ERIC Number: ED394620
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Aug
An Evaluation of Middle Level Schooling: Implementation of Programming Concepts in Relation to Student Achievement. Summary.
Russell, Jill F.
This paper summarizes a study undertaken to evaluate the impact of middle-level schooling upon student achievement and to provide information useful to the improvement of early adolescent education. The study drew on the following two theoretical perspectives: (1) middle level theory, which advocates organizing students and teachers and modifying curriculum and instruction to meet the needs and abilities of early adolescents; if six programming aspects are adopted, enhanced developmental and achievement outcomes will be realized; and (2) program evaluation theory, which contributed the models of objective-oriented evaluation and management-oriented evaluation used in this study. The study is significant because most research has focused on goals other than academic achievement or has been inconclusive about achievement. Identifying whether actual middle-level programming has been implemented is often unclear. In this study, educators in 10 middle-level and junior high schools were surveyed whether they believed 6 middle-level programming concepts had been implemented in their school. This data was correlated with student achievement in the eighth grade. Results indicated that middle-level programming had been implemented with varying degrees in the 10 schools. It was also found that five of the six middle-level program concepts, as well as averaged overall concepts, were related positively with enhanced student achievement. Recommendations for improving middle-level education based on the study include: movement toward full implementation of middle level programming should continue; the practices of whole group ability grouping and tracking should not be used in schools for early adolescents; developmentally appropriate teaching strategies should be maximized; student accountability should focus more on project accomplishment and skill mastery; strategies which enhance teacher efficacy should be implemented; identifying sites with high implementation of middle level programming concepts for the purpose of having practitioners visit those sites should be encouraged; and further research is needed. (TM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A