Professional Preparation and Credentialing of Middle Level Teachers

Group of Students

Executive Summary

Overview Summary Paragraph

The middle years are the second largest time of cognitive, physical and behavioral development outside of infancy for the human body.  Middle level students are developing their outlooks, experimenting with forming opinions, fostering academic stamina, developing their emotional well being, and determining their place in the civic, social and economic world.   If we do not have educators specifically prepared to guide students through this transitional period of growth we will be missing important details that must be provided in every student’s educational journey to ensure their success in later school years and life.

The specialized professional preparation of teachers of young adolescents must be a high priority of teacher preparation programs, colleges and state certification agencies. The AMLE is committed to promoting actions that will assure that all young adolescents are taught by highly qualified teachers. The AMLE continues to be the leader in promoting responsive policies, practices, and programs for young adolescents and their teachers. One such example of these responsive policies is the release of the 2022 Revised AMLE Middle Level Teacher Preparation (MLTP) Standards MLTP Standards, which are centered around initial teacher licensure at both the baccalaureate and post-baccalaureate levels. The essential components listed below are the foundation of middle level teacher preparation and should be fully implemented in addition to other programmatic elements that may be common to education preparation providers.  

Essential Program Components

  • A command of the characteristics essential to middle level philosophy and school organization
  • Comprehensive knowledge of young adolescent development for creating responsive and affirming learning environments for all young adolescent learners
  • Comprehensive knowledge of the distinct nature and identities of young adolescents for planning and implementing curriculum
  • A depth and breadth of content knowledge in the subjects taught
  • A thorough grasp of the content standards and major concepts in order to assist all young adolescent learners in understanding the interdisciplinary nature of knowledge and skills
  • Guidance in applying knowledge and skills to real-world problems across diverse settings
  • Emphases on communication, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, cultural competence, problem solving, resiliency, digital literacy, informational literacy, and citizenship
  • A wide variety of effective, responsive, equitable, and anti-racist teaching, learning, and fair and unbiased assessment strategies
  • Authentic field experiences and student teaching in schools that exemplify middle level characteristics
  • Opportunities to critically reflect on and demonstrate professional roles, positive dispositions, and ethical behaviors.

The  Association of Middle Level Education maintains that inclusion of these key components are essential to the development and continuation of a strong teaching force at the middle level.  

The Changing Landscape of American Education and Classrooms

Almost unquestioningly, the landscape of American public education in today’s classrooms has vastly changed. In the last few years alone, all public schools in the United States entered into remote learning with online instruction and hybrid delivery of content and assessments due to a global pandemic. Notwithstanding, there have been other significant educational reforms and movements within public education, specifically middle level education, that have once again called attention to the backgrounds, languages, and cultures of our learners. In addition, there have been much needed professional developments, and calls to action, and social justice awareness, especially for communities and programs who prepare educators. And With these vast changes has come a shift in focus. Educators and other constituents have realized just how important it is that teacher preparation has at its center, the learner and the learning. This required shift in focus has also led to the need for a critical stance and an awakened attention to the reform efforts that did not evolve from past generations. At the core, those efforts and the shift in focus must include culturally and developmentally responsive and sustaining instruction, anti-racist pedagogies, and a commitment to equity, diversity, access, and inclusion. 

The specialized professional preparation of teachers of young adolescents must be a high priority of teacher preparation programs, colleges and state certification agencies. The AMLE is committed to promoting actions that will assure that all young adolescents are taught by highly qualified teachers. The AMLE continues to be the leader in promoting responsive policies, practices, and programs for young adolescents and their teachers. One such example of these responsive policies is the release of the 2022 Revised AMLE Middle Level Teacher Preparation (MLTP) Standards, which are centered around initial teacher licensure at both the baccalaureate and post-baccalaureate levels. 

The 2022 Revised AMLE MLTP Standards provide guidance for teacher candidates graduating from middle level education preparation programs concerning the knowledge base and professional practice required of those who rise to the rich and rewarding challenges of educating today’s young adolescent learner. Furthermore, the Revised AMLE Standards call upon all educators to examine schooling practices, to advance and advocate for middle grades education for all young adolescents, and to continue the work and achievement of being reflective and intentional in our world. The standards were expressly written for the specialized professional preparation and credentialing (i.e., licensure, certification, endorsement) of middle grades teachers at both the preservice and graduate levels for institutions of higher education. This includes initial teaching degree credentialing. The types of education professionals for whom they were written include academic faculty, staff, preservice, and in-service teachers. 

