Aug 2, 2019
Proactively reassuring students leaving the secure nest of elementary school for what seems to them insurmountable challenges of middle school improves their performance, attendance, and cooperation. A just published study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison measured the effects of interventions crafted to convince fearful, anxious students that they are not alone and that both academic and social help is always available.
The study looked at more than 1300 first year Wisconsin middle school students. Those student in the program were 18% more likely to pass their courses, 12% more likely to attend regularly, and 34% less likely to require discipline. They enjoyed less test anxiety, demonstrated more trust for their teachers, and did ask for help more freely.
Since a troubled start to middle school often portends an unsuccessful high school experience, the modest cost of the program, several $$ per child, is definitely money well spent.
University of Wisconsin-Madison. "Power of refocusing student stress in middle school transition: Sixth graders taught to see transition turmoil as 'normal, temporary' perform better in class." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 July 2019. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/07/190729164630.htm.
#MiddleSchool #transition #secondaryeducation