Children between the ages of 10 and 14 are going through a unique transitional period of growth and development. This period is marked by the widest range of differences that will ever exist between students in relation to their physical, social and intellectual growth. Middle school youngsters need security on one hand and the freedom to experience and explore on the other.
Preadolescence is a restless age whose constituents are in early stages of conflict between their desires to be independent and the necessity to depend on others. They live in a world of shifting sands - unsure of themselves, unsure of their environment and unsure of their relationship between the two.
The middle-schoolers need guidance in their transitional years to help them grow and develop into fully functioning individuals. The Middle school has been identified as the place to nurture such individuals.
Middle Schools Are …
Middle-level educational programs are most successful when they capitalize on the unique characteristics of the middle-level student. They serve two purposes: academic excellence and social and personal development.
The middle school educational program should focus on results. It should emphasize and promote:
- the requisite academic knowledge and skills needed to succeed in school and later life;
- positive self-concept and emerging sense of self;
- social and interpersonal skills;
- broadened experiential base;
- critical learning skills, including information gathering, study skills, decision-making and thinking skills;
- life skills;
- a sense of academic purpose;
- a positive attitude towards school and learning.