ERIC Number: ED202156
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Jan
Reference Count: 0
Assimilation of Innovations into the Culture of Schools: Impediments to Radical Change.
Romberg, Thomas A.; Price, Gary G.
Successful introduction of school computer literacy programs, necessary in today's worldwide computer revolution, must take into account the nature both of this innovation and of school culture. Computer literacy will be a radical rather than ameliorative innovation and will challenge school culture. Hence an innovator must ensure that educators, parents, and community groups understand the program's effects on the three institutional dimensions of school culture--teacher and student work, knowledge distribution, and teacher professionalism and expertise. Social science models of planned educational change have proven inadequate for implementing innovations, but they have identified factors an innovator should consider, such as activity coordination, school social structure, and users' needs. Innovation implementation must involve actual change, not merely nominal change. Actual school change, however, should be "constructive," where both new routines and the principles behind them are adopted, rather than "mechanical" or "illusory," where only labels and routines are incorporated. Based on these concepts, an innovator should (1) use proven methods of introducing new school programs; (2) identify the school cultural traditions challenged by the innovation; and (3) base monitoring techniques on a causal model that specifies what should be observed. (RW)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Computer Literacy
Note: Paper prepared for the NIE Conference on Issues Related to the Implementation of Computer Terminology in Schools (Washington, DC, February 19-20, 1981). Some paragraphs may reproduce poorly due to broken print of original document.