John Niska

Henry Barnard School (HBS)
(401) 456-4655

Academic Background

Ph.D.    Iowa State University, Ames, IA

Ed.S.    Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI

M.A.     Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

B.A.     Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

Courses Taught

  • EDP 699 Doctoral Dissertation Research

  • MLED 310 Teaching the Early Adolescent

  • MLED 320 Middle School Organization and Integrated Curriculum

  • MLED 510 Teaching and Learning in the Middle School

  • MLED 520 Curriculum and organization in Middle School

  • MLED 530 Applications in Middle School Instructional Models

Research and Training Interests

  • Developing Effective Middle Level Advisory Programs

  • Advisory Skill Training

  • College-School Partnerships

Selected Relevant Publications

Niska, J.M. (September, 2008). Advisory design and implementation: What are the insights? National Association of Secondary School Principals On_Line Journal, 1-3.

Niska, J.M. & Thompson, S.C. (May, 2007). Professional Development Kit: Launching an Effective Advisory Program. Westerville, OH: National Middle School Association.

Niska, J.M., Thompson, S.C., & Gregg L. (August, 2004). Learning organizations, leadership, and student achievement. National Middle School On-Line Research in Middle Level Education Journal, Volume 28, Number 1, 2004.

Niska, J.M. & Devine, D. (July, 2001). The rhode island middle level model. In Building Capacity for Middle School: A New Perspective for Professional Development, edited by Nancy Doda and Sue Thompson. Columbus, OH: National Middle School Association.

Niska, J.M., Steiny J., Devine, D., Favazza, A., & Seitsinger, R. (October, 2000). In The Middle! From the Margins to the Middle Eight Years Later: A Status Report on Middle Grades Education in Rhode Island. State Middle Level Publication, East Providence, RI.

Niska, J.M. (April, 1993). Improving supervision of cooperative learning: A new approach to staff development for principals. Journal of Personnel Evaluation and Education, 6(4) 367-378.

Selected Relevant Professional Presentations

Niska, J.M. (November, 2009). Developing an Effective Advisory Program for Today’s Middle Level Students: Now More Than Ever. Presentation made at the Annual National Middle School Conference, Indianapolis, IN.

Niska, J.M. (April, 2009). Developing Effective Middle Level Teachers to Personalize the Experience for Students. Roundtable presentation at the Symposium on Excellence in Middle Level Teacher Preparation, Las Vegas, NV.

Niska, J.M. (October 2008). Advisor Skill Development: a Critical Component. Presentation made at the Annual National Middle School Conference, Denver, CO.

Niska, J.M. &Thompson, S.C. (November 2007). Launching a Successful Advisory Program. Presentation made at the Annual National Middle School Conference, Houston, TX.

Niska, J.M. et al. (April, 2007). Middle Level Research Project. Presentation made at the Annual American Educational Research Association Conference, Chicago, IL

Niska, J.M., Fasano, W., & Whitehead, T. (February, 2007). The Passage of State Middle Level Regulations: Its Impact on Support, Training, and Implementation of Best Practice. Presentation made at the Symposium on Middle Level Teacher Preparation, Destin, FLA.

Niska, J.M. & Thompson, S.C. (November, 2004). Building a Healthy School Culture: An Art in the Age of Accountability. Presentation made at the National Middle School Association’s Annual Conference, Minneapolis, MN.

Current Professional Memberships/Leadership Positions

  • National Professors of Middle Level Education Association, National President

  • American Education Research Association

  • AERA’s Middle Level Special Interest Group

  • Rhode Island Middle Level Educators Association, Board of Governors

  • National Middle School Association, Professional Preparation Board

  • National Staff Development Council

  • Phi Kappa Phi Chapter, Past Chapter President

  • Finlandia University, Advisory Board

Page last updated: April 13, 2015