Transition from Elementary to Middle School

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Children confront many transitions throughout their lifetime that can be stressful. They face their first transition from home to school, elementary to middle school, middle to high school, and high school to college or work (Schumacher, 1998). However, the transition from elementary to middle school seems to be harder for adolescents due to the personal changes of puberty. Research suggests that roles, expectations, and responsibilities are the primary concerns of students (Akos, 2002). In order to make this transition easier, programs such as “blocking, shadowing, or buddies” need to be implemented the year preceding middle school and continue through the first year of transition. The transition from elementary to middle school is a major event in the lives of students and parents. Most students will experience some emotional turmoil and social adjustment due to unfamiliar students, school staff, multiple sets of behavioral and classroom rules and expectations (Akos, 2002). The results of the middle school years affect young people through adolescence and adulthood (Greene, & Ollendick, 1993). Several studies have reported that this transition is the reason for declines in academic achievement, self-esteem, and interest in school (Kingery, Erdley, 2007). Therefore, these students need to receive assistance prior to, during, and after the move (Schumacher, 1998). Orientation for transition programs should begin for elementary students who will be attending middle school the following year (Ferguson, & Bulach, 1994). Elementary schools need to implement problem-solving skills training for fifth grade students that reduce the level of difficulty with common occurring stressors (Greene, & Ollendick, 1993). Research suggests tha... ... middle of paper ... ...tudents. Retrieved from Fields, D. (2002). Transition 101: from elementary to middle school. Education Digest, 67(7), Retrieved from Greene, R. W., & Ollendick, T. H. (93). Evaluation of a multidimensional program for sixth-graders in transition from elementary to middle school. Journal of Community Psychology, 21. Retrieved from Kingery, J.N., & Erdley, C.A. (2007). Peer experiences as predictors of adjustment across the middle school transition. Education and Treatment of Children, 30(2), Retrieved from LaForge, A.E. (1999). What really happens in school. New York: Hyperion Schumacher, D. (1998). The transition to middle school. ERIC Digests, Retrieved from
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