This study explored middle school teachers' perspectives on and expectations of adolescence and puberty, using observations and interviews of 15 teachers in two Japanese middle schools and two United States (U.S.) middle schools, as well as a survey of teachers in selected schools in both nations. Teachers in the U.S. described puberty as being…
Ruppert, Nancy Bell
This report presents information from North Carolina middle school principals and teacher leaders on the characteristics of effective middle school teachers. Principals indicated that knowledge, organization, and passion were the top middle school teacher characteristics. The report suggests that there are three types of teacher leaders: those who…
Lee, Mimi Miyoung; Chauvot, Jennifer B.; Vowell, Julie; Culpepper, Shea Mosley; Plankis, Brian J.
This paper is based on an online graduate program for middle school science and mathematics teachers in Texas titled Integration of Science, Mathematics and Reflective Teaching (iSMART). Launching the program for its first cohort in fall 2010, the authors attempted to answer the following two questions in this paper: (a) How do the members of the…
Ramey, Linda K.
Wright State University, Ohio, has developed an undergraduate degree in Middle Childhood Education with extensive content preparation and initial field experiences. Participants complete an undergraduate program in two specialized areas accompanied by 15 hours of teacher education professional coursework and field experiences in urban and suburban…
Didham, Cheryl K.
Knowledge of middle grade children and of their particular needs, as well as new teaching methods appropriate for this age level are needed for middle school teachers to be successful. Without the necessary coursework and student teaching experience, preservice teachers often feel unprepared to deal with middle level students. At Ohio State…
Huss, John A.
A descriptive study examined the degree to which middle level teachers in grades 6-8 in three states accept the tenets of the middle school philosophy. The guiding questions were: (1) Does a cross difference in variables exist among teachers from different organizational settings or grade configurations in respect to the teacher's acceptance of…
This article describes the middle grades teacher preparation program at Augusta State University in Georgia. It describes the negotiation between the middle school concept and the standardized testing culture of the local schools as the faculty redesigned the undergraduate middle grades program to adequately address both. Ways in which new…
Beswick, Kim; Callingham, Rosemary; Watson, Jane
In this article, we report on the use of a teacher profiling instrument with 62 middle school teachers at the start of a 3-year professional learning programme. The instrument was designed to assess the aspects of teachers' knowledge identified by Shulman ("1987") refined by Ball et al. ("2008") and extended to include teachers' confidence to use…
Rhodes, Jean E.; Camic, Paul M.; Milburn, Michael; Lowe, Sarah R.
A collaborative school-based intervention aimed at modifying relationships among administrators and teachers was implemented in three middle and junior high schools. Across the intervention schools, teachers were active collaborators in identifying problems and then articulating and implementing customized interventions to redress those problems.…
Kowalski, Theodore J.; Dougherty, Brian A.
This study examined the dispositions of Indiana middle school principals toward 29 possible teacher selection criteria drawn from the middle school literature and 13 possible criteria not drawn from this literature. The former were assigned more importance than the latter, and performance-based criteria were assigned more importance than…
Akos, Patrick; Charles, Pajarita; Orthner, Dennis; Cooley, Valerie
Relevant, challenging, integrative, and exploratory all describe the curriculum desirable in middle school (National Middle School Association, 2010). Career-relevant curriculum is one prominent strategy used since the 1970s to achieve these goals. Systematic, integrated, and contemporary efforts at career education often engage core teachers who…
Alnoor, A. G.; xiang, G. Y.
The professional competences of middle school mathematics teachers has been identified, also the significance extent of such competences for chinese and yemenies mathematics teachers has been studied. The researcher used descriptive research approach. The study data collected from Specialist educators and teachers experts to determine the…
Meisner, Gerald W.; Lee, Ernest W.
The Honors Workshop for Middle School Science Teachers was designed to address teachers' conceptual understanding of basic scientific principles, student misconceptions and how to deal with them, and observation and measurement techniques. For 4 weeks in summer and on 6 Saturdays during 2 academic years, 30 leaders among science teachers from the…
Shanks, Brenda; Dowden, Tony
The middle years of schooling (Years 5-9) has emerged as a significant field of educational research in the last two decades but investigation of specialised approaches to middle level teacher education has received little attention. The rationale for specialised programs or units is that middle level teachers require specific preparation to be…
Whiteman, Karen Marie
Ensuring student learning and success is the primary goal of any school administrator, so their leadership must embody and champion this. Therefore, strong instructional leadership skills are necessary for administrators to possess and be able to apply. However, teachers often have negative perceptions of instructional leadership which make the…
Losee, Christian R.
This was a qualitative study of highly effective, veteran middle school teachers and their attitudes toward self-efficacy, burnout, resiliency, content knowledge, professional development, and the use of technology. This study involved a group of veteran teachers that have proven, over the entirety of their careers, to be highly effective. They…
The purpose of this case study was to document the journey of three novice career change science inductees as they became middle-level science teachers in urban low socioeconomic status (SES) schools and included post-internship employment status data on all nine science teachers who completed the alternative certification program, up to the time…
Berg, Juliette K; Cornell, Dewey
Aggression toward teachers is linked to burnout and disengagement from teaching, but a positive school climate may reduce aggression and associated teacher distress. Using authoritative school climate theory, the study examined whether schools with high disciplinary structure and student support were associated with less aggression and less distress. The sample of 9,134 teachers in 389 middle schools came from the Virginia Secondary School Climate Survey, a statewide survey administered to all public schools with 7th and 8th grade enrollment. The majority of teachers (75%) were female. More than half (53%) reported that they had more than 10 years of teaching experience; 23% reported 6 to 10 years; 24% reported 1 to 5 years. Students reported on the degree to which their schools were structured and supportive. Teachers reported on their experiences of aggression by students, their level of distress, and their feelings of safety. Staff-related infractions computed from Department of Education records were also used. Multilevel modeling revealed that teachers in authoritative schools experienced less aggression and felt safer and less distressed. Lower aggression by students mediated the association between more authoritative schools and lower distress such that more structured and supportive schools had greater teacher safety and, in turn, less distress. The findings support the idea that more structured and supportive schools relate to greater safety for teachers and, in turn, less distress. Research limitations and implications for practice are discussed. PMID:26524423
Pettit, Stacie Kae
The purpose of this study was to explore the factors influencing the beliefs middle school mathematics teachers have about English Language Learners (ELLs) in mainstream classrooms. One hundred forty-nine middle school mathematics teachers from 11 school systems in Georgia completed the "Middle School Mathematics Teachers' Beliefs about English…
This mixed methods multiple case study explored middle school social studies teachers' instructional use of digital technology at three suburban middle schools This mixed methods, multiple-case study explored middle school social studies teachers' instructional use of digital technology at three suburban middle schools in a large Florida school…
This study examined teacher job satisfaction in Chinese middle schools from the aspects of school, community, and life and the relationships between these factors and teacher moving. A convenience sample of 294 teachers was approached through a 35-item questionnaire. Data were analyzed using SPSS. Three major results were found: (1) Chinese middle…
The focus of this qualitative study is to document two middle school science teachers' perceptions of social justice and how these teachers implement various aspects of social justice in their science instruction. The two teachers teach science in an urban school that serves students from low-income, immigrant, and ethnic minority families. The…
Lesseig, Kristin; Nelson, Tamara Holmlund; Slavit, David; Seidel, Ryan August
We describe and analyze a professional development (PD) model that involved a partnership among science, mathematics and education university faculty, science and mathematics coordinators, and middle school administrators, teachers, and students. The overarching project goal involved the implementation of interdisciplinary STEM Design Challenges…
Yanik, H. Bahadir
This article reports an analysis of 44 prospective middle school mathematics teachers' pre-existing knowledge of rigid geometric transformations, specifically the geometric translations. The main data source for this study was the participants' responses to the tasks that were presented during semi-structured clinical interviews. The findings of…
Doolittle, Sarah A.; Rukavina, Paul B.; Li, Weidong; Manson, Mara; Beale, Angela
Using the Social Ecological Constraints model, a qualitative multiple case study design was used to explore experienced and committed middle school physical education teachers' perspectives on overweight and obese students (OWS), and how and why they acted to include OWS in physical education and physical activity opportunities in their school…
Vagle, Mark D.
In an effort to learn more about pedagogy in the action present moments of teaching and in response to Schon's (1987) call for a "phenomenology of practice," this phenomenological study explored the pedagogy of 18 middle school teachers. The researcher selected participants with a purposive sampling procedure. Participants taught for at least…
Kwan, Terry; Texley, Juliana
This book for middle school science teachers is the second in a series of three safety books intended to offer positive options as they raise awareness of potential hazards in the science classroom. The book is written in narrative style and discusses safety concepts in the context of commonplace situations in real classrooms. Topics covered…
Garnett, Patrick J.; Tobin, Kenneth
Determined that the majority of 299 preservice teachers did not use formal reasoning patterns when they attempted to solve a variety of problems. Results obtained for controlling variables and for proportional, probabilistic, correlational, and combinatorial reasoning are discussed with implications for middle/junior high school science teaching.…
Midgley, Carol; And Others
The results of a survey of 158 teachers and 969 students at 2 elementary and 2 middle schools revealed that middle school teachers and students perceived the school culture as more performance-focused and less task-focused than did elementary school teachers and students. (MDM)
Lauer, Diane; Matthews, Melissa
Conrad Ball Middle School in Loveland, Colorado, earned a "School to Watch" Award in 2005 from the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform and was designated as high-performing by the state. However, in 2002, the school had its lowest test scores ever. Teachers at Conrad Ball received the news and determined they would turn things…
Chavarria, George A.
One middle school recently adopted a team teaching model as a result of principal directive in order to improve staff communication and better serve students. Because seventh and eighth grade teachers had never been teamed in this particular middle school, research was needed to investigate how teaming was implemented and how these teachers…
Thomas, Shelley; Howell, Penny
This study documented curriculum decisions made by an eighth grade social studies teacher as he prepared students for their high-stakes test. When considering how to best meet students' needs, the teacher described tensions between the pressures of standards and testing and his commitment to cultural responsiveness. Perceptions about these…
The introduction of middle schooling in Australia has brought about changes to the working conditions of many teachers including finding themselves in teacher teams. The formation of such teams has been identified as critical to Australian middle school reform with teacher teams underpinning several of the fundamental components of a middle school…
McCollum, Elan C.; Yoder, Nicholas P.
Middle school students perform well academically when their schooling environment meets their developmental needs (Eccles et al., 1993). Both school culture and student-teacher relationships are influential aspects of the school environment that impact academic expectations, school satisfaction, and academic performance. In the current study, we…
Woodburn, Jane Lai
The hiring of middle school teachers to positively impact student achievement--is this a process of teacher selection or teacher attraction for schools, respectively, with low teacher turnover and schools with high teacher turnover? Since research indicates that the most important variable influencing student achievement is having a highly…
Lenhart, Sara Talley
This study investigated the relationship between middle school math teacher pedagogical content knowledge as gathered from a teacher assessment and student Standards of Learning scores. Nine middle-school math teachers at two rural schools were assessed for their pedagogical content knowledge in geometry and measurement in the specific area of…
Baldwin, Etta M.
This qualitative study examined the perceptions of the school library media specialists and teachers in middle schools in two school districts located in North Carolina. The study investigated the flexible access and school collaboration aspects of the IMPACT grant from the North Carolina Department of Education. The results of the study derived…
Allen, Timothy Clancy
Urban middle schools face many accountability measures which often create the need for school improvement. Leading urban middle schools through the change process is extremely challenging for principals. The combination of leading change, leading urban schools, and leading middle schools is an uphill climb. Teachers' perceptions of leadership…
The purpose of this study was to examine teachers' perceptions of team teaching middle school mathematics in urban schools. The research questions focused on student academic performance and the impact that team teaching may have from the perspective of teachers. The theories of Piaget, Vygotsky, and Bruner formed the theoretical foundation…
Reames, Ellen H.; Spencer, William A.
This paper explores the relationship between the culture of the middle school and teachers' sense of efficacy and commitment. A total of 275 middle-school teachers in Georgia, representing 40 schools divided equally among rural and urban contexts, completed a 4-part instrument designed to measure perceptions of school-work culture, organizational…
Moon, Tonya; Tomlinson, Carol A.; Callahan, Carolyn M.
This study examined the ways in which current practices described in the middle school literature on meeting the needs of diverse learners are reflected in the policies, beliefs, and instructional practices of administrators and teachers. A survey of 125 principals asked about school characteristics, school organization, principal beliefs,…
Schmidt, William H.; Blomeke, Sigrid; Tatto, Maria Teresa
Based on a major international teacher education research project--the Mathematics Teaching in the 21st Century Study (MT21)--this book investigates the pre-service preparation of middle school mathematics teachers in the United States, South Korea, Taiwan, Germany, Bulgaria, and Mexico. The study was funded by the National Science Foundation and…
Based on a statewide survey of professional learning activities among 577 middle school mathematics teachers in Missouri, this study examined two questions: 1) What professional learning activities do middle school math teachers participate in and how much time do they spend in these activities?, and 2) How are teacher qualifications and…
Hunt, Christine A.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the perceptions and beliefs of teachers at a Midwestern suburban middle school about students, student learning, and about teacher's beliefs of their collective abilities to achieve the task of school improvement. Saddleback Middle School (SMS) has experienced low standardized test scores since the…
The purpose of this mixed methods study was to investigate urban middle school teachers' descriptions of their competency in the current National Education Technology Standards for Teachers (NETS-T). The study also investigated how urban middle school teachers currently use technology to support their teaching and student learning. Research…
Owens, Marcia Allen
This dissertation study assessed the environmental literacy of 292 urban, middle school teachers using the Wisconsin Environmental Literacy Survey (WELS). Environmental literacy may be defined in terms of observable behaviors. Specifically, the study examined four dimensions of participants' environmental literacy: (a) attitudes toward the environment, (b) beliefs about their own power and responsibility to affect environmental change, (c) personal behaviors and actions toward the environment, and (d) knowledge regarding ecology and environmental issues. The WELS measures these components of environmental literacy through a Likert-type attitude survey, a self-reporting behavior instrument, and a multiple choice measure of cognitive learning outcomes or environmental knowledge. These scores were combined to derive a total environmental literacy score. In addition, the study explored differences between African American and European American female teachers' environmental literacy; interactions between demographic variables; and patterns of frequently missed questions, environmental attitudes, or environmental behaviors. Differences in teachers' environmental literacy were examined relative to gender, racial/ethnic background, number of preservice environmental courses taken, number of inservice environmental courses taken, years of teaching experience, and subject area taught. Overall, teachers in the present study demonstrated nominal environmental literacy. Significant differences in scores on various subscales were found among teachers according to racial/ethnic background, subject area taught, and years of teaching experience. Taking preservice and inservice environmental courses appears to have a positive impact on environmental behavior, environmental sensitivity, awareness and values, but not appear to impact environmental knowledge. This study underscores the need for further descriptive environmental literacy research on urban, minority, and poor students
Quezada, Roland J.
