Date of Award

5-1998

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Dr. Gerald Begy

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine teachers' perceptions of the middle school concept, what is happening in their school and what actually should be happening. The findings of this study were compared to the Crowe study, which focuses on administrators' perceptions.

In this study, a researcher developed survey was administered to 51 rural, middle level teachers in two rural districts in Western New York. The school districts involved consisted of one that included 28 middle level teachers, 321 middle level students, and three administrators. The other district consisted of 42 middle level teachers, 500 middle level students, and 8 administrators. The administrators included 7 principals, 3 assistant principals and a superintendent of schools. The respondents to this study were asked to fill out the survey and choose the response that best reflected their perceptions about the statement provided both currently and ideally. Responses ranged from "agree" to "disagree." A space for teacher comments was also provided.

The findings reveal that though teachers seem to have a good understanding of what the essential elements of the middle school concept are, only 69% of them agreed or somewhat agreed that this concept was being fully implemented in their schools. Furthermore, there were very few elements in which 90% of teachers could agree were presently practiced in their middle schools. Therefore, though many of the teachers understood the ideal elements of the middle school concept, many also recognized that their middle school did not fully meet the ideal standards of it.

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