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Filling a Crack in the Middle: The Need for Staff Development in the Middle Grades


This paper from the National Staff Development Council, which has recently undertaken a study of middle-school programs that involve teacher development, details the academic and emotional challenges faced by middle-schoolers. The article argues that few schools and teachers are sufficiently prepared to meet these unique challenges. The authors consequently make a case for improved staff development in the middle grades: "Schools which set high expectations, establish a coherent curriculum, encourage teachers to design lessons collaboratively, use innovative instructional strategies involving heterogeneous groups, and engage students in peer-assisted learning are making a difference for early adolescents."