The 2022 Revised AMLE MLTP Standards interpret “all young adolescents” to be inclusive, comprising students of diverse ethnicity, race, language, religion, socioeconomic status, gender, sexual orientation, family composition, regional or geographic origin, and those with exceptional learning needs. Furthermore, the grade levels included in “middle level” are determined by middle level teacher licensure regulations in each state but are commonly known or seen as grades 4-9, 5-8, and/or 6-9. In some circumstances, middle level education also takes place in PreK-8, 7-12, or PreK-12 buildings where young adolescents are taught within community schools, parochial or private schools, rural and/or consolidated schools.

The 2022 Revised AMLE MLTP Standards

The 2022 Revised AMLE Middle Level Teacher Preparation (MLTP) Standards have been developed and revised to address the current changes within and affecting middle grades education and young adolescents in the United States of America. These revised standards reflect the new research agenda for middle grades education (Mertens & Caskey, 2020), recently developed by the Middle Level Educational Research Special Interest Group (MLER SIG) of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). In addition, these revised standards speak to the current scholarship, professional conversations, and other efforts and reforms concerning the best equitable, just, and pedagogical approaches for the preparation of middle grades teachers and young adolescents.          

The authors of the 2022 Revised AMLE SPA Standards for Middle Level Teacher Preparation (MLTP) have leaned heavily upon the AMLE’s updated landmark position paper, The Successful Middle School: This We Believe (Bishop & Harrison, 2021). These standards also build upon the work of other agencies and organizations (e.g., CAEP, NCTE, NCTM) who also believe in the development and availability of middle level teacher credentials that are distinct from elementary and secondary ones. 

The AMLE and the 2022 Revised AMLE MLTP Standards continue their unique stance on young adolescent developmentalism but place an even greater and much needed emphasis on cultural awareness and responsiveness and social justice. At the forefront of this effort, we invite programs designing and providing evidence for the preparation of teacher candidates at the middle level to emphasize the knowledge base and development of their teacher candidates in the areas of equity, diversity, access, and inclusion. Moreover, the Revised AMLE Standards assist programs and public middle schools with how to develop and apply these to classroom instruction, assessments, and environments. Thus, in revising the AMLE standards, the main focus was to better emphasize the need for candidates and educators to not only understand the areas of diversity, but to understand their own positionality and beliefs with diversity in preparing diverse spaces and learning for young adolescent learners.     

In summary, 2022 Revised AMLE MLTP Standards use contemporary and asset-based language and research, developmentally responsive pedagogies, equitable, culturally relevant, and sustaining pedagogies, and anti-racist and social justice frameworks. The changes are structured around a holistic approach to understanding the standards versus just an ordinal one. This holistic organization of the Revised AMLE Standards also provides a way for teacher preparation programs and public middle schools to understand and use the standards and their components for teacher candidates progressing through programs for middle level teacher preparation. 

The Specialized Preparation of Middle Level Educators 

The AMLE advocates for specialized middle level teacher preparation with attention to essential program elements centered in equity, diversity, and inclusion that ensure success at the middle level. These components, listed here and described below, are essential to the development and continuation of a strong teaching force at the middle level. Such programs must feature:

  • A command of the characteristics essential to middle level philosophy and school organization;
  • Comprehensive knowledge of young adolescent development for creating responsive and affirming learning environments for all young adolescent learners;
  • Comprehensive knowledge of the distinct nature and identities of young adolescents for planning and implementing curriculum;
  • A depth and breadth of content knowledge in the subjects taught;
  • A thorough grasp of the content standards and major concepts in order to assist all young adolescent learners in understanding the interdisciplinary nature of knowledge and skills; 
  • Guidance in applying knowledge and skills to real-world problems across diverse settings;
  • Emphases on communication, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, cultural competence, problem solving, resiliency, digital literacy, informational literacy, and citizenship; 
  • A wide variety of effective, responsive, equitable, and anti-racist teaching, learning, and fair and unbiased assessment strategies; 
  • Authentic field experiences and student teaching in schools that exemplify middle level characteristics; 
  • Opportunities to critically reflect on and demonstrate professional roles, positive dispositions, and ethical behaviors.

