KTM User Pages
10 Sep 2005 - 22:51
I know that personal anecdotes donít generalize, but, hey itís a blooki, right? So I will share that I attended six different schools for grades K-8. My family never moved. We just lived in a rural area outside town, so we were going to be bused wherever we went. Whenever a school on our side of town got a new addition built, we got bused there. Sure I had a number of bad first days or first weeks at school, but all the kids on my bus route went through the same thing. No one treated us as transient outsiders or kids who needed to be hazed or something to join the school. We just went to school. No big deal.That's incredible! (btw, I think anecdotes do generalize, which is one of the reasons I put so much time into ktm. I learn huge amount from Other People's Anecdotes. Anecdotes are just the everyday form of raw data. So while I don't personally know how Dan's multi-schooled childhood generalizes to other kids, I assume it does.) Here's the rest:
Last school year, my wife and I were both working, so we put our younger daughter in an all-day pre-school. She was four at the beginning, so there were some transitional problems. Thereafter, she was fine. This school year, she has started at the public school. We did our best to prepare her, andÖguess what?...sheís doing well. Is this unusual? Of course not. If a five-year-old can go from a private pre-school to a public school with zero classmates in common, I really think the major source of middle schooler traumaó-when all their classmates transition right along with themó-is due to everybody warning them that itís a big deal. Itís a self-fulfilling prophecy. I can certainly see that itís much different for parents, especially if teachers belligerently keep parents out. Even without that, the fact that there isnít one, clear homeroom teacher with which to interface makes it harder for parents. The upside, though, is that middle school and high school accommodate more tracking and electives. So, youíve got to take the good with the bad. So, to me, the question is much more about when students transition away from the homeroom-centric model to the subject-oriented class model.The one observation I take issue with here is the notion that you get more electives & tracking with middle school. I don't know about 7th and 8th grade yet, but there are no electives in our middle school 6th grade, and no more tracking than there was in 3rd, 4th, and 5th. In that sense it's a case of taking the bad with the bad.
parent info night for Carolyn
research on middle & elemiddle schools
TIMSS & middle school scores
locker woes & locker instructions
all your children are belong to us
middle school math teacher blogs
Dan K on transition to middle school
Fordham debate on middle school in DC
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