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Effective teachers at the middle level

Amy Rose Gelinas, University of Massachusetts Amherst


What are characteristics of exceptional teaching in terms of academic, social and emotional growth as determined by middle school teachers and students? An effective middle grades teacher transmits a core of common knowledge to his or her students. An effective middle grade teacher makes his or her students feel they are a part of a community, and provides a meaningful and challenging educational experience. The effective middle grades teacher takes the time to talk with his or her students about academic matters and personal problems, and makes the student see that he or she has value and is a success, with a promising future. (Turning Points, 1989). Are pre-service teachers prepared to teach at the middle level? The purpose of this study was to determine if effective middle school teachers share certain characteristics, and if so, how could they become integrated into a teacher education program. Teachers of middle school students, pre-service teachers, middle school students, and middle school administrators participated in this study about effective middle school teachers. Surveys, interviews, and questionnaires were administered to participants in order to determine what is exceptional about them. The data was then used to identify characteristics or methods which effective middle level teachers have in common. The results were grounded in adolescent development theory. The research may help determine teacher characteristics or methods that are most suited in terms of academic, social, and emotional growth for a middle level student.

Subject Area

Secondary education|Teacher education|Curricula|Teaching

Recommended Citation

Gelinas, Amy Rose, "Effective teachers at the middle level" (2000). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI9988787.