ERIC Number: ED447970
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Dec
Exploratory Curriculum in the Middle School. ERIC Digest.
Middle schools embrace exploration as a guiding principle across the school curriculum. Noting that the research on exploratory courses is sparse, this digest discusses what is known about exploratory curriculum in middle schools. The digest first looks at the role of exploratory curriculum, pointing out that the purpose of exploratory courses is to offer wide-ranging opportunities for middle school students. Exploratory courses such as drama, foreign language, music, art, health, life skills, and technology provide young adolescents with experiences in areas beyond the core subjects. While many schools have focused on exploration through separate classes, mini-courses, activity programs, and other student activities, some schools have made their entire curriculum exploratory. In addition to describing different types of exploratory courses and programs, the digest notes that exploratory programs are varied in two other key ways--who selects the exploratory offerings and how long they last. The digest also explores issues involved in implementing exploratory courses, including how exploratory courses relate to other core courses, how core and exploratory teachers communicate, how or whether to grade exploratory courses, and which exploratory courses should be offered. The digest concludes with suggestions for middle schools implementing exploratory curriculum, ensuring that everyone understands that exploratory and academic are complementary, not competing or opposing concepts. (Contains 11 references.) (LPP)
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Elementary and Early Childhood Education, Champaign, IL.