In November 2004 the Board of Trustees of Garden Valley School Division released a Philosophy Position Paper on Middle School Education. The purpose of this philosophy paper is to articulate broad understandings of middle school learners, and how middle schools in Garden Valley School Division can meet the educational needs of young adolescent learners.
The purpose and functions of exemplary middle schools center on the intellectual, social, emotional, moral, and physical developmental needs of young adolescents (Clark & Clark, 1993; National Middle School Association, 1995). Within a few years, young adolescents undergo rapid physical growth, changes in moral reasoning, the onset of abstract thinking, and introduction to a range of social pressures, including sex, drugs, and violence. Simultaneously, the lifelong developmental tasks of forming a personal identity or self-concept, acquiring social skills, gaining autonomy, and developing character and a set of values are begun (Irvin, 1995). Exemplary middle level programs foster appropriate programs, policies, and practices that foster the development of these tasks in positive ways.
To read the entire document, see Philosophy_Position_Middle_Years-changes_Jan_21_2010.pdf