Friday, April 8, 2011

Professional Reading #8

Zernike, K. (2007, January 7). The Preteen: Betwixt and bedeviled. The New York Times The Nation.

It seems odd to me that we still have not yet mastered the best method to educate tweens. Elementary schools, middle schools, or junior high schools, what is the best way to educate this age group? This article discusses the positive and negative issues associated with each method, for instance, leaving them in elementary school does not adequately prepare them for high school, or that middle school is less of a stepping stone to high school and more a place for lowering self-esteem. How do we make a major change like creating the concept of middle schools and moving 6th, 7th, and 8th graders from their elementary schools to middle schools without first performing a great deal of research to see that this concept is no better, or even worse than leaving tweens where they were. How do we find a proper method of education that will balance the divide tweens fall into of no longer being children, but not yet teenagers.

This article concludes that there isn't a balance, neither method will work effectively for all students. Instead of arguing over which school format is better, schools should focus on creating a support system for tweens through increased guidance counselors and making changes to curriculum that will inspire tweens. This is a tough age group, they are going through so many mental, emotional, and physical changes. I agree that less focus should be on where they are educated and more should be on how they are educated.

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