Is Study Hall a Want or a Need?
April 23, 2018
Many schools across America offer a study hall for their students to dedicate time in school to studying or completing homework for their classes. There are many pros and cons to study hall being an actual class period, but the overall question is whether study hall is a want or a need.
The strongest argument for having study hall is that it aids in the completion of homework. Having a dedicated study hall affords students time in their day to get their homework done rather than doing it at night, giving them more time to play sports, sleep, or socialize. “Study hall would give students time to relax and get their homework done in class rather than at home where they would be stressed,” said senior Sydney Thompson.
Another pro about doing homework in study hall is that if you don’t understand something, you can ask your teacher. Also, if you didn’t understand the lesson, study hall provides the opportunity to spend one-on-one time talking to your teacher and asking questions about the course.
In addition, study hall allows students time to complete makeup work due to absences. When students miss class, they have the amount of days they were out to complete the work they missed. However, they have to complete it while also keeping up with their current work. This creates a strain on the student, especially for extended absences, and may even result in a significant decline in a student’s grades. Having that extra time to make up work would be especially helpful for students taking strenuous courses such as AP or PVCC classes.
Although there are many pros to having study hall as a class, there are also quite a few cons. The biggest downside of offering study hall is that many students will not take it seriously but instead, will spend the time on their phones playing games, watching Netflix or talking to their friends. “Study hall would be a waste of time because most people wouldn’t do any work without direct study to keep them on track,” said senior Chris Krietzman.
Another con to a dedicated study hall involves time management. High school is a training ground for students to learn time management and better prepare for college. So, the argument goes, if study hall is an option, they will not learn how to manage their time properly, which may undermine their success in college.
So how does study hall affect students’ GPA? Both positively and negatively, depending on the student. If a student takes the class seriously and uses their time wisely, they will most likely raise their GPA and get better grades. However, if they waste this precious time, their grades may decline.
Similarly, some students may choose to take study hall instead of a more rigorous course just so they don’t have to do anything. AP and PVCC classes give extra points to a student’s GPA if they get good grades in them, but if students don’t take a hard class because they can take study hall instead, they won’t be able to get those extra points to bump up their GPA. “If Fluvanna had a study hall, I feel like a lot of students would take that class just to mess around instead of pushing themselves and taking a college class,” said junior Leah Estes.
Overall, research has shown that study hall is more of a need than a want, as long as it is taken seriously and used correctly. A Grade Ahead claims that “a structured study hall does wonders” and it says that study hall works best if “rather than letting kids do whatever quiet activity they want, [schools implement] requirements for students to work on any missed homework assignments, missed tests, or teacher-identified problem areas during their study hall.”