Academic Achievement and Between-Class Transition Time for Self-Contained and Departmental Upper-Elementary Classes

McGrath, Carole J.; Rust, James O.
March 2002
Journal of Instructional Psychology;Mar2002, Vol. 29 Issue 1, p40
Academic Journal
The study investigated the relationship between elementary school classroom organizational structure (i.e., self-contained versus departmental formats) and standardized achievement scores, transition time between classes, and instruction time. Participants included 103 fifth-grade and 94 sixth-grade students from one school district. Based on previous findings, students from self-contained classes were predicted to achieve significantly more than comparable students from departmentalized classes, take significantly less time to change classes, and spend more time in instruction. Results indicated that the self-contained group gained significantly more on Total Battery, Language, and Science subtests compared to the departmentalized group. Departmentalized classes took significantly longer to transition from subject to subject than did the self-contained classes. No differences were evident for instructional time. Findings were consistent for fifth and sixth grades. The results are limited because of only using one school district.


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