Academic journal article Middle Grades Research Journal

Foreword

Academic journal article Middle Grades Research Journal

Foreword

Article excerpt

Motivation! This special issue of Middle Grades Research Journal tackles the complex problem of motivation in the middle grades. What moves youngsters in the middle grades? Why does the initial enthusiasm of young children falter in the middle grades? How can educators address the growing motivation gap that seems to characterize the middle grades? What are the variables that affect this welldocumented decline? More importantly, what are the factors that increase and enhance motivation in the middle grades? These questions plague both educator practitioners and education researchers.

In many ways, the middle grades are the black box of the educational trajectory. The stakes are higher than ever for educators and students in the current high-stakes environment. Individual success or failure finds its roots in these critical grades. Therefore, understanding the complex nature of motivation in young adolescents is also critical for those who would foster their success. Sound researchbased findings can inform our understanding and in turn inform practice. The task has always been how to concretize the abstract concept of "motivation" in order to measure it in defensible ways.

We are grateful to Dr. James Middleton, for his work on this special issue of the Middle Grades Research Journal. Dr. Middleton has taken on the task of harnessing the best recent research on the problem of motivation in the middle grades. …

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