Talent Development Middle Schools: Blueprint and Results for a Comprehensive Whole School Reform Model
DOUGLAS J. MACIVER MARTHA A. MACIVER ROBERT BALFANZ STEPHEN B. PLANK ALLEN RUBY2 Johns Hopkins University
The Center for Research on the Education of Students Placed At Risk has been working since 1994 to develop, implement, and evaluate the talent development middle school (TDMS) model. The goal of the TDMS model is to build on structural reform recommendations and to establish the curriculum, instruction, school organization, and professional development needed for all students to learn challenging academic materials and prepare for successful futures. In this chapter, we discuss (a) the TDMS model's development, (b) the implementation of the model in several Philadelphia middle schools and plans for more widespread implementation, and (c) research findings on student attitudes and achievement gains that suggest the model is making a difference in the lives of young adolescents placed at risk.
The signature practices for middle grades education that grew out of the middle school movement, including detracking, cooperative learning, exploratory classes, flexible scheduling, and the establishment of closer relationships between students and teachers through advisory and interdisciplinary teacher team approaches ( Carnegie Council on Adolescent