ERIC Number: ED396885
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Rural School Reform: Creating a Community of Learners.
Spears, Jacqueline D.; Oliver, Jenny Penney
This paper examines an effort to support "bottom-up" change that responds to larger school reform initiatives. The intervention strategy involved a collaboration in which a cluster of rural schools designed and implemented site-based projects related to multicultural reform, and a regional college and the state department of education provided professional development and technical assistance tailored to specific projects. Named EMPIRE (Exemplary Multicultural Practices in Rural Education), the strategy was implemented in pilot projects in two states. Participating schools enrolled 70-700 students; included both elementary and secondary levels; and served predominantly European American, predominantly Native American, or heterogeneous populations. The project's research component focused on identifying teacher outcomes and school changes that could be attributed to the intervention, exploring the extent to which clustering supported development of a regional professional infrastructure and lateral learning across schools, and describing how resources were shared across schools. Preliminary results from case studies indicate that: (1) all schools were successful in designing locally meaningful and sustainable projects; (2) schools that joined clusters later built on the experiences of earlier schools; (3) projects had a broader than expected impact on schools; (4) clusters increased resource sharing across each region; (5) the character of schools selected for the cluster created a learning environment for individual teachers and schools; and (6) measurable outcomes and long-range planning were often barriers to project implementation. (Contains 10 references). (SV)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Cluster Schools; Support Systems
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New York, NY, April 1996).