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Teenages, sleep patterns, and a bigger picture

From http://www.flickr.com/photos/nevrlndtink/2080986559/

There’s been a lot of talk in the media and on blogs about the Headmaster who, in response to research that suggests there is a natural and noticeable shift in sleep patterns in teenagers, suggested opening and closing the school later.

Lots of hysterical as you would imagine, alongside some more rational comment, pointing out that other studies indicated pupils actually did better in the mornings than later in the day. My school for example now starts and finishes later than it did a couple of years ago.

BUT

We’ve known for ages that different people have different sleep patterns. Some work best early, some work later on. In fact it’s one of John Medina’s Brain Rules. So my question is: why are we trying to replace one fixed system with another fixed system? Surely we should be looking to break down the system and let learners learn at the time that suits them best?!

Img Credit: *PaysImaginaire* on Flickr

Dave Stacey

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