Does the concept of a middle school parallel what advocates of student-centered learning are promoting? Manning, & Bucher explain "In developing the middle school, educators wanted to avoid the mistakes of the junior high school. They wanted the middle school to be a learner-centered school that would meet young adolescents' developmental needs" (2008, p. 6). This is an example of student centered-learning that has been staring us in the face since the 1960s when the middle school concept was developed (Manning, & Bucher, 2008).
Here are some characteristics of the middle school concept:
-Teachers organized as interdisciplinary teams
-Students grouped within heterogeneous learning communities
-Cooperative instructional planning
-Nurturing and caring environment
-One adult advisor/mentor for every 25 or fewer students
Maybe we can look to the middle school concept that began in the 1960s as one tool to help us improve our schools and our instruction.
Manning, M. Lee, & Bucher, Katherine T. (2008). Teaching in the middle school. Allyn & Bacon.