Time Off to Transition
study, which involved 338 college students,
the author examined the academic profiles
of students who participated in a gap year
after high school.
Findings revealed that
; Students were more likely to take a gap
year if they had low academic performance
and motivation in high school.
; University students who had taken
a year off were more motivated and had
greater persistence and better planning and
task-management skills than students who
did not take a year off.
; Taking a year off did not adversely affect
students’ academic motivation once they
enrolled in a university.
According to two studies recently conducted in Australia,
; Although there is increasing hetero-
taking a gap year between high school and college may help
geneity among gap-year participants, young women and stu-
students complete a degree once they return to school. The
dents from English-speaking backgrounds appear more likely
gap year can involve such activities as travel, service learning, to take a year off.
The report, Should Students Have a Gap Year? Motivation
In one study, which involved 2,502 Australian high school and Performance Factors Relevant to Time Out After Completing
students, the author examined the academic factors that signal School (2010), was written by Andrew J. Martin and appeared
whether students are more likely to take time off. In a second in the Journal of Educational Psychology, 102( 3), 561–576.
Podcasts About—and By—Kids in the Middle
Should middle schools give tweens the safe conformity of school uniforms—or let them dress to
experiment? What does it mean for a 12-year-old to be a good cybercitizen? How can teachers
reach a gifted 6th grader? How can they engage teens through wikis and Skype?
A series of podcasts by the National Middle School Association ( www.nmsa.org/Publications/
TodaysMiddleLevelEducator/tabid/1409/ Default.aspx) takes on questions like these
through interviews with innovative middle school teachers and experts on teaching adolescents.
For funny and insightful advice straight from the source, check out the creative
student-made podcasts ( www.nmsa.org/moya/StudentEngagement/Expressionsfromthe
Middle/2009/Podcasts/tabid/1817/ Default.aspx). For instance, five 7th graders illustrate
what a middle school teacher should not do through a skit featuring, on one hand, the
rigid Ms. Strict-o and, on the other, the cloyingly sweet Ms. Lilypad. Listen to these
podcasts with students as a way to start conversation about what they’d like to see in
classrooms—and urge them to create their own podcasts for the National Middle School
Association’s annual contest ( www.nmsa.org/moya/StudentEngagement/CallforSubmissions/