60-minute intervals - 60-Minuten-Takt

In the school context, the 60-minute cycle means the conversion of the teaching units from the usual 45 minutes to 60-minute lessons. The term U60M (lessons in 60 minute units) is often used as an abbreviation.

Legitimation every 60 minutes

As part of efforts to change the teaching culture in Germany, which is also shaped by the findings of the PISA studies , cooperative forms of learning are increasingly finding their way into everyday school life, which require self-directed learning and action orientation and enable internal differentiation in the classroom. However, these teaching forms and principles often require more time at a time, so that the expansion of the teaching units is an obvious solution.

Objectives of U60M

In addition to the above-mentioned design principles for teaching, schools and didactics expect the switch to 60-minute lessons:

  • more real study time
  • more time for practice phases
  • more time for proper preparation, implementation and recording of scientific experiments
  • lighter satchels due to the fact that fewer lessons take place per day with the same learning time
  • a quieter school life
  • better conditions for lectures and presentations


One of the main points of criticism of the 60-minute cycle is the fact that the lesson length is still arbitrarily set, as there have not yet been any empirical studies on the optimal lesson length. Thus, it has not been proven that lessons in 60-minute intervals are superior to those in 45-minute intervals, even if the subjective perception of those involved (pupils, parents, teachers ) suggests this. Critics therefore demand that lessons should not be based on a time grid at all, but on the course content. The abolition of the pause gong, for example, would also be helpful. Another point of criticism is that converting the teaching obligation into 60-minute hours is complex and sometimes leads to the need to introduce quarterly timetables (instead of the usual half-yearly timetables).


Some schools instead use the double-hour model , which tries to plan all subjects in two hours. Here the individual hours are 90 minutes long.