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An evaluation of middle-level schooling: Implementation of programming concepts in relation to student achievement

By Jill Frymier Russell

Abstract

Middle level education is a model of schooling designed to address the psychological and developmental needs unique to early adolescence. Middle level schools are commonly defined as including six programming concepts: Interdisciplinary Teaming/Block Scheduling, Advisor/Advisee, Exploratory Curriculum, Developmentally Appropriate Teaching Strategies, Transition/Articulation, and Appropriate Required Curriculum/Learning Skills. The three major goals of middle level education are personal development, group citizenship, and academic achievement. The purpose of this study was to evaluate middle level schooling by examining implementation of middle level program concepts in relation to student achievement. A survey of the professional staff in ten schools within an urban school district provided information as to implementation--the independent variable. The California Achievement Tests scores (reading, language arts, math, and composite battery) of the 8th graders in those schools served as the dependent variable. Mediating variables included race, gender, socio-economic status, and the 6th grade achievement. Multiple regression and correlation analysis were used to assess the extent to which middle level programming was included in the equations to predict student achievement. The results indicated the major predictor of 8th grade achievement was 6th grade achievement. Socio-economic status and race also entered the prediction equations consistently. The middle level programming concepts entered the prediction equations (p $\u3c$.05) as follows: (1) The reading score prediction equation included Interdisciplinary Teaming/Block Scheduling and Appropriate Required Curriculum/Learning Skills, both in a positive direction with higher achievement. (2) The math score prediction equation included all middle level programming concepts except Advisor/Advisee in a positive relationship. (3) The composite battery score prediction equation included Developmentally Appropriate Teaching Strategies and Appropriate Required Curriculum/Learning Skills, both in a positive direction. (4) The language arts score prediction equation included only Advisor/Advisee, and that relationship was negative in direction. An analysis of sub-populations revealed that middle level programming concepts more frequently entered into the prediction equations in the case of females and low-income students

Topics: School administration|Secondary education
Publisher: DigitalCommons@University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Year: 1994
OAI identifier: oai:digitalcommons.unl.edu:dissertations-7739
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