ERIC Number: ED244361
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984
Reference Count: 0
Analyzing the Operational Curriculum of a School: A Case Study.
Comfort, Ronald E.
In a 6-month study of a small private school (Fielding) in central Virginia, seven participants in a curriculum practicum tested a research strategy for investigating the knowledge, skills, and attitudes fostered by a school's environment. Given the subjectivity of environmental influences, the team rejected scrupulous data collection to concentrate on the gestalt. As the study proceeded, each member developed generalizations to be discussed and synthesized in weekly meetings. After interviewing teachers to characterize the school environment, the researchers investigated the organization of subject matter. They then studied the ways students were grouped for instruction and the usage of nine learning tasks and of six "cognitive levels." Finally, they observed behavior in and around the school building. The curriculum design and instructional practices consistently emphasized basic skills. The environment taught self-confidence, hard work, deference to authority, and balanced cooperation and competition. Thus The research strategy used in this study proved successful; the practical background of all the researchers was important to its success. Although the study was more exhaustive than necessary, researchers must rely on "reasonable judgment"--not a formula--to build consensus in a team and decide how much information to collect. (MCG)
Descriptors: Behavioral Objectives, Class Organization, Cognitive Objectives, Curriculum Design, Curriculum Research, Educational Environment, Elementary Education, Elementary School Curriculum, Hidden Curriculum, Holistic Approach, Incidental Learning, Interrater Reliability, Observation, Research Design, Research Methodology, Student Development, Time Management
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 (New Orleans, LA, April 23-27, 1984).