ERIC Number: ED316914
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
Exploratory and Elective Courses in the Middle Level School. Practitioner's Monograph #8.
The middle school is a bridge between elementary and secondary schooling that helps students pass from childhood to adolescence. Within the middle school is another bridge--the exploratory/elective program. Whereas the core curriculum focuses on students' academic development and the cocurricular program on their equally important personal and social development, the exploratory/elective program targets both academic and personal growth. The exploratory/elective curriculum allows student choice and supplements core classes instead of replacing them. Subjects most often classified as exploratory are music, art, home economics, and industrial arts. Drama, typing, and foreign languages are other options. Whatever the course offerings, all students should cycle through all courses, the courses should build readiness rather than teach content, and competitive grading should be deemphasized. Electives tend to have a more academic bent, including classes in literature, science, mathematics, and social studies. Electives may build from the exploratory program or derive from expressed student interests or needs. Some electives may have prerequisites limiting student participation or be designed for students in a particular grade. Some may form a skill sequence; others may have a class size ceiling for practical reasons, such as limited facilities or equipment. Two special presentation modes are minicourses and seminars or independent study. Recreation and sports activities may also be merged into the exploratory/elective program. Tips are given for designing effective programs. (41 endnotes) (MLH)
Descriptors: Adolescents, Discovery Learning, Elective Courses, Junior High Schools, Middle Schools, Student Centered Curriculum, Student Needs, Transitional Programs
Publications, California League of Middle Schools, 2401 L Street, Sacramento, CA 95816 ($4.25 prepaid).
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: California League of Middle Schools, Sacramento.
Identifiers - Location: California