This study seeks to share teachers’ and principals’ voices from middle schools in the Southeastern United States who are attempting to help their students achieve academic success. Obtaining a snapshot of middle schools in the Southeastern United States provides opportunities to recognize trends and identify challenges about the current implementation of middle level programs and practices related to academics. The last large-scale survey was completed over 10 years ago (McEwin & Greene, 2010, 2011) and was focused on principal voices only. When attempting to assess the level of implementation of various school improvement efforts or to gain a deeper understanding of the challenges faced daily in the classroom, the voices of teachers and principals are powerful voices that must be heard. Among other results, educators called for more meaningful collaboration among elementary and middle schools to address gaps in content and skills, and a better focus on educating the whole child in their schools. Implications and future directions are discussed.
Dr. Michael DiCicco is an associate professor of literacy education in the Department of Teacher Preparation and Educational Studies at Northern Kentucky University. He is a former middle school teacher and his research focuses on middle level teacher preparation and middle level literacy. He received his PhD in curriculum and instruction from the University of South Florida.
Dr. Ryan Alverson is Associate Professor of Educational Psychology in the Department of Teacher Preparation and Educational Studies in the College of Education at Northern Kentucky University. Prior to NKU, he received his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and Masters in Secondary Education from the University of Alabama. Dr. Alverson teaches courses in Educational Psychology, including Human Growth and Development, to teacher candidates at NKU. His research interests are focused on motivation, adolescent development, and examining how different social and contextual factors, such as sense of belongingand perceptions of hope, affect students’ success and well being.
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.
DiCicco, Michael and Alverson, Ryan
"Academic Challenges in Southeastern Middle Schools: Voices of Teachers and Principals,"
Current Issues in Middle Level Education: Vol. 27:
2, Article 1.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.georgiasouthern.edu/cimle/vol27/iss2/1