ERIC Number: ED398218
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996
Middle Level Teaching - Developing an Attitude.
Stahler, Theresa M.
Teaching at the middle level is different from any other teaching and so requires special preparation. Teachers in middle schools need special training to work with and be responsive to young adolescents need to interact with their peers and to use the peer group rather than the teacher for direction and guidance. The attempt to develop programs to prepare and certify teachers with this understanding and ability has been at the heart of the middle school movement. A study compared a group of middle level student teachers who were prepared in a middle school teacher education program with a group of middle level student teachers who were prepared in an elementary or a secondary teacher education program. These student teachers (N=34) completed a questionnaire about their attitudes toward middle level learners and middle level teaching. Results of analyses showed that the student teachers with special middle school preparation knew more about early adolescents, were familiar with the literature, prepared lesson plans that included more practices appropriate for middle level learners, taught more highly rated lessons, and had a better attitude toward middle level teaching than those who had been prepared in a more general program. Some of the conclusions are: (1) state certification requirements can hasten middle level teacher preparation; (2) there is a need for separate middle level teacher education programs built on the unique qualities and needs of young adolescents; and (3) leaders in teacher education must take the initiative in restructuring these programs. A copy of the questionnaire is included in the paper. (Contains 10 references.) (MAH)
Descriptors: Early Adolescents, Higher Education, Intermediate Grades, Junior High Schools, Knowledge Base for Teaching, Middle Schools, Preservice Teacher Education, Questionnaires, Student Teacher Attitudes, Student Teachers, Student Teaching, Teacher Competencies, Teacher Education Programs, Teaching Skills
Publication Type: Tests/Questionnaires; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association of Teacher Educators (St. Louis, MO, February 24-28, 1996).