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Lecture Four

Lecture Four

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Published by Ron Knorr. PhD

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Published by: Ron Knorr. PhD on Jul 08, 2010
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10/25/2012

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Middle School CurriculumED 441/641 Section 400Lecture Four 
IntroductionFirst, thanks for the wonderful discussion we had in class this week. We’ve covered a lot of historyand justification for the middle school concept and I think we generally agree that, while no system isperfect for all children, the current middle school format is generally an improvement over previousmodels, due to its focus on the developmental needs of the early adolescent.This lecture, our readings focus on structure and outcomes. While chapter four of 
Focus on theWonder Years
is a critical comparison of outcomes, especially from an international comparisonperspective,
 A Tale of Two Middle Schools
focuses a critical light on how we teach and why,comparing two middle schools in the United Sates . Both make some poignant points about the stateof American middle level education. Remember, I’m not asking that we agree with either assessment – I’m asking that we all look at them, based on our own experiences and view – you all did a great jobof that this week!
Outcomes and the Middle SchoolFWY would have us believe that the American Middle School concept is a deeply flawed concept, if looked at in comparison with an international view of MS children and their education. I have towonder if the authors’ viewpoints are heavily influenced by other than empirical evidence. Whilestatistics they cite seem to buttress their point, look at their view cortically for other reasons whyAmerican students seem to perform less proficient that their non-American peers.Outcomes vary within the middle schools of the United States as well. Many of you pointed that outas you compared your own early adolescent years and the schools you attended. Most of you lookback with a mixture of understanding and new insight on MS education. What would have changed if your MS school had been better structured? Was it already an optimal situation or were there greatgaps between your experience and your evolving understanding?After this class, most of the rest of our time together will be spent looking at models currentlyused in various middle schools across the United States. As we do, keep in mind what we learnedfrom our examination of the development of the middle school and our comparisons of US middleschool education with international peers, within the US, and your own experiences.
Reading
FWY 
: Chapter 4
 A Tale of Two Middle Schools

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