ERIC Number: ED340604
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
The Impact of Transition from Junior Highs to Middle Schools on Science Programs.
Jones, M. Gail
Nationally many middle-level schools are changing from a traditional junior high school structure (grades 7-9) to middle schools (grades 6-8). A case study examined the impact of middle school organizational changes that occurred as a large North Carolina school system converted from junior high schools to middle schools on science teachers and science instruction. A qualitative case study methodology utilized structured interviews of 14 teachers from 3 schools to determine the time allocated for science instruction, the science content of interdisciplinary units, science equipment transfer and storage, pre- and in-service science education of teachers, and science leadership issues. A recurring theme that emerged from the study was the unique situation of the sixth grade science teacher. Seventh and eighth grade teachers in the study did not perceive sixth grade science teaching as "equivalent" to their own; the sixth grade teachers had a feeling of low status in that their equipment and supplies were not equal to that of the seventh and eighth grade teachers. Because of the differences in preservice teacher education of elementary and secondary teachers, it is suggested that the sixth grade teachers receive additional science inservice training and that the seventh and eighth grade teachers receive additional inservice education on interdisciplinary instruction and child development. The study found: that science instruction was enhanced under the new organizational structure; teachers had more instructional time; and teachers were supportive about the middle school organization. (KR)
Descriptors: Case Studies, Elementary School Science, Inservice Teacher Education, Interdisciplinary Approach, Intermediate Grades, Junior High Schools, Laboratory Equipment, Middle Schools, Preservice Teacher Education, Program Descriptions, Qualitative Research, School Organization, Science Education, Secondary School Science
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (Lake Geneva, WI, April 7-10, 1991).