Administrators' Perceptions of Middle School in Two Rural Districts: A Companion to the Taurisano Study
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AuthorCrowe, Karen M.
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AbstractThe purpose of this study was to identify administrators' perceptions of the current practices in their middle school as compared to what they believe a middle school should be doing. The findings of this study were also compared to the Taurisano study, which focuses on teachers' perceptions of the middle school concept. The subjects involved were 11 administrators from two rural school districts in Western New York. One of the school districts have 28 -middle level teachers, 321 middle level students, and 3 administrators. The other school district involved consists of 42 middle level teachers, 500 middle level students, and 8 administrators. The administrators involved included 7 principals, 3 assistant principals, and a superintendent with various levels of experience. A survey that was developed by the researcher was used to obtain the information in this study. The subjects were asked to respond to 15 statements that dealt with middle school practices. The subjects were instructed to respond to each statement by circling the choice that best described their opinion. The choices included: agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, disagree, and not sure. A space for additional comments was also provided. The findings reveal that the administrators involved in this study recognize the essential elements of a middle school and largely agree that they should be implemented in a middle school, however only 64% of them could agree that their middle school had already implemented the elements. In fact, there were very few elements of which more than 90% of the administrators could agree were already present in their middle school. Therefore, even though the administrators involved in this study understand the ideal model of a middle school, many of them recognize that their school does not meet that ideal.
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