Introduction to Middle School

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2011-01-01
  • Publisher: Allyn & Bacon
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What the reviewers are saying about Introduction to Middle School... "The author writes clearly, even about complex subjects. The chapters seem to flow together well...The Professional Practice and activities are effective and thoughtful." - Sara Delano-Moore, Ph.D., University of Kentucky "A strength...is the author's ability to take material that could be very dry and scientific and approach it in a way that enables the reader to understand...in a personal and very real-world way." - Cathy J. Siebert, Ph.D., Ball State University "I can hardly wait until this is published...If this book were currently available, I would adopt it." - Bob M. Drake, University of Cincinnati

Table of Contents

What Is Middle School?
Chapter Web Introduction Middle School
Defined A Brief History of Middle School
Rationale for Middle Schools
Legitimizing Factors Middle School
Compared with Junior
High Reflections on Balance in Middle School
Education Group Activities
Individual Activities
Personal Journal
Internet Resources
Development of Middle Level Learners
Chapter Web Introduction Physical Development
Intellectual Development
Emotional Development
Social Development
Character Development
Reflections on the Development of Middle Level
Learners Meet the Students
Group Activities
Individual Activities
Personal Journal
Professional Practice
Internet Resources
Diversity Among Middle Level Students
Chapter Web Introduction Gender Differences
Multiple Intelligences Theory
Learning Styles
Cultural Differences
Socioeconomic Differences
Family Differences
Academic Differences
Students with Special Needs
Reflections on Celebrating Diversity
Meet the Students
Group Activities
Individual Activities
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.


Introduction to Middle Schoolmodels the ideals of middle level education in that it is both academically rigorous and developmentally responsive. It isacademically rigorousbecause it is comprised of a comprehensive body of knowledge concerning middle level philosophy and structure; student development and diversity; curriculum, instruction, assessment, and planning for the classroom; and the creation and maintenance of a positive learning environment. It isdevelopmentally responsivebecause it approaches these topics without intimidating or boring the reader. As an experienced middle school teacher, I speak to other teachers whether they are teacher candidates completing bachelor's or master's degrees; career changers preparing to take their skills and backgrounds into the middle school classroom; elementary or high school teachers getting ready for the challenges and joys of spending their days with middle schoolers; or teachers who desire to dig deeper into their profession, seeking insights and refreshment. Writing a book allows me only to speak, not converse. My hope is that readers will talk to one another about middle grades education, prompted by my side of the "conversation." Teachers are my heroes. They make the minute-by-minute decisions on which student success and well-being depend. If knowledge is power, and I believe it is, the more we understand about the nature of adolescence, with both its documented predictability and its absurd volatility, the more prepared we are to make both the relatively insignificant, and the life-changing decisions. Yes, experience is the best teacher. But opportunities to read, reflect, discuss, and speculate will sharpen our focus on, and widen our peripheral vision of, middle grades education and all that is involved in teaching young adolescents. This book provides such opportunities. The tenets ofTurning Points(1989 and 2000),This We Believe(2003), the underpinnings of the National Middle School Association, and the teacher preparation standards of NMSA permeate every page. This strong conceptual foundation focuses us squarely on students and learning. As a unique phase of human development, early adolescence deserves continued concentrated research and study that will further deepen our understanding of how best to meet the needs of the students in our charge.Introduction to Middle Schooladdresses the issues of teaching, and learning with, the marvelous kids of early adolescence in commonsense ways that infuse practicality with theory. This book is a work of nontraditional scholarship--scholarly by way of knowledge base, and nontraditional by way of personalization. It is written in first person. I believe I best serve teachers, in whatever career stage, by speaking from both a research base and my own and others' experiences in the classroom. I welcome all readers to the adventure of exploring the landscape of middle school. ORGANIZATION This book is comprised of 12 chapters. Separating the body of knowledge of middle level education into discrete chapters seems arbitrary, but it is efficient to do so. Given the limits of the written word, I have chosen to organize this book in a traditional way. However, just as multiple ripples on calm water are caused by one single tossed pebble, every aspect of middle level education influences every other aspect. Chapter 1 focuses on the history of middle school and the elements that have given it legitimacy and theoretical grounding. Chapter 2 is an overview of student physical, intellectual, emotional, social, and character development. Chapter 3 looks at the diversity among our students from cultural, to socioeconomic, to learning styles, and beyond. Chapter 4 probes the characteristics of effective middle school teachers. Chapter 5 delves into the structures of people, time, and place, including teaming, flexible schedules, and classroom/school facilitie

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