Increasing demands for students to perform at higher levels at the middle school level have caused educators to closely examine the quality of personnel working with middle level students. Middle school advocates and professional organizations have claimed that the preparation of teachers and principals who work with middle school students should…
Bryer, Fiona; Main, Katherine
Three well-established issues for educational reform to insert middle schooling into the traditional primary-secondary tiers are (a) lack of preservice training of specialist middle school teachers, (b) the absence of clear positive educational outcomes linked to the promotion of middle schooling policy as a philosophy of teaching, and (c) the ad…
Using a causal-comparative research design, this study analyzed and compared absence data of teachers in relation to specific teacher demographics to determine if certain teachers were more susceptible to absenteeism than others. Additionally, school level placement and whether or not a teacher was teaching in a Title I school were analyzed to…
Behre, William J.; Astor, Ron Avi; Meyer, Heather Ann
Compares middle-school and elementary school teachers' reasoning about their professional roles when violence occurs in school subcontexts such as hallways, cafeterias, and playgrounds. Uses concepts from urban planning, architecture, criminology, and cognitive developmental domain theory to explore teachers' moral attitudes toward school…
In this study, the focus was on determining leadership strategies that promote teacher empowerment among urban middle school science teachers. The purpose of the paper was to determine if leadership strategies are related to teacher empowerment. The emphasis was on various forms of leadership and the empowerment of teachers in context in restructuring the democratic structure. An effective leadership in science education entails empowering others, especially science teachers. In this regard, no published studies had examined this perspective on empowering teachers and school leadership. Therefore, this study determined if a relationship exists between leadership strategy actions and teacher empowerment. The significance of the study is to determine a relationship between leadership strategies and teacher empowerment as a positive approach toward developing successful schools. Empowerment is essential for implementing serious improvements. Empowering others in schools must form a major component of an effective principal's agenda. It is becoming clearer in research literature that complex changes in education sometimes require active initiation. For this study, a quantitative methodology was used. Primary data enabled the research questions to be answered. The reliability and validity of the research were ensured. The results of this study showed that 40% of the administrators establish program policies with teachers, and 53% of teachers make decisions about new programs in schools. Furthermore, the findings, their implications, and recommendations are discussed.
Sampson, Elizabeth Clemons
Teachers were once held to a professional dress code. This code has become lax, resulting in teachers dressing in more casual attire. A local middle school in rural Georgia was experiencing complaints about teachers' unprofessional attire from other teachers, administrators, and parents. Teachers play an integral role in modeling cultural and…
Sahagian, D. L.; Anastasio, D. J.; Bodzin, A.; Cirucci, L.; Bressler, D.; Dempsey, C.; Peffer, T.
Middle School students and their teachers are among the many populations in the U.S. with misconceptions regarding the science or even reality of climate change. Teaching climate change science in schools is of paramount importance since all school-age children will eventually assume responsibility for the management and policy-making decisions of our planet. The recently published Framework for K-12 Science Education (National Research Council, 2012) emphasizes the importance of students understanding global climate change and its impacts on society. A preliminary assessment of over a thousand urban middles school students found the following from pretests prior to a climate literacy curriculum: - Do not understand that climate occurs on a time scale of decades (most think it is weeks or months) -Do not know the main atmospheric contributors to global warming -Do not understand the role of greenhouse gases as major contributors to increasing Earth's surface temperature -Do not understand the role of water vapor to trap heat and add to the greenhouse effect -Cannot identify some of the human activities that increase the amount of CO2 -Cannot identify sources of carbon emissions produced by US citizens -Cannot describe human activities that are causing the long-term increase of carbon -dioxide levels over the last 100 years -Cannot describe carbon reduction strategies that are feasible for lowering the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere To address the lack of a well-designed middle school science climate change curriculum that can be used to help teachers promote the teaching and learning of important climate change concepts, we developed a 20-day Environmental Literacy and Inquiry (ELI): Climate Change curriculum in partnership with a local school district. Comprehension increased significantly from pre- to post-test after enactment of the ELI curriculum in the classrooms. This work is part of an ongoing systemic curriculum reform initiative to promote (1
McMullen, Rebecca C.; Shippen, Margaret E.; Dangel, Harry L.
The purpose of this pilot study was to investigate the specific classroom organizational behaviors that middle school inclusive teachers report as expectations for students with learning disabilities. Practicing middle school science and social studies teachers (n = 12) responded to a survey about organization behaviors of students with learning…
Wider, Beyonka Shantel
Retaining teachers is a pressing issue facing many urban middle schools in the southern US. Urban middle schools continually face increased teacher turnover rates in spite of state mandated induction and mentoring programs. Drawing from Maslow's hierarchy of needs theory, the purpose of the qualitative case study was to examine urban middle…
Owens, Sandra J.
Research indicates that a significant percentage of teachers are not using instructional technology in the classrooms. Other concerns focus on improving middle school students' academic achievement especially in mathematics and reading. The purpose of this study was to examine middle school teachers' attitudes toward use and adoption of…
The purpose of this current study was to investigate the reasoning stages of in-service middle and high school mathematics teachers in geometry. There was a total of 148 in-service middle and high school mathematics teachers involved in the study. Participants' geometric reasoning stages were determined through a multiple-choice geometry test. The…
Dockum, James R.
It was the purpose of this study to determine teacher perceptions of the effective implementation of interactive technologies in one Virginia middle school. The questions that guided this study were the following: What are the Virginia middle school teachers' perceptions of effective integration of interactive technologies? Specifically: What are…
Sadler, Philip M.; Sonnert, Gerhard; Coyle, Harold P.; Cook-Smith, Nancy; Miller, Jaimie L.
This study examines the relationship between teacher knowledge and student learning for 9,556 students of 181 middle school physical science teachers. Assessment instruments based on the National Science Education Standards with 20 items in common were administered several times during the school year to both students and their teachers. For items…
Smart, Julie B.; Marshall, Jeff C.
Classroom discourse can affect various aspects of student learning in science. The present study examines interactions between classroom discourse, specifically teacher questioning, and related student cognitive engagement in middle school science. Observations were conducted throughout the school year in 10 middle school science classrooms using…
Bone, Jamie; Slate, John R.; Martinez-Garcia, Cynthia
In this investigation, relationships between teacher ethnicity and student ethnicity in Texas public middle schools were examined. Through the Texas Education Agency Academic Excellence Indicator System, publicly available data on all public middle schools in Texas for the 1999-2000 through 2009-2010 school years were downloaded. Statistically…
Turner, Julianne C.; Christensen, Andrea; Kackar-Cam, Hayal Z.; Trucano, Meg; Fulmer, Sara M.
All teachers (N = 32) at one middle school participated in a university-led intervention to improve student engagement. Teachers discussed four principles of motivation and related instructional strategies. Teachers enacted instructional strategies in their classrooms. We observed six randomly selected teachers and their students over 3 years.…
Becoats, Jocelyn B.
This study determined whether there was a significant relationship between teacher effect data in middle school mathematics and a teachers years of experience and whether there was a significant relationship between an effective teacher as measured by the total score on the Haberman instrument and teacher effect scores as measured by SAS EVAAS,…
This dissertation was designed to investigate the causes behind teacher turnover and the connection between principal behavior, teacher working conditions, and rates of teacher turnover. In particular, this study examined behaviors that teachers in three North Carolina middle schools felt their principals displayed that helped encourage them to…
Berg, Juliette K.; Cornell, Dewey
Aggression toward teachers is linked to burnout and disengagement from teaching, but a positive school climate may reduce aggression and associated teacher distress. Using authoritative school climate theory, the study examined whether schools with high disciplinary structure and student support were associated with less aggression and less…
Richardson, JacQueline Elaine
President William Jefferson Clinton is often credited with beginning a new era of improving teacher quality. Since the late 1990's, the federal government has presented a number of reforms that have encouraged states to develop methods to address the revolving door of teachers entering and exiting schools yearly. Retaining teachers has been…
Akiba, Motoko; Shimizu, Kazuhiko; Zhuang, Yue-Lin
Since the 1980s, school bullying--"Ijime"--has been a major concern of educational policy in Japan. In Japanese schools, homeroom teachers provide guidance for students' psychological and social development, in addition to academic development. Homeroom teachers spend significant time counseling students, visiting their families, and developing a…
This book on middle school uses a very free-form structure to encourage educators to think about middle school's philosophy and purpose, and about how to create a successful middle school. The preface claims that it is not a book "about" teaming, advisory, interdisciplinary units, intramurals, parent-teacher conferences, and other middle school…
Costello, Bill; Kolodziej, Nancy J.
The use of picture books as supplementary material for middle level classrooms is becoming more common. Picture books are being created specifically to address the needs and interests of middle school students. Society is becoming more visually oriented and the visual format of picture books appeals to adolescents, who today are exposed to various…
Ramey, Linda K.
This paper describes the development of a middle childhood level (MCL) teacher preparation program under Ohio licensure requirements. Wright State University developed an undergraduate degree in Middle Childhood Education with extensive content preparation and middle school field experiences. After graduation, students enter a graduate program…
O'Connor, Kevin J.; D'Angelo, Christina M.
This report shares a study that explored the perceptions pre-service teachers have of middle school students. Participants were asked to complete the "Adjective Checklist" ("ACL") by endorsing the words they considered most characteristic of a typical middle school student. Items most frequently endorsed indicated a…
Liu, Chunyu; Liu, Yanling; Guo, Cheng; Lan, Haiying
Despite a recent focus on the mental health of students, primary and middle school mental health education in China has been hampered by a lack of resources and inadequate professional training. This study assessed the mental health education competency of primary and middle school head teachers using the Mental Health Education Competency…
Graves, Tiffany Nicole
The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore the perceptions of middle school, technologically proficient, or digitally-wise teachers, regarding how they defined, prevented, recognized, and handled incidences of cyberbullying in four middle schools located in Southern Virginia. Data was collected using an open-ended questionnaire,…
Teachers Network, New York, NY.
This CD-ROM presents six videos that feature veteran middle and high school teachers in action in their classrooms. Each video offers links to supplemental education resources, including innovative lesson plans. The six videos are: "Monsters and Myths" (a humanities unit for middle school students); "The Bleeding Edge" (a thematic…
Gibbs-Harper, Nzinga A.
The purpose of this research study was to determine if a relationship exists between teachers' perceptions of principals' instructional leadership behaviors and middle school teacher job satisfaction. Additionally, this study sought to assess whether principal's instructional leadership skills were predictors of middle school teachers' satisfaction with work itself. This study drew from 13 middle schools in an urban Mississippi school district. Participants included teachers who taught science. Each teacher was given the Principal Instructional Management Rating Scale (PIMRS; Hallinger, 2011) and the Teacher Job Satisfaction Questionnaire (TJSQ; Lester, 1987) to answer the research questions. The study was guided by two research questions: (a) Is there a relationship between the independent variables Defining the School's Mission, Managing the Instructional Program, and Developing the School Learning Climate Program and the dependent variable Work Itself?; (b) Are Defining the School's Mission, Managing the Instructional Program, and Developing the School Learning Climate Program predictors of Work Itself? The Pearson's correlation and multiple regression analysis were utilized to examine the relationship between the three dimensions of principals' instructional leadership and teacher satisfaction with work itself. The data revealed that there was a strong, positive correlation between all three dimensions of principals' instructional leadership and teacher satisfaction with work itself. However, the multiple regression analysis determined that teachers' perceptions of principals' instructional management skills is a slight predictor of Defining the School's Mission only.
Wilhelm, Anne Garrison; Chen, I-Chien; Smith, Thomas M.; Frank, Kenneth A.
Given prior research indicating that teachers can learn through their social network interactions with colleagues, it is important to understand more about the choices teachers make about whom to go to for advice. In this study, we investigated the degree to which middle school mathematics teachers change from whom they seek advice when…
Nelson, Cheryl A.
The purpose of this study was to examine teachers' and principals' perceptions of leadership activities occurring on their campus. Survey methodology was used to gather data from 469 teachers and principals from high-poverty middle schools in Texas. The results of this study found that principals and teachers do not agree on leadership activities…
Teacher professionalism is a social construct which varies across time and place. In relation to the teaching of mathematics in the middle school, professionalism is a concept under siege; with the advent of national testing some teachers predict dire consequences for student learning. In this small research project several teachers depicted their…
van Zee, Emily; Lay, Diantha; Roberts, Deborah
Presents perspectives and experiences of prospective science teachers who developed science lessons and small educational projects in collaboration with practicing elementary and middle school teachers. Concludes that prospective teachers perceived themselves to be more confident and more competent to teach science after the collaboration. (SOE)
Whitlock, Winifred Nicole
Despite training and support, many middle school teachers struggle to create, implement, and enforce research-based strategies to manage students' behaviors. The purpose of this case study was to examine teachers' perceptions about the barriers of managing student behavior. The research questions investigated 9 teachers' perceived…
Hopkins, Michael T.