The essential components listed above are the foundation of middle level teacher preparation and should be fully implemented in addition to other programmatic elements that may be common to education preparation providers.   

Essential Program Components 

  • A command of the characteristics essential to middle level philosophy and school organization

Fundamental to middle level education is the notion that middle schools are uniquely different from elementary schools and high schools (Jackson & Davis, 2000). Middle level teacher candidates should hold a deep understanding of the history of middle level education and the development of junior high and middle schools; the major concepts, principles, theories, and research underlying the philosophical foundations of developmentally responsive middle level programs and schools; middle school organization and equitable educational practices; issues surrounding the implementation of developmentally responsive middle level programs and schools; and current trends and issues that influence middle level education (Jackson & Davis, 2000; McEwin et al., 2003, 2004; McEwin & Smith 2013). Middle level candidates must demonstrate their ability to successfully apply their understanding of the middle level organizational structures and practices to enhance learning for all students (Jackson & Davis, 2000; Jagla et al., 2018). Middle level teacher candidates acknowledge the importance and make use of middle level organization. They commit to adapting key middle level organizational structures across these varied learning spaces, including virtual spaces, in order to foster the academic and personal development of young adolescent learners (Bishop & Harrison, 2021).

  • Comprehensive knowledge of young adolescent development for creating responsive and affirming learning environments for all young adolescent learners

Middle level teacher candidates graduate from programs grounded in the theoretical, conceptual, and evidence-based foundations of young adolescent development. Foundational knowledge of young adolescent development and its diversities provides middle level teacher candidates with a substantial basis upon which to build an understanding of the implications of young adolescent development for teaching and learning (Association for Middle Level Education, 2012; Brown & Knowles, 2014; Caskey & Anfara, 2014; McEwin & Dickinson, 2012). Effective teacher preparation programs provide meaningful opportunities for middle level teacher candidates to learn about the unique characteristics and needs of young adolescents and to document candidates’ ability to use the knowledge gained in their practice. Additionally, middle level teacher candidates recognize the role that technology plays in young adolescents’ lives, whether it be through social media (Schmeichel et al., 2018), STEM or STEAM (Pugalenthi et al., 2019),  or career exploration (AMLE, 2021).      

Middle level teacher candidates working with young adolescents must have a strong understanding of ways to foster a developmentally responsive school and classroom learning community that values diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice (Harrison et al., 2019; Milner, et al., 2019). Middle level teacher candidates understand that the implementation of middle level organization and practices supports “purposeful learning” for students and promotes “meaningful relationships” between and among faculty, staff, families, and all students (Bishop & Harrison, 2021, p. 50). They should demonstrate a strong foundation in building meaningful relationships and leading classroom communities to meet the needs of their students by fostering an adolescent-centered community of care within their classrooms that attends to the needs of all students (Kiefer & Ellerbrock, 2019; Ellerbrock & Kiefer, 2014). It is critical that middle level teacher candidates consider how to make learning and the classroom community responsive to the whole child, including their physical, cognitive, social-emotional, and identity needs through a cultural lens (Harrison et al., 2019).

Middle level candidates must understand the importance and benefits of how developmentally responsive middle level schools support equitable educational best practices (e.g., personalized learning, project-based learning, service learning) for young adolescents (Coffey & Fulton, 2018; DeMink-Carthew & Olofson, 2020; Farber, 2017; Reid-Griffin et al., 2020). Well-prepared middle level teacher candidates create developmentally responsive learning environments that allow all young adolescents to achieve high standards.

  • Comprehensive knowledge of the distinct nature and identities of young adolescents for planning and implementing curriculum

Schools with a solid organizational foundation includes equitable educational best practices help to support responsive curriculum, instruction, assessment, and relationships that support young adolescent learners’ needs (Nesin & Brazee, 2013). Candidates demonstrate their ability to apply successfully their understanding of these practices to enhance learning for all students. Developmentally responsive middle level teacher candidates use this knowledge in planning and teaching curriculum (Faulkner, Cook, & Howell, 2013; Horowitz et al, 2005; McEwin & Smith, 2013). They demonstrate their understanding of how young adolescents grow and develop, recognizing that patterns of learning vary individually within and across the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, moral and physical areas. Middle level teacher candidates recognize the importance of implementing purposeful, student centered, technologically rich opportunities for students (Warner et al., 2018). Middle level teacher candidates document their ability to fashion developmentally and culturally appropriate instructional materials and teach in ways that are academically challenging and meaningful to young adolescents.     

