Transition Into The Middle School Programme Essay

Question:

Discuss About The Transition Into The Middle School Programme?

Answer:

Introduction

The transition from the primary area of an area school to the middle school area causes anxiety amongst students and it can challenge their ability to cope well especially students who have categorised already within the school as being at risk and high priority learners. The transition includes so many actors that are important to adolescent students such as teacher relationships, peer relationships, uniform changes, keeping up with academic expectations and the changes involved with now having multiple teachers. These students not only have these worries but they are also dealing with other changes that are perfectly normal and part of growing up such as puberty with hormonal and physical changes that go with it. This transition stage has been an area of concern that I have had and observed as a middle school teacher who is receiving this year six students for the past six years. It is sometimes taken for granted that because we are a very small area school, everyone knows everyone and to a degree this is true but it still does not make the transition any easier for these students when they have a bunch of worries and concerns about how all of this is going to go.

This proposal is important to me as a teacher and my professional development, as I find out firsthand how I can best support year six students in their transition into the middle school programme. Many students have ideas and inside knowledge and understanding that can be utilized by informing me of the obstacles that are in the way of them having a smooth transition. Many students do not have the necessary skills to deal with transitioning or the skills to transition well, so my research could prove to be valuable to teachers and students in ensuring future smooth transition periods for future students. The purpose of this proposal is to determine how as a teacher, I can alleviate some of the worries and concerns these students may be experiencing by finding out more as to how I can best support year six students in their transition into the middle school programme. I want to ensure the students to have a good start to their middle school education pinnacle in ensuring students have the best start to their middle school year’s education. Many students do not have the necessary skills to deal with transitioning, so my research could prove to be valuable to teachers and students in ensuring future smooth transition periods for future students.

Brief literature review

Transition is an important and critical time in the early adolescent years as there are many considerations and factors that need to be taken into account when it comes to students transitioning from the primary area to the middle school area and as a teacher who receives these students I need to assist in ensuring this transition goes as smoothly as I possibly can. This transition can be a difficult time for many adolescents. It is a period filled with both anxiety and anticipation (Schoffner & Williamson, 2000). Student anxiety and anticipation can be based on many reasons such the academic, social and emotional worries and well-being of young adolescents as this become a time when psychologically young adolescents desire control over their lives and the establishment of identities outside of their families (Schoffner & Williamson, 2000).

Not only do these students have to deal with the anxiety that comes with changing areas of the school and their education but they also have to deal with the changes with their own bodies at the same time. Pubertal changes occur at different times and at different rates for students in the same grade. Therefore, a student’s transition to middle school, they confront both external changes and internal pubertal changes. (Akos, 2002). According to Mizelle and Irvin (2000), the transition programs that were viewed as the best at helping students succeed during their first year following transition were those that used a number of different articulation activities. These articulation type activities provided students and parent’s information about the new school, provided social support during the transition and brought middle and high school personnel together to learn from one another. Following the transition, many students feel less positive about their own potential and the importance of schooling (Schoffner & Williamson, 2000). Studies have shown that student motivation and attitudes towards school tend to decline during the transition to middle-school (Akos, 2002).

Transition programs need to also address students’ needs for competence and autonomy and this can be done by enhancing the interpersonal relationships and coping skills and addressing their normal fears and concerns and excitement. Coping skills developed during the transition will make future transitions, like the move to high school, easier. (Schoffner & Williamson, 2002). A successful transition is where we are sensitive to student anxieties and the importance of the role teachers and parents play into the whole process and the continual support they give because transitioning can take some student's time to adjust and the process is ongoing. Transitions can include additional and unfamiliar students and school staff, and multiple sets of behavioural and classroom rules and expectations (Akos, 2002).

According to Hanewald (2013), stated that there are several issues that are faced by the students when they are facing the transition from primary to secondary schools but well designed and executed transitional approaches can help in the process of encouraging students, their families and the other staff members of the school. It further specifies that the teachers portray a serious role in helping the children who are moving in or between the schools, thus making the transitional experience a positive one. However, it is necessary for those would be teachers to get an awareness as well as an understanding of the main problems that the children may face during the transitional period. He further explained in his research paper that teacher or the educator must consider various ways to get included in the transition programs or plans in their courses to guarantee that graduate teachers have the expertise and knowledge to arbitrate few pressures that their students seem to encounter while dealing with this process of transition.

