4th Edition

Teaching Middle Years Rethinking Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment

Edited By Donna Pendergast, Katherine Main, Nan Bahr Copyright 2025
    336 Pages 27 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    336 Pages 27 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Teaching Middle Years has established itself as the leading text to focus on the adolescent years of schooling.

    Recognition of the educational importance of this age group continues to grow as research reveals the benefits of programs designed especially for young people's needs. With a renewed approach, this fourth edition includes new chapters on Indigenous Knowledges, STEAM education and sustainable practices. A trusted resource, the book continues to provide a systematic overview of the philosophy, principles, and key issues in middle schooling, together with an enhanced focus on the emotional and developmental challenges unique to this age group. There is an emphasis on creating positive learning environments, engaging relational pedagogies, achieving effective transition, the importance of physical activity and health in adolescence, and developing cooperative and collaborative learning. Further, there is an enhanced focus on practical applications right throughout the book.

    Featuring contributions from leading experts in the field, and fully revised and updated to reflect the latest research, Teaching Middle Years will assist both pre-service and in-service teachers to bring out the very best in their students.

    Part 1: The Middle Years

    Chapter 1. Middle years education

    Donna Pendergast

    Chapter 2. The middle years learner

    Katherine Main, Donna Pendergast and Nan Bahr

    Chapter 3. Indigenous knowledges and learners

    Candace Kruger and Greg Vass

    Chapter 4. Promoting wellbeing

    Katherine Main and Donna Pendergast

    Chapter 5. Student engagement

    Katherine Main and Donna Pendergast

    Chapter 6. Quality teaching and learning

    Katherine Main and Donna Pendergast

    Chapter 7. Inclusive practices

    Kathy Gibbs, Michelle Ronksley-Pavia and Loraine Mckay

    Chapter 8. Transition

    Donna Pendergast and Anne Coffey

    Part 2: Curriculum practices in the middle years

    Chapter 9. Literacy

    Georgina Barton, Jennifer Alford and Nathan Lowien

    Chapter 10. Numeracy

    Kym Fry, Kristin Zorn, Kevin Larkin and Peter Grootenboer

    Chapter 11. Physical activity

    Sue Whatman

    Chapter 12. The Arts

    Brittany A. Mccormack and Susan N. Chapman

    Chapter 13. Histories and sustainable futures

    Katherine Main and Donna Pendergast

    Chapter 14. Technologies

    Christopher N. Blundell, Sarah Prestridge and Belinda Von Mengersen

    Part 3: Pedagogical practices in the middle years

    Chapter 15. Collaborative learning

    Katherine Main

    Chapter 16. Critical thinking

    Peter Ellerton, Yael Leibovitch and Deborah Brown

    Chapter 17. Positive classroom environments

    Mia O’Brien

    Chapter 18. Relational teaching

    Jane Howard and Katherine Main

    Chapter 19. Parent and community engagement

    Linda-Dianne Willis and Beryl Exley

    Part 4: Assessment practices in the middle years

    Chapter 20. Assessment

    Elizabeth Wheeley

    Part 5: Middle years in action        

    Chapter 21. Transforming middle years education

    Donna Pendergast


    Donna Pendergast AM is Director, Engagement in the Arts, Education and Law Group and former Dean and Head of the School of Education and Professional Studies at Griffith University, Australia (2009–2023). She is a leading international scholar in the field of middle years education. She leads educational transformation, including the shift of Year 7 to secondary schools around the nation. In 2024 Professor Pendergast was invested as a Member of the Order of Australia for her significant contribution to tertiary education.

    Katherine Main is an internationally recognised researcher in the School of Education and Professional Studies at Griffith University, Australia. Her work focuses on middle years learners’ wellbeing and the development of social and emotional competencies. She has also led national and international projects working with school leadership teams around different aspects of wellbeing within their individual school contexts.

    Nan Bahr is Emeritus Professor of Southern Cross University, Australia. She has a broad profile in the field of adolescent development and responsive education. She has significant experience as teacher, teacher educator, and university executive. A career highlight has been nomination for Australian of the Year (2020) for service to education.