ERIC Number: ED359669
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992
A Theory-Based Approach to Restructuring Middle Level Schools.
Midgley, Carol; Maehr, Martin L.
This paper describes the implementation of a reform program in a middle school located in a relatively large school district in southeastern Michigan. First, an integrative theory is presented as a promising framework for reforming middle-grade schools. The theory was developed within a social-cognitive framework that emphasizes the importance of students' interpretation of the goals that are dominant in an achievement setting. School policies and practices influence whether task-focused and/or ability-focused goals are perceived by students. A task focus is associated with optimal motivation and use of effective learning strategies. Unfortunately, a task focus becomes less common, and a focus on relative ability becomes more common when students move to middle-grade schools. To illustrate how this theory can be used in restructuring efforts, experiences of working with a team of leaders in a middle school are described. The school leadership team examined and changed school policies and practices, which promoted a school focus on learning and task mastery, rather than on performance and relative ability. Three tables are included. (Contains 83 references.) (LMI)
Descriptors: Educational Change, Educational Environment, Junior High School Students, Junior High Schools, Middle School Students, Middle Schools, Organizational Development, Participative Decision Making, School Restructuring, Theory Practice Relationship
National Center for School Leadership, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1208 W. Springfield, Urbana, IL 61801 ($8).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Department of Education, Washington, DC.; Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center for School Leadership, Urbana, IL.; Michigan Univ., Ann Arbor. School of Education.