On the other hand, Forrest et al. (2013), in their study they have mainly focused on the connection between the health of the child and the school outcomes because of the transitions that they are facing. As per the results, they came up with says that transition into the middle school and puberty both has an individualistic negative effect on the school outcomes. However, the chronic health conditions which affect a child's practical status are related to the outcomes in schools. It further states that low levels of experiences in the negative stress and any increased physical comfort has an effect that is positive on the teacher coherence, engagement in school and academic attainment. However, the student’s outcomes get negatively affected when the child is either bullying or getting victimized during this transitional period. Children who are experiencing a highly satisfied life are said to be more connected with their teachers as well as occupied in their schoolwork and obtains higher grades in schools that those who are not so satisfied.

Wang and Dishion (2012), said that in the transition to middle school the children are often challenged with a series of fresh social as well as educational demands that actually places the child at a greater threats for the evolution of behavioural issues. There have been substantial proofs that academic and the social environment of the middle schools affects the adjustments of the students at multiple domains. However, the findings demonstrate that all the aspects of the school environment declined have increased the behavioural problems and the divergent peer affiliation. In 2013, Shoshani and Slone in their paper has worked with 417 students and 13 teachers from 4 public middle schools. However, their findings greatly supported the associations between the character powers, subjective welfare and the middle school adjustments. The interpersonal strengths are remarkably associated with the school functioning at the middle school. Strong positive predictor of the student's subjective well-being is temperance and transcendence strengths in their middle school. Findings further suggest that the already existing understanding about the character and its connection to the optimal oporation and the well-being of the students have major practical involvements for implementing the strengths-building execution in their middle schools. However, this transition to the middle school has been recognized as a complicated period for the children in their transitional phrase as it demands changes as well as adjustments to some different reality.

Research Methodology

Research methodology or design is the process by which researcher is able to collect the data in an appropriate manner and it is a systematic plan for conducting research (Flick, 2015). The research methodology is important to delve deep into the research strategies that the researcher can take to conduct the research. There is importance to examine the study methodology and the data from other viewpoints ensuring a complete approach for the research question.

Research Method Outline

Different tools will be used for conducting this research, and with the help of these tools, the satisfactory results will be obtained. The chosen research philosophy will be positivism for the research as it helps the researcher to analyse the collected data in a scientific manner. Moreover, the Deductive approach will be chosen with the help of this approach, the focus is on the existing models and theories, which are associated with the study. Descriptive or analytical design method will be assigned research design. The chosen data collection method is the survey method and the interview process for the research strategy.

Research Philosophy

Research philosophy, which is the framework of beliefs, consisted with three basic philosophies. The three basic research philosophies are positivism, realism and interpretivism. These philosophies help to analyse the nature of the study by conducting an in-depth study of the different theories and models. Positivism assists for identifying the problem, however; realism is the mixed approach, which combines the positivism and interpretivism. Interpretivism tackles with management and business activities.

To analyse the present study, Positivism method will be used and in return, a wider perspective of the research process has come up. Positivism philosophy assists the researcher to have the analysis through experiences and excludes the specification. Students' behaviour and human phenomena can be described through Positivism philosophy.

Research Approach

The two kinds of research approaches that are present here are deductive and inductive. The existing theories would fall under the deductive approach and the new theories and models with new approaches would fall under inductive approach (Panneerselvam, 2014).

In this study, the deductive approach will be used as the researcher develops a research questions at the beginning of the study. Therefore, the relevant research methodology will be used through the deductive approach to testing the questions to prove them right or wrong.

Research Design

There are three basic research designs to follow, those are descriptive or analytical, explanatory, and exploratory research designs (Matthews, 2014). To conducts the various approaches of the research in a detailed or descriptive manner, descriptive research design is used. The exploratory research design assists in the initial steps of the research, which is based on the hypothesis that is already created. The explanatory research design assists to broaden the relationship between the two prevailing variables of the research.

In this research study, the researcher will use descriptive research design as it will help the researcher to understand the respondents of the research in a specific way. The observational study will be conducted to understand the growth and transition of the students.