The purpose of this study was to examine teachers' practices and beliefs related to the teaching of stringed instrument tuning in elementary and middle school group classes. The aspects examined included the following: (a) teachers' beliefs about teaching tuning in their string classes, (b) activities teachers used when teaching tuning in string…
Blanchard, Margaret R.; LePrevost, Catherine E.; Tolin, A. Dell; Gutierrez, Kristie S.
This 3-year, mixed-methods study investigated the effects of teacher technology-enhanced professional development (TPD) on 20 teachers' beliefs and practices. Teachers in two middle schools located in neighboring rural, high-poverty districts in the southeastern United States participated in reform-based lessons and learned how to integrate…
Liu, Shengnan; Feng, Daming
With the tide of globalization, the external environment that schools face turns uncertain and complex. In response to the new challenges, teacher teams need to manage boundaries to maintain the sustainable development. The two studies reported in this paper, aimed to examine the boundary activities of teacher teams of middle schools in China. In…
Tao, Liqing; Yuan, Haiwang; Zuo, Li; Qian, Gaoyin; Murray, Bruce
This article investigates China's middle school and secondary school teacher expectations of student book use as an aspect of learning environments. A questionnaire was used to probe the following teacher expectations: physical accessibility of books, homework, mastery of texts and types of extra-curricular reading materials. Results showed…
Spielhagen, Frances R.
This mixed-methods study explored the effectiveness of single-sex classes according to key stakeholders in this educational reform--the teachers who choose or are hired to teach in single-sex classes and schools. Specifically, this study examined the on-the-ground experiences of middle school teachers as they attempted to implement a relatively…
Stevens, Karmenlita L.
The purpose of this study is to compare the teacher retention rates in public elementary and middle schools in Georgia that met or did not meet the academic performance component of Adequate Yearly Progress. The teacher retention rates were expected to be higher in schools that met the academic performance component of AYP and lower in the schools…
Kubik, Martha Y.; Lytle, Leslie A.; Hannan, Peter J.; Story, Mary; Perry, Cheryl L.
Surveyed middle school teachers regarding their classroom food and eating behaviors. Using food (particularly candy) as student incentives was common. Most foods used did not support development of healthy eating habits. Many teachers did not role model healthy eating at school. Prevalent use of vending machines was reported. Correlates of…
Sharp, Kimberlee A.
This study examined the perspectives of a sample of Appalachian middle and high school social studies teachers regarding the teaching of controversial current events. Specifically, the survey ascertained the teachers' familiarity with school district administrative policies regarding the teaching of controversial current events, their perceptions…
Conway, Morgan Brooks; Vermette, Paul
The movie "Thirteen" examines the lives of two middle school girls on their journey to ultimate destruction. "Thirteen" is a frightening look at the main characters' downward spiral as they plunge into a dangerous world of drugs, alcohol, sex, and "blowing off" school work. This article presents a discussion by a counselor educator and a teacher…
Monaghan, Susan R.
The purpose of this study was to extend the research on textbook effectiveness to a situated investigation of a single large urban school district in which middle schools were given a choice in selecting from three textbooks for mathematics instruction: a reform textbook, a commercially produced textbook developed in response to mathematics…
Dale, Jack C., Jr.
This quantitative study addressed the idea that a middle school principal could possibly impact teacher effectiveness in the classroom through the relationship of the teacher-perceived leadership style of the principal to teacher job satisfaction and efficacy. The sample consisted of 142 certified teachers from 8 public middle schools in an East…
Watson, Patricia A.; Doue, Walter
Take 50 university education students who may not be quite sure they want to be teachers. Pour them all into a charter bus, and drive them five hours to a remote Texas Hill Country location. Mix in equal parts of enthusiasm and dedication, well-planned interdisciplinary curriculum, and face-to-face interaction with middle level students. Let…
Lawrence, Salika A.; Jefferson, Tiffany
In the current context of high stakes testing, school literacy is often defined by standardized literacy assessments--most state tests require students to demonstrate proficiency on specific kinds of writing tasks and reading material. Today, where schools and teachers exist in an environment of increased accountability, stakeholders who…
Smith, R. Seth; Jokisch, Derek W.; Brandis, Jane E.; Pike, Lisa A.; Lane, Cheryl O.; Myers, Jeannette M.; Lacross, Randall M.
For the past four years, Francis Marion University (FMU) has hosted a four-week summer institute, entitled the FMU Middle School Science Institute (MSSI). MSSI has partnered content faculty (physical science, earth science, life science) and pedagogical experts/master teachers (education faculty) with middle school science teachers. Regional public school districts provided the teachers that attended the summer institute. These same teachers participated in curriculum enactment with their own classes during the following fall and spring. During the four-week institute, middle school teachers attended a content course and pedagogical activities from 8:30am to 3:30pm Monday through Thursday. During the middle two weeks of the institute, approximately 70 area middle school students were brought in to serve as four practice classrooms for the teachers. In year 4, teachers from grades 5 through 8 were accepted as participants. In all cases the breadth of the content course exceeded the scope of the particular curriculum unit. Pre-tests and post-tests were administered to all teachers. The details of the summer institute and follow-up activities will be presented.
Pittard, M. Michele
Presents an annotated bibliography of the most recent middle school literature as it relates most directly to English language arts. Consists of only book-length publications published from 1990-2002. Presents annotations of 32 titles categorized into three related sections: general middle school issues; resources for teaching middle school…
Price, Charles L.
Project PHOTO provides a format for middle school students to learn about photography with three different types of techniques: sun prints, can cameras, and pinhole cameras. Additional topics and activities include film developing, contact prints and enlarging, history of photography, photographic composition, types of cameras, a photography word…
Stone, Wilton, Jr.
According to the U.S. Department of Education National Center for Education Statistics, students in the United States routinely perform poorly on international assessments. This study was focused specifically on the problem of the decrease in the number of middle school students meeting the requirements for one state's standardized tests for…
This study examines middle school teachers', absentee students', and their parents' perceptions of factors related to excessive school absences; perceptions of the degree to which they think they can contribute a solution to the problem; and expectations regarding one another's responsibility for the problem. Data was obtained from middle school…
Aydeniz, Mehmet; Southerland, Sherry A.
This study explored American high school and middle school science teachers' attitudes toward the use of standardized testing for accountability purposes, their justification for the attitudes they hold and the impact of standardized testing on their instructional and assessment practices. A total of 161 science teachers participated in the study.…
Muth, K. Denise; Polizzi, Nicholas C.; Glynn, Shawn M.
Many middle school teachers are not prepared to develop units and lesson plans on controversial topics. In addition, many are not prepared to respond effectively when controversial topics arise unexpectedly during routine lessons. This is a significant problem because controversial topics are arising with increasing frequency in middle school…
Stump, Sheryl; Bishop, Joyce
One of the greatest challenges for mathematics teacher educators committed to reforming and improving mathematics education is to help preservice elementary and middle school teachers develop an appreciation for algebraic reasoning. Preservice teachers' views of algebra are typically derived from their experiences in middle school and high school…
Conklin, Hilary G.
The author presents findings from the first phase of a longitudinal, comparative case study that investigates what teachers learn about intellectually demanding social studies teaching at the middle school level from two distinctive teacher education pathways: a specialized middle school teacher education program and a secondary social studies…
O'Connell, K.; Morrell, P.
Teaching inquiry-driven science is a complex process, and a considerable gap exists between the mandate to teach science inquiry and the degree to which it is implemented in classroom settings. Engaging teachers as participants in the practice of science is one approach to bridging this gap. The overarching goal of our work is to involve Oregon middle and high school teachers in environmental science research that expands their capacity to engage their students in similar authentic science research. Teacher research experiences at the Andrews Forest Long-Term Ecological Research Program and more generally with scientists at Oregon State University are a focus of this work. Our presentation will give a brief overview of program development and outcomes from projects that engage Oregon teachers in environmental science research, including year-long workshop series to multi-week and multi-year research experience for teachers. In addition, our presentation will highlight outcomes and lessons learned of a three-year NASA-funded project that brings together science educators and climate change researchers to engage teachers in three-week summer research institutes.
Patel, Nimisha; Franco, Suzanne; Miura, Yoko; Boyd, Brian
This paper examines professional development workshops focused on Connected Math, a particular curriculum utilized or being considered by the middle-school mathematics teachers involved in the study. The hope was that as teachers better understood the curriculum used in their classrooms, i.e., Connected Math, they would simultaneously deepen their…
Mertler, Craig A.
Asks 710 middle and high school teachers to respond to several questions including their overall level of job satisfaction, teacher motivation in general, and performance incentives. Finds differences in job satisfaction based on gender, age, and career stage. Also discusses gender and location (suburban, urban, rural) differences in knowing…
Penuel, William R.; Gallagher, Lawrence P.
This study compared the efficacy of 3 approaches to professional development in middle school Earth science organized around the principles of Understanding by Design (Wiggins & McTighe, 1998) in a sample of 53 teachers from a large urban district. Teachers were randomly assigned to a control group or to 1 of 3 conditions that varied with respect…
Morris, Edward W.
This article explores how teachers perceived and interacted with white students in a predominately racial/ethnic minority school in Texas. On the basis of ethnographic data, the author found that different teachers expressed different views of the family and class backgrounds of white students in this setting, which ranged from "middle class" to…
Guess, Pamela E.; McCane-Bowling, Sara J.
This study examined the relationship between perceived teacher support and overall life satisfaction (LS) in a sample of urban middle school students. Based on correlations between measures of student perceptions related to these constructs, results indicated that student perceptions of teacher support correlated significantly with LS, with the…
Kelly, Angela M.; Gningue, Serigne M.; Qian, Gaoyin
This study explored the challenges facing 1st-year alternatively certified teachers of mathematics and science in urban middle schools. Four teachers, participants in a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded Robert Noyce Scholarship Program, were followed from preservice training through their 1st year of teaching, having taken part in…
Morrison, Judith A.; Estes, Jeffrey C.
Middle school science teachers were involved in a problem-solving experience presented and guided by research scientists. Data on the teachers' perspectives about this professional development and any impact it may have had on their teaching practices were collected through interviews, surveys, and classroom observations. The findings show that…
Marsh, Julie A.; Farrell, Caitlin C.; Bertrand, Melanie
Despite a growing body of research on data use in education, there has been relatively little focus on the role of students. This article begins to fill this gap by exploring teacher and administrator reports on engaging students in data use at six middle schools. Even though teachers expressed a belief that involving students in data use would…
This study examined the existence, magnitude, and impact of teacher spillover effects (TSEs) across teachers of four subject areas (i.e., mathematics, English language arts [ELA], science, and social studies) on student achievement in each of the four subjects at the middle school level. The author conducted a series of value-added (VA) analyses,…
Dixon, Timothy M.
Studies about factors specific to rural middle-school teachers' decisions to remain in the profession are limited. Within a framework of Boylan's spheres of influence, the purpose of this qualitative descriptive case study was to investigate the factors that teachers considered to be most important in decisions to remain teaching in a rural middle…
Guerra, Fred R., Jr.; Brown, Michelle S.
This quantitative study examined the knowledge levels middle school teachers in South Texas have in relation to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The study specifically compared teacher knowledge levels among three specific ADHD knowledge areas: (a) general knowledge of ADHD, (b) knowledge of symptoms/diagnosis of ADHD, and (c)…
Morrison, Judith A.; Estes, Jeffrey C.
Middle school science teachers were involved in a problem-solving experience presented and guided by research scientists. Data on the teachers’ perspectives about this professional development and any impact it may have had on their teaching practices were collected through interviews, surveys, and classroom observations. The findings show that the professional development experience was positive, although one concern expressed by teachers was their lack of understanding of the scientists’ vocabulary. Using scientists and real-world scenarios was shown to be an effective strategy for encouraging middle school teachers to teach science as a process and help them strengthen their science content understanding.
Weingartner, Judith A.
Documentation of adolescents' difficulty in comprehending textbooks spans a century. For just as long, researchers have advocated that explicit instruction of reading strategies can help students' comprehension of text; many have recommended that the best place to teach these strategies is within the content classroom (science, math, etc.), and taught by the content teacher. Despite this research, reading strategy instruction in content classrooms is not a common occurrence. In a large district with 300 middle school science teachers, some science teachers expressed concern about their students' reading difficulties with the district's science text. In response to those concerns, the middle school science coordinator organized a small committee to develop the Reading Strategies Handbook for Middle School Science for Teachers (the Handbook), believing that this tool would guide teachers' in implementing the Handbook's reading strategies and improve students' comprehension of the text. This was a qualitative study that explored 11 middle school science teachers' responses to implementing the Handbook. Data for this study were gathered through an e-mailed questionnaire, a classroom visitation, and one interview with each teacher participant. The study found that teachers' varied backgrounds influenced their beliefs about teaching and learning, and impacted their classroom practices. Teachers faced their district's expectations to implement reading strategies in the Handbook with minimal support and cited influences beyond their control that created tension with their decision whether to implement the Handbook. Teachers commented that a "one size fits all" curriculum and textbook-specific issues influenced their degree of using the Handbook's reading strategies. In addition, teachers identified time and pressure to cover curriculum as obstacles to implementing the Handbook. Implications of these findings include: (a) Professional development studies related to content
Hsu, Hui-Yin; Wang, Shiang-Kwei; Runco, Lisa
Due to the rapid advancements of information and communication technologies (ICTs), educational researchers argue that multimodal and new literacies should become common practices in schools. As new ICTs emerge and evolve, students need the new literacies skills and practices to successfully participate fully in the civic life of a global community. Are teachers prepared to integrate ICTs in the classroom to develop students' new literacies skills? The purpose of this study is to suggest a new literacies framework that guides ICTs integration and supports scientific inquiry, as well as investigate middle school teachers' confidence to practice new literacies in science classrooms. The study adopted mixed-methodology design, surveyed 32 middle school science teachers' ICTs and new literacies skills, and randomly observed 15 teachers' new literacies practices in the classrooms. The results revealed that even though teachers have high confidence in using ICTs, the meaningful technology integration and new literacies practices were scarcely observed in their classroom practices.
