ERIC Number: ED349693
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Professional Cultures and Reforming Schools: Does the Myth of Sisyphus Apply?
Louis, Karen Seashore; King, Jean A.
Findings of a study that explored problems in the development of two newly created metropolitan middle schools are presented in this paper. Based on a framework of organizational change, the main premise contends that as new organizations, schools are also inherently vulnerable to the generic problems that face all organizations undergoing change. Data were derived from interviews with teachers, administrators, parents, and community members. Despite the differences in the schools' organizational processes, they encountered similar difficulties in planning and in facing the "liabilities of newness." Problems included articulating and learning new roles, creating trust and an organizational culture, and overcoming environmental pressures. