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Tanner McMullen and Morgan Orlando, EDU 380: IPDS Italy
Faculty Mentor: Professor Kerry Renzoni, Music

Does having a six-day school week with shorter daily hours increase student’s information retention? In the United States, we have a five day school week with a two day break. In Italy, students attend school six days a week. Could the two-day break in American schools cause a decrease in student performance? Townsend’s article “Building Academic Vocabulary in After-School Settings: Games for Growth with Middle School English-Language Learners” investigates the effects of an after-school literacy program on students who are English-language learners. In this study, students participated in twenty after-school sessions. By having this extra exposure to the vocabulary, Townsend hoped that it would increase their knowledge. We hoped we would see similar results when working with children at a primary school in Torremaggiore, Italy because of their extra school day each week. Our data sources included teacher candidate participant blogs, personal teacher journals, field notes of classroom observations, and interviews with teachers at the elementary school. We found that the extra day seemed to have a positive effect on students’ information retention. For example, we found that after just a few days of hearing a song in English, students were able to sing songs that we taught them with increased accuracy in both pitch and language each time we came in to teach. Our research shows a preview of our book and the songs taught to our students. As a result of our findings, we believe that the extra six-day school week has a positive impact on student's retention of information.

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Five or Six Day School Week? The Effects of Schooling on Information Retention
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