ERIC Number: ED390546
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995
Reference Count: N/A
This We Believe: Developmentally Responsive Middle Level Schools. A Position Paper.
National Middle School Association, Columbus, OH.
Following the introduction of the middle school in the 1960s with its advocacy of a 5-8 or 6-8 grade configuration, no comprehensive statement appeared to crystallize the educational beliefs inherent in this emerging educational reform effort. This paper is not just a revision of the 1982 position statement, but a "re-vision" of middle level education. The paper is offered as a guide to assist in achieving developmentally responsive educational programs for young adolescents. The rationale for middle level schools is discussed in view of the characteristics and needs of young adolescents as well as the rapid changes in society. Six general characteristics of young adolescent educational programs are identified, which, when operational, would enable schools to make the most appropriate program decisions. These are: (1) educators committed to young adolescents; (2) a shared vision of middle level education; (3) high expectations for all students; (4) an adult advocate for every student's academic and personal development; (5) family and community partnerships; and (6) a positive school climate. The six major middle level program components are defined as: (1) curriculum that is challenging, integrative, and exploratory; (2) varied teaching and learning approaches; (3) assessment and evaluation that promote learning; (4) flexible organizational structures; (5) programs and policies that foster health, wellness, and safety; and (6) comprehensive guidance and support services. These twelve characteristics delineate a vision of what developmentally responsive middle schools could be and should be. (BAC)
Descriptors: Adolescent Development, Adolescents, Curriculum Development, Developmental Programs, Developmentally Appropriate Practices, Educational Environment, Grade Span Configuration, Intermediate Grades, Junior High Schools, Middle School Students, Middle Schools, Partnerships in Education, Position Papers, Preadolescents, Professional Development, Role Models, School Policy, Student Evaluation, Student Needs, Teacher Role, Teaching Methods
National Middle School Association, 4151 Executive Parkway, Suite 300, Westerville, OH 43081, phone: 800-528-6672.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Middle School Association, Columbus, OH.