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Middle School Movement

The middle school movement began in the 1960s and gained impetus in the 1970s as a reaction to junior high schools that were typically, as the name suggests, junior versions of a high school. Operating in a highly teacher-centered and often factorylike manner, junior high schools gave ample evidence of being poorly suited to address the needs of young adolescents.

Founders and proponents of what came to be known as middle schools emphasized the need to establish a kind of school centered on and responsive to the needs of students from approximately 10 to 14 years of age. Students in this age group are highly variable in physical, emotional, intellectual, social, and moral development. Students in this age span may go through periods of time where ...

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