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Happiness in the middle school years

Hesterman, S. (2011) Happiness in the middle school years. In: 26th Annual Research Forum (Western Australian Institute for Educational Research Inc) Educational Possibilities, 13 August 2011, University of Notre Dame, Fremantle, Western Australia


In partnership with a small Western Australian independent community school, this research investigated how the Reggio Emilia philosophy was extended into the Middle School context. The Reggio approach, recognised as a model of excellence for early childhood education, has remained largely unexplored in secondary education. This research, is therefore, highly significant to the educational community as it presents an alternative model with fresh insight for delivering mainstream Middle Schooling consistent with post-modern sensibilities. The case study, conducted over a six-month period and employing ethnographic inquiry methodology documented the experiences of those involved in this innovative programme during a time of ongoing tension between the school's promotion of a curriculum responsive to the 'complex ecology' of young adolescents' lives and fulfilling government registration requirements. Implications for educational practice and theory are that extending Reggio Emilia educational principles in the Middle School context promotes students' learning, well-being and happiness.

Publication Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Education
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