On the Shoulders of Giants: Learning from the Legacy of Middle Level Education

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Information about On the Shoulders of Giants: Learning from the Legacy of Middle Level...

Published on March 15, 2014

Author: ncmsa

Source: slideshare.net


In the 1960’s, visionary leaders dreamed of schools that would provide a challenging academic program PLUS a developmentally responsive environment for young adolescents. Decades later, middle level schools and educators have an opportunity to stand on the shoulders of the courageous giants who paved the way for “the middle school movement.” In this session, participants will view contemporary videos of interviews with these visionary leaders, including their musings about the heritage of middle level education and their sage advice for its future.

Tracy W. Smith C. and Kenneth McEwin Appalachian State University North Carolina Middle Level Education Conference March 18, 8:00-9:00 a.m.

 “One of the institution’s key functions is to conserve the best of the past over time, serving as a collective memory bank to protect us against historical amnesia, cultural erosion, and the seductions of the merely new.” -Parker Palmer and Arthur Zajonc in The Heart of Higher Education: A Call to Renewal

 “Fundamental change in institutions has always come from planting small communities of vision and practice within those settings.” -Parker Palmer and Arthur Zajonc in The Heart of Higher Education: A Call to Renewal

Legacy Project  The Middle Level Legacy video series documents the history of a major educational reform in American Education – the Middle School Movement. The Middle Level Education Legacy Project began in 2003 and included interviews with 18 prominent middle level leaders who provided their perspectives on issues such as critical incidents in the history of the Movement, important research and policy, curriculum, young adolescent development and identity, specialized middle level teacher preparation, significant debates, and challenges to the future of middle level education.

Book and Video Resources  These interviews were completed in 2009. The Legacy of Middle School Leaders: In Their Own Words, published in 2011, includes extensive documentation, analysis, and synthesis on the results of these interviews. This Middle Level Legacy video series, also based on these interviews, was released in November 2013. This series is meant to provide a resource for middle level educators and leaders to learn about the rich past and legacy of middle school education so that its future and the future of young adolescents can be vibrant and promising.

YouTube Video Link: http://www.amle.org/legacy  Introduction to the Legacy Project  Founders of the American Middle School  The Middle School Movement (3)  Foundational Beliefs Supporting Middle Level Education (3)  Keys to Achieving Full Success (4)

Community Walk  Community Walk Webpage  We need your help! If you have additional places that you think should be added to the North Carolina Middle Level Education map, please complete the short form and leave it with us before you go.

Modest and Groovy Beginnings

Practitioners have played the lead role! The Key to North Carolina’s Success

Examples of Model Schools Created  Early Model Program Examples  Western Alamance Middle School (1970s)  William Lenoir Middle School, Caldwell County (1970s)  Current Model Program Examples  Ashe County Middle School (STW and NASSP Breakthrough School)  South Charlotte Middle School (STW and Blue Ribbon School)  Chowan Middle School (STW, Edenton-Chowan)  Hendersonville Middle School (STW, Henderson County)

John Van Hoose  Professor at UNC-G, 1983-2001.  Served as President of NCMSA  Received C. Kenneth McEwin Award for Distinguished Service  Author of Promoting Harmony: Young Adolescent Development and School Practices  Established Harmony Fund to provide enrichment scholarships for middle school students

C. Kenneth McEwin  joined faculty at Appalachian State University in 1973  Summons from the Dean  Attended first NMSA Conference and became a charter member  The connections and friendships Ken initiated at the first NMSA Conference became critical to the work he was to do back in North Carolina  organized and began the first middle level teacher preparation program in North Carolina. ASU’s program was also one of the first teacher preparation programs focusing exclusively on the middle grades in the United States  First executive director  First journal editor of the organization.  In 1988, the first award for outstanding service in middle grades education in North Carolina was given to C. Kenneth McEwin and then named in his honor

Past Presidents of NCMSA  Herb Tatum  Pat Knight  Julia Thomason  Marie Rudisell  Rebecca Stevens  Barry Rice  Gerald Patterson  Anthony Sasseen  Barbara Smith  Jean Blackmon-Brauer  Bill Rivenbark  John Arnold  Pamela Riley  John Van Hoose  Nancy Farmer  Jeannette Beckwith  Geraldine Ritter  Janice Davis  Ann Hutchens  Steve Teague  Elaine Boysworth  Ginny Myers  Theresa Hinkle  Frances Reaves  Beth Tyson  Betty Terrell  Rose Cooper  Jackie Colbert  Cecilia Gregory  Harriet Jackson  Jack Leonard  Rick Singletary  Jodie Graham  Missy Gabriel  Ran Barnes  Tanya Turner  Jodie Weatherman  Cathy Tomon

