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ERIC Number: EJ990866
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Sep
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 18
ISSN: ISSN-0094-0771
Middle Grades Transition Programs around the Globe
Andrews, Colin; Bishop, Penny
Middle School Journal (J1), v44 n1 p8-14 Sep 2012
Transitions into and out of the middle grades can be challenging for many reasons. Students need to acclimate to new policies, practices, and buildings; teachers require accurate data about their new students' capacities; and families must navigate relationships with new personnel. All school transitions present different and, at times, puzzling terrain to traverse. Some students find the move between schools so difficult that they "unlearn" skills and content, beginning a potential spiral toward being retained or even dropping out. While transitions can be difficult at all levels of schooling, moving into or out of the middle grades comes at a time when the learners themselves are going through considerable social, emotional, cognitive, and physical changes--changes that can heighten many of these difficulties. This article shares examples of transition practices from other countries and considers how educators create transition practices that help students successfully make the move from one learning level to the next. The authors offer insights obtained through interviews and focus groups with students, parents, teachers, and principals in New Zealand (Auckland), the United Kingdom (London, Nottingham, and Southampton), and the United States (Georgia, Oregon, and Vermont). They begin this article by exploring some of the common concerns that arise as students transition into and out of the middle grades. They then describe some of the common practices observed in comprehensive transition programs. Next, they showcase three noteworthy, promising practices that are too often underutilized or poorly implemented: (1) sharing academic data; (2) implementing collaborative projects; and (3) attending to vulnerable populations.
Association for Middle Level Education. 4151 Executive Parkway Suite 300, Westerville, OH 43081. Tel: 800-528-6672; Tel: 800-528-6672; Fax: 614-895-4750; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Georgia; New Zealand; Oregon; United Kingdom; United Kingdom (London); United Kingdom (Nottingham); United Kingdom (Southampton); United States; Vermont