Centennial Campus Middle School: A Case Study

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Title: Centennial Campus Middle School: A Case Study
Author: Branch, Kenneth A.
Advisors: Paul F. Bitting, Ph. D., Committee Chair
Jean K. Davis, Ph. D., Committee Member
Peter A. Hessling, Ph. D., Committee Member
Bill J. Johnston, Ph. D., Committee Member
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to document and analyze a unique effort at creating a responsive middle school program for young adolescents and a school-university partnership, both of which are found at Centennial Campus Middle School in Raleigh, North Carolina. The research was necessary for four reasons. First, the planning that was undertaken in preparation for opening the school required more than ten years and represented an unprecedented effort in collaboration between the Wake County Public School System and North Carolina State University. Second, the result of the planning was a school whose program is based on the most current middle level education research and is intended to be truthfully responsive to the needs of young adolescents. Third, Centennial Campus Middle School represents a school-university partnership that is unlike the traditional partnership models that exist across our nation. Fourth, the tale of Centennial Campus Middle School is a story that should be documented for the contribution it makes to other educators who endeavor to create a new middle school and a university partnership. Through document analysis, interviews, and participant observation, I determined that successful collaboration was critical not only to planning the school's program, but also to the operationalization of the planners' vision. Although the research literature offers insight into the characteristics of middle schools, this study documents the challenges of actually developing such characteristics as age-appropriate instruction, flexible scheduling, and a collaboration model that permits teachers to plan instruction in a manner that is meaningful for young adolescents. Finally, this study identifies Centennial Campus Middle School as unique among school-university partnerships nationwide. In cultivating such a new model, this analysis determined that the potential success of such a partnership rests on the collaborative framework that is constructed between the two institutions and the value of the 'boundary spanner' in sustaining the level of inter-institutional collaboration that is necessary.
Date: 2003-11-14
Degree: EdD
Discipline: Educational Administration and Supervision
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/5834

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