Strong, Donna Dorough
The increasing popularity of the middle school movement necessitates a need for more interpretive research in middle level education. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore science teachers' perceptions of the transition to a new middle school and the meanings they attached to this new experience. The participants were three eighth grade science teachers, each with 20 plus years of teaching experience. The primary data for analysis was a series of five interviews with each participant. Data collection also included weekly participant observation of team meetings. Findings revealed that the science teachers all had positive feelings attached to the ability to keep track of students' academic progress and behavior problems as a result of teaming. The changes associated with the first year were very stressful for all three, primarily the loss of the traditional junior high departmentalized structure. The two participants who transferred directly from the junior high school were very skeptical of any benefits from an interdisciplinary curriculum, the appropriateness of the middle school philosophy for eighth grade students, and the move to heterogeneously grouped science classes. In contrast, the former junior high teacher who had spent the past ten years teaching sixth grade at the elementary school had positive beliefs about the potential benefits of an interdisciplinary curriculum and heterogeneous grouping. Teacher stress associated with a change in the school setting and the science teachers' constraints to actualizing a meaningful middle schooling experience are illuminated. Teachers' lack of ownership in the reform decision making process, loss of time with their science teacher peers, diminished compliments from high school counterparts, and need for more empirical evidence supporting proposed changes all served as barriers to embracing the reform initiatives. The participants found taking a very slow approach to be their most useful means of
Beaver, Melanie S.
This study examined the resources and instructional strategies effective middle school science teachers use to improve content area reading skills. Reading instruction in the middle school years should follow the natural cognitive progression that occurs in the adolescent brain from learning to read to reading to learn. Scientific reading is a different type of reading than most middle school students are accustomed to. It is important to understand that students will continue to be expected to read non-fiction critically for success in the 21st century. Effective teachers know this, and they perceive themselves as teachers of reading regardless of the content area in which their expertise lies. This qualitative research study was conducted at a rural middle school with three science teachers who employ before, during, and after literacy strategies when reading the textbook content with their students. The methodologies used in this study were interviews, observations, and document collection. The results of this study revealed the students' reading difficulties perceived by the teacher participants, the literacy strategies used by the teacher participants, the instructional resources the teacher participants used to improve comprehension, and the need for professional development in content area literacy.
Kolb, K. J.; Keller, J. M.; Novodvorsky, I.
The current Mars Exploration strategy of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is to "follow the water" in hopes of finding past or present life. The purpose of our study is to identify alternative conceptions about water on Mars held by middle school science teachers in order to inform space science educators. We use middle school science teachers in southern Arizona and California as the study population because earth science and phase changes are part of state education standards for middle school in Arizona and California. The study assesses understanding of four main concepts: carbon dioxide versus water ice, recent versus ancient water, the phases of water, and how scientists know about water on Mars. To identify teachers' conceptions, an anonymous online survey was administered. The survey also collected non-identifying demographic information about the teachers. A preliminary analysis of the data from the pilot study suggests that the teachers surveyed do not know about or understand that evidence suggests that Mars was different in the past, that water vapor exists on Mars, the utility of Earth-based telescopes, and the status of the search for life on Mars. We will present the teachers' conceptions about water on Mars. Our results will have implications for how NASA and other space science institutes could direct their education and public outreach efforts to middle school science teachers in order to be as effective as possible.
Clement, Mary C.
The use of behavior-based interviewing in the business world to identify the strongest candidates who are best suited to positions may now be coming of age in the world of education. Because middle school environments must provide strong educational experiences for their students, behavior-based interviewing may help schools hire new teachers who…
Schultz, Ann E.
The purpose of this hermeneutic phenomenological study was to understand what it has meant to be a teacher in a middle school that has undergone significant changes to improve student learning. The insights derived from this study can be applied to schools to solve real and significant problems within education. This study outlines a path for…
Hudson, Stephen C.
Frequently, parents, educators, and even government leaders express concern over the continuing violence, as well as the breakdown of discipline within our schools (Boulter, 2004). The purpose of this study was to examine if teacher attitudes influence policy and practice in establishing and enforcing middle school student discipline, and if these…
Fulmer, Sara M.; Turner, Julianne C.
Current education policy and reform advocate for increasing the level of challenge in K-12 classrooms in order to maximize students' learning and academic success. This study examined middle school teachers' views about implementing challenging instruction while participating in a whole-school professional development initiative. A…
Smith, Gary R.
This paper reports on a project started in 1993 to provide preservice teachers with opportunities to engage in an extended conversation with a middle school student using a computer and a modem. The Apple Computer Co. donated the initial equipment to the College of Education at Wayne State University and to the Detroit Open School, Detroit Public…
Grimes, Tameshia Vaden
This descriptive, non-experimental, quantitative study was designed to answer the broad question, "What do grades mean?" Core academic subject middle school teachers from one large, suburban school district in Virginia were administered an electronic survey that asked them to report on aspects of their grading practices and assessment methods for…
Saam, Julie Reinhardt
The National Science Education Standards, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Curriculum Standards, the Interdisciplinary Team Organization structure and the Middle School movement collectively suggest to teachers to make connections between their subject areas. This case study of a middle school mathematics teacher and science teacher utilizes the framework of teacher wisdom to bring a unique perspective to the process of developing and implementing integrated curriculum. Data collection consisted of interviews with the teachers, students, and their principal; documents such lesson plans, team meeting minutes and teacher journal entries; and field notes acquired within team meetings and classroom instruction. The interpretations of this study reveal that teacher development of integrated curriculum occurs in two ways: naturally and intentionally. The natural label used to describe when teachers comfortably share information that could serve as connections between subjects. The intentional label used to describe when the teachers purposely plan integrated lessons and units. These findings also provide an image of middle school integration. This image exhibits more than connections between subject area content; it also shows connections with away-from-school skills and events, lifeskills, and lifelong guidelines. Although these teachers found it frustrating and overwhelming to meet the many views of integration, they assembled integration curriculum that followed their philosophy of education, coincided with their personal characteristics and met the needs of their students. The interpretations of this study reveal a new model of middle school integration. Teachers can use this model as a collection of integration examples. Integration researchers can use this model as a conceptual framework to analyze the integration efforts of middle level teachers. Additional research needs to focus on: developing new modeling and evaluation tools for teachers
This study examined relations between the student-teacher trust relationship and school success, including school adjustment, academic motivation and performance. Data were collected from 318 7th-grade Korean middle school students (170 males, 148 females). All intercorrelations were positively correlated and correlation coefficients were…
Teachers' sense of efficacy has been shown to influence teachers' actions and student outcomes. This study explored self-efficacy beliefs among English as a Foreign Language teachers in selected schools in Venezuela. Data were collected through a survey administered to 100 teachers. The Teacher Sense of Efficacy Scale (Tschannen-Moran & Woolfolk…
Sakiz, Gonul; Pape, Stephen J; Hoy, Anita Woolfolk
The purpose of the present study was to explore the importance of perceived teacher affective support in relation to sense of belonging, academic enjoyment, academic hopelessness, academic self-efficacy, and academic effort in middle school mathematics classrooms. A self-report survey was administered to 317 seventh- and eighth-grade students in 5 public middle schools. Structural equation modeling indicated significant associations between perceived teacher affective support and middle school students' motivational, emotional, and behavioral outcomes. The structural model explained a significant proportion of variance in students' sense of belonging (42%), academic enjoyment (43%), self-efficacy beliefs (43%), academic hopelessness (18%), and academic effort (32%) in mathematics classrooms. In addition to providing the basis for a concise new measure of perceived teacher affective support, these findings point to the importance of students' perceptions of the affective climate within learning environments for promoting academic enjoyment, academic self-efficacy, and academic effort in mathematics. PMID:22386122
Gates, Harry Alton
This research examined middle school teachers' perspectives and practices of teaching through inquiry and the effect of a professional development institute on effecting change in those teachers' perspectives and practices. The professional development institute consisted of 16 days of content and pedagogical instruction, practice teaching, and reflection. Teachers' perspectives of inquiry were established through semi-structured interviews, journals, and written reflections. Teacher practices were assessed through analysis of videotaped lessons using a rubric designed to measure reformed teaching. Teachers' perspectives of inquiry were compared to their practices and to the National Science Education Standards. Through qualitative and quantitative analysis of data it has been found that teacher change is very complex. Professional development must address teacher beliefs, practices, and curriculum. Teachers can adopt the language of reform and imitate reform practices through the use of reform-based curriculum; however, for substantial change in classroom practice to occur, teachers must believe that all students are capable of learning through inquiry.
Robertson, Laura; Jones, M. Gail
This study examined Chinese and US middle-school science teachers' perceptions of autonomy support. Previous research has documented the link between teachers' perceptions of autonomy and the use of student-oriented teaching practices for US teachers. But is not clear how the perception of autonomy may differ for teachers from different cultures or more specifically how motivation factors differ across cultures. The survey measured teachers' motivation, perceptions of constraints at work, perceptions of students' motivation, and level of autonomy support for students. Exploratory factor analysis of responses for the combined teacher sample (n = 201) was carried out for each of the survey assessments. Significance testing for Chinese (n = 107) and US (n = 94) teachers revealed significant differences in teachers' motivation and perceptions of constraints at work and no significant differences for perceptions of students' motivation or their level of autonomy support for students. Chinese teachers' perceptions of constraints at work, work motivation, and perceptions of student motivation were found to significantly predict teachers' autonomy support. For the US teachers, teacher motivation was the only significant predictor of teachers' autonomy support. A sub-sample of teachers (n = 19) was interviewed and results showed that teachers in both countries reported that autonomy was important to their motivation and the quality of science instruction they provided to students. The primary constraints on teaching reported by the US teachers related to materials and laboratory space while the Chinese teachers reported constraints related to the science curriculum and standards.
Duarte, Jonathan T.
Although current reform movements have stressed the importance of developing prospective middle school mathematics teachers' subject matter knowledge and understandings, there is a dearth of research studies with regard to prospective middle school teachers' confidence and knowledge with respect to quadratic functions. This study was intended to…
Terndrup, D. M.; Wojton, M. A.; Sparks, L.; Dungan, R.
As part of a new collaboration between astronomers and educators at a major science center, we have created a program which combines a field trip experience for middle school students with professional development opportunities for their teachers. The program consists of interactive lectures by astronomers, teacher workshops on space science ideas, and inquiry-based student workshops on fundamental (astro)physical concepts. We conducted a pilot program in 2007 consisting of four schools with different student demographics. Initial results show significant improvement between pre- and post-workshop testing in several areas. Several logistical problems remain to be worked out, especially in the operation of the teacher workshops.
Bias, Timothy A.
Purpose. The purpose of this study was to reveal differences between Program Improvement (PI) middle school scripted program and nonscripted program teachers' perceptions of their schools as professional learning communities (PLCs). The concept of PLCs is framed by Hord's (1997) 5 attributes of successful PLCs: supportive shared leadership, shared…
Jackson, Harriet Mason
Across the nation, teachers are leaving the profession, causing severe teacher shortages in some areas (Jackson, 1999). A survey of 117 school systems in North indicated that 12,610 teachers out of a total of 90,307 teachers, or 13.9% employed during the 2000-2001 school year, left the profession (Ingersoll, 2002). North Carolina middle school…
Bogaski, Carolyn Siniscalchi
The purpose of this study was to determine how Florida (FL) private, middle school (MS) leaders define highly qualified (HQ) MS science teachers, and how congruent their definitions are. The study also determines how congruent these leaders' definitions are with FL, national, and National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) definitions. Lastly, the study determines the major challenges these private MS leaders have in hiring MS science teachers who meet the NSTA definition of HQ. A convergent mixed methods survey design (Creswell, 2014) was used, in which qualitative and quantitative data were collected in parallel, analyzed separately, and then merged. Participants in the survey consisted of 119 leaders. A congruency rubric separated responses by religious affiliation and socioeconomic status (SES) level and matched responses with the percentage of congruency with the existing FL, national, and NSTA definitions of HQ. Descriptive statistics, paired samples t-test, and chi-squared test were used to analyze the quantitative and qualitative data. Qualitative data were coded into preliminary and final codes. Final codes were converted into magnitude codes, which allowed the researcher to analyze further the qualitative data statistically. Survey responses received were definitely congruent, except in ranking the importance of a candidate having an out-of-field degree with state certification, and in ranking the importance of a candidate being fully qualified to teach science in their state with a strong knowledge of science content. Segregating the survey responses into registered religious affiliations and SES levels found that the definition of a HQ MS science teacher was mostly congruent among all demographics, with only a couple of exceptions. The study found that these private school leaders' common definition of a HQ MS science teacher is one with adequate science content knowledge, pedagogy including engagement in laboratory activities, ability to relate to
Best, Bonnie M.
Research into African American female underrepresentation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields has become an area of interest due to the fact that a majority of African American middle school females do not possess the high levels of mathematics and science knowledge because of social and cultural barriers both inside and outside school that challenge their academic success. The purpose of this qualitative interpretative phenomenological study was to explore teachers' shared, lived experiences of teaching mathematics and science to African American middle school girls. Delgado and Stefancic's critical race theory, Pratt-Clarke's critical race feminism, and Baker-Miller's relational-cultural theory were used to guide this study. Research questions focused on the perceptions and experiences of teachers' lived experiences teaching mathematics and science to African American middle school females. Criterion, purposive, and maximum variation sampling techniques were used to recruit 10 teachers who have 3 or more years' experience teaching African American middle school girls. Semistructured face-to-face interviews were the primary data collection source. First cycle and second cycle coding methods were used to support the analysis of this study. Findings suggest that there is a connection between a positive student-teacher relationship and academic success. The results of this study contribute to positive social change by providing empirical evidence policymakers and teachers can use to improve the mathematics and science instruction and practices that are needed to meet the needs of African American middle school females and reduce the underrepresentation and underachievement of African American females in mathematics and science.
