International journal of educational research vol:12 issue:5 pages:507-521
Most of the middle schools in Belgium are two-year schools that form a link between the six years of elementary education and the last four years of secondary education. In Flanders they are regarded as an example of the more global reform of the secondary educational system in a comprehensive sense.
First I shall outline the new system of secondary education as it took shape in the beginning of the 1970s, thereby focusing on the first two years — the so-called observation stage. I shall then sketch the development of renewed secondary education and the current situation. In this connection I shall deal with the middle school and the innovation strategy that was followed. Thirdly a report will be given of the research so far carried out.
As appears from this contribution, the changes in and the adoption of the new educational structure have not always led to a new school structure and a new school culture. In general, the movement towards moderate comprehensiveness has had only a limited effect on the behaviour of the teachers; there are more indications of effects on the school career of the students.