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ERIC Number: EJ782787
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jan
Pages: 11
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 10
ISSN: ISSN-0094-0771
Middle School Students Talk about Social Forces in the Classroom
Cushman, Kathleen; Rogers, Laura
Middle School Journal (J3), v39 n3 p14-24 Jan 2008
The social world of young adolescents comes into the classroom with them. It can cause kids to sit with blank or glum faces while teachers present their most fascinating assignments. It can drive them to make inappropriate comments at moments that should elicit serious thought. Although teachers tend to think of middle schoolers as risk-takers, they do not take risks in classrooms. Instead, they are worrying about where they stand in relation to others. This tension is just one of many that young adolescents experience, and act out, during this period of rapid physical, cognitive, and psychological change. At the request of MetLife Foundation, the authors asked students in the U.S. to describe what might stand in the way of their enthusiastic response to the academic opportunities their teachers set forth for them. Forty-two middle grades students in five urban areas were interviewed with questions that centered on academic, social, physical, and emotional matters, probing for issues that young adolescents saw as interfering with a positive school experience and for ways that students thought teachers could help them with such issues. In this article, the authors present the responses of 21 of these students, as they describe what they notice, what they care about, and what their teachers do and do not do that affects how it feels to learn, and be in school.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A