Developmentally and culturally responsive teacher candidates demonstrate how to address young adolescents’ diverse needs and identities to empower them (Harrison, Hurd, & Brinegar, 2019). Middle level teacher candidates recognize the vital role they play in promoting digital equity and access (National Digital Inclusion Alliance, n.d.). They create inclusive learning environments that engage all students by designing learning activities that are based on culturally relevant (Ladson-Billings, 1995), responsive (Sleeter, 2012) and sustaining (Paris, 2012) pedagogy. This teaching is grounded in social justice and equity. Well-prepared middle level teacher candidates demonstrate greater understanding of young adolescents’ diverse identities and differences (Lewis & Sembiante, 2019) and model practices that affirm the diversity of all young adolescents, recognizing the complexities associated with school location, funding, resources.      

  • A depth and breadth of content knowledge in the subjects taught

Effective middle level teacher candidates “possess a depth of understanding in the content areas they teach” (Bishop & Harrison, 2021, p. 25), and they are able to use their subject matter expertise to make content understandable for their students (Hattie, 2011). Students benefit from teachers who have rigorous content preparation (Boyd et al., 2009; Darling-Hammond & Bransford, 2005), and many credentialing authorities establish subject matter proficiency as both a measure of new teacher qualification and an output measure of educator preparation program quality (Feuer, 2013). The context for middle level curriculum is critical for teacher candidates to understand in order to plan and teach developmentally responsive curriculum. Effective middle level teacher candidates spend time learning about schools, communities, and states where they teach. This involves understanding local and state guidelines and standards. This also involves understanding the unique characteristics of diverse urban, suburban, and rural communities (Ranschaert & Murphy, 2020).

  • A thorough grasp of the content standards and major concepts in order to assist all young adolescent learners in understanding the interdisciplinary nature of knowledge and skills

The interdisciplinary nature of knowledge and skills undergirds middle level philosophy and structures. Curriculum should be meaningful and relevant to students and allow them to explore topics that interest them (Beane, 2005; Springer, 2006, 2013; Stevenson & Bishop, 2012). McEwin and Smith (2013) recommend that candidates “acquire in-depth knowledge of at least two subject areas” so they “have a solid academic foundation” (p. 685) for designing curricula that are challenging, exploratory, integrative, and diverse (Bishop & Harrison, 2021). According to AMLE (2019b), an integrative curriculum “focuses on coherent ideas and concepts irrespective of arbitrary subject boundaries and enables students to see connections and real-world applications” (para. 5). Middle level teacher candidates demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of knowledge through their approach to curriculum, which can foster student engagement and motivation as students develop skills for success in diverse settings. Middle level teacher candidates should demonstrate their expanding capacity for designing interdisciplinary and integrated curriculum through course experiences (Dack, 2020; Moser et al., 2020) and clinical experiences (Leckie & Wall, 2016).

  • Guidance in applying knowledge and skills to real-world problems across diverse settings

Middle level teacher candidates should demonstrate subject matter knowledge reflected in local, state, and national standards for academic disciplines as well as standards and frameworks for related areas including technology (International Society for Technology in Education, 2017), career exploration (Advance CTE & Association for Career and Technical Education, 2020), and social-emotional learning (Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, 2020). With that broad scope of content knowledge and sufficiently deep understanding of major concepts, middle level teacher candidates then engage their students in applying knowledge and skills to real-world problems and transferring knowledge and skills across disciplines (AMLE, 2019b). This demonstrates that candidates possess a deep and interdisciplinary knowledge of subject matter content and skills.  

  • Emphases on communication, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, cultural competence, problem solving, resiliency, digital literacy, informational literacy, and citizenship

Middle level teacher candidates should demonstrate their abilities to create learning experiences that allow students to connect knowledge in ways that enhance critical thinking, digital literacy, creativity, and problem solving in culturally responsive ways. Through an integrative approach to curriculum (AMLE, 2019b), teacher candidates design curriculum that enhances general academic knowledge and skills while engaging students in increasingly complex disciplinary understandings. Interdisciplinary and integrated curriculum should strengthen students’ skills with areas such as information literacy and technology (Mertens et al., 2021). Curriculum can also extend to project-based learning, place-based learning, hands-on learning, and other modalities to enhance students’ knowledge of content and to provide students with voice and choice in their learning (AMLE, 2019b; Bishop et al., 2007; Vaughn, 2018).  

