13th December 2017
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March 20th, 2017 Cat: Bisnis Online

People have varying opinions about junior high school, the period of transition between elementary and high school. Typically, students will attend junior high school for 7th and 8th grade, though often they will attend 6th grade there as well. The curriculum is different from elementary school in that it introduces students to a period schedule, in which students take several classes with different teachers rather than attending the same classroom with the same teacher for the whole day and the whole school year. Students also begin to take on more responsibility—subjects become more difficult and the homework load becomes heavier, and use of a student planner will most likely be necessary.

Junior high school has a bit of a reputation for being a tumultuous time for students. It’s that stage during which students are entering their teenage years so that they aren’t little kids anymore, but they’re not grown up either. This is the period during which students begin to go through puberty and popularity and cliques start to become a bigger issue. Many students struggle with balancing academics and the politics of the social climate on campus. Being excluded, isolated or being singled out and picked on by other kids can take a big toll on junior high students. More recently, bullying problems have increasingly come to the attention of the public and the media.

Some call for the shutting down of junior high schools, citing the brutality of the junior high social hierarchy. Instead they advocate K to 8 schools in which students attend the same institution from grades kindergarten to 8th. There are such schools currently in existence and advocates argue that this helps build camaraderie between students and diminishes the problem of peer aggression. This might be true, but it would depend on factors such as the number of students in the school, how much interaction different grades have with each other, and so on. For example, having an extremely large student body could prevent kids from getting to know each other and the same bullying problems could arise.

In any case, many students still attend junior high school and will continue to attend them. Making the switch to K to 8 would be too big of a move to make in a short amount of time, and anyway some say that kids will be kids, and simply regrouping them wouldn’t change anything. It’s something else that needs to change—students and teachers themselves need to understand and address issues of peer pressure and clique mentality, but the question of how to bring that about remains unresolved.

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