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ERIC Number: ED420443
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998
Pages: 11
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Exploratory Programs in Alabama Middle Grades Schools.
Warren, Louis L.; Allen, Michael G.; McKenna, Beverly
Many educators believe that middle grades schools have a responsibility to capitalize on the natural curiosity of young adolescents through the use of an exploratory curriculum to help students understand the world in which they live. This study examined the status of middle grades exploratory programs in Alabama. A 22-item questionnaire was sent to the 178 Alabama schools enrolling sixth or seventh graders; 43 questionnaires were returned. Findings indicated that 77 percent of respondents had some sort of exploratory program, with exploratory courses such as art or computers the most common. Nine percent of schools each offered elective mini-courses such as personal finance or integrated exploratory activities into the curriculum. The most influential factors behind including exploratory programs were the Boards of Education, middle level education literature, the superintendent, and the school principal, with many schools indicating that more than one constituency influenced the decision to include exploratory activities. Factors influencing curriculum success were adequate staff development, faculty witnessing exploratory programming in daily operation, and staff involvement. Seventy-three percent of schools required exploratory classes although about 40 percent allowed students to select exploratory courses. Only 18 percent of schools provided the opportunity to extend learning beyond the immediate classroom. The attitude of those involved in exploratory programming was overwhelmingly favorable. Major problems identified included scheduling, lack of course variety, personnel, facilities, student apathy, lack of sufficient funding, meeting state mandates, and lack of resources. (KB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Alabama