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About thirty years ago, I had the opportunity to be in on the first wave
of Middle School in Maryland. It fell out of favor for a short time (mostly
due to numbers--
where is the bulge in the python at the moment?) then returned about 15
The main difference in philosophy is that while kids are in transition, they
need some of the kind of support of Elementary programming to more gradually
prepare for the big, impersonal world of High School. Most Middle schools
believe in teams of teachers who can be more attuned to individual students.
In our school of 1200, we have 7 smaller teams--(school within a school
idea) hopefully knowing each student, discussing academic and behavioral
issues about specific kids, and giving them more nurture than would be
possible in a miniature high school.
Unfortunately, philosophy frequently takes second place to convenience,
expediency, and economics. "Middle-aged kids" are little fish, easily lost
in big water.
I think it is very sad.
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