Is it time to remake middle school?

Educationdive | February 11, 2019

Between ensuring more young children have school readiness skills and raising high school graduation rates, the middle school years are often overlooked in the push to improve education policy and practices.Nancy L. Deutsch, who directs Youth-Nex at the University of Virginia, hopes to change that this week when researchers, school and district leaders, students, out-of-school time experts, funders and others focusing on early adolescence gather in Washington, D.C., for a two-day “Remaking Middle School” summit. “Now, I think we are in this moment of increasing understanding of the early adolescent brain as the period of second greatest plasticity and change,” after early childhood, Deutsch said in an interview.The invitation-only event, which takes place on Feb. 12 and Feb. 13 at Gallup World Headquarters, is an effort to “reshape” the perception of early adolescence as a time of risk to one that focuses more on positive opportunities. Workgroups will focus on topics such as how schools and youth development programs can create environments that better fit students in the middle school years; how to improve preparation programs for middle-level teachers and administrators; and how to capitalize on what researchers have learned about the importance of peer groups, Deutsch said. Following the event, the organizers, which also include the New York Life Foundation and the Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE), plan to create virtual spaces for the workgroups to continue collaborating and developing resources that will be accessible to teachers and others working with this age bracket.

Spotlight

Microlearning is all about one specific learning objective in a nugget less than five minutes. A microlearning video is meant to fight shrinking attention spans of learners and engage them in the learning process. Having more than one learning objective in a microlearning video increases the probability of detaching learners instead of engaging them.

Spotlight

Microlearning is all about one specific learning objective in a nugget less than five minutes. A microlearning video is meant to fight shrinking attention spans of learners and engage them in the learning process. Having more than one learning objective in a microlearning video increases the probability of detaching learners instead of engaging them.

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