Changing Middle Schools - How to Make Schools Work for Young Adolescents
How to Make Schools Work for Young Adolescents
Many young adolescents - children ages ten to fourteen - bring to school powerful feelings of anger, helplessness, and despair. The first indications of risky behavior and maladaptive patterns of achievement often appear during these middle school years. Schools designed to meet the intellectual, social, and emotional needs of this age group can make an enormous difference to high-risk youth, yet there is widespread pessimism about the possibility of profoundly changing the public schools in our poorest communities. This book presents four inspiring portraits of poor urban middle schools where committed, talented educators - with the help of enlightened people in their local communities - did what many thought would be impossible. These powerful stories, told largely in the words of the people - teachers, students, principals, and parents - who lived them, detail how each school achieved significant reforms. Higher attendance, rising student achievement, less violence and vandalism, growing parental and community support, and a vast improvement in staff morale have been among the most marked benefits of these schools' efforts. Changing Middle Schools goes beyond education jargon to present a true picture of reform in practice, capturing the complexity of real life in schools and the clash of new ideas with established ways of schooling. It offers rich descriptions of innovative teaching strategies, school-community collaboration, successful student advisory programs and support services, and of what it means to be a "transformational leader."
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What Reviewers Are Saying
"Ames and Miller have captured inspirational stories of educators working hard to make schools better for young adolescents. The images they offer in these case studies should be enormously helpful as practitioners envision what their own middle schools could be like.'' ----Jeannie Oakes, professor, Graduate School of Education, University of California, Los Angeles