August 4, 2005
NZEI Supports Intermediate And Middle Schools
NZEI Te Riu Roa members support a campaign to promote intermediate and middle schools education.
The campaign is being run by the New Zealand Association of Intermediate and Middle Schools which is holding a conference in Wellington.
Speaking at the conference today NZAIM's National President, Bill Noble, said middle school education "will falter and eventually die" if the association did not persuade education policy makers that intermediate and middle schools are an essential part of the schooling landscape.
He put the case for the retention of intermediate and middle schools which cater for the particular educational needs of emerging adolescent children aged 10 to 14. "It must be realised by governments and those who direct education in New Zealand that research has shown that apart from the first two years of a child's life, there is no other period during which people of any age group change quite so much, and so rapidly, as between the ages of 10 to 14."
"Therefore this group of students needs a special type of teaching and teachers who understand all the complexities of the emerging adolescent."
Mr Noble told the conference that this is the role that intermediate and middle schools play.
"The learning requirements and teaching needs of these middle years students is different from that of primary and secondary students."
"Educators of emerging adolescents, who are working with this group of children, know that it is this period of life when strong attitudes and values are developing and special teaching is required."
NZEI Te Riu Roa, the country's largest education union, supports NZAIM's campaign for the retention of intermediate and middle schools.
"NZEI members spoke out last year against the shutdown of intermediate schools in Invercargill and Timaru and the junior high school in Invercargill, that followed school reviews in those cities," says NZEI Te Riu Roa National President, Colin Tarr.
"We recognise the special educational needs of middle years students and acknowledge the work that intermediate and middle schools perform in meeting those needs."
"NZEI members support education policies that put the education needs of students first. That's why we support the retention of intermediate and middle schools," says Colin Tarr.