Selover, Nancy J.; Dorn, Denise; Dorn, Ronald I.; Brazel, Anthony J.
Motorola Inc., research climatologists, preservice teachers taking a science requirement, and students in a Title I middle school explored whether a new major urban lake increases local humidity and decreases quality of life in a community dependent on "dry heat" during summers. Analysis of automated climate data reveals that the urban lake is too…
Cochran Holmes, Ashlee Elizabeth
The purpose of this phenomenological study was to discover the essence of middle school service-learning teachers' experiences with service-learning. Service-learning is "a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility,…
Moreau, Leah K.
This study explored middle school teachers' perceptions of struggling readers, including influences such as: understandings of components and factors relating to reading difficulties; views of struggling readers' behaviours and affect; classroom implications of their difficulties; and feelings of both competency and responsibility in the…
Beville, Francie; Boone, Mark; Chapman, Kelly; Crump, Claudia; Curtis, Lonnie; Erickson, Stacy; Kaiser-Polge, Tami; Klus, John A.; Luebbehusen, Mary Lou; Rea, Patrick S.; Ward, Mary E.
This volume contains 23 lesson plans that were written for middle school teachers to help students learn about East Asia. The lessons are organized across six themes: (1) "People, Places & Environment"; (2) "Technology, Production, Distribution & Consumption"; (3) "Cultures, Continuity, and Change"; (4) "Aesthetics, Celebrations and Values"; (5)…
English language learner (ELL) mathematics students at a California middle school did not meet Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) toward state standards in 2010. The purpose of this project study was to examine 6th and 7th grade mathematics teachers' perceptions regarding differentiated instruction for ELL students' specific academic needs and to…
Brock, Lucy, Ed.
The reading improvement activities in this handbook are intended for use by middle school science teachers. Focusing on study skills, vocabulary development, and comprehension development, the activities include (1) surveying science texts and science content area reading materials, (2) outlining, (3) spelling, (4) syllabication, (5) word…
Sandoval, Juan Manuel; Challoo, Linda B.; Kupczynski, Lori
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between the collective efficacy of teachers and student achievement at economically disadvantaged middle school campuses. The population of the study consisted of Texas campuses that served economically disadvantaged students and received a campus rating of Exemplary or Academically…
Fleming, Cris; Swarth, Christopher
This environmental education teaching guide for middle school teachers features information on the National Estuarine Reserve System in Maryland. Pre-trip field activities, field trip activities, and post-trip activities are discussed, and a list of useful resources and organizations is provided. Reproducible handouts are included throughout the…
van Zee, Emily H.; Jansen, Henri; Winograd, Kenneth; Crowl, Michele; Devitt, Adam
The ability to listen closely, speak clearly, write coherently, read with comprehension, and to create and critique media offerings in science contexts is essential for effective science teaching. How might instructors develop such abilities in a physics course for prospective elementary and middle school teachers? We describe here such a course,…
Goldston, M. Jenice; Downey, Laura
Designed around a practical "practice-what-you-teach" approach to methods instruction, "Your Science Classroom: Becoming an Elementary/Middle School Science Teacher" is based on current constructivist philosophy, organized around 5E inquiry, and guided by the National Science Education Teaching Standards. Written in a reader-friendly style, the…
Burton, Warren H.; And Others
This publication outlines the role of the blacks in U.S. history. It is intended as an aid to elementary, middle, and junior high school teachers. The outline is organized by the following areas: The Role of the Negro in American History (1422-1790); Exploration and Colonization (1450-1763); Significant Events (1781-1796); (1796-1850);…
Cleary, Maria F.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the perceptions of teachers regarding the effects of a character education program on student behavior at a New Jersey public middle school for sixth graders. Specifically, the studied examined student behaviors in the areas of self-awareness, self-management, relationship management and social…
Magiera, Marta T.; van den Kieboom, Leigh A.; Moyer, John C.
Using algebraic habits of mind as a framework, and focusing on thinking about functions and how they work, we examined the relationship between 18 pre-service middle school teachers' ability to use the features of the algebraic thinking (AT) habit of mind "Building Rules to Represent Functions" and their ability to recognize and…
Freer, Patrick K.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between teacher language use and student quality of experience during choral rehearsals. Particularly at the middle school level, few data exist about the ways in which instructional discourse during rehearsals affects student experience. Existing research suggests the use of…
Wagler, Ron; Wagler, Amy
The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between United States (US) preservice middle school science teacher characteristics, their attitude toward a specific animal and their belief concerning the likelihood of incorporating information about that specific animal into their future science classroom. The study participants…
Ellerbrock, Cheryl R.; Abbas, Bridget; DiCicco, Michael
In this year-long qualitative multi-site case study, researchers identified how eighth and ninth-grade teacher practices may support students' basic and developmental needs across the middle-to-high-school transition. Data were collected throughout 2009, including individual interviews, focus group interviews, observations, and artifact data of 23…
Flanagan, Sara; Bouck, Emily C.; Richardson, Jennifer
In this research the authors examined middle school special education teachers' perceptions of assistive technology during literacy instruction with students with high incidence disabilities. A survey explored the use, effectiveness, and factors impacting use or effectiveness of assistive technology for literacy teaching and learning. Results…
Krall, Rebecca McNall; Lott, Kimberly H.; Wymer, Carol L.
The purpose of this descriptive study was to investigate inservice elementary and middle school teachers' conceptions of photosynthesis and respiration, basic concepts they are expected to teach. A forced-choice instrument assessing selected standards-based life science concepts with non-scientific conceptions embedded in distracter options was…
Sakiz, Gonul; Pape, Stephen J.; Hoy, Anita Woolfolk
The purpose of the present study was to explore the importance of perceived teacher affective support in relation to sense of belonging, academic enjoyment, academic hopelessness, academic self-efficacy, and academic effort in middle school mathematics classrooms. A self-report survey was administered to 317 seventh- and eighth-grade students in 5…
Aiken, Geoff; Benton, Susan; Duvall, James; Eltzroth, Diane; Hooyberg, Astrid; Keim, Marilee; Norris, Elizabeth; Smith, Peggy; Vogel, Kathy; Williams, Steven
This volume contains 40 lesson plans that were written for middle school teachers to help students learn about East Asia. The lessons are organized across five themes: (1) "People, Places & Environment"; (2) "Technology, Production, Distribution & Consumption"; (3) "Cultures, Continuity, Change"; (4) Institutions, Power & Government"; and (5)…
Alexandrowicz, Harry J.
This guide presents a series of scenarios that encapsulate the legal, philosophical, and common sense challenges faced by middle and high school teachers every day. Each scenario includes the vignette, the topical problem areas into which it falls, four possible solutions, space for the readers to state what they would do in each situation, and…
Craig, Cheryl J.; You, JeongAe; Oh, Suhak
In this article, tensions in teacher community arose when the school's "rainy day" policy was invoked in the middle of a class period, disturbing instruction on the athletic field and subsequently in the gymnasium. The narrative inquiry takes a multiperspectival stance towards competing commitments to educational policy, on one…
Goodson-Espy, Tracy; Cifarelli, Victor V.; Pugalee, David; Lynch-Davis, Kathleen; Morge, Shelby; Salinas, Tracie
This study explored how mathematics content and methods courses for preservice elementary and middle school teachers could be improved through the integration of a set of instructional materials based on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). A set of eight instructional modules was developed and tested. The study involved 7…
This study described, analyzed, and compared the internal and external factors that prevented or fostered the implementation of a cognitive tool, GeoGebra, in the mathematics practices of 12 middle school teachers who had completed a master's degree program in mathematics successfully. Through the application of a case study approach as a…
Goldston, M. Jenice; Nichols, Sharon
This study situated in a Southern resegregated Black middle school involved four Black teachers and two White science educators' use of photonarratives to envision culturally relevant science pedagogy. Two questions guided the study: (1) What community referents are important for conceptualizing culturally relevant practices in Black science…
Theadford, Brita A.
This qualitative case study examined four middle school science teachers from Southern New Jersey perceptions and reflections about their selections of instructional strategies used to teach scientific concepts to seventh and eighth grade students. They reflected upon their pedagogy by reviewing videotaped lessons, reflective journaling, and participating in in-depth interviews. The findings in this study indicated that reflecting upon instruction contributes to the knowledge base of teaching, improves teachers' individual practices, and helps practitioners become deliberate about their instructional practices. Teacher should have opportunities to observe, investigate and practice using components they perceive as useful instructional strategies to teach scientific concepts to middle school students. When teachers engage in reflection, pedagogical strategies transform and teachers lean toward choosing instructional strategies that are less teacher-centered toward that of more student-centered. In conclusion, it is evident that engaging in student-centered dialogue, argumentation, and researched-based projects improved the way students learned. The participants found that constructivist, hands-on inquiry and reasoning, are skills that middle school students can readily engage in and students can develop skills that help them to think and act more like scientist.
Almazroa, Hiya Mohammed
This study was conducted to explore Saudi middle and high school science teachers' conceptions of the Nature of Science (NOS). It also detected the effects of gender, science content major, and years of teaching experience on teachers' conceptions of the NOS. The study included a sample of 786 science teachers (137 male and 649 female) who were teaching in middle and high schools in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in the 1995-1996 academic year. The study was conducted using a translated version of the Nature of Science Scale (NOSS) developed by Kimball (1967). The scale contains 29 items ranging from "agree" to "disagree", and the scoring of the items ranged from 29 to 87. The lowest score is 29 (1 x 29) and the highest score possible on the test is 87 (3 x 29 items). The data collected was statistically analyzed using descriptive statistics and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). The study revealed that Saudi science teachers as a group hold numerous misconceptions about the NOS with a significant difference in understanding the NOS between the male and female teachers. The study also showed that teachers with a major in physics held more adequate views than did teachers with other majors. In addition, novice teachers were found to have more adequate conceptions of the NOS than did experienced teachers.
McGregor, Katheryne L.
This qualitative research study investigated and identified the classroom management strategies of 12 highly effective middle school teachers who served diverse student populations at two different school sites. In addition, this research explored the beliefs and experiences of 305 diverse middle school students regarding their experiences with…
Pawan, Faridah, Ed.; Sietman, Ginger, Ed.
This volume of Collaborative Partnerships between ESL and Classroom Teachers gives emphasis to collaborative partnerships in the middle and high school levels. Editors Faridah Pawan and Ginger Sietman gather expert authors who present us with models of classroom-based and school-based collaborative partnerships from middle and high schools across…
Giles, Steven M.; Pankratz, Melinda M.; Ringwalt, Chris; Jackson-Newsom, Julia; Hansen, William B.; Bishop, Dana; Dusenbury, Linda; Gottfredson, Nisha
We examine whether teachers' communicator style relates to student engagement, teacher-student relationships, student perceptions of teacher immediacy, as well as observer ratings of delivery skills during the implementation of All Stars, a middle school-based substance use prevention program. Data from 48 teachers who taught All Stars up to 3…
Chaney, Maura Chase
The purpose of this case study was to examine the transition from junior high school to a middle school as experienced in two middle schools from a mid-sized urban school district located in the Rocky Mountains. The overarching question that guided data collection for this study centered on the factors that influenced school culture before,…
Wall, Nancy Amanda
Motivation is an important topic of concern for teachers. A review of motivation research, though, revealed that students have been the focus of motivation research. When teachers have been included in studies, researchers have asked teachers to evaluate specific students, compared teacher and student perception of the same phenomena, or asked…
Liu, Shujie; Xu, Xianxuan; Stronge, James H.
Teacher performance evaluation currently is receiving unprecedented attention from policy makers, scholars, and practitioners worldwide. This study is one of the few studies of teacher perceptions regarding teacher performance measures that focus on China. We employed a quantitative dominant mixed research design to investigate Chinese teachers'…
Seibert, Judy C.
Nationally, teacher absenteeism has become problematic, in part, as a result of collective bargaining agreements between teachers' unions and school boards. Additionally, teacher absenteeism is increasingly problematic because the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) requires schools to meet yearly academic targets in reading and mathematics. The…
Cepeda, Linda F.
An important aspect of developing science literacy for all students is developing science-literate teachers. With the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act, many middle school teachers found themselves in a position where they were no longer qualified to teach middle school science. This study was designed to help science teachers…
Halpin-Brunt, Shannon Ann
The purpose of this study was to enhance our understanding of differentiated instructional practices in middle school science classrooms using a case study methodology to examine the following aspects of differentiated instruction as exhibited by six participating teachers: the role of the teacher in the implementation of differentiated instruction; the forms of differentiated instructional strategies used by the science teachers to engage students of varying ability levels; and the teachers' beliefs about differentiation and its influence on instruction. Major principles of differentiated learning were exemplified in the teachers' implementation of differentiated instructional strategies including: student interest and need, comfortable and supportive learning environment, and connections between curriculum and life experiences. These philosophical principles were demonstrated through teacher reflection, adjustment of lessons, diversified teaching methods, appealing to students' multiple intelligences, and active student involvement in learning throughout the lessons. Constructivist theory associated with differentiation suggests that student thinking needs to be valued and lessons should invite students to explore science themes. The teachers exhibited practices consistent with this perspective by creating a positive learning environment, valuing student ideas, encouraging student questions, and designing lessons with multiple opportunities for students to interact with other students. The teachers implemented interactive lessons, sought students' views and real world connections, focused on main ideas, and modified lessons around the main ideas based on student needs. Effective implementation of differentiated instruction was marked by lesson planning, reflection, and adjustment by the teachers. The results indicated that teachers assessed students by using constant assessment whether it was formal or informal, and used the information to adapt instructional
Mayo, L. A.; Janney, D.
