ERIC Number: ED240203
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1982-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
A Conceptual Study of Knowledge Use in Schools. Final Report (Draft).
Amarel, Marianne; Chittenden, Edward A.
The analysis of conceptual issues related to the perception and use of knowledge by classroom teachers and school administrators in improvement programs, specifically in urban elementary reading programs, was the primary goal of this study. To begin, a distinction was made between knowledge sources that constitute the initial bases for program development and working sources of knowledge necessary for program implementation. These knowledge sources were further divided into sources external and internal to the classroom, with the latter (in the form of information about students revealed only during the teaching process) being regarded as essential to productive teaching. Field studies in four urban public schools showed this conceptualization to be inadequate. Two distinct knowledge bases used to define programs at the different sites were identified. One, the "procedural" knowledge base, which was found in centrally controlled schools, emphasized the techniques of teaching and left little room for teacher or principal response to student feedback. The other, the "theoretical" knowledge base found in more autonomous schools, took the form of principles, maxims, and precepts about ways that teachers teach and children learn, and allowed teachers and principals to respond to student feedback. In view of the importance of student feedback to effective teaching, the growing national trend toward the procedural rather than the theoretical model raises disturbing questions about the effectiveness of programs designed to improve schooling and/or enhance educational equity. Following the narrative, sample teacher interviews from the four schools, and interview guidelines are appended. (CMG)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ.