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Teenagers -- Education, Middle school education -- Research, Middle school education -- Curricula, Middle school teaching


Determining how to provide the best education possible for young adolescents begins with the answers to three essential questions: Who are young adolescents? What do we know about them, their abilities, interests and strengths? Based on what we know about young adolescents, what should schools do to provide a quality education for each and every student? And finally, is there evidence that these recommended practices improve student achievement? How do we know programs and practices designed specifically with young adolescents in mind make a difference? To answer these questions, we will first outline some of the developmental characteristics of young adolescents and look at the implications for teaching and learning. We will then look at national recommendations for schools based on what we know about young adolescents. Finally, we will consider some of the research that supports these recommendations.


This presentation and associated materials were supported by the Association for Middle Level Education (formerly the National Middle School Association). This and associated materials can be found at

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