Intersections: #AMLE2017

November 09, 2017 by Bill Ivey

The Association of Middle Level Education (AMLE) has been on the cutting edge of middle school practice since it was founded in 1973 as the National Middle School Association, ten years after William Alexander pioneered the middle school concept. In this context, “middle school concept” refers not just to a generic school for young adolescents but rather to a specific set of values and principles that may or may not govern a given school’s program. These are laid out and explained in AMLE’s “This We Believe,” originally published in 1983 and now in its fourth edition. Not as many middle schools are based on the middle school concept as one might wish. Stoneleigh-Burnham Middle School is one of the happy exceptions.

AMLE hosted their annual conference in Philadelphia from Nov. 6-8, and I was able to attend the third day, squeezing out a visit between two nights of rock band rehearsals.

Filed Under: Middle School, AMLE, Middle Level Education, Conferences, Annual Conference, Intersections

Summer Learning

August 05, 2015 by Bill Ivey

One of the wonderful parts of summer break is the ability to have long, sustained Twitter conversations with my friends. One Wednesday, @teachermrw of Watkinson School piqued my curiosity by asking, “While I enjoy reading and learning from the tweets shared by my educator colleagues from education conferences, / the tweets reveal nothing new under the sun. It is old knowledge recycled and re-packaged for a different day and time.” I highly value her ideas, and certainly have had the experience of leaving conferences feeling that I spent much more time listening to things I already knew than learning new things. At the same time, I am the kind of person who live tweets conferences I attend, and I also serve as a member of the Board of Directors of the New England League of Middle Schools - which means I help plan that Annual Conference. Uncomfortable as I felt with this conflict, I also recognized that such moments are often the best time to learn. And, as I’ve said, @teachermrw has a gift for stretching my thinking in deeply important ways. So I decided to engage with her and explore the question together.

Filed Under: Professional development, Education, Conferences