ERIC Number: ED318083
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
The Rationale for the Middle Level School. Practitioner's Monograph No. 9.
Almost from the beginning, the junior high school was based on the same vision driving today's middle level schooling: the creation of a unique middle tier of education that bridges the gap between elementary and secondary education and focuses on meeting early adolescent students' academic and personal needs. In the 1950s and 1960s, middle school advocates claimed that the junior high school had failed to realize its philosophy because it slavishly imitated the senior high school's subject orientation, departmentalized teaching, reliance on lecture methods, sophisticated social activities, and competitive interscholastic sports. Arguing that early adolescents need more acceptance and less competition, these advocates offered alternative practices: (1) a more intimate, personal environment created by team organization and teacher advisor programs; (2) interdisicplinary instruction; (3) varied learning strategies to accommodate adolescent curiosity and restlessness; (4) exploratory and elective programs to help expand students' horizons; and (5) appropriately designed cocurricular programs. Grade organization is not as important as program quality. New research indicates that when implemented, middle level practice is effective. Both philosophy and practice are supported by dropout studies, effective schools research, and research on corporate excellence. Certain educational restructuring movement features resemble ideas pioneered decades ago by middle level educators. (35 refernces) (MLH)
Descriptors: Adolescents, Educational Philosophy, Effective Schools Research, Instructional Program Divisions, Junior High Schools, Middle Schools, Program Implementation, School Effectiveness, Student Needs
Publications, California League of Middle Schools, 2401 L Street, Sacramento, CA 95816 ($4.25).
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: California League of Middle Schools, Sacramento.