ERIC Number: ED362961
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
The Irrational Science of Educational Reform.
This paper discusses the problems encountered in applying rational and participatory models to school reform and presents an alternative model based on action research. The group processes of a school-improvement team (SIT) at a high school are examined. Data were collected through participant observation, interviews with three faculty members, informal discussions with SIT members, and document analysis. Despite the expressed willingness of teachers to pursue different practices, little progress was made. The lack of progress was rooted in two inherent institutional factors--limited time and divergent viewpoints held by actors in the policymaking process. Findings reflected the limitations of both hierarchical and participatory models of school reform, which fail to recognize the limitations of the decision-making process. A modest proposal for pragmatic policy formation, based on action research, is offered. Action research allows teachers to identify problems and provides them with resources to instigate change within the constraints of their school context. Outcomes include increased teacher autonomy and professional growth. (Contains 56 references.) (LMI)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Rational Choice Theory
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Atlanta, GA, April 12-16, 1993).