electives whether you are on trimesters or semesters. I suppose you could shave minutes from the required courses and give them to electives, but then the required courses will be covered less than they are now. That seems to run counter to the idea of raising the requirements.

If you really think that electives are important, the only real alternative would seem to be to increase the length of the school day or of the school year. While the students would oppose such a change, I have the uneasy feeling that the teachers' union would be the toughest opponent. :-(

Tim F

-----Original Message-----
From: on behalf of Mike VanAntwerp
Sent: Fri 9/1/2006 2:49 PM
Subject: Re: [Phys-l] trimester course set-up

I note that a big goal of trimesters is to provide more electives for
students. It is not obvious to me why this is desired. Additionally,
it is obvious to me that we physics teachers have something to be
concerned about.

In our schools case it isn't about adding more electives, it's about
keeping them. With an increase in state required courses in Michigan,
there is little to no room for electives, especially for kids in band.
Therefore, although we offer many electives now in science and other
disciplines, these would not be available under a semester format.
Business, drawing, computer, and art classes are just a few that would
suffer negatively. Switching to trimesters will allow for these courses
to still be taken by students adn allow for state requirements to be

Mike Van Antwerp
Biology W202
Forum for Physics Educators