ERIC Number: ED349697
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Balkanized Secondary Schools and the Malaise of Modernity.
Hargreaves, Andy; Macmillan, Robert
Findings of a study that examined teaching culture patterns in two Ontario secondary schools are presented in this paper, with attention given to the outcomes of "balkanization." In this form of the teachers' organizational culture, teachers work in smaller subgroups within the school community. The two schools were drawn from a study of 10 Ontario secondary schools undergoing a provincially imposed mandate to destream grade 9 by 1993. Findings indicate that in the conventional school, balkanization resulted in teacher isolation. In the new innovative school, balkanization was reconstructed in new forms, suggesting that balkanization remains a dominant feature even in nontraditional schools. A common restructuring problem was the failure to confront the fundamental issues of status, politics, and leadership. An implication is that balkanized schools are both symptoms and symbols of the "malaise of modernity." Unless restructuring addresses the assumptions of modernism and the structures that arise from it, balkanization will continue to pervade secondary schools with its deleterious consequences. Because the current system is unable to meet the needs of students in a postmodern society, a radical reconceptualization of secondary schools and curricula are necessary. (Contains 24 references.) (LMI)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, April 20-24, 1992).