First Advisor

Dilafruz R. Williams

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership: Administration


Educational Leadership and Policy




Middle school teachers -- Training of -- United States, Middle school teachers -- In-service training -- United States, Middle school teachers -- Training of -- Oregon



Physical Description

ix, 218 leaves 28 cm.


The concept of middle level schooling has existed in the United States since the early 1900s. During the early 1960s, middle level schools were organized to meet the unique developmental needs of early adolescents. Yet, special training, preparation and/or certification for aspiring teachers who wish to work at this level are not available in the majority of states. Many state licensing agencies provide either elementary or secondary certification, which historically was believed to be adequate for middle level teaching. This study investigates the special preparation and training needs of middle level teachers as perceived by teachers and administrators in a suburban school district which was involved for several years in the implementation of innovative practices for middle schools. Middle level educators in this district had received in-service training and were engaged in considerable discussions on research related to effective middle schools. Thirty teachers and 10 administrators were surveyed about their own levels of preparation and their concepts of the elements of model preparation programs for middle school teachers. In a follow-up interview process, including a sample of the survey respondents, interviewees discussed in-depth their district's middle school programs; the impact of a state grant focusing on middle school organizational and instructional issues; and their perceptions about staff development needs of middle school personnel that were not being addressed. The data obtained through survey responses, interviews, and examination of district documents showed that the majority of the sample personnel received their training in middle school concept areas through formal in-service opportunities and/or on the job experience. Furthermore, a majority of the participants endorsed and expressed a need for the following: a special preparation program for middle school teachers containing field experience at the middle level; training in the unique developmental needs of the early adolescent; and, special training in a variety of instructional strategies. Results also indicated that the sample personnel were not aware of the school district's own studies on middle level schooling and were dissatisfied with the current programs, which they felt had suffered as a result of a lack of effective leadership at the district and building levels.


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