  • A wide variety of effective, responsive, equitable, and anti-racist teaching, learning, and fair and unbiased assessment strategies

Middle level instructional practices meet the needs and characteristics of young adolescents and provide the foundation for selecting learning and teaching strategies, just as they do for designing curriculum. Middle level teacher candidates should develop learning experiences and provide instruction that are intentionally responsive to students’ needs (Bishop & Harrison, 2021). This requires teacher candidates to know their students, be prepared to discern learning needs, and be capable of providing targeted instruction and support to address those needs. Instruction must be culturally responsive (Thomas & Howell, 2019; Williams, 2019; Brinegar et al., 2019). Ladson-Billings (1995) defines culturally responsive teaching as ways of teaching that include references to students’ culture across learning. Middle level students need educators who are prepared to intentionally progress their levels of understanding of difference beyond “faulty and simplistic” notions of cultural responsiveness (Sleeter, 2012, p. 562). This intentional movement requires middle level teacher candidates to plan instruction with the cultural and historical experiences of their middle level students in mind while also navigating the differences between student and teacher as an opportunity for growth (Jones & Woglom, 2015; Andrews et al., 2018). 

Critical reflection work begins with pedagogies of personal reflection on privilege, culture, racism, and bias (Gorski, 2013; hooks, 1994; Kendi, 2019; Simmons, 2019). Reflecting on personal experiences helps future teachers recognize and acknowledge how and where privilege, culture, white supremacy, bias, and inequity are built into school structures and policies (Gorski, 2013; Simmons, 2019). White supremacy, or the belief that white people and systems designed by and for their personal needs and experiences are inherently superior, is present in schools and should be taken into consideration as demographics continue to shift towards a non-white student population majority (Chen et al., 2021; Ladson-Billings & Tate, 1995). Educators must also redress the inequities and injustices promoted in classrooms and schools by teaching representative histories and talking about race with students (Simmons, 2019). These practices task middle level teacher candidates with implementing instruction that values the dignity and diversity of all individuals. The practices allow students to learn and express themselves in a variety of ways and use the full range of communication skills and technologies in purposeful contexts (Bishop et al., 2019; Brinegar et al., 2019).

Instruction should also be challenging and creative. Middle level teacher candidates encourage cognitive exploration and creativity through engagement in problem solving through relevant experiential and service-learning opportunities (Bishop et al., 2019; Jagla, 2016). They pursue deeper learning and stress competencies such as collaboration, effective communication, critical thinking, and problem solving (Pellegrino & Hilton, 2012). 

Middle level teacher candidates are prepared to institute a continuous, authentic, and appropriate assessment program that provides evidence of students’ progress in meeting their curricular goals or objectives. Assessment strategies should honor the learning characteristics of young adolescents and increasingly de-emphasize competitive comparisons with other students (Strahan & Rogers, 2012; Capraro et al., 2011). Such programs monitor students’ progress and document students’ mastery of both essential knowledge and skills through intentional use of numerous formative assessments (Black & Wiliam, 2009, 2018). Impactful middle level teacher candidates assess critical thinking, independence, responsibility, and related behavioral traits while consistently providing students with feedback and support that is meaningful and intentional (Hattie & Timperly, 2007; Pate, 2013).

  • Authentic field experiences and student teaching in schools that exemplify middle level characteristics