Recipients of C. Kenneth McEwin Award  Kenneth McEwin  Wilma Parrish  Hardy Tew  John Arnold  Nancy Farmer  John Van Hoose  Janice Davis  Bill Anderson  Geraldine Ritter  Tom Ragland  Elaine Boysworth  David Strahan  Theresa Hinkle  Frances Reaves  Mike Ward  John Harrison  Joan Lipsitz  Betty Terrell  Maureen Furr  Marvin Pittman  Bobby Ashley  Ran Barnes  Missy Gabriel  Jodie Graham  Christine Waggoner  Hannah Cabe

Joan Lipsitz Started teaching junior high when she moved to North Carolina; went to work at the Learning Institute of North Carolina (Chapel Hill); established the Center for Early Adolescence in 1978

John Arnold “Along with Ken McEwin, John Van Hoose, Wayne Dillon and others, I helped develop the North Carolina Middle Level Teacher Certification and Licensure Program, which I believe was the first or one of the first such programs in the country. Again, the level of agreement and pleasure that we had doing something of this significance was wonderful.” Centennial Campus

John Harrison  Executive Director of NCMSA  Influential advocate of middle level education at the state and national levels  Recipient of the Kenneth McEwin Distinguished Service Award  Past-President of the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform  Co-author of six million dollar i3 Grant

Theresa Hinkle  Career-long highly successful teacher of young adolescents  First teacher president of NCMSA  Past-President of the National Middle School Association  Recipient of the Kenneth McEwin Distinguished Service Award  Representative of the thousands of capable and dedicated teachers in North Carolina who work on a daily basis to assure young adolescents learn what they need to know in a developmentally responsive environment

Wilma Parrish  Founding principal of Western Middle School in Alamance County (late 1970s) which served was one of four middle schools featured in "Successful Schools for Young Adolescents” written by Joan Lipsitz  Received the Kenneth McEwin Distinguished Service Award  Was always welcoming to those who visited her school to learn how to make their schools more effective for young adolescents  Western Middle School continues to serve young adolescents under the direction of Principal Liz Alston and her faculty  Representative of the many outstanding middle school principals in North Carolina who work to provide young adolescents with schools that are effective and responsive to their learning needs

William Alexander •Father of the Middle School Movement •Proposed the middle School at a 1963 Conference at Cornell University •Mentored Ken McEwin, Paul George, Tom Erb, and others •Was a featured presenter at ASU summer middle school institutes •Keynote speaker at first NCMSA Conference in 1976

John Lounsbury Taught Social Studies in Wilmington, NC before being promoted to Department Chair when he was appointed a supervisor. One of his first assignments was to convert two elementary schools to junior high schools.

Nancy Doda  1974 Undergraduate from Wake Forest University  Keynote at NCMSA conference in 1976  ASU Summer Institutes

Tom Dickinson “…when I first started teaching, my doctoral degree was in social studies. I wasn’t really working in the middle grades, and it wasn’t until I had a job at North Carolina Wesleyan in Rocky Mount, NC, that I started teaching middle school courses.”

Gordon Vars “I think North Carolina has been the model of a state where they did that [established middle grades licensure] and as a result, all of the colleges and universities, I believe, in North Carolina have programs and they have support from the Education Department.”

“North Carolina Governor Hunt was a strong advocate for middle level education. North Carolina is the only state I know that has had a middle school advocate at the governor’s level.” – Connie Toepfer North Carolina Governor Jim Hunt

Chris Stevenson An important figure in the middle school movement and author of Teaching Ten to Fourteen Year Olds, Chris retired to North Carolina to live near John Arnold, his life- long friend. They live in Pinehurst near the NCMSA Headquarters…and a beautiful golf course.

Closing Thoughts  “Movements for institutional change have always been fueled by significant conversations.” -Parker Palmer and Arthur Zajonc in The Heart of Higher Education: A Call to Renewal

Random Closing Thoughts  Pick your battles for young adolescents and middle level education based on their importance, not their difficulty.  We know more than we have ever known about young adolescents, how they should be taught, what kinds of programs and practices are best for their schools, and what kind of curriculum and instruction they need.  This knowledge must be shared and used in ways that both enhance the welfare of this age group and assure that their learning is maximized.

Random Closing Thoughts  Be bold and courageous advocates for young adolescents and those who teach them and serve them in other ways.  They are too young to be their own advocates in a culture that often reduces them to stereotypes of crazy, hormone-driven, trouble causing, kids.  Do not allow their beauty, humanity, promise, and potential be overshadowed by these stereotypes.

Random Closing Thoughts  When you become discouraged, seek out like-minded advocates and walk around your school, or some other school, and focus intently on several young adolescents as individuals and ask yourself if they are worth the fight.  Do not retreat into your own world and give up on influencing other stakeholders in positive ways.  Encourage those who are barriers to successful change, seek out their strengths and capitalize on them.  Many times they just feel inadequate and are afraid of failing at whatever initiative is being proposed.

Random Closing Thoughts  Do not become discouraged. Look around this room, at this conference, and in other environments and know you are not alone in your advocacy.  Take action because simply caring about something, like young adolescents or the middle school philosophy, is not enough.  Never, ever, give up on doing the right thing for this wonderful and promising age group!

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