A framework for research into Australian middle school practice
As a new reform in Australian education, middle schooling has been gaining momentum. The rationale behind middle schooling is to bridge the traditional primary-high school gap and provide a more developmentally appropriate educational experience for young adolescents. Middle schooling in the USA has gone through a "boom-to-bust" cycle and is currently undergoing a "reinvention" as research on practice and reporting of research on practice has, in the most part, been ad hoc and piecemeal. If Australian middle schools are to avoid the boom-to-bust-to-reinvention cycle experienced in parts of the USA (Beane, 2001), then we need a more systematic approach to researching practice. Research-based criteria for systematic study and improvement of middle school practice have been identified as (a) acceptance as part of planning alternative practice, (b) effectiveness as part of implementing alternative practice, and (c) sustainability as part of evaluating alternative practice.
Australian Educational Researcher
Copyright 2007 Australian Educational Researcher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.