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Middle grades education students connect with peers across the nation during book study

Sixteen Georgia Southern University students majoring in middle grades education participated in a book study with fellow middle grades education students from colleges and universities around the country.

Amanda Wall, Ph.D., associate professor of middle grades education, is teaching the MGED 3131: Nature and Curriculum Needs of the Middle Grades Learner course this semester and assigned students to participate in the study hosted by the Collegiate Middle Level Association, an affiliate of the Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE). 

“These juniors are teacher candidates just starting the middle grades program,” said Wall. “This national book study was a unique opportunity for candidates to gain a substantial introduction to middle-level education and interaction with their peers across the nation.”

Students read the AMLE’s program guide, “The Successful Middle School: This We Believe,” and met for five sessions to discuss topics from the book with AMLE faculty and fellow students.

“This assignment was different from a normal class assignment,” said Morgan Spires, junior in the middle grades education program. “I interacted with students from across the nation and learned from varied perspectives.”

Approximately 60 students from teacher preparation programs in numerous states are participating in the study. 

“This was beneficial to our learning because we accumulated knowledge from different perspectives,” said Nadia Lewis, middle grades education junior. “Our groups changed weekly, so we continued our learning with different individuals. I found it interesting to learn the way that everyone thinks about different things.”

Students will receive a Successful Middle School Ready credential from AMLE for completing the study.

“I enjoyed this assignment,” added Spires. “It brought our course textbook to life and broke down the information found within it, while also connecting strategies and practices we can use in the future. It worked to build communication and collaboration skills with others, which is important for teachers.”


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