ED541 Middle School Philosophy and Organization

for U1P 2010

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Mission Statement: The mission of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies at Park University is to provide leadership and directions to Park University's graduate and professional programs to assure that they are specialized, scholarly, innovative, and designed to educate students to be creative, independent, and lifelong learners within the context of a global community.

School For Education Mission Statement
The School for Education at Park University, an institution committed to diversity and best practice, prepares educators to be effective school professionals, reflective change agents, and advocates for equity and excellence for all learners.

Vision Statement: Park University's School of Graduate and Professional Studies will be an international leader in providing innovative graduate and professional educational opportunities to learners within a global society.

School For Education Vision Statement
The School for Education at Park University is to be known as a leader in the preparation of educators who will address the needs, challenges, and possibilities of the 21st century.

Park University School for Education  Conceptual Framework


ED 541 Middle School Philosophy andOrganization


U1P 2010 EDX


Brown, Michael S.


Adjunct Professor


Doctorate - Educational Leadership
Education Speicialist - Administration

Office Location

Plaza Middle School - 6501 NW 72nd St KC, MO 64151

Office Hours


Daytime Phone


Other Phone





Semester Dates

June 7-July 30

Class Days


Class Time


Credit Hours



Textbook: Jackson, Anthony W. & Davis, Gayle A. (2000). Turning Points 2000: Educating Adolescents in the 21st Century. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore and/or professor will supply the textbook on a loan basis for the duration of the course only.

Additional Resources:

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email helpdesk@park.edu or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information http://www.park.edu/Current/.

Course Description:
ED541 Middle School Philosophy and Organization: This course explores the unique nature of middle schools, middle school students, and middle school teaching, and looks at the history, theories, and philosophies that led to the development of todays middle school. The organization and purpose of middle schools will be covered, as well as the special role middle schools play within the structure of K-12 education. The course stresses individual research, reflective inquiry, and the creation of each educators individual philosophy of middle school education.

Educational Philosophy:

Educational Philosophy: The instructor's role is to provide students with the opportunity to take an active role in reading, researching, presenting, discussing, and applying information related to the course objectives and learner outcomes. The instructor recognizes the importance of student contributions to the learning process and encourages the collaborative exploration of ideas and issues. The instructor will provide a variety of learning and assessment opportunities including reflective writings, collaborative dialogue, readings, lectures, examinations, videos, and electronic and print resources.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Describe the history, characteristics, and organization of middle schools
  2. Reflect upon what comprises instructional effectiveness in a middle school
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of the nature and development of the middle school child, and will identify the needs and problems of young adolescents today
  4. Describe the unique purposes of middle schools, and will relate those purposes to the needs of young adolescents
  5. Demonstrate an understanding of the role of today's middle school's within K-12 education, and describe the relationships among elementary, middle, and secondary schools
  6. Demonstrate an appreciation for the issues and views being debated in educational circles today, including those related to education in general and those related to middle school education in particular, and will critically integrate the resulting insights into his/her own developing middle school teaching philosophy
  7. Recognize the unique challenges faced by middle school educators, debate the pros and cons of possible solutions to those problems, and propose new solutions of her/his own.
  8. Identify “Best Practices” in middle level educational programs including: integrated curriculum; advisor/advisee; flexible block schedule; creative exploration; affective and cognitive development of students heterogeneous/flexible grouping of students; parent involvement and interdisciplinary collaborative practices; and student management systems.

Core Assessment:

Class Assessment:

Course Assessment & Expectations

Attendance/Participation - Students are expected to attend each class session and take an active role in reading, researching, presenting, discussing and applying information related to the course objectives and learner outcomes. The personal experiences of course participants, and input they obtain from others in their schools and communities, are essential elements of course content. Therefore, attendance and active participation in each class meeting is very important. Each student is expected to complete the reading assignments, gather information as required by course activities, complete projects as assigned, and participate as a member of a cooperative learning group.


Assigned Readings - Students will read the assigned work from the text prior to each class meeting. They will be expected to actively participate in class reflections and discussions regarding the readings by answering guiding questions.

Practical Application Project/Paper- You have recently been appointed as a middle school principal. Given some general details about your school, your assignment is to reflect on the significant factors; describe your personal vision statement in reference to your philosophy and beliefs; prioritize an action plan; and describe the detailed process in carrying out the action plan. This paper should be 5-7 pages (typed double-spaced) in length.   This assignment is due on the last class.

Field Experience and Reflection – At the end of the class, each students will be expected to write a description and a reflection regarding their 10 hours of field experience dealing with one or more of the learning outcomes. This reflection will be due on the last class. (Requirement for the course)


Readings and assignments - 40 points
Practical Application Paper - 60 points

Academic Honesty:
As a learning community, the University upholds the highest standards of academic integrity in all its academic activities, by faculty, staff, administrators and students. Academic integrity involves much more than respecting intellectual property rights. It lies at the heart of learning, creativity, and the core values of the University. Those who learn, teach, write, publish, present, or exhibit creative works are advised to familiarize themselves with the requirements of academic integrity and make every effort to avoid possible offenses against it, knowingly or unknowingly. Park University 2009-2010 Graduate Catalog Page 31


Plagiarism involves the appropriation of another person's ideas, interpretation, words (even a few), data, statements, illustration or creative work and their presentation as one's own. An offense against plagiarism constitutes a serious academic misconduct.  Although offenses against academic integrity can manifest themselves in various ways, the most common forms of offenses are plagiarism and cheating. Plagiarism goes beyond the copying of an entire article. It may include, but is not limited to: copying a section of an article or a chapter from a book, reproduction of an art work, illustration, cartoon, photograph and the like and passing them off as one's own. Copying from the Internet is no less serious an offense than copying from a book or printed article, even when the material is not copyrighted.

Plagiarism also includes borrowing ideas and phrases from, or paraphrasing, someone else's work, published or unpublished, without acknowledging and documenting the source. Acknowledging and documenting the source of an idea or phrase, at the point where it is utilized, is necessary even when the idea or phrase is taken from a speech or conversation with another person.

Park University 2009-2010 Graduate Catalog Page 31-32

Attendance Policy:

Professors are required to maintain attendance records and report absences. Excused absences can be granted by the instructor, for medical reasons, school sponsored activities, and employment-related demands, including temporary duty. Students are responsible for any missed work. Absences for two successive weeks, without approved excuse, will be reported to the Director of the individual graduate program, or to the Executive Director for the Graduate School, for appropriate action. Students with such a record of absences, without an approved excuse, may be administratively withdrawn from the class and notified that an "F" will be recorded, unless the student initiates official withdrawal from the class(es).Park University 2009-2010 Graduate Catalog Page 35

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: http://www.park.edu/disability .


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Last Updated:7/2/2010 6:11:55 PM