The current context of education and the middle school concept: what works in middle schools?

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Shannon Fae Brown (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Carl Lashley

Abstract: The goal of this project was to gain insight from public school middle school principals regarding what works in middle grades education and how accountability affected the organization of middle schools. Three research questions were considered in this exploratory study: 1. What is the status of the middle school model in the early 21st century? 2. According to middle school principals, how has No Child Left Behind and accountability affected their implementation of the middle school model? 3. How do middle school principals deal with the tensions between No Child Left Behind and the middle school model? In order to gain this insight, literature about middle schools was studied, two middle schools were visited, and human participants provided feedback through a survey. As a follow up to the survey, nine survey participants consented to a more in depth follow-up interview. Through this research it was determined that accountability standards are looked upon favorably by many administrators, however, the standards have forced some schools to restructure their days in ways that do not mirror the original middle school concept that still provides a framework for middle school education. Of the principals surveyed and interviewed there was still a strong desire to educate the whole child, to allow students opportunities to explore, and to develop relationships with students as the middle school model suggested. Based on the research the reader can surmise that the middle school concept can and should still be used in middle schools.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2008
Best practices, Exploratory study, Middle School Concept, No Child Left Behind
Middle schools $z United States.
United States. $t No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.
Educational accountability.

Email this document to