ERIC Number: ED275077
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Apr
Rationality and Reality in Instructional Management: Results from a Survey of Districts in the Far West.
To discover whether school districts can develop highly rationalized forms of instructional management, this study gathered data from a telephone survey conducted in the school year 1983-84 of administrators in 30 western districts. The instructional management practices of these districts were then compared with an "ideal type" of rationalized instructional management system. Informants considered knowledgeable about districts' practices nominated districts engaged in "exemplary" practices and recommended other potential informants. Of the 39 districts in 3 states contacted, 2 or 3 administrators were interviewed for 1 hour each. Interviews centered around exemplary instructional management practices; respondents described the practice, discussed its relation to other practices, and reviewed implementation. Data analyses focused on practices in curriculum development, instructional assessment, and staff supervision and evaluation. Data analysis interpreted how a practice was coordinated with other practices. A rationalized model includes routinized instructional technology, a mechanistic control system, and a cult of efficiency. The study's conclusion is a qualified yes to the original research question. The qualifying factors are as follows: (1) due to resource constraints, rationalization of instructional management practices probably occurs in a fragmented way; (2) such fragmented change can evolve into an integrated system only after 15 to 20 years of practice; (3) implementation of rationalized reforms involves more than structural change. School culture must change from a logic of confidence toward a cult of efficiency to reduce teacher and administrator resistance. (CJH)
Descriptors: Administrator Role, Change Strategies, Curriculum Development, Educational Change, Educational Practices, Educational Technology, Efficiency, Elementary Secondary Education, Faculty Development, Instructional Development, Instructional Effectiveness, Instructional Improvement, Long Range Planning, Management Systems, Models, Program Implementation, School Districts, Teacher Administrator Relationship
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers; Practitioners
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Far West Lab. for Educational Research and Development, San Francisco, CA.
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (67th, San Francisco, CA, April 16-20, 1986).