NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED501737
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-May
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Stuck in the Middle: Strategies to Engage Middle-Level Learners. Newsletter
Maday, Traci
Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement
Keeping middle school students focused and engaged in the classroom is a challenge amid the physical, intellectual, emotional, and social changes that young people experience during this phase of their lives. Youth aged 11 to 13 years are characterized by a growing desire to think and act independently while at the same time caring about being accepted by peers and being part of a group. Add to those dynamics the feelings of vulnerability and self-consciousness that come with puberty, and educators have a complex combination of forces to consider when designing strategies to effectively reach middle school students. Literature about middle school reform acknowledges the importance of an academically challenging and supportive environment to engage young adolescent learners. Student motivation, a meaningful curriculum, and student choice also are important factors for engaging middle-level learners. This newsletter addresses student motivation and illustrates three strategies that can help create a meaningful curriculum to engage middle-level learners: (1) Relating lessons to students' lives; (2) Making learning authentic; and (3) Giving students choices. The strategies draw from effective classroom practices across grade levels as well as from research about the social, emotional, and physical development of middle-level learners. A list of additional resources is included. (Contains 1 table.) [This document was produced by the Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement administered by Learning Point Associates under contract with the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education of the U.S. Department of Education.]
Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement. 1100 17th Street NW Suite 500, Washington, DC 20035. Tel: 877-277-2744; Web site:
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serial; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (ED)
Authoring Institution: Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A