2,000 Voices: Young Adolescents' Perceptions and Curriculum Implications

Front Cover
National Middle School Association, 1997 - Education - 116 pages
Noting the need for middle school educators to learn directly from their students how they view the world, school, and their own learning, this book details findings from a study that used a quasi-ethnographic approach to examine the perceptions of young adolescents. Participating in the study were 2,000 adolescents, 10- to 15-year-olds. Subjects were students in grades 5 through 8 at 15 schools in 6 states. Data were collected through a 53-item instrument on which students wrote their responses to open-ended statement stems. Chapter 1 of the book discusses the need to explore the current social realities of learners and the importance of connecting students' attitudes, thoughts, and values to the schooling process; this chapter also presents the author's motivation for conducting the study, and describes the study methodology and data analysis. Chapter 2 discusses how young adolescents have defined their world and culture, summarizing common threads regarding students' views of truth, knowledge, power, rules, advice for various groups, life goals and experiences, war, "favorites," values, friendship, gender issues, the future, and school. Chapter 3 categorizes students' voices into generalizations related to young adolescents' development and perceptions of their development, perceptions of family, and perceptions of school. Chapter 4 provides curricula implications from the identified trends in the above three areas. The book's two appendices contain the questionnaire given to students and selected questions with a sampling of responses by grade level and gender. (Lists 23 recommended readings and contains 42 references.) (KB).

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Foreword by Sherrel Bergmann
Young Adolescent Responses in Summary
Interpretations of Their Voices
Curriculum Implications
Recommended Reading

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