Research Strategy

The research strategy is a method to conduct the research in a proper direction. The general research strategies are the case study, focus group, survey methods, interview process. The survey method and interview will be conducted if the data is collected for the larger group (Bryman & Bell, 2014). This process will provide the different views of the parents and other important members associated with this topic.

Selection of Sampling methods and Sample Size

The population of the sample will be parents of the students. For serving this purpose, a survey will be conducted on 30 parents of the year 6 students who will go to mid-school. Thus, the sample size is 30. The researcher will select the sampling through using the simple random sampling technique as it is a subset of a statistical population in which each member of the subset has an equal probability of being chosen.

Data Collection Method

The information of the primary data has to be very authentic and genuine. The primary data are the information based on different surveys and interviews and it leads to having the comprehensive understanding about the research. The data collected from the data collection method should have the possibility to give a constructive approach to the study. The secondary data is the information that is already accessible either in a printed means or in any other versions (Matthews & Ross, 2014). Thus, this data is further used to make changes in the future for simplifying transition of other students.

In this research study, primary and secondary both data will be used. In order to get the primary data, the researcher will conduct the survey. Primary research helps the researcher to address specific research issues and it has greater control. The survey will be conducted to understand both pre and post worries and concerns of the students are highlighted about middle school. In order to conduct the survey, the researcher will make 12 close-ended multiple type questionnaire and the researcher will distribute this to respondents. In order to collect the secondary data, books, journals, websites would be used in literature review section.

Data Analysis

The researcher will use quantitative data analysis method that helps to comprehend the data in a better way. For getting the quantitative data, the numerical digits will be transformed into percentages and after that, it will be shown in various graphs, charts and tables. Apart from this, the descriptive data is used for calculating the mean, median, mode and the standard deviation of the findings (Liamputtong, 2013).

Transcription of the parents’ speech has been used to calculate the qualitative data and after that, it has to analyse well (Liamputtong, 2013). A thematic analysis has to be conducted for analysing the interviews of the parents.

Research Ethical Consideration

For conducting the research well a strict ethical guidance has to be maintained. Ethics are the basic norms or the standards of conduct, which distinguish between the right and the wrong. it helps for determining the contrast between the acceptable and the unacceptable behaviours. The participation should not be forced at any time in conducting the interview. The surveys should be conducted for academic purpose only and to keep in mind that it is not the promotional activity. The participants are not forced to participate in the research and voluntary participation from the parents of year six students were acknowledged during the research. The parents who participated in the research were informed about the procedure of the research and they participated in their own consent in the research activities.

Time Horizon

Main activity

1st month and 2nd month

3rd month

4th month and 5th month

6th month, 7th month and 8th month

9th month

Survey of the market

Identification of user of internet

Deciding the way to implement the promotion on these segmented group

Implementing the marketing method

Monitor

Table: Gantt chart

(Source: Created by researcher)

Ethical Consideration

The ethics of the research will be followed to distinguish between behaviour that is acceptable and unacceptable while conducting research activities. The research would involve human participants. Parents of the year 6 students and teachers are involved in the research. Both parents and their children must give their consent must there for collecting the data. The confidentiality of the research participants is protected while conducting the research. The research participants are allowed to be anonymous (Smith, 2012). The human participants who are mainly parents of the year six or more children are protected from risks while conducting the research and they are not deceived during the research. In order to conduct the research, the researcher would follow strictly Privacy Act 1993 New Zealand. This act speaks about the use, collection, and disclosure, by the public and the private sector agencies, of individual information (Legislation.govt.nz, 2017). The researcher will not make any transaction of money during the research process and any coercion of any information will not be done. The researcher will not disclose any name of the respondents after the research. The research will destroy the data once the research will be done and any type of commercial purposes will not be used with this data. The researcher will create an ethics form in order to conduct the research, the respondents will read this and after that, they can fill the survey questionnaire. This consent form will speak about the overall purpose of the research and benefits and risks for participating in this research. The risks are related to the dignity and emotional distress through the questionnaire. Moreover, the confidentiality of respondents must be mentioned in the research ethics consent form.

