Teaching Young Adolescents: A Guide to Methods and Resources (4th Edition)

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9780130617088: Teaching Young Adolescents: A Guide to Methods and Resources (4th Edition)

Everything future teachers of young adolescents need to know is here—covered thoroughly, and presented in a down-to-earth manner that emphasizes the practical as well as the theoretical.. These authors encourage future teachers to take an eclectic approach to teaching, one that actively engages the adolescent in his or her own learning and gives every student an equal chance to participate, learn, grow, and succeed. A wealth of examples and exercises model the book's tenets; while the authors' keen understanding of their subject keeps content to-the-point. Coverage includes the characteristics of young adolescents, planning for their instruction, implementing instruction, and assessing their learning. For professionals in the field of teaching.

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Welcome to the fourth edition of Teaching Young Adolescents: A Guide to Methods and Resources. The primary purpose of this textbook is to provide a practical, concise, criterion-referenced, performance-based, mastery learning model for college and university students who are in a methods course or in the field component of teacher education, learning how to teach young adolescent students regardless of where or how those students are housed or of the cognomen of the school in which they are housed. The term young adolescents refers to children ranging in age from 9 to 14 who are in the traditional middle level grades of 5 through 8.

Others who will find the guide useful are experienced teachers who want to continue developing their teaching skills, and curriculum specialists and school administrators who want a current, practical, and concise text of methods, guidelines, and resources for teaching young adolescents.

NEW TO THIS EDITION

Exemplary middle level programs are those that are rooted in celebrating and building upon the diverse characteristics and needs of young adolescents. To become and to remain exemplary, teachers in such programs must be in a continual mode of inquiry, reflection, and change. It is no different for us as the authors of this book. In a continuing effort to prepare a comprehensive and exemplary book that focuses on teaching young adolescents, we are in a continual mode of inquiry into the latest findings in research and practice, in constant reflection as we listen to and assess the comments from practitioners in the field and from users and reviewers of the book, and in steady change as we prepared each edition.

Changes for this fourth edition were substantial as we continue with our focus to respond to the challenge of providing a comprehensive and concise coverage of methods and resources for teaching young adolescents in the classroom, regardless of whether that classroom is housed, for example, in a middle school or in a K-8 elementary school. That focus resulted in this book's new title. Other changes include:

  • We revisited and rewrote the entire book to assure a strong and consistent focus and the most current research base possible on teaching the young adolescent learner.
  • Although separated in this book for reasons of organizational clarity, the component on planning the classroom learning environment is an integral and ongoing component of planning and implementing curriculum and instruction. The former section about establishing a supportive classroom learning environment, now titled "Planning the Classroom Learning Environment," has been moved from Part I to Part II where it is the first of three chapters about "Planning for Instruction," the title of Part II. The other two chapters in Part II are "Curriculum Planning" and "Preparing an Instructional Plan."
  • Part III underwent organizational and content changes and now includes four rather than the previous three chapters.
  • Despite the blue-ribbon commissions, authors, and politicians who vilify what they perceive as the failures of middle level school education in particular and public school education in general, thousands of committed teachers, administrators, parents, guardians, and community representatives struggle daily, year after year, to provide young adolescents with a quality education. So that readers can learn about or visit exemplary middle level programs, many are recognized and identified by name throughout this text.

Other changes made for this edition are mentioned in the paragraphs that follow.

OUR BELIEFS: HOW AND WHERE THEY ARE REFLECTED IN THIS BOOK

In preparing this book, we saw our task not as making the teaching job easier for you—effective teaching is never easy—but as improving your teaching effectiveness and providing relevant guidelines and current resources. You may choose from these resources and build upon what works best for you. Nobody can tell you what will work with your students; you will know them best. We do share what we believe to be the best of middle level practice, the most useful of recent research findings, and the richest of experiences. Although both of us are former middle level classroom teachers who now work with other middle level teachers, preparing this new edition presented us with an opportunity to reflect, reexamine, and share our own beliefs about working with young adolescents in the classroom. The boldface italic statements present our beliefs and explain how they are embraced in this resource guide.

