ERIC Number: ED218565
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Sep
Reference Count: 0
Organizational Factors and Student Alienation in High Schools: Implications of Theory for School Improvement.
Newmann, Fred M.
While schools are not called upon to meet all human needs, they have a responsibility to strive toward an institutional life of high quality. Although there are no systematic studies of human alienation, reports on secondary education indicate that much of the secondary program breeds alienation. Theory in sociology and social psychology of organizations suggests that public comprehensive high schools could help reduce student alienation by: (1) allowing more student-parent choice in the school attended; (2) setting clear, limited, and consistent goals for schools; (3) maintaining a size of about 500-1200 students; (4) structuring the school with a low level of hierarchy and high level of student input; (5) providing more sustained contact between students and individual teachers, more cooperative activity among students, and more opportunity for students to contribute to school functioning; and (6) designing student work to encourage continuous development of "products," and to include both primal and modern activity. Analyses of 14 innovative efforts, e.g., specialized schools, flexible scheduling, career education and four main reform perspectives, i.e., the conventional role, the developmental role, structural emancipation, and the professional/technological, suggest that most reforms are not likely to reduce student alienation in a comprehensive way. (Author/MCF)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A