ERIC Number: ED122425
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Knowledge Utilization Strategies in the Design and Implementation of New Schools--Symbolic Functions.
Sieber, Sam D.
An examination of case studies suggests that rational processes were not entirely at work in the planning and conception of new, innovative schools. The rational model that serves as the foundation of our information systems assumes that a compelling professional need triggers a search for solutions; and, therefore, school personnel are eager to utilize whatever information lies at hand to help them select and implement the best solution. An alternative model is suggested, one that is based on the idea that knowledge utilization serves certain social and psychological (nonrational) functions that have rarely been considered. Thus, in addition to the task-oriented functions, that are geared to improving practice, there are a host of symbolic functions that serve to enhance the legitimacy, the prestige, or the morale of groups and individuals engaged in educational practice. These include legitimation of current plans or practices, cooling-out of critics, justification for failure (for instance, research on the learning disabilities of minority children), status conferral, ego enhancement, and so forth. Further, it is suggested that certain of these symbolic functions are best served by local information seeking and utilization. (Author/IRT)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, California, April 19-23, 1976)