The best learning occurs when the learner actively participates in the process, which includes having ownership in both the process and the product of the learning. Consequently, this book is designed to engage you in hands-on and minds-on learning about effective teaching of young adolescents in the classroom. For example, rather than simply reading a chapter devoted to the important topic of cooperative learning, in each chapter you will become involved in cooperative and collaborative learning. In essence, via the exercises found in every chapter, you will practice cooperative learning, talk about it, practice it some more, and finally, through the process of doing it, learn a great deal about it. This book involves you in cooperative learning.

The best strategies for learning about teaching young adolescents in the classroom are those that model those very strategies. As you will learn, integrated learning is the cornerstone of the most effective teaching of young adolescents, and that is a premise upon which this resource guide is designed.

To be most effective today a teacher must use an eclectic style in teaching. Rather than focusing your attention on particular models of teaching, we emphasize the importance of an eclectic model—that is, one in which you select and integrate the best from various instructional approaches. For example, sometimes you will want to use a direct, expository approach, perhaps through a minilecture; more often you will want to use an indirect, social-interactive, or student-centered approach, perhaps through project based learning. This book not only provides guidelines to help you decide which approach to use at a particular time but also develops your skill in using specific approaches. Equally important, you will learn of the importance of being able to combine both direct and indirect approaches, of using what we refer to as multilevel instruction.

Learning should be active, pleasant, fun, meaningful, and productive. Our desire is to present this resource guide in an enthusiastic, positive, and cognitive-humanistic way, in part by providing rich experiences in social-interactive learning. How this is done is perhaps best exemplified by the active learning exercises found throughout the book and on the Companion Website at www.prenhall.com/kellough. Exercises were developed to ensure that you become an active participant in learning the methods and procedures that are most appropriate in facilitating learning by active, responsive young adolescents.

Teaching skills can be learned. In medicine, certain knowledge and skills must be learned and developed before the student physician is licensed to practice with patients. In law, certain knowledge and skills must be learned and developed before the law student is licensed to practice with clients. So it is in teacher preparation: knowledge and skills must be learned and developed before the teacher candidate is licensed to practice the art and science of teaching young people. We would never allow an untrained person to treat our child's illness or to defend us in a legal case: the professional education of teachers is no less important! Receiving a professional education on how to teach young people is absolutely necessary, and certain aspects of that education must precede any interaction with students if teachers are to become truly competent professionals.

ORGANIZATION OF THIS BOOK: AN OVERVIEW

Competent teaching of young adolescents in the classroom is a kaleidoscopic, multifaceted, eclectic process. When preparing and writing a book for use in teacher preparation, by necessity one must separate that kaleidoscopic process into separate parts, which is not always possible to do in a way that makes the most sense to everyone using the book. This overview explains how we have done it.

We believe that there are developmental components involved in becoming a competent teacher. This book is organized around four developmental components: why—the rationale to support the components that follow; what—the content, processes, and skills you will be helping young adolescent students learn; how—how you will do it; and how well&3151;how well you are doing it. These are represented by the four parts of the book. Each part is introduced with the goals of the chapters that follow and with reflective thoughts relevant to topics addressed in its chapters.

Each chapter begins with a brief introduction to that chapter followed by its major learning targets or objectives.

Throughout, we provide information that is useful for the teacher as a decision maker. You will find exercises to practice handling concepts in ways that facilitate metacognitive thinking. All exercises require you to deal in some descriptive, analytical, or self-reflective manner with text concepts and actual practice. Most of the exercises here in the text and on the Companion Website are adaptable for cooperative/collaborative group processing.

Part I: Introduction to Middle Level Teaching and Learning

The three chapters of Part I reflect the why component, the reality and challenge of teaching young adolescents today.

Chapter 1 presents an overview of that reality and chal...

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