ERIC Number: ED406506
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996
Boxed In and Bored. How Middle Schools Continue To Fail Young Adolescents--And What Good Middle Schools Do Right.
Scales, Peter C.
Many young adolescents, possibly as many as half, feel boxed in and bored in their middle schools. Research suggests that schools, parents, and the rest of the community must do more to make middle schools places where young adolescents thrive. In spite of the emergence of the junior high school and later the middle school in the 20th century, gaps still exist in understanding how context, culture, and environmental change affect young adolescents. Nevertheless, there has been significant progress in the past 25 years, and slightly more than half of middle schools today seem to be using practices that are exactly what experts say is needed for excellence. Developmentally responsive middle schools are characterized by educators committed to young adolescents, a shared vision, high expectations for all, an adult advocate for every student, family and community partnerships, and a positive school climate. Responsive middle schools provide: (1) challenging, integrative, and exploratory curriculum; (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. A discussion of the characteristics of normal adolescence emphasizes the ways these school characteristics and schools can mesh. Support through caring relationships with family and unrelated adults is the single most important asset young adolescents can have. Schools and communities need supportive teachers and other adults to present a shared vision for success. (Contains 88 references.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Adolescents, Child Development, Curriculum Development, Developmentally Appropriate Practices, Educational Assessment, Educational Environment, Educational Practices, Intermediate Grades, Junior High Schools, Middle Schools, School Effectiveness, Social Support Groups, Student Attitudes, Student Characteristics, Teacher Attitudes, Teaching Methods
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Search Inst., Minneapolis, MN.