The middle school model has been in existence for over thirty years in American education. Despite the numerous challenges at the primary and secondary levels, the current state of middle school is an area that has not been fully explored. This study focused on the implementation and sustainability of the six components of the middle school model in one large unit school district. The six components are teaming; common plan time; interdisciplinary units of instruction; flexible student scheduling; advisory; and exploratory courses. The purpose of this study was to tell the story of the implementation, progression, and dismantling of the six components of the middle school model from the perspectives of teachers and administrators.
The literature review explored the historical development of middle school, research studies that focused on its six components, the characteristics and behaviors of middle school students and teachers, and the impact of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation on middle school practices.
A qualitative case study approach was used to examine the challenges that exist in terms of maintaining and sustaining the middle school model in today's educational climate. Data was collected from eight teacher interviews, two administrator interviews and the analysis of source documents. The triangulation of these three sources of data told a story of the factors leading to the progression and descent of the six middle school components.
Findings of this study revealed that four factors led to the rise of the middle school model: (1) common vision, (2) concerns about academic progress, (3) nearby neighborhood trends, and (4) money. Other factors deterred the progression of the six components of the middle school model. These factors included: (1) money (2) lack of shared understanding and commitment (3) lack of accountability, and (4) NCLB. Interviewees indicated that despite the numerous hours of teacher in-service, transition committees, multi-million dollar land developments, two new middle schools, and community approval the middle school model in West Aurora had a nominal existence.
This study indicated that academic skills took precedence over social and emotional needs of students after the adoption of the NCLB legislation. This prompted administrators to introduce a different set of values that centered on academic achievement, assessment, and accountability.
While this qualitative study focused on the perceptions of middle school teachers and administrators, future studies should re-evaluate the six middle school components under the requirements of today's standards-based curriculum. These components need to be redefined to support the academic expectations of current legislation and the quantitative approach that is used to measure student success.
|Advisor:||Hunt, Donald, Shimizu, Hidetada|
|Commitee:||Eagle, Sherry, Howell, Charles, O'Neil, Linda|
|School:||Northern Illinois University|
|Department:||Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations|
|School Location:||United States -- Illinois|
|Source:||DAI-A 72/08, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Middle School education, School administration|
|Keywords:||Administrator perspective, Case study, Illinois, Leadership, Middle school, Middle school model, Qualitative, Teacher perspective, West Aurora|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be