The goal of the middle school organization is to create a learning environment that matches the developmental abilities and needs of young adolescents. This research attempts to operationalize that goal by integrating reading and English classes in large urban middle schools. The Student Team Reading and Writing (STRW) program reconfigured instruction to actively engage students in learning. The program used cooperative learning processes to take advantage of the cognitive, social, and motivational benefits of students working together on academic content. After a yearlong implementation, the researcher found students in STRW performed significantly higher on reading comprehension, reading vocabulary, and language expression achievement. The article concludes with a discussion of the implications of this research for providing integrated and engaging instruction in middle school.
Published in Research in Middle Level Education Online, 2006