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ERIC Number: ED509803
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Jan
Pages: 31
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Guide to Curriculum Development. Turning Points: Transforming Middle Schools
Lummis, Ben
Center for Collaborative Education
The educational needs of middle school students are truly unique. In no other period of PreK-12 education can one find such a wide range of physical, social, and cognitive development among students. For students, the middle school years can be a time of both great vulnerability and great responsiveness to change. These years are highly formative for behavior patterns in education and health that have enduring, lifelong significance. The challenge for middle schools is to help provide the building blocks of adolescent development and preparation for adult life. Developing curriculum that meets the needs of middle school students is a complex process that rarely follows a prescribed pattern. Teachers may come up with ideas for projects, themes, and activities on the way to work, in the middle of class, during a conversation with a colleague, and even in the shower. Some teachers begin with a theme while others start with habits of mind they want their students to acquire. Some teachers use state frameworks and standards as a starting point to curriculum development. Still others build a unit from an idea for a project. The purpose of this guide is not to dictate how teachers should develop their curriculum, but rather to propose that certain basic principles, supported by Turning Points work in schools, underpin curriculum development. The purpose of this guide is to communicate the Turning Points approach to curriculum development, teaching, and assessment. It offers specific tools which teachers and schools can use as they design curriculum, develop assessment tasks, and create the classroom practices that will lead to significant student learning and growth.
Center for Collaborative Education. 33 Harrison Avenue 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02111. Tel: 617-421-0134; Fax: 617-421-9016; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Middle Schools
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: Carnegie Corporation of New York
Authoring Institution: Center for Collaborative Education