ERIC Number: ED206113
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr
Institutions of Meaning: Changing Conceptions of Educational Organizations in American Society.
Natriello, Gary; Mitchell, Theodore
This explorative essay considers some new developments in open-system theories of organizational interaction with relevant environments that might be useful for educational historians. The authors explore ways in which changes in the social meaning of the American high school may have led to structural and functional changes. Three dimensions of the organization of schools are utilized for analysis: the extent to which school structures are differentiated, the nature of the indicators used to signify school performance, and the changes that take place in the structure and operation of schools. An additional three dimensions are used to define social meanings, or shared conceptions, about school organizations: prestige, distinctiveness, and exclusivity. The three dimensions of the social meanings of school organizations are theorized to be related to the three dimensions of school organizations. This approach is illustrated in an examination of the changing social conceptions of the American high school. Major shifts in the social meaning of the American high school are argued to have occurred in the change of the high school from an elite to a mass institution between 1900 and 1920, and in the 1954 Brown decision by the Supreme Court. (Author/MLF)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Los Angeles, CA, April 13-17, 1981).