This article examines middle schoolers’ perspectives on their lives in middle school. Fifteen middle school students from three middle schools in the Southeast region of the United States participated in a basic qualitative study using focus groups at their schools where they were asked the central question, “If you could change one thing at your middle school, what would it be?” Findings show that students’ desire caring teachers, students want active classrooms, and students’ technology use impacts attitudes towards learning. Implications are that middle-school learning can increase relevance by teachers demonstrating care for students as individuals; structuring opportunities for students to interact with them and each other around real-world problems; and incorporating technology into learning in ways adolescents already use it.


Middle School Experience, Student Voice, Perspectives on Teaching and Learning, Technology Use, Basic Qualitative Study

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