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ERIC Number: ED172387
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Toward a Structural Theory of Innovation in Public Schools.
Gaynor, Alan K.
Based on a review of literature on educational change, this study explored the fundamental dynamics of stability and change in public school systems. Five major factors were identified that affect and interact with innovation. These factors include leadership effectiveness, external funds, external linkage, conflict, and support for innovation. Support for innovation is a function of the relationship between the level of innovation and leader, professional, and community norms. A computer model was constructed that expressed mathematically the relationships among these factors that account for the change behavior of school systems over time. Computer runs demonstrated the ability of the model to reproduce the ebb and flow of innovation in school districts over time, both where stability of community norms is assumed and where the community is seen in a state of transition. Findings indicated that a small number of fundamental structurally interconnected elements account for the basic stability of schools in the face of efforts to innovate. Also, incremental approaches to innovation seem to produce long-term effects superior to effects of dramatic attempts to bring about quick change. Finally, policies promoting networking among school people produce more positive impact on innovation than policies based on funding alone. (Author/JM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; 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 8-12, 1979); Computer printouts may not reproduce clearly