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Teaching and Learning in Middle Schooling: A Review of the Literature

Publication Details

This paper is a summary of a review of literature carried out in 2007 for the Ministry of Education by Dinham and Rowe of the Australian Council for Educational Research.

Their review, and the summary presented here, are components of a Ministry research programme focused on teaching and learning in the middle schooling years. Other projects within the programme include: a "Study of Students’ Transition from Primary to Secondary Schooling"; an investigation of the skills, knowledge and values that may be required by teachers to most effectively meet the needs of Years 7 to 10 students; and an in-depth analysis of ‘student engagement’ during the middle schooling years.

Author(s): Ministry of Education

Date Published: March 2009

The Literature Review

The key purpose of the review, as stipulated by the Ministry of Education, was to provide:

‘…a critical examination and analysis of the literature, to assess what we know about the impact of teaching and learning during the middle school years (Years 7 to 10) on student engagement, achievement and attitudes to learning… .’

As reviewers, Dinham and Rowe aimed to:

  • identify social and behavioural characteristics of students in this age group in terms of their learning needs;
  • identify pedagogies, with particular reference to age appropriate pedagogies, that have an influence on student engagement, achievement and attitudes to learning during Years 7 to 10;
  • indicate the effect of curriculum development and implementation on student engagement, achievement and attitudes to learning during Years 7 to 10;
  • identify aspects of teacher professional development that have positive influences on student engagement, achievement and attitudes to learning in Years 7 to 10; and
  • identify the impact of different school structures (eg, Year 7 to 13 secondary, composite, restricted composite) and settings (eg, single sex, coeducational, rural, urban) on student engagement, achievement and attitudes to learning during Years 7 to 10.



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