ERIC Number: ED475636
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2003-Apr
The Middle Grades: Putting all Students on Track for College.
Camblin, Sharon J.
Underserved students (low-income, underrepresented minority, or first generation to attend college) do not attend college at the same rate as their white, middle-, or upper-income peers, and research suggests that this discrepancy is due in large part to the lack of opportunity for underserved students beginning in middle school. This briefing paper is intended to help middle grades principals and teachers close the opportunity gap for underserved students. The paper first explores the critical relationship between middle school and postsecondary success, noting that the challenge for parents and school personnel is to help students see the connection between thinking they want to go to college and learning how to prepare for college entrance. Next, the paper details school characteristics contributing to the opportunity gap for underserved students: lower teacher expectations, less effective instructional strategies, less counseling contact, and fewer college preparatory classes after transition to high school. The paper then presents effective middle school practices that benefit underserved students: support for all students, including interdisciplinary teaching, small group advisory programs, and varied instructional techniques that incorporate active engagement and exploration; interventions for underserved students, which include changing instructional structures and strategies, incorporating linguistic and cultural materials into existing curricula, expanding support programs, and helping parents of underserved students. Finally, the paper looks at the prospect of building school capacity for personalizing instruction, increasing student support and student achievement, and eliminating biases in relation to underserved students. (Contains 41 references.) (HTH)
Descriptors: Academic Aspiration, Administrator Role, Change Strategies, College Planning, College Preparation, Disadvantaged, Educational Environment, Middle School Students, Middle Schools, Student Improvement, Student Needs, Teacher Role
Pacific Resources for Education and Learning (PREL), 900 Fort Street Mall, Suite 1300, Honolulu, HI 96813. Tel: 808-441-1420; Fax: 808-441-1385; Web site: http://www.prel.org. For full text: http://www.prel.org/products/pcn_/middle-grades.htm.
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Administrators; Practitioners; Teachers
Sponsor: Department of Education, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Pacific Resources for Education and Learning, Honolulu, HI.
Note: This paper is a product of Pacific Resources for Education and Learning (PREL) and the Pathways to College Network.