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Middle Education 409

EDME 409: Young Adolescents and the Middle School

Prerequisites: Admission to Teacher Education Program and a minimum 2.5 GPA

Credit Hours: (3)

The purpose of this course is to help prospective middle level teachers develop in-depth knowledge and understanding of young adolescents’ characteristics and needs at this particular time of development. An important component of the course is learning how schools can be organized and classroom environments created to best serve all young adolescents in their diverse abilities and cultural backgrounds. The course will also address working with the families of young adolescents.

Detailed Description of Content of Course

1. Development of the early adolescent
        (a) Physical
        (b) Emotional
        (c) Social
        (d) Cognitive
2. Exceptional students
        (a) Recognizing their needs
        (b) Reflecting on self as exceptional
3. Factors placing young adolescents at-risk
        (a) Individual factors
        (b) Familial factors
        (c) Societal factors
4. Impact of school structures on students
        (a) Middle school concept
        (b) Traditional concept
5. Impact of grouping on students
        (a) Teachers’ grouping practices
6. Ethical responsibilities of teachers to students
        (a) Knowledge development
        (b) Moral development
7. Alternative educational responses
        (a) Providing all students with equity in the classroom
        (b) Providing all students with opportunities in the classroom
8. Personal and Professional Educational. Each pre-service teacher will develop a:
        (a) Philosophy of education,
        (b) Classroom management philosophy,
        (c) Classroom climate philosophy

Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Prior to beginning the field component, pre-service teachers will reflect on their own young adolescent development and schooling. From their personal perceptions, they will develop a framework for learning about middle level students. As pre-service teachers identify the developmental characteristics and needs of young adolescents, they will also develop descriptions of students from reading young adolescent literature, analyzing case studies and conducting field observations. Each pre-service teacher will conduct a shadow study of a sixth, seventh, or eighth grade student. During the field placement, opportunities will be provided for pre-service teachers to observe and/or assist students with diverse abilities.   An important component of the course involves examining at-risk behaviors and discussing approaches to intervention. Discussion groups are scheduled with guidance counselors, teachers and special education faculty at the school placement site. A synthesis of research on tracking or ability grouping is used to raise questions about appropriate, alternative ways of working with students of diverse abilities, interests, needs, and backgrounds.

Goals and Objectives of the Course

The goals and objectives of this class address:

National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education Standards
1c. Professional and Pedagogical Knowledge and Skills for Teacher Candidates
Association of Middle Level Education (1-7)

Virginia Department of Education – Program Standards  8VAC-20-540-120  Middle School 6-8

Having successfully completed this course, the student will be able to:

(1) Demonstrate knowledge of the physical, emotional, and cognitive development of students between the ages of 10 and 15.
NCATE 1.c   AMLE 1-7   VDOE 8VAC-20-540-120 (1.a, e, f)

(2) Produce descriptive demographical data regarding early adolescents and their lives.
NCATE 1  c      AMLE 1-7    VDOE 8VAC-20-540-120  (1.a, e, f)

(3) Utilize information about individual, familial, and societal factors, which may place this age group at risk.
NCATE 1. c,   AMLE 1-7    VDOE 8VAC-20-540-120 (1.a, e , f)

(4) Describe the impact of school structures and grouping on students.
NCATE 1.  c,      AMLE 1-7     VDOE 8VAC-20-540-120 (1a, e, f)   

(5) Demonstrate knowledge about the ethical responsibilities of teaching students.
NCATE 1.  c,     AMLE 1-7     VDOE 8VAC-20-540-120  (1a, e, f)

(6) Provide students with equity and opportunities in the classroom.
NCATE  1.  c,    AMLE 1-7      VDOE 8VAC-20-540-120  (1a, e, f)

Assessment Measures May include:

(1) Class attendance and participation. Given the interactive nature of the class and its correlation with field experiences, students will make peer evaluations in regard to attendance and contributions to the group.
(2) Writing Tasks. Students will keep written reflections on their experiences and/or readings. These will be evaluated in terms of their promptness, relevance, and insightfulness.
(3) Case Study Analyses. Written responses to selected case studies will be required. These will be evaluated on the inclusion and appropriate use of knowledge about young adolescents. Key NCATE Assessment # 2 – Assessment System and Unit Evaluations
(4) Shadow Study. Students will make observations of a young adolescent and submit written reflections about this data. Key NCATE Assessment # 4 – Diversity

Other Course Information

Assignments are differentiated for graduate students who are seeking certification and using this course as a part of their graduate program.

Approval and Subsequent Reviews

January 30, 2013        Reviewed       Dr. Elizabeth D. Dore, Coordinator
November 10, 2008    Reviewed        Dr. Elizabeth D. Dore, Coordinator
August 14, 2006         Reviewed        Dr. Elizabeth D. Dore, Coordinator