Master's Theses

Date of Award

Spring 1974

Degree Name

Education Specialist (Ed.S)

Department

Education

Advisor

William N. Robinson

Abstract

This study was initiated to study the philosophy, organization, and staffing of some selected middle schools in the states of Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Colorado, from lists of exemplary middle schools supplied by the respective State Departments of Education, eight schools were selected to be visited personally by the inquirer. Also, a questionnaire was prepared to record the answers of the principal and teachers of each school. Some of the main results of the study were: A. Philosophy 1. Four of the eight selected schools reported that they did have a printed school philosophy and that it was developed cooperatively by the staff. 2. The greatest change in philosophy was the change from a basically subject-oriented curriculum to a student-oriented curriculum. 3. Four of the eight selected schools reported that they discouraged inter-student competition in their classrooms. B. Organization 1. The principal and teachers in all of the selected schools felt that they were better meeting the needs of their students with the middle school organization. 2. All of the schools reported little increase in cost of the middle school organization except for some increase in staff and media materials. 3) Most principals and teachers agreed that the middle school allowed greater flexibility of organization and encouraged innovations. C. Staffing 1. The most difficult task in reorganizing a junior high school in to a middle school was changing the attitude of staff members toward working in teams and in cooperative planning. 2. Of the teachers in the selected schools, 40 per cent had previous teaching experience in elementary schools; 40 percent of the teachers had taught in high schools; the remaining 20 per cent of the teachers had taught in the middle school only. 3. All principals agreed that the lack of funds to staff their schools was the biggest problem facing their middle schools. Some of the conclusions of the study were: 1. the one area where little to no change took place was in the schools’ athletic programs. 2. There did not seem to be a common agreement among administrators and teachers concerning the functions and philosophy of a middle school. 3. The middle school tended to develop its own identity and status as an institution with its own curriculum, activity programs, and physical facilities. 4. Most of the selected schools moved in to the old high school buildings rather than construct their own building. This practice may limit curriculum flexibility. The following recommendations were suggested: 1. It is recommended that each middle school should have a clear statement of purpose and function which must be clearly understood by the entire educational staff. 2. A thorough in service program is a necessity for schools contemplating the middle school organization. 3. Teacher education institutions should offer more courses for teachers wanting to specialize in the middle school programs with the State Departments of Education certifying such education and preparation.

Rights

Copyright 1974 Ernest Edward McClain

Comments

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