K-8 or Middle School Mayhem?Jun. 2nd, 2015 11:51 am
In the 1980's educational professionals in WNY and across the country began a transition away from the traditional elementary/high school format, to include a new school known as a "middle school". Teachers and educators at the time saw the need for more attention to be paid to these "in between" students who were going through a momentous period in their human development and maturation process.
This move toward middle school education would be referenced by two lead researchers in 1985 as, "One of the largest and most comprehensive efforts at educational reorganization in the history of American public schooling."
Throughout the years this model of education was considered the norm, but it has recently been questioned by parents, teachers, and administrators. Considered by some to be the "bermuda triangle" of education, many educators feel that this separation at 6th grade leads to a loss in the sense of community within a K-8 school. The crossover from elementary to middle school seems to provoke a sense of 8th grade superiority which can and does lead to bullying.
Many educational professionals also see a lack of focus on core subjects like reading, writing, and math at this level. With K-5 schools focusing on teacher-child relationships and early development, and high school focusing on more "adult" style education, the intellectual progress and development of grade 6-8 students seems to fall by the wayside. Also of concern is the fact that class size tends to increase in a school with only 3 or 4 grades, the resulting higher student to teacher ratio tends to weaken the relationship between students and teachers.
Many schools across the country are considering, or have already made a move toward, a transfer back into a K-8 model of education. Catholic schools in WNY have traditionally practiced the K-8 model. There are a number of reasons why the K-8 model of education is working in Catholic schools, and why it will continue to work for years to come.
For more information, on how the K-8 educational system provides a stable development and maturation process for students growing up in Buffalo and WNY, stay tuned to WNY Catholic Schools blog. We will touch on the concepts of an ideal school community, intellectual development and educational performance with STREAM, and reasons why the K-8 model works
Pardini, Priscilla. "Revival of the K-8 School." AASA. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 June 2015. <http://www.aasa.org/SchoolAdministratorArticle.aspx?id=10396>.
Armstrong, Thomas. "Chapter 5. Middle Schools: Social, Emotional, and Metacognitive Growth." The Best Schools: How Human Development Research Should Inform Educational Practice. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2006. N. pag. Print.
Yecke, Cheri Pierson. "Mayhem in the Middle: Why We Should Shift to K-8." Educational Leadership:Teaching the Tweens:Mayhem in the Middle: Why We Should Shift to K-8. N.p., Apr. 2006. Web. 01 June 2015. <http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/apr06/vol63/num07/Mayhem-in-the-Middle%40-Why-We-Should-Shift-to-K%E2%80%938.aspx>.
Meyer, Peter. "The Middle School Mess - Education Next." Education Next 11.1 (2011): n. pag. Education Next. 11 Nov. 2010. Web. 01 June 2015. <http://educationnext.org/the-middle-school-mess/>.