Middle level teacher candidates are experts in their craft. They occupy a space with simultaneous expertise in their content pedagogy and middle level responsiveness. Middle level teacher candidates must have a deep and ever-expanding knowledge of their content area (CCSSO, 2013; Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation [CAEP], 2013; Darling-Hammond et al., 2005; Grossman et al., 2005). Research calls for middle level teacher candidates to be prepared to teach in two academic areas (e.g., mathematics, science, social studies, English language arts), creating a solid academic foundation for effective middle level teaching and promoting curriculum integration across subject areas (Jackson & Davis, 2000; Jagla et al., 2016; McEwin et al., 2003, 2004; Howell et al., 2016). Content pedagogy for middle level teachers should be broad and integrative. Similarly, instruction and assessment practices should be broad and integrative (Strahan & Rogers, 2012; Capraro et al., 2011). Young adolescents are experiencing a critical time in their development when they need relationships, connections with others, autonomy, and affirmations that they are worthwhile. Well-designed MLTP programs require middle level teacher candidates to demonstrate their ability to skillfully apply developmental principles in ways that motivate young adolescents and enhance their learning. Middle level teacher candidates understand that teaching subject matter in isolation is ineffective and often leads to student disengagement in the learning process, and they use that knowledge in their teaching (NCATE, 2010; Nesin, 2012).

  • Opportunities to critically reflect on and demonstrate professional roles, positive dispositions, and ethical behaviors.

Well-prepared middle level teacher candidates understand their multifaceted positions as teachers and demonstrate their ability to perform successfully in the unique roles of middle school educators (e.g., members of interdisciplinary teams, teachers of integrative curriculum). They serve as advocates of young adolescents, responsive middle level curriculum, and instructional strategies. They approach teaching in middle schools with an asset-based view of the communities and students they work with and for. Middle level teacher candidates engage in ongoing professional development and use the knowledge gained to improve their effectiveness. They simultaneously advocate for the young adolescents they teach and for equitable, culturally responsive, and anti-racist practices. They collaborate with other learners, family members, school professionals, and community agencies and partners to enhance student learning. They model high standards of professional ethics, demonstrate ethical practices, and treat all learners and colleagues equitably. Middle level teacher candidates collaborate successfully with colleagues, family members, and the larger community and demonstrate their understanding of how to capitalize on the diversity found in families and community members and do so successfully as appropriate based upon their levels of experience and expertise.

Middle level teacher preparation programs provide middle level candidates with the knowledge and experience base needed to develop appropriate dispositions (e.g., advocate, role model, collaborator, technology-user, and life-long learner). Teacher candidates act upon those dispositions in ways that benefit all young adolescents (Arth, Lounsbury, McEwin, & Swaim, 1995; Knowles & Brown, 2000; Wenzel & Roberts, 2014; Williams, 2012). They also document ethical behaviors while engaged in middle level field experiences and activities in other venues. For example, as they demonstrate their capability to position themselves as advocates for young adolescents, while maintaining professional relationships with community and family members, candidates remain collaborative in formal and informal learning environments and spaces (e.g., online platforms, social media outlets, in-person encounters); they are equitable in approaches and nondiscriminatory against individuals based on any differences or identity factors. 

Conclusion

The AMLE strongly supports the specialized professional preparation and credentialing of middle grades teachers at both the preservice and graduate levels. There is no other international or national organization dedicated to the specific preparation and advancement of the specialized professional preparation of middle level teachers as with the AMLE. The standards surround this dedication and provide the means by which programs can be built and maintain specialized middle level teacher preparation programs that focus on the special knowledge base, skills, and dispositions needed to teach young adolescents effectively. This support is also based on the understanding that one of the most effective ways to improve the learning of young adolescents is to improve the professional preparation of their teachers.

The call for the specialized preparation and credentialing of middle grades teachers finds its origin in the position paper and belief statement of the AMLE, commonly now known as The Successful Middle School: This We Believe (formerly This We Believe: Keys to Educating Young Adolescents). This 2021 edition of the AMLE’s position paper provides educators a set of 18 attributes and characteristics that define successful middle schools which are rooted in research. Central to this is mandatory middle level teacher credentialing that does not overlap with elementary and secondary requirements. Quality middle level teacher preparation programs are unlikely to be established or maintained in states where no middle level license is required, or even available, for those who successfully complete professional preparation programs. Only when middle level credentials become universally required will young adolescents be assured of having teachers who have received the specialized preparation needed to be highly effective.

In addition, professional preparation programs for prospective and practicing middle level teachers should include opportunities for the formal study and research of the essential program elements described above, as well as provide prospective teachers with opportunities to work in middle school settings that implement middle level philosophy and support it with distinct developmentally and culturally responsive organizational structures. A template for such schools might be AMLE’s position paper, The Successful Middle School: This We Believe, and the 2022 Revised AMLE MLTP Standards.

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