Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Naptime Switcheroo

Ever notice how kindergarteners have nap time, yet they hate to take naps. Later in life, high schoolers don't have nap time, yet fall asleep in class. I say that the logical thing to do is move mandatory nap time from kindergarten to high school. The only feasible way to do this is to also move an equal amount of high school time to kindergarten. Since much of high school subject matter requires a foundation (can't do calculus if you don't know algebra), the subject you move would have to be an easy one without much of a foundation. I'm going to vote for economics. High school economics is pretty much a joke, and I think that teaching kids early on that they should forget about sunk costs and think at the margin would help them in the years between childhood and puberty.

The problem with this approach is that economics is only one semester in high school...high schoolers need at least 6 semesters of nap time...but there are only 2 semesters of nap time offered in kindergarten. I guess a reasonable compromise would be to pick some BS elective (pottery, leadership, basketball) and trade that out for a semester of nap time.

After this change, the students who are most likely to fall asleep will have nap time and those who won't fall asleep don't get to. This sounds like a Pareto improvement over the status quo.
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