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ERIC Number: ED312312
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989
Pages: 56
Abstractor: N/A
Earmarks of Schools in the Middle: A Research Report.
Alexander, William M.; McEwin, C. Kenneth
Characteristics of middle schools are analyzed, based on data from surveys in 1968 and 1988. In 1968, W. M. Alexander undertook a survey to provide benchmark data about middle schools with information from 110 schools. This study was replicated in 1988 with data received from 56% of the 10,857 schools approached. Comparison of these data confirmed the movement toward a 3-level school organization, with grades 6 through 8 the most popular middle school composition. The total number of grade 7 through 9 units (junior high schools) was 2,191 in 1986-87, a drop of 53% since 1970-71; and the total number of grade 6 through 8 units (middle schools) was 4,329, an increase of 160% since 1970-71. Middle schools continued to be relatively small but made more efforts toward better connection with the elementary and high schools in 1988. In all, 15 indicators of progress were identified and 8 indicators of lack of progress were found for the 20-year period. Study of middle schools in both survey years resulted in the conclusion that a middle school should exhibit the following characteristics: (1) an interdisciplinary organization with a flexibly scheduled day; (2) an adequate guidance program, with a teacher advisory plan; (3) a full-scale exploratory program; (4) curriculum provision for such broad goals and curriculum domains as personal development, continued learning skills, and basic knowledge areas; (5) effective and varied instructional methodology for the student age group; and (6) continued orientation and articulation for students, parents, and teachers. The middle school is moving toward becoming a full partner in education, but much remains to be done to ensure that all schools have the features they should have. Fifty-four data tables and the 1987 survey questionnaire are included. (SLD)
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Tests/Questionnaires; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A