There is a crisis in education at the middle school level (Spellings, 2006). Recent studies point to large disparities in middle school performance in schools with high minority populations. The largest disparities exist in areas of math and science. Astronomy has a universal appeal for K-12 students but is rarely taught at the middle school level. When it is taught at all it is usually taught in isolation with few references in other classes such as other sciences (e.g. physics, biology, and chemistry), math, history, geography, music, art, or English. The problem is greatest in our most challenged school districts. With scores in reading and math below national averages in these schools and with most state achievement tests ignoring subjects like astronomy, there is little room in the school day to teach about the world outside our atmosphere. Add to this the exceedingly minimal training and education in astronomy that most middle school teachers have and it is a rare school that includes any astronomy teaching at all. In this presentation, we show how to develop and offer an astronomy education training program for middle school teachers encompassing a wide range of educational disciplines that are frequently taught at the middle school level. The prototype for this program was developed and launched in two of the most challenged and diverse school systems in the country; D.C. Public Schools, and Montgomery County (MD) Public Schools.
Wickler, Nicole I. Z.
According to the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future (1996), a teacher's professional preparation, their work conditions and sense of efficacy are fundamental to improving elementary and secondary education. These factors lie at the core of educational reforms that seek to raise standards, reshape curricula, and restructure the way schools operate. The call to reconceptualize the practice of teaching and the interaction between teachers and students ring hollow without a careful examination of actions that have taken place in the workplace of teachers themselves. A national profile that identifies key characteristics of the current status of public middle school science teachers preparation, teaching qualifications, and work environments can provide a context for better understanding the current conditions that confront science teachers. This study seeks to provide critical information in four major areas: (1) preservice learning and teaching assignment; (2) continued learning; (3) supportive work environment, and (4) teachers' sense of efficacy. This study is based on current efforts by the National Center for Education Statistics (LACES) to collect data of key indicators of teacher preparation and qualifications using a large-scale survey administered to a nationally representative sample of full-time public school teachers whose primary teaching assignment is in science. In this effort, the information reported in this study utilizes the NCES's Schools and Staffing Surveys (SASS) from 1987--88 and 1993--94. Significant change between 1987--77 and 1993--94 was determined using a t-test for independent means. In addition, frequency counts were analyzed using a chi-square statistic to determine if more "qualified middle school science teachers" were located in particular schools by urbanicity location or/and percent minority enrollment. In general, the quality of middle school science teachers across the country is declining. Teachers report they
Smart, Julie B.; Marshall, Jeff C.
Classroom discourse can affect various aspects of student learning in science. The present study examines interactions between classroom discourse, specifically teacher questioning, and related student cognitive engagement in middle school science. Observations were conducted throughout the school year in 10 middle school science classrooms using the Electronic Quality of Inquiry Protocol, which is designed, among other things, to measure observable aspects of student cognitive engagement and discourse factors during science instruction. Results from these observations indicate positive correlations between students' cognitive engagement and the following aspects of classroom discourse: questioning level, complexity of questions, questioning ecology, communication patterns, and classroom interactions. A sequential explanatory mixed-methods design provides a detailed look at each aspect of classroom discourse which showed a positive effect on student cognitive level during science instruction. Implications for classroom practice, teacher education, and professional development are discussed.
Yoon, Irene H.
This dissertation investigates how the intersections of race, class, and gender operate in the everyday teaching and professional norms of middle-class White women teachers--particularly in schools such as the one in this study, where a majority of middle-class, White women teachers serve predominantly low-income, racially and ethnically diverse…
Bateman, Susan; Karr-Kidwell, PJ
This paper provides an extensive literature review concerning at-risk students and their needs, identifies the essential components necessary for effective at-risk programming, and describes successful at-risk programs and recommendations for administrators and teachers at the middle- and high-school levels. The literature review presents research…
Hong, Jung Eun
One factor underlying the use of information and communications technologies (ICT) in schools is the interest and willingness of teachers to learn and adopt these technologies in their teaching. Previous studies of geographic information systems (GIS), as one type of ICT, indicate that the lack of teacher training is one of the key barriers to…
Haas, Mary E.; Laughlin, Margaret Ann
Presents the results from a survey of middle and high school social studies teachers that asked if and how the impeachment of President Bill Clinton was being taught. Discusses implications for social studies curriculum, current issues, the media, and teaching middle school students. (CMK)
Marinell, William H.; Coca, Vanessa M.
This paper synthesizes findings from the Research Alliance's investigation of teacher turnover in New York City's public middle schools. These years are widely recognized as a critical turning point for students, and the NYC Department of Education (DOE) is pursuing a range of middle school improvement initiatives. The stability of the middle…
Fogleman, Jay; McNeill, Katherine L.; Krajcik, Joseph
Reform based curriculum offer a promising avenue to support greater student achievement in science. Yet teachers frequently adapt innovative curriculum when they use them in their own classrooms. In this study, we examine how 19 teachers adapted an inquiry-oriented middle school science curriculum. Specifically, we investigate how teachers'…
Ray, Amber B.; Graham, Steve; Houston, Julia D.; Harris, Karen R.
A random sample of middle school teachers (grades 6-9) from across the United States was surveyed about their use of writing to support students' learning. The selection process was stratified so there were an equal number of English language arts, social studies, and science teachers. More than one-half of the teachers reported applying 15 or…
Williams, Dottie S.
Previous research has demonstrated that a positive relationship between teacher and student improves student performance in school. However, less information is available regarding the verbal and nonverbal communications between the students with special needs and their teachers within this middle school subgroup. Personal attention and support…
This study investigated 11 pre-service middle school teachers' solution strategies for exploring their knowledge of fraction division interpretations. Each participant solved six fraction division problems. The problems were organized into two sets: symbolic problems (involving numbers only) and contextual problems (involving measurement interpretation and the determination of unit rate interpretation). Results showed that most of the participants exhibited a great amount of procedural knowledge as they applied algorithms to obtain the correct answers to the symbolic problems. They also exhibited a great amount of conceptual understanding of how and why they obtained the correct answers to the contextual problems. However, the pre-service middle school teachers neither provided interpretations to the symbolic problems nor accepted that the contextual problems involved fraction division operation. The results suggest that the measurement and rate concepts were often unlinked to fraction division.
Thompson, Arkeco Lashay Lewis
Early attrition from teaching bears enormous costs. High attrition means that schools must take funds urgently needed for school improvements and spend them instead in a manner that produces little long-term payoff for student learning (Kain & Singleton, 1996). Keeping highly qualified teachers should always be at the top of the priority list of…
Aydeniz, Mehmet; Southerland, Sherry A.
This study explored American high school and middle school science teachers' attitudes toward the use of standardized testing for accountability purposes, their justification for the attitudes they hold and the impact of standardized testing on their instructional and assessment practices. A total of 161 science teachers participated in the study. Analyses were based on teachers' responses to a questionnaire including nine-item likert-scale questions and two-item open-ended questions. The analyses revealed that science teachers have mixed reactions to the administration of standardized tests and its use for accountability purposes. The findings also reveal that standardized testing has a significant influence on science teachers' instructional and assessment practices in ways that are counter to the learning goals promoted by science education reformists. Our discussion focuses on the implicit and explicit influences of the NCLB Act on science curriculum, teaching and assessment, and how the NCLB driven policies undermine the goals of science education reform.
Kauffman, Theresa Rose
Researchers have found that positive relationships in schools can impact student achievement, and researchers in brain imaging have connected emotion centers in the brain to the learning process. However, current practice in schools reflects a lack of understanding of the impact of relationships in the classroom on learning from a student…
Gillan, Amy Larrison
The demand for a more ocean literate citizenry is growing rapidly in response to an ocean increasingly in peril. Discovering how to include students far removed from the ocean in our teaching about the ocean is imperative to meeting that charge. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the extent to which middle school science teachers in landlocked states addressed important ocean literacy concepts and what they perceived to be barriers and motivators to their doing so. This descriptive study was based on a nation-wide survey of middle school science teachers and content analyses of their most commonly used science textbooks and their state science standards. Data was analyzed quantitatively. Results indicated that landlocked and coastal teachers are similar in terms of their infrequency of teaching about the ocean, yet a number of their perceptions of barriers and motivators to do so vary. The barrier most often mentioned was middle school state science standards, which characteristically ignore the ocean sciences. The results are discussed in terms of their impact on ocean literacy professional development providers, science textbook publishers, and state science standards revision committees.
Odom, Arthur L.; Stoddard, Elizabeth R.; LaNasa, Steven M.
We report on the construction and application of an instrument entitled the "Science Achievement Influences Survey" to assess combined effects of student attitudes about science, peer interaction, and home support, and the frequency of student-centred and teacher-centred instructional practices on student achievement. Controlling for pre-test…
San Francisco Recycling Program, CA.
Learning about issues such as natural resources, solid waste management, waste reduction, and the economics of recycling can encourage people to make better choices for the future. This curriculum provides teachers and students with background information and activities relating to four major ecological issues: natural resources, waste management,…
Wegner, Molly F.
As students begin middle school, they are expected to possess and apply a wide array of nonfiction reading strategies if they are to comprehend new concepts from nonfiction texts. Although strategies and resource guides for fiction reading are available, an effective nonfiction reading comprehension resource guide tailored to middle school science teachers is lacking. The conceptual framework guiding this study is based on schema theory that supports the use of prior knowledge as a foundation for learning. The purpose of this project study was to address this local problem by providing middle school science teachers with a user-friendly resource for nonfiction reading comprehension strategies in a science context. The research question examined nonfiction reading comprehension strategies that could supplement middle school science teachers' instructional practices to increase student comprehension in science, as reflected on the results of state standardized tests. This project study consulted science and language arts teachers using a Delphi questionnaire technique to achieve a consensus through multiple iterations of questionnaires. Science teachers identified 7 areas of concern as students read nonfiction texts, and language arts teachers suggested effective reading comprehension strategies to address these areas. Based on the consensus of reading comprehension strategies and review of literature, a resource guide for middle school science teachers was created. By improving reading comprehension in content areas, teachers may not only increase student learning, but also underscore the importance of literacy relating to life-long learning through future occupations, academic endeavors, and society as well.
Tonso, Karen L.; Jung, Maura Lobos; Colombo, Marie
Considered a successful university-operated, urban middle school serving an overwhelmingly African American student body, "Charter" Middle School was dechartered suddenly, then merged a year later with students from a neighborhood school to become "Choice" Middle School, a school of choice in the urban district. Using a situated learning framework…
Watts, Cherry; Seed, Allen H.; Franceschini, Louis A., III
In 2009, the Tennessee Professors of Middle Level Education (TPOMLE) examined how Tennessee schools implemented the middle school concept. Of concern was the impact that emphasis on accountability and achievement had on the middle school concept which emphasizes the development of the whole child. A survey was developed based on the tenets of…
Mascia, Sally Marie
United States policymakers have taken measures to improve learning for all students emphasizing the use of scientifically based research in choosing educational programs to promote school improvement and student learning. However, educators, researchers and policymakers debate about which factors are most important in affecting student…
Williams, Dawn Michelle
With the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (2002) schools are challenged by high-stakes testing and the need to maintain a highly qualified teaching force. The focus of discussion is often effective interventions and strategies to assist students to become academically successful. However, a number of researchers (Kaplan &…
Ball, Nadine Butcher
This qualitative study describes three middle-school science teachers' relationship-with-nature in personal and classroom contexts. Participating teachers had more than 7 years experience and were deemed exemplary practitioners by others. Interview data about personal context focused on photographs the teacher took representing her/his relationship-with-nature in daily life. Interview data for classroom context explored classroom events during three or more researcher observations. Transcripts were analyzed using a multiple-readings approach to data reduction (Gilligan, Brown & Rogers, 1990; Miles & Huberman, 1994, p. 14, 141). Readings generated categorical information focused on portrayals of: nature; self; and relationship-with-nature. Categorical data were synthesized into personal and teaching case portraits for each teacher, and cross case themes identified. Participants indicated the portraits accurately represented who they saw themselves to be. Additional readings identified sub-stories by plot and theme. Narrative data were clustered to highlight elements of practice with implications for the relationship-with-nature lived in the classroom. These individual-scale moments were compared with cultural-scale distinctions between anthropocentric and ecological world views. Cross case themes included dimensions of exemplary middle-school science teaching important to teacher education and development, including an expanded conception of knowing and skillful use of student experience. Categorical analysis revealed each teacher had a unique organizing theme influencing their interpretation of personal and classroom events, and that nature is experienced differently in personal as opposed to teaching contexts. Narrative analysis highlights teachers' stories of classroom pets, dissection, and student dissent, illustrating an interplay between conceptual distinctions and personal dimensions during moments of teacher decision making. Results suggest teachers
Black, Denise L.
The purpose of this research was to examine middle school science teachers' perceptions of their students' affective behaviors at each level of the affective domain (receiving, responding, valuing, organization, characterization of value system), perceptions of the usefulness of constructivism as a curricular theory, and constructivist teaching strategies. This study investigated the relationship between affect and constructivism to determine if constructivist strategies can predict levels of affective behavior. Affect is a broad generalization that includes elements (i.e., interests, attitudes, values, emotions, and feelings). The importance of this research relates to enhancing learning, increasing achievement, participatory democracy, and facilitating understanding of science, as well as promoting the development of higher order thinking skills. A nonexperimental, descriptive research design was used to determine the relationship between affect and constructivism. A total of 111 middle school teachers participated in this study. Three instruments were used in this study: Taxonomy of Affective Behavior (TAB), Survey of Science Instruction (SSI), and a short demographic survey. Statistical significance obtained from one-sample t-tests provided evidence that teachers were aware that the affective domain was a viable construct. Statistical evidence of one-sample t-tests provided evidence that teachers perceived constructivism was useful to teach science to middle school students. Pearson product moment correlations results indicated statistically significant relationships between perceptions of constructivism and associated constructivist teaching strategies. Stepwise multiple linear regression analysis revealed a relationship between affect and constructivism. Teacher responses indicated they felt constrained from implementing constructivism due to an emphasis on testing. Colleges of education, curriculum specialists, science teachers, and school districts may
Fisanick, Laura M.
