Academic journal article Middle School Journal

A View from the Middle

Academic journal article Middle School Journal

A View from the Middle

Article excerpt

A View from the Middle ... of Norway

I recently joined a group of educators for a discussion about educational reforms, some of which impact students in the middle grades. One participant in the discussion explained how students would begin studying certain subjects at age 11 instead of age 13, "before they get into the age with all the hormones and all the problems." This comment is not particularly surprising or noteworthy for those of us who work in middle level education. We hear things like this all the time. Young adolescents are "hormones in sneakers," "powder kegs ready to explode," "attitude in blue jeans," or just plain "squirrelly."

What is noteworthy about this comment is that it refers to young adolescents in Norway-the country with the Nobel Peace Prize, breathtaking scenery, and the world's highest standard of living. Believe it or not, young adolescents attract unsavory labels and carry an unappealing reputation, even in Norway.

To be fair, I am not sure if this comment about young adolescents represents the perspective of most Norwegian educators. Are young adolescents in Norway just like their counterparts in the United States? How is schooling in Norway organized for students at this developmental level? What is the curriculum, and what instructional practices are most widely used and accepted in Norwegian middle grades schools? How are Norwegian teachers prepared to work effectively with young adolescent learners?

These are just some of the questions I hope to answer this year while I work as a Fulbright roving scholar in Norwegian ungdomsskoler (lower secondary schools). As a roving scholar, I will visit dozens of schools throughout the country, facilitating workshops for students and teachers. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.