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ERIC Number: ED405087
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-May-8
Pages: 14
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Northcote Network of Schools and the Middle Years of Schooling.
Kruse, Darryn
Recognizing the necessity of examining the needs of early adolescents and changing the focus of middle grades education in Australia, this report describes the findings from the Northcote Network of Schools, 8 primary and 2 secondary schools collaborating to develop continuity and coherence across grades 5 through 8. The paper outlines activities dealing with school organization, curriculum, and pedagogy, in the context of the unique needs of young adolescents and their implications for school organization and learning communities within schools. School organizational structures tried by the Northcote Network of Schools are noted, including team teaching, classes working with smaller numbers of students for longer periods of time, the use of home rooms, an integrative approach to curriculum, and appropriate learning strategies. The paper also describes how curricular concerns led to the implementation of health education programs, negotiation of curriculum content and structure, the use of individual contracts and thematic instruction based on students' questions, and the integration of pastoral care as part of the mainstream curriculum. Next, the paper details how pedagogical concerns have been addressed through cooperative group work, peer tutoring, constructivist approaches, contract-based work units, learning centers, computer technology, and student reflection. Noted barriers to change are a culture based on faculty identification with their subject area and a focus on faculty rather than student needs, and student or parent expectations of a traditional secondary level organization. Finally, the paper concludes by suggesting that one key to effective change is to understand the different cultures in primary and secondary schooling and promote the development of a new culture in the middle years. (Contains 41 references.) (KDFB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia