ERIC Number: ED192436
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Jul-6
Reference Count: 0
What Is the Middle School Movement Really About?
Lipsitz, Joan Scheff
The special needs and characteristics of pubescent adolescents led to the creation of junior high schools around the turn of the century, but these watered-down senior high schools have not provided a satisfactory transition between childhood and young adulthood. The middle school movement has not remedied the situation. It has provided programs hard to distinguish from those of traditional junior high schools in a disorganized welter of various grade groupings. While the varying rates of cognitive development and sexual maturation among 10-to-14-year-olds serve as rallying points for those in the middle school movement, the practical reasons for restructuring school systems are more often related to population shifts, budgetary pressures, and court orders, and little effort is made to account for developmental phenomena. One factor in this failure is the lack of an adequate research base to underpin the claims of middle school proponents that a new type of education is necessary. What the middle school movement now needs are hard-headed theoreticians, researchers, and policy analysts to articulate the purposes, functions, and practices that can result from the implementation of effective middle school programs. (Author/PGD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Summer Conference of the American Association of School Administrators (3rd, Chicago, IL, July 6-9, 1980).