Editor-in-Chief Preface

By Schmitt, Vicki L. | Middle Grades Research Journal, Spring 2012 | Go to article overview

Editor-in-Chief Preface


Schmitt, Vicki L., Middle Grades Research Journal


Our first issue of Middle Grades Research Journal for Volume 7 begins with a quantitative study followed by three qualitative studies. Over the past 7 years, our MGRJ editorial office has received 122 quantitative studies for review and 217 qualitative studies. MGRJ founder and managing editor, Dr. David L. Hough, of Missouri State University has been tracking more generally the types of middle grades research conducted over the past 20 years and has found that approximately one third of all published studies are quantitative and two thirds are qualitative. Look for more information about middle grades research in terms of method, purpose, areas of focus, design and much more in his upcoming book, R4 = Research, Rhetoric, and Reality Revisited.

The first study presented herein is titled "An Evaluation of Supplemental Reading Instruction for At-Risk Middle School Readers." It was conducted by the following team of researchers: Sheri Berkeley, George Mason University; Jennifer H. Lindstrom, The University of Georgia; Kelley Regan, George Mason University; Allison Nealy, The University of Georgia; Candice Southall, The University of Georgia; and Christina Stagliano, The University of Georgia. Here, a corrective reading program evaluation found that sixth, seventh-, and eighth-grade students "made progress in decoding and oral reading fluency over the school year; however, students did not demonstrate greater gains during the semester." Important implications of this research are provided.

Our first qualitative study is by Gary Weilbacher, Illinois State University, and Jill L. Lanier, principal, Pleasant Plains Middle School in Pleasant Plains, Illinois. These researchers examined an advisory program at Horizon Schools to Watch, an affiliate of the National Forum to Accelerate Middle School Reform national Schools to Watch program. The authors' used a focus group interview protocol to examine differences in gender separate advisory programs. …

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