While conducting the project ethical considerations were followed like protection to intellectual rights of others, responsibility towards society was addressed during the research. Honesty is maintained while presenting the data of the research. Data is not fabricated; the sponsors of the research and public are not deceived while conducting the research. Any kind of bias is avoided while conducting the research. All the research activities are carefully recorded and data negligence and errors are avoided during the research. Intellectual property Rights (IPR) including patents and copyrights are respected while conducting this research and plagiarism is avoided while considering the secondary research. All reference sources are cited while presenting the research paper and credits and acknowledgements are provided to individuals who contributed eminently to the research activity. Any discrimination of sex, ethnicity or race is avoided while selecting participants for the research. The research aims to improve the quality of teaching. The research activities are conducted by following procedures of law and government.

Reflection

The research has added value to my teaching philosophy. Teaching year six and older children who enter middle school from primary schools is fun yet challenging. The children of middle school often consider their parents and teachers to be over-protective and as teachers, it sometimes becomes difficult to handle these children because during middle school children get influenced by opinions of their peers and are directed by their self-will. As a teacher, counselling and special attention are provided to individual children and bias is avoided in the class like cultural bias. The research has provided me insights about providing assistance to homework and learning materials to parents so that middle-school children can enhance their cognitive development and skills which will make them eligible for high school. My teaching philosophy involves nurturing the cognitive development and emotions in each student of the middle school so that the individual interests and passions are identified. The middle school has a combination of gifted children as well as slow learners. My teaching philosophy is giving personal assistance to children who are slow learners and providing guidance to their parents during a counselling session. Being a teacher to children who just entered middle school is challenging for children of this age are prone to be independent. As a teacher, it is important to monitor the performance of each student and inform the parents about this performance.

Middle schools form the foundation of high school and students and their parents should develop cognitive and emotional skills which will enable them to handle the pressure of high school. Middle school is a combination of children from the diverse cultural background and as a teacher promoting cultural tolerance is of prime importance for children of the middle school. Cultural biases are discouraged among children who include a bias towards sex, race, language and religion. As a teacher, it is of prime importance to ensure that learning becomes fun for children of middle school and they are not over-burdened with home works and assignment tasks. Teaching methods like teaching with the help of modern technology and visual aids are practised in the classroom and the research has made me gain insights about the fact that children often learn by interaction among each other. My teaching philosophy involves making the classroom more interactive by encouraging discussion among children on various topics of subject matter and by advocating learning through playful activities.

References

Akos, P. (2002). Student Perceptions of the Transition from Elementary to Middle School. Professional School Counseling, 5(5), 339-345. Retrieved from

Bryman, A., & Bell, E. (2014). Research methodology: Business and management contexts. Oxford University Press Southern Africa.

Flick, U. (2015). Introducing research methodology: A beginner's guide to doing a research project. London: Sage.

Forrest, C. B., Bevans, K. B., Riley, A. W., Crespo, R., & Louis, T. A. (2013). Health and school outcomes during children's transition into adolescence. Journal of Adolescent Health, 52(2), 186-194.

Hanewald, R. (2013). Transition between primary and secondary school: Why it is important and how it can be supported. International Journal of Students psychology, 1(2), 45-48

Liamputtong, P. (2013). Qualitative research methods. London: Routledge.

Matthews, B., & Ross, L. (2014). Research methods. Sydney: Pearson Higher Ed.

Mizelle, Nancy B., and Judith L. Irvin. "Transition from middle school into high school." Middle School Journal 31.5 (2000): 57-61.

Panneerselvam, R. (2014). Research methodology. PHI Learning Pvt. Ltd

Privacy Act 1993 No 28 (2017), Public Act Contents – New Zealand Legislation. (2017). Legislation.govt.nz. Retrieved 21 September 2017, from

Shoffner, M. F., & Williamson, R. D. (2000). Facilitating student transitions into middle school. Middle School Journal, 31(4), 47-52.

Shoshani, A., & Slone, M. (2013). Middle school transition from the strengths perspective: Young adolescents’ character strengths, subjective well-being, and school adjustment. Journal of Happiness Studies, 14(4), 1163-1181.

Smith, C. (2015). Revenge porn or consent and privacy: An analysis of the Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015. Data Protection, 1(2), 23-34

Wang, M. T., & Dishion, T. J. (2012). The trajectories of adolescents’ perceptions of school climate, deviant peer affiliation, and behavioral problems during the middle school years. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 22(1), 40-53.

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