Education

Bells and Whistles

December 07, 2006 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

A Pavlovian-sounding experiment is being conducted in Massachusetts, where several high schools have done away with bells. That’s right: When a class starts or ends, there’s no more beeping, buzzing, or clanging—just a teacher, saying something like, “You guys can go.” In at least two schools, recorded music is played instead, but school officials argue that, overall, the new practice helps students better manage their time and prepare for the real (bell-less) world. Reactions among students and staff have been mixed. A janitor at Dedham High, where “silence” now reigns, says the boxing-ring-like bell used to startle him—and signal that the hall would soon be flooded with students. Even a freshman at Dedham complained, “It [was] loud for no reason.” But some of his classmates claim they’ve now become clock-watchers, focusing more on the minute hand than their lessons. Not all educators are enthused, either. Jane Lombardi, who teaches math at Dedham, says that, to avoid not releasing students on time, she leads a New Year’s Eve-style countdown at period’s end. Of the old bell routine, she says: “After 10 years, it’s so ingrained. What can I tell you? I’m programmed.”

A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Your Questions on the Science of Reading, Answered
Dive into the Science of Reading with K-12 leaders. Discover strategies, policy insights, and more in our webinar.
Content provided by Otus
Mathematics Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Breaking the Cycle: How Districts are Turning around Dismal Math Scores
Math myth: Students just aren't good at it? Join us & learn how districts are boosting math scores.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Achievement Webinar
How To Tackle The Biggest Hurdles To Effective Tutoring
Learn how districts overcome the three biggest challenges to implementing high-impact tutoring with fidelity: time, talent, and funding.
Content provided by Saga Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: March 13, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: February 21, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: February 7, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: January 31, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read