An Investigation Into The Perceptions Of Parents And Teachers Regarding The Adjustment To Sixth Grade Across School Configurations
Davis, Thomas E.
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A qualitative study was conducted in a large urban school district in the Mid-Atlantic region of the Unites States to investigate the perceptions of parents and teachers regarding the adjustment to sixth grade across school configurations. The investigation revealed the psychosocial and environmental factors that have an impact on sixth graders according to their grade span configurations. The study was conducted in the large urban school district, referred to as the “County,” which has a history of low and inconsistent achievement of sixth graders across a variety of grade span configurations. Through the analysis of the teacher and parent interviews conducted in two K-6 schools and two 6-8 middle schools, four themes were identified: transitioning, cultural awareness, social adjustment, and preparedness. The four themes emerged from the perceptions and observations of sixth graders, as shared by parents and teachers of sixth graders, according to their grade span configurations. Each of the responses was compared according to the identified grade span configuration K-6 and 6-8. From the data collected, recommendations were provided to the school district in which the study was conducted to better support teachers, parents, and sixth graders. Further research was also recommended of larger samples of sixth grade span configurations to better understand the complex dynamics of the relationships between grade span configurations for sixth graders and student achievement.