ERIC Number: ED218758
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Discontinuation of Innovative Programs.
Parish, Ralph; Arends, Richard I.
The results of a study of five midwestern school districts suggest that the abandonment of program innovations or revisions may be related to a lack of understanding of how schools work as social systems and how political processes influence change efforts, as well as a failure to appreciate the many dilemmas facing those who attempt to facilitate school improvement. The study revealed that, in each case, innovative programs were adopted because of political pressures; the assistance and training provided sites by National Diffusion Network facilitators and developers were almost exclusively technical and failed to consider local circumstances; and decisions to discontinue programs were made informally by teachers asserting their autonomy in the classroom. This information about the actors in the implementation process supports the theory that an informal covenant exists concerning the principal's prerogatives and the teacher's role and authority. The researchers conclude that successful implementation efforts must account for several factors: the organizational culture of both the schools and the change agencies involved; the type of training desired by the teachers; the importance of the principal to program adoption and of the teachers to implementation; and the need for adapting programs to local circumstances. (Author/PGD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: National Diffusion Network; Teacher Autonomy
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New York, NY, March 19-23, 1982).