NDSU Distance & Continuing Education (DCE)

Bringing Education to You

Course Descriptions

Middle School Philosophy and Curriculum

EDUC 600

This course provides instruction in educational foundations for middle schools, which are essential to meeting young adolescent needs and improving their learning. The materials identify and expand upon central ideas in philosophy, historical background, curriculum, facilitation of learning, organizational structure and practices and assessment and planning.


  1. Describe the influence of adolescent development and societal trends on middle level education.
  2. Investigate and evaluate the historical roots and trends and current issues in middle level education on both a national and local scale.
  3. Articulate a sound personal educational philosophy which meets the developmental needs of young adolescents in a changing society.
  4. Explain the major elements—both design and rationale—of the middle school concept and how these elements are introduced, established, and supported in the middle school.
  5. Explore curriculum-related concepts including integrated, thematic units; curriculum mapping; and teaming.


National Middle School Association (2003). This We Believe: Successful Schools for Young Adolescents. Westerville, OH: NMSA.

Powell, S. D. (2010). Introduction to Middle School. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson or recommended 3rd Edition (2014).

Books can be ordered from Amazon.com.