The middle grades are an especially significant era in the education of youth. Emerging adolescents become increasingly curious about the surrounding world - becoming aware of new issues, looking at familiar things differently and expanding their ideas. Students typically raise urgent questions about the way things are, examining adult values and assumptions in ways that make curriculum design particularly challenging to teachers. Authors Stevenson and Carr contend that students evolving interests and needs are not met by textbook/workbook-dependent approaches. Their invitation to a group of middle level teachers was to collaborate in designing some innovative teaching units about topics already known to be inherently interesting to their students. Students' interests and questions would be integrated with existing curriculum goals. These teachers spent a week together in the summer creating their teaching plans, and they gathered on fall weekends to share experiences and successes. Their insights are presented, showing ways they responded to their students' interests and dispositions.
The dozen detailed examples of integrated curriculum units included in this volume provoke imagination and nourish the reader's courage to innovate in similar ways. Concrete examples, planning guidelines, and practical advice are also included. The book should be of interest to all educators involved with curriculum design, professors in elementary and middle level methods courses, graduate and undergraduate teacher educators, teacher in-service presenters and education foundations.