The middle school concept is based on the developmental traits of young adolescents. Participants will explore the social, emotional, physical, moral, and intellectual traits of the 10-15 year-old and understand school structures and teaching strategies that support such needs.

VT AOE MG Endorsement Competencies: 1.1, 1.2, 5.1

1.1. Growth and Development
Create learning opportunities that demonstrate understanding of the cognitive, physical, social, emotional, and moral characteristics of young adolescents.

1.2. Cultural Diversity
Employ middle grades practices that are culturally responsive to young adolescents’ individual identities.

5.1. Advocacy
Advocate for developmentally responsive schooling practices and policies for every student.

By experiencing and reflecting on an integrative, developmental approach to middle grades curriculum and pedagogy, middle level educators will become more committed to implementing this approach in their schools.

VT AOE MG Endorsement Competencies 2.1, 2.2, 2.3 5.3

2.1. Standards/Proficiencies
Use standards, proficiencies, and transferable skills within and across disciplinary fields to design and implement developmentally and culturally responsive, relevant, and challenging curricula for every learner.

2.2 Integration
Integrate student voice into curriculum design to address local and global issues of personal significance, including student interests, needs, and aspirations.

2.3 Multiple & New Literacies
Strengthen students’ informational, technological, quantitative, multicultural, media, and critical literacies within and across disciplinary fields.

5.3. Community Involvement
Partner with the local and global community to bring the community into the classroom and the classroom into the community.

MGI Description: Explore the design of structures that support developmentally appropriate educational experiences for young adolescents — block scheduling, shared governance/ leadership, interdisciplinary and partner teaming, transitions, teacher advisories, and others.

VT AOE MG Endorsement Competencies: 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 5.2, 5.4

3.1. Concepts & Theories
Understand the major concepts and theories underlying the foundations of culturally and developmentally responsive middle grades programs.

3.2. Democratic Governance
Empower students with agency and choice in the governance of their learning environment.

3.3. Research
Understand the research about and practices of interdisciplinary teaming, advisory programs, flexible grouping, flexible and personalized scheduling, and common teacher planning time.

5.2. Family Engagement
Understand and value the ways diverse family structures and cultural backgrounds influence and enrich learning, and communicate and collaborate with all family members to build positive, collaborative relationships with families from diverse cultures and backgrounds.

5.5 Dispositions
Are collaborative learners who demonstrate and model ethical behavior, knowledgeable, reflective, and critical perspectives on their practice.

MGI Description: By collaborating with colleagues to understand and assess proficiency, participants will develop strategies and use technologies to assist students in personalized learning to engage all students using a student-centered pedagogy that includes anytime, anywhere learning and multiple pathways for student success.

VT AOE MG Endorsement Competencies: 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 5.2

4.1. Instructional Strategies
Use instructional strategies and technologies to help students identify, set, and achieve personalized learning goals and engage in personalized, proficiency-based learning that address local and global issues.

4.2. Assessment and Data-informed Instruction
Collaborate with each other and with students to define proficiency, measure students’ learning, accordingly adjust instruction, and assist students in progressing toward achieving proficiency.

4.3. Engagement
Motivate and engage all students and facilitate their learning through the establishment of equitable, caring, and safe learning environments and culturally and developmentally responsive materials and resources.

4.4 Student-Centered
Adopt a student-centered pedagogy that includes anytime, anywhere learning and provides multiple pathways for students to demonstrate proficiency including portfolios, performances, exhibitions, and projects.

5.4 Systems of Support
Understand systems of support to promote personalized learning, access technology for diverse family needs, and employ technology to enhance communication, collaboration among themselves, students and families.