ERIC Number: ED213701
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Social Settings in Educational Organizations: An Exploratory Study of Deliberate Segregation and Change in Schools.
The faculty lounge of a junior high school was chosen as the site for observation of teachers in this study of social interactions and attitudes. The study focused on the effect of the segregation or isolation of the individual teacher (who functions as an autonomous unit in the classroom) upon the school as an organization and upon attempts to bring about educational change. The teachers were segregated from each other by the organizational pattern and physical layout of the school. However, they shared common classroom problems as well as other problems. Conversation in the faculty lounge consisted mainly of brief, sporadic interchanges that were casually social in nature. It was observed that, for the most part, classroom realities were the main topic of their short conversational exchanges. They discussed the difficulties of controlling a class, particular students, the nature of adolescent students, and the necessity of teaching certain subjects. Discussion of the problems of being a teacher centered around rewards and drawbacks, the effects of teaching upon themselves, their public image, and the lack of support from parents and the community. The teachers, however, saw themselves as a generally good group of people doing a good job. They perceived themselves as a unit within the larger organizational framework of the school system, and, within the parameters of their own classrooms, powerful. The efforts of teachers to clarify their individuality and commonality suggest that those who propose changes at the school level must be aware not only of classroom realities but also of teachers' problems. Teachers will resist change they feel has no clear or immediate value for their students or themselves. (JD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC. Educational Policy and Organization Program.
Authoring Institution: Illinois Univ., Champaign. Coll. of Education.