ERIC Number: ED364372
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Oct-14
Reference Count: N/A
Empowering Rural Teachers for School Change--Consequences of Involving Teachers in Educational Research.
Phelps, Margaret S.; And Others
This paper describes cooperative endeavors involving a team of researchers and the staff of two rural school districts. In early 1990, the researchers asked teachers and administrators in an economically distressed rural Tennessee district (pseudonym Iris) to participate in a study determining school, community, and family characteristics related to school success. Results revealed burned out and discouraged teachers and students, uninvolved parents, and families struggling economically and emotionally. A year later, school district personnel, parents, local businessmen, and one of the researchers collaborated to develop a 4-year K-12 dropout prevention program that included a longitudinal study of dropout characteristics. Iris also became involved in a five-county economic development initiative, becoming a site in a two-way interactive television and computer network. Meanwhile, personnel from a rural school district in Kentucky (pseudonym Goldenrod) asked if a study like the one at Iris could be conducted in their school. On the whole, the findings were positive. While economic conditions and school isolation were worse than at Iris, Goldenrod teachers and students believed that the school was working for them. Subsequent contacts and visits between Iris and Goldenrod personnel resulted in new enthusiasm among Iris teachers and a sense that they could improve their school. In rural schools, the involvement of teachers in research about school effectiveness may be more potent than involvement in classroom practice research. (SV)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Collaborative Research; Teacher Empowerment; Teacher Researcher Relationship
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the National Rural Education Association (85th, Burlington, VT, October 14-17, 1993).