This descriptive study explores three aspects of teacher behavior related to student participation in science fair competitions: teacher attitudes, teacher preference for different student-learning modes, and teacher motives for required student participation. Teacher motives for required student participation may stem from curriculum and standardized test requirements, school administrators' expectations, teacher preference for a competitive student-learning mode, and teacher attitudes towards science fair competitions. Survey data collected for this study included teacher attitudes about science fair competitions, teacher preference for different student-learning modes, and demographic data about middle school teachers who sponsor students in PJAS science fair competitions. The theoretical framework in this study is the theory of planned behavior proposed by Ajzen. The results from the analysis of data in this study showed that the majority of the teachers in this sample held positive attitudes towards science fair competitions and required their students to conduct science fair projects but did not require their students to participate in science fair competitions. The middle school science teachers in the sample would involve their students in PJAS competitions even if their districts did not require them to participate. The teachers in this study preferred the cooperative and individualistic student-learning modes. Teacher gender did not influence a preference for a particular student-learning mode. Using the theoretical framework from this study revealed teachers who required their students to participate in science fair competitions also required their students to conduct science fair projects.
Leong, Karen C.
The topic of parental involvement has been widely studied but within the topic, the area of training teachers to work with parents has not. The training and preparation for teachers to work with parents are scarce and at times, non-existent. The primary purpose of this study is to examine effective middle school teachers about the steps on their…
This paper explores whether an urban school teacher's participation in an inquiry based Master's degree programme contributes to any shifts in her understanding of her non-dominant students and her own teaching. In the first section I define the theoretical constructs of critical education and dialogic discourse. The second section, through a…
Castle, Margaret Ann
A number of reports have raised a concern that the U.S. is not meeting the demands of 21st century skill preparation of students, teachers, and practitioners in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). In 2005 and 2006 five reports were released indicating a need for improvement in science and mathematics education in the U.S. The reports were: Keeping America Competitive: Five Strategies To Improve Mathematics and Science Education (Coble & Allen, 2005); National Defense Education and Innovation Initiative: Meeting America's Economic and Security Challenges in the 21st Century (The Association of American Universities, 2006); Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future (National Academies Press, 2007); Tapping America's Potential: The Education for Innovation Initiative (Business Roundtable Taskforce , 2005); and Waiting for Sputnik: Basic Research and Strategic Competition (Lewis, 2005). Consensus of data in these reports indicates that the U.S., as compared to other industrialized nations, does not fare very well in science achievement and STEM degree attainment. For example, on the 2003 Program for International Assessment (PISA), 15-year-old students in the U.S. ranked 28th in math and 24th in science literacy (Kuenzi, Matthews, & Mangon, 2006). Furthermore, the U.S. ranked 20th among all nations in the proportion of 24-year-olds who earned degrees in natural sciences or engineering (Kuenzi, 2008). As a result, if the U.S. is to remain scientifically and technologically competitive in the world, it is necessary to increase our efforts to incorporate scientific practices associated with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics into the science classroom. Middle school is a critical point in students' science education and it is in middle school that they begin to dislike science. Research indicates that when students learn science through inquiry their interest in and
Barger, Rita H.; McCoy, Ann C.
This article presents an example of how middle school teachers can lay a foundation for calculus. Although many middle school activities connect directly to calculus concepts, the authors have decided to look in depth at only one: the concept of change. They will show how teachers can lead their students to see and appreciate the calculus…
The majority of urban minority students, particularly Black students, continue to perform below proficiency on standardized state and national testing in all areas that seriously impact economically advanced career options, especially in areas involving science. If education is viewed as a way out of poverty, there is a need to identify pedagogical methodologies that assist Black students in achieving higher levels of success in science, and in school in general. The purpose of this study was to explore White teachers' and Black students' perceptions about the teaching strategies used in their low socioeconomic status (LSES) urban science classrooms, that led to academic success for Black students. Participants included three urban middle school White teachers thought to be the best science teachers in the school, and five randomly selected Black students from each of their classrooms. Methods of inquiry involving tenets of grounded theory were used to examine strategies teachers used to inspire Black students into academic success. Data collection included teacher and student interviews, field notes from classroom observations, group discussions, and questionaires. Data were analyzed using open, axial, and selective coding. The teachers' perceptions indicated that their prior belief systems, effective academic and personal communication, caring and nurturing strategies, using relevant and meaningful hands-on activities in small learner-centered groups, enhanced the learning capabilities of all students in their classrooms, especially the Black students. Black students' perceptions indicated that their academic success was attributable to what teachers personally thought about them, demonstrated that they cared, communicated with them on a personal and academic level, gave affirmative feedback, simplified, and explained content matter. Black students labeled teachers who had these attributes as "nice" teachers. The nurturing and caring behaviors of "nice" teachers
Williams, Desha; Gray, Kimberly; Stockdale, Susan
Middle school teachers teach energetic, curious adolescents rigorous content at a time in their lives when many changes are occurring. Those entering the teaching profession as middle school teachers must be prepared for this unique environment. This study examines 16 pre-service middle school teachers' developments as they participate in a…
The middle school reading/literature instructor needs to determine where each student is in reading achievement and then assist each to achieve as optimally as possible. What might the teacher do to assist students to become good middle school readers? A major problem of middle schoolers is to be able to recognize a certain percent of words…
Pea, Celeste H.
Current research shows that teachers' beliefs have been virtually ignored in science education reform efforts spearheaded by the development of national, state, and local standards. Since the aim of science education reform is to improve scientific literacy for all students, increasingly, researchers are questioning the lack of attention to teachers' beliefs and are calling for more research to examine teachers' beliefs and the influence of school environmental factors on their classroom practices. The purpose of this study was to explore, investigate, and analyze data that might reveal middle school science teachers' beliefs about science teaching and how school environmental factors influence their classroom behavior. The mixed methods study was conducted in a large urban/suburban county in an eastern state in the United States. Data were collected through a Likert-style survey and interview and observation sessions. Ninety-one middle school science teachers completed the survey. Three teachers from the survey sample also participated in the interview and observation sessions. The findings from the quantitative and qualitative data indicated that most of the middle school science teachers in this study believed that science teaching should be student-centered, and science instruction should be based on an inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning. They also believed that the state and county standards were the most important factors in helping teachers to use inquiry-based instructional strategies to teach science. In addition to the science standards, the middle school science teachers believed that peer and principal support were critical to their success as teachers, and that instructional materials and supplies were readily available to help them teach science. The findings from the study indicated that few school environmental factors affected the middle school teachers' classroom practices. However, time (to participate in more professional activities
Peltier, Courtney Pisarich
The purpose of this study was to examine the attitudes and practices of elementary, middle, and high school teachers regarding homework. In addition, the study sought to find if there was a relationship between the teachers' attitudes and practices of homework, as well as finding the differences between the grade levels. The questionnaire used…
Tarlow, Lynn D.
This study documents the change in teaching practices of a group of mathematics teachers in urban middle schools as they participated in a program of professional development to promote standards-based learning environments. The teachers made a shift in their classroom practice from a traditional, didactic lecture approach towards a role of…
Walker, Sharon H.
Describes a 12-day teacher inservice course in oceanography and coastal processes that focuses on enhanced content knowledge, improved teaching strategies, role modeling, and leadership development. The primary objective is improving the teaching techniques of elementary and middle school teachers of predominantly minority students. Strategies…
The study explored the influence of university-based teacher education courses on pre-service middle and high school teachers' experiences with multicultural themes in a secondary science alternative certification program. Eight participants (N = 8), six women and two men, volunteered to be a part of the study that took place over a period of four…
The purpose of this study was to explore the teaching practices of an ESL (English as a second language) teacher with regard to middle school English-language learners' participation in classroom activities. Findings suggest that the teacher's approach based on the students' sociocultural needs--more so than their linguistic needs--promoted their…
Wetzel, Keith; Marshall, Summer
This is a qualitative study addressing the question: In what ways does a sixth grade middle school teacher show evidence of behaviors that fit the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) framework in the classroom? The researcher observed in this class, interviewed the teacher, and looked for evidence of the interplay between…
Puchner, Laurel; Klein, Nicole Aydt
In this article we report results of a qualitative interview study focusing on middle school Language Arts teachers' perceptions, attitudes, and reported practices related to LGBQ topics. The study found that virtually all of the teacher participants recognized that the topic of same-sex sexuality was important for their students, yet the teachers…
Jansen, Amanda; Spitzer, Sandy M.
In this study, we examined prospective middle school mathematics teachers' reflective thinking skills to understand how they learned from their own teaching practice when engaging in a modified lesson study experience. Our goal was to identify variations among prospective teachers' descriptions of students' thinking and frequency of their…
Morrison, Judith A.; Estes, Jeffrey C.
Middle school science teachers were involved in a problem-solving experience presented and guided by research scientists. Data on the teachers’ perspectives about this professional development and any impact it may have had on their teaching practices were collected through interviews, surveys, and classroom observations. The findings show that the professional development experience was positive, although one concern expressed by teachers was their lack of understanding of the scientists’ vocabulary. Using scientists and real-world scenarios was shown to be an effective strategy for encouraging middle school teachers to teach science as a process and help them strengthen their science content understanding.
Jeranyama, Letina Ngwenya
At the dawn of the 21st century the science education community is seeking ways of improving science education to produce a scientific literate citizenry. They have put forth new goals. Teachers are key to all efforts to improve schools, that without their full participation, any move to reform education nor matter how well intentioned is doomed to failure. The changes in the goals of science education imply that teachers have to change the way they teach science. Some scholars have suggested that one way to help teachers attain the reform goals is by using embedded assessment. Embedded assessment is defined as a cyclical and ongoing process whereby teachers gather data about students' understanding as they teach, they analyze the data formally or informally and use the analysis to plan or adjust teaching immediately, for the next hour, day, topic, unit or year. The next day's activities also include embedded assessment and so the cycle repeats itself. This study investigates how teachers make sense of embedded assessment, how embedded assessment looks in practice, how it influences teachers and their classroom environments and the challenges teachers face as they use embedded assessment. Three middle school science teachers were involved in the study. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with open-ended questions, participant observations and professional development conversations. Data were analyzed using the qualitative method of constant comparative analysis. The findings indicate that teachers passed through different stages in conceptualizing embedded assessment. This conceptualization influenced the way embedded assessment looked in the classroom. Embedded assessment took many forms and shapes in the teachers' classrooms. Embedded assessment influenced the teachers' perspectives about the curriculum, students, teaching, assessment, planning and reflection in ways that enabled the teachers to be investigators of their students' understanding
Skoretz, Yvonne M.
The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of a school-based, job-embedded professional development program on elementary and middle school teacher efficacy for technology integration. Teacher efficacy has been identified as a strong predictor of whether the content of professional development will transfer to classroom practice…
McNelly, Deborah; Hoff, Douglas
This social studies curriculum with a science component contains two sections. The first section targets elementary schools and includes six lessons. The second section is intended for middle schools and high schools and contains four units. These two sections overlap with each other and can be used by teachers from any grade level. The content of…
Klepper, Nancy Haifley
The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore philosophies, life experiences, educational preparation, classroom techniques, and perceived limitations that enhanced or prevented a feeling of successful teaching practice for six middle school science teachers who had at least one but no more than four years of science teaching experience. The study was conducted in two middle schools (grades 6, 7, and 8) in a large school district in South Central Texas. Data was collected using a variety of sources, including participant opinion documents, formal and informal interviews and observations, team and science department meetings, field notes, and photographs. Data analyses resulted in six emergent themes, which were: Personal and Philosophical Characteristics of the Participants, Teacher Preparation and Life Experiences, Philosophies of Science Teaching, Successful Techniques for Learning, Barriers to Effective Classroom Practice, and Pathways to Success. Major personal and philosophical characteristics within these themes included having a loving and caring attitude towards children, a willingness to view life from the students perspective, and a desire to be in a profession that was constantly changing and varied. Five of the six participants believed that their student teaching experience was the most valuable part of their preservice education, but they expressed a need for more instruction in methods and increased classroom observation time. Having a desire to be a teacher and having a love and appreciation for science were also characteristics that were common to all participants. They believed that science should be fun and applicable to the students' lives, and that teaching should be modified so that all students could be successful. This study may serve as a source of information and insight into classroom practice for prospective and induction year teachers, providing models, coping skills, techniques, and personal portraits for surviving the first
Boone, Shawn Christopher
As a conceptual framework, professional learning communities (PLCs) have been described as a means to increase teacher effectiveness and satisfaction. One urban middle school implemented PLCs during the 2007-2008 school year. However, there had not been an investigation into the effectiveness of the PLCs. Using organizational learning theory, this…
Atkins, Nancy Ellen; Vasu, Ellen Storey
Examined middle school teachers' concerns, knowledge, and use of technology in teaching, and how these related to their school's level of technology integration. Discusses the Computing Concerns Questionnaire; the Teaching with Technology Instrument; the Concerns Based Adoption Model; Stages of Concern about Computing; computer confidence;…
Wilson, Amy Alexandra; Boatright, Michael D.; Landon-Hays, Melanie
Framed in theories of social semiotics, this descriptive multiple case study examined six middle school teachers' use of gestures during one school year as they each taught two different subject areas: earth science, language arts, mathematics, and/or social studies. The data, which included field notes and photographs from 354 lessons and…
Sandoval, Juan Manuel
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between the collective efficacy of teachers and student achievement at economically disadvantaged middle school campuses. Schools of today are expected to show continuous improvement in student achievement from year to year, regardless of the students' family background, ethnicity, or…
This qualitative case study examined how middle school science teachers conducted collaborative inquiry and reflection about students' conceptual understanding, and how individual teachers in the middle school science group acted and made reflections in response to their collaborative inquiry. It also examined external influences that affected the teachers' ability to engage in collaborative inquiry. Observational, written, and interview data were collected from observations of teachers' face-to-face meetings and reflections, individual interviews, a focus group interview, and online reflections. The results of this study revealed that collaborative inquiry is a form of professional development that includes answering curricular questions through observation, communication, action, and reflection. This approach was developed and implemented by middle school science teachers. The premise of an inquiry is based on a need with students. Middle school science teachers came to consensus about actions to affect students' conceptual understanding, took action as stated, and shared their reflections of the actions taken with consideration to current and upcoming school activities. Activities involved teachers brainstorming and sharing with one another, talking about how the variables were merged into their curriculum, and how they impacted students' conceptual understanding. Teachers valued talking with one another about science content and pedagogy, but did find the inquiry portion of the approach to require more development. The greatest challenge to conducting collaborative inquiry and reflection was embedding teacher inquiry within a prescribed inquiry that was already being conducted by the Sundown School District. Collaborative inquiry should be structured so that it meets the needs of teachers in order to attend to the needs of students. A conducive atmosphere for collaborative inquiry and reflection is one in which administrators make the process mandatory and
Numerous studies on the impact of interactive lessons on student learning have been conducted, but there has been a lack of professional development (PD) programs at a middle school focusing on ways to incorporate interactive lessons into the science classroom setting. The purpose of this case study was to examine the instructional practices of science teachers to determine whether the need for an interactive lessons approach to teaching students exists. This qualitative case study focused on teachers' perceptions and pedagogy to determine whether the need to use interactive lessons to meet the needs of all students is present. The research question focused on identifying current practices and determining whether a need for interactive lessons is present. Qualitative data were gathered from science teachers at the school through interviews, lesson plans, and observations, all of which were subsequently coded using an interpretative analysis. The results indicated the need for a professional development (PD) program centered on interactive science lessons. Upon completion of the qualitative study, a detailed PD program has been proposed to increase the instructional practices of science teachers to incorporate interactive lessons within the science classroom. Implications for positive social change include improved teaching strategies and lessons that are more student-centered resulting in better understanding and comprehension, as well as performance on state-mandated tests.
Proweller, Amira; Mitchener, Carole P.
Teacher identity development and change is shaped by the interrelationship between personal biography and experience and professional knowledge linked to the teaching environment, students, subject matter, and culture of the school. Working from this framework, this study examines how beginning teacher interns who are part of an alternative route to teacher certification construct a professional identity as science educators in response to the needs and interests of urban youth. From the teacher interns, we learn that crafting a professional identity as a middle-level science teacher involves creating a culture around science instruction driven by imagining what can be, essentially a vision for a quality and inclusive science curriculum implicating science content, teaching methods, and relationships with their students. The study has important implications for the preparation of a stronger and more diverse teaching force able to provide effective and inclusive science education for all youth. It also suggests the need for greater attention to personal and professional experience and perceptions as critical to the development of a meaningful teacher practice in science.
Whitney, Frances M.
The purpose of this paper is to give a voice to a dedicated group of professionals who unselfishly labored twenty-five plus years educating the children of America's poorest taxpaying citizens. These retired African American female urban middle school science teachers (RAAFUMSST) explain the experiences that gave them the fortitude to stay in the urban school system until their retirement. The goal is to give you a glimpse into the distractions, challenges, and victories the teachers encountered as they strove to teach science in an overcrowded, underserviced, and depressed urban school district of a major city. Most times sacrificing self for service, the participants of this study held fast to their beliefs that all of America's children, regardless of their parents' socioeconomic status, deserve a quality education. It is through individual interviews that the five retired science teachers of this project share their reflections on the events and circumstances that altered their labor of love. Critical Race Theory (CRT) serves as the theoretical frame for this study.
This study examined teacher asthma knowledge based on three areas including (a) the level of teacher asthma knowledge in the Maury County Public School System, (b) the level of teacher asthma knowledge based on five demographic factors, and (c) the level of teacher asthma knowledge in the Maury County Public School System compared with teacher…
Grable, Lisa Leonor
This investigation explores the practices of middle school teachers involved in a technology-based professional development program. The subjects were 104 middle school teachers assigned to teach mathematics and science in predominantly rural counties in North Carolina. Participants completed surveys to determine areas of licensure and frequencies of instructional activities. They also provided essays on metaphor of teaching and copies of their favorite classroom activity. They completed the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator to determine learning style and the Stages of Concern (SOC) questionnaire. Data collection occurred prior to 90 hours of instruction in CD-ROM, calculator-based laboratory (CBL), and microcomputer-based laboratory (MBL) in a summer institute, at the beginning of the school year, and at the end of the school year after receiving equipment kits for 24 days. Elements of inquiry were not present to a high degree in teachers favorite activities. Only a fifth of teachers used a facilitator metaphor. Prior to the professional development computers and graphing calculators were not being used by teachers to collect or analyze data. Teachers' concerns did not differ among the 3 technologies each time the SOC was administered. Management concerns decreased for teachers in the second year of equipment use, while Awareness concerns decreased for first year teachers. Teachers with ST learning style function combination on the MBTI had peak concerns in the Management area while those with NF learning style remained in the Awareness area.
Genel, Abdulkadir; Sami Topçu, Mustafa
Background: Despite a growing body of research and curriculum reforms including socioscientific issues (SSI) across the world, how preservice science teachers (PST) or in-service science teachers can teach SSI in science classrooms needs further inquiry. Purpose: The purpose of this study is to describe the abilities of PSTs to teach SSI in middle school science classrooms, and the research question that guided the present study is: How can we characterize Turkish PSTs' SSI-based teaching practices in middle school science classrooms (ages 11-14)? Sample: In order to address the research question of this study, we explored 10 Turkish PSTs' SSI-based teaching practices in middle school science classrooms. A purposeful sampling strategy was used, thus, PSTs were specifically chosen because they were ideal candidates to teach SSI and to integrate SSI into the science curricula since they were seniors in the science education program who had to take the field experience courses. Design and method: The participants' SSI teaching practices were characterized in light of qualitative research approach. SSI-based teaching practices were analyzed, and the transcripts of all videotape recordings were coded by two researchers. Results: The current data analysis describes Turkish PSTs' SSI-based teaching practices under five main categories: media, argumentation, SSI selection and presentation, risk analysis, and moral perspective. Most of PSTs did not use media resources in their lesson and none of them considered moral perspective in their teaching. While the risk analyses were very simple and superficial, the arguments developed in the classrooms generally remained at a simple level. PSTs did not think SSI as a central topic and discussed these issues in a very limited time and at the end of the class period. Conclusions: The findings of this study manifest the need of the reforms in science education programs. The present study provides evidence that moral, media
Shajith, Bindiya I.; Erchul, William P.
Parental involvement in children's school activities is beneficial for children's academic and social competence. However, parental involvement tends to decrease as children become older and it is therefore important to promote parental involvement at the secondary level, especially in middle schools. Frequent, positive home-school communications…
Schneider, Stephen; Davis, K.
Science Education Online (SEO) is a new program of science and pedagogy courses developed at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and Lowell campuses, and now offers a Masters Degree in Science Education. The program was developed with NSF support over the last three years and has the goal of reaching in-service teachers, particularly in urban and rural communities. The science content courses have been developed by science and education faculty at UMass, working in collaboration to address Massachusetts and national science frameworks at the middle-school level. The SEO courses take a hands-on approach, with kits of inexpensive materials, cooperative learning strategies, and sharing of digital pictures. We give detailed examples of implementing the online hands-on approach from an astronomy course we developed using many Project STAR materials. One of the more interesting results of the online format is that teachers report that they have found themselves mastering skills that they had avoided in lab group work in college courses. By its nature, the online format also requires the teachers to express their understanding in writing, and we have found that small online groups are effective in helping the teachers to clarify their understanding. The SEO program was developed under National Science Foundation Grant # ESI-0243536.
Chen, Rong-Ji; Daniels, Erika; Chaplin, Mae S.; Ochanji, Moses; Stowell, Laurie P.; McDaniel, Janet E.
The Middle Level Program at California State University San Marcos is the only middle level teacher credential program in the state of California. The program is based on a set of goals and philosophy of middle grades education, recognizing the developmental needs of young adolescents in Grades 5 through 9, and the socially equitable experience of…
Marinell, William H.; Coca, Vanessa M.; Arum, Richard; Goldstein, Jennifer; Kemple, James; Pallas, Aaron; Bristol, Travis; Buckley, Clare; Scallon, Amy; Tanner, Barbara
The technical appendices presented in this document correspond to the synthesis report, "'Who Stays and Who Leaves?' Findings from a Three-Part Study of Teacher Turnover in NYC Middle Schools." The appendices include: (1) Description of Data Source and Samples; (2) Methods; and (3) Who Are the Middle School Teachers in NYC? [The…
Miranda, Rommel J.
This qualitative study investigates the extent to which urban middle-school science teachers' beliefs about their students' astronomy learner characteristics were influenced by their partnership with an astronomer in their classroom. Twelve urban middle-school science teachers were interviewed after their participation in Project ASTRO during the…
Ertmer, Peggy A.; Glazewski, Krista D.; Jones, Donna; Ottenbreit-Leftwich, Anne; Goktas, Yuksel; Collins, Kelly; Kocaman, Aslihan
Despite the challenges inherent in adopting problem-based learning (PBL) in the middle school classroom, successful PBL teachers are able to find suitable solutions. In this exploratory study we examined the perceptions and practices of five successful middle school PBL teachers regarding the specific difficulties encountered with PBL and the…
Middle years' teachers in primary schools are increasingly required to teach curriculum-specific subjects at a depth requiring considerable content and pedagogical knowledge, as well as a detailed understanding of the particular literacy requirements specific to each subject. Science teaching, in the latter years of primary schooling, is…
Puchner, Laurel; Klein, Nicole Aydt
The goal of this study was to examine perceptions, attitudes, and reported practices of a group of middle level Language Arts teachers concerning sexuality-related issues. Through interviews with 15 teachers, the study found that sexuality was in one sense pervasive, as it came up frequently in the teachers' practice. Yet at the same time the…
Giles, Steven M; Pankratz, Melinda M; Ringwalt, Chris; Jackson-Newsom, Julia; Hansen, William B; Bishop, Dana; Dusenbury, Linda; Gottfredson, Nisha
We examine whether teachers' communicator style relates to student engagement, teacher-student relationships, student perceptions of teacher immediacy, as well as observer ratings of delivery skills during the implementation of All Stars, a middle school-based substance use prevention program. Data from 48 teachers who taught All Stars up to 3 consecutive years and their respective seventh-grade students (n = 2,240) indicate that having an authoritative communication style is negatively related to student engagement with the curriculum and the quality of the student-teacher relationship, while having an expressive communicator style improves teachers' immediacy to student needs. Adaptations made by a subsample of teachers (n = 27) reveal that those who were more expressive asked students more questions, used more motivational techniques, and introduced more new concepts than authoritarian teachers. PMID:25905120
The study explored the influence of university-based teacher education courses on pre-service middle and high school teachers’ experiences with multicultural themes in a secondary science alternative certification program. Eight participants ( N = 8), six women and two men, volunteered to be a part of the study that took place over a period of four semesters. Qualitative data was collected, coded and analyzed to make meaning of the participants’ experiences. Data comprised of participants’ reflective journals, personal and group interviews, and classroom observations done in middle school practicum and high school student teaching placements. The findings indicated that while the participants became more familiar with the themes of multicultural education, many did not demonstrate fluency with these themes and struggled with balancing their responsibilities as a science teacher and a culturally competent teacher.
This paper explores a middle school teacher's and his students' perceptions of the differences between online synchronous literature discussions and face-to-face literature discussions. Each member of this literature group participated in two face-to-face and two online literature discussions. Participants were interviewed twice to discuss their…
Peach, Larry; Reddick, Thomas L.
A two-part questionnaire concerning ethical behavior was prepared and distributed to 300 public school teachers and 75 administrators in the middle geographic region of Tennessee. Part I of the questionnaire asked respondents to position 18 different behaviors on a five-point scale from "ethical" to "very unethical." Part II asked respondents how…
Pagano, Paul Gregory
Purpose. The purposes of this study were to compare the perceptions of public middle school AVID and Non-AVID teachers regarding (a) their partnership in the AVID program, (b) the effectiveness of AVID program implementation, and (c) the factors that impede or facilitate AVID program implementation. Methodology. A descriptive, ex post facto…
Woolley, Michael E.; Strutchens, Marilyn E.; Gilbert, Melissa C.; Martin, W. Gary
Student self-report data from 933 Black middle school students and standardized mathematics test scores (SAT-10) were used to examine the relationship among student perceptions of teacher expectations and reform instructional practices, aspects of student motivation, and three student mathematics performance outcomes--time spent studying, expected…
Yukhymenko, Mariya A.; Brown, Scott W.; Lawless, Kimberly A.; Brodowinska, Kamila; Mullin, Gregory
Problem-based learning (PBL) environment is a student-centered instructional method based on the use of ill-structured problems as a stimulus for collaborative learning. This study tried to gain an understanding of teachers' instructional practices and students' responses to such practices in middle school classrooms with PBL environment through…
Guttinger, Hellen I., Ed.
The reading improvement activities in this handbook are intended for use by middle school language arts teachers. Focusing on study skills, vocabulary development, and comprehension development, the activities include (1) surveying literary materials, (2) outlining, (3) spelling, (4) syllabication, (5) word recognition, (6) using synonyms, (7)…
Guttinger, Hellen I., Ed.
The reading improvement activities in this handbook are intended for use by middle school social studies teachers. Focusing on study skills, vocabulary development, and comprehension development, the activities include (1) surveying social studies texts and content area reading materials, (2) outlining, (3) spelling, (4) syllabication, (5) word…
Duchesne, Stephane; Ratelle, Catherine F.; Poitras, Sarah-Caroline; Drouin, Evelyne
This study examines how attachment to mother and father predicts worries about academic demands and relationships with teachers generated by the transition from elementary to middle school through its contribution to adolescents' emotional problems (depression and anxiety). The study sample includes 626 young adolescents (289 boys and 337 girls)…