Thursday, August 23, 2007

K-8 Schools

I finished a master's degree in Social Foundations of Education a few years ago. It was a fantastic experience and prompted me to think deeply about various large issues in education. One issue that interests me greatly is the idea of K-8 schools.

Prince George's county is discussing the possibility of expanding the number of K-8 schools in their district.

"We were having some challenges with our middle-schoolers and felt that if we could put them, many times with their brothers and sisters, they would become the leaders, they would become the models," Smith said. "They are the models for the younger kids. Their behavior is much better. They're much more willing to listen to adults, much more willing to help everyone in the school."

She said another benefit is that teachers across several grades can communicate more easily, allowing students to receive more consistent and focused education over several years.

Personally, I believe that middle schoolers should be shipped off to another planet for those two (or even three) years. They don't like themselves, which is not surprising given how unlikeable they are. (This is based mostly on my memories of middle school.) However, given the likelihood of that happening, I believe that K-8 schools is the next best option. Isolating students at that age seems like a bad idea.

The design of K-8 schools is critical for their success. The communication and collaboration across the grade levels is also important. But, it seems to me to be an idea worth trying.

1 comment:

Tree said...

If was the undisputed ruler of the world, then all elementary schools would be K - 8 and under 500 students. However, I would give the people some flex - the schools could be prek - 8, if desired.