Diversity in the Middle School

1880 Words8 Pages
Middle school learners are perhaps the most diverse group of students in education today. The differences that exist in every classroom, including gender, socio-economic class, linguistic and cultural background, learning style, and intellectual capacity, is increased by individual differences in developmental level. While all middle school students will progress through different developmental levels and display the characteristics inherent in each, they will reach and conquer these developmental milestones at difference times. Because of this difference in developmental maturity, students may also be at their most vulnerable, as they progress through stages they don’t understand and can’t control. Due to these significant differences, teachers of middle school students must be aware of the characteristics defining middle school development and the instructional strategies that celebrate those differences. Learning experiences must capitalize on each learners present knowledge, learning preference, and their cultural and personal background. Classroom Diversity Characteristics of the Middle School Student The middle school student is on a tremulous journey into adulthood. During the years of preadolescents, they will experience physical, emotional, social, intellectual and moral changes. Often these changes will create in them uncomfortable feelings of inferiority, Intellectually a child will be egocentric, nonconformist, desire relevant information, and grown from concrete manipulator stage to the ability to use critical thinking to think abstractly. They will also grow in the ability to use met cognition (Kellough & Kellough, 2008). Because of this teachers need to use eclectic teaching strategies and Due to t... ... middle of paper ... ... Middle School, New York: Routledge Falmer. Dunn, R., Craig, M., Favre, L., Markus, D., Pedota, P., Sookdeo, G., Stock, J., & Terry, B., (2010). No light at the end of the tunnel vision: Steps for improving lesson plans. The Clearing House, 85, 194-206. Erb, T. O., (2005). This we believe in action: Implementing successful middle level schools. (pp. 11-28). Westerville, Ohio: National Middle School Association. Kellough, R.D., & Kellough, N.C., (2008). Teaching young adolescents. (5th ed.). (pp. 1-26). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall. Pass, S., (2009). Teaching respect for diversity: The Oglala Lakota, The Social Studies, 211 -217. Woolfolk, A. (2011). Educational psychology: Active learning edition, (11th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson. Wormeli, R., Differentiating for Tweens. (2006). Educational Leadership. pp. 14-19.
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