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ERIC Number: ED121768
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976-Mar
Pages: 23
Abstractor: N/A
Structure Versus Function in Models of Educational Change--A Dissenting Opinion.
Sieber, Sam D.
The most popular and traditional approaches to educational change have been through formal organizations. These organizations, by their very nature, are geared to treat typical cases and are efficient, but their effectiveness is questionable. Current models of change impose a certain rigidity on the situation which seems to defeat the professed goal of giving individualized service and developing personal capacities. Dissatisfaction with existing models on the grounds of inflexibility prompted an evaluation of a USOE-NIE program consisting of extension agents. It was clear that the key to the success of this experiment lay in its non-formal, non-specialized nature, making it possible to circumvent the organizational constraints and red tape of local and state educational systems. Two extension agents in each of two states and three agents in a third state were employed full time to visit schools within specified target areas and to help clients identify and articulate their needs. The agents referred each need or request to a retrieval staff located in the state education agency who performed computer or manual searches of ERIC and other, more standard, resources. When appropriate, the agent helped the client interpret or adapt the information, appraise its applicability, consider needed steps for use or implementation and repeat the process when needed. Few of the initial conceptions of how the agents were to perform their unprecedented roles were borne out in practice. The agents had to develop a repertoire of very different skills and to learn when to activate them. A great deal of qualitative observation and statistical data are providing mounting evidence that the best way to serve the needs of educators in behalf of enlightened change is to adopt a highly flexible, inter-personal approach with a bare minimum of role preconceptions and organizational props. (DMT)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A