The Unique Nature of Middle School Counseling.

While all levels of school counseling share similarities, the development of early adolescents and the ecology of the middle school require a distinctive role for middle school counselors. This article explores the implications of development and the middle school philosophy on the application of middle school counselor practice and the application of the ASCA National Model[R]. Over the past century, the American education system has seen two major shifts related to early adolescents. Initiated in the first few decades of the 20th century, the junior high school became a fixture in America’s school districts in 1940, replacing the K-8, 9-12 models with K-6, 7-9, 10-12 versions (Lounsbury & Vars, 2003). The junior high was created based on the recognition of the developmental differences of early adolescents. Junior high schools typically were subject-centered, required a six-period day, organized teachers in departments, and emphasized primarily the academic development of students. Most of the research on junior high schools (e.g., Cuban, 1992) noted that these schools evolved into miniature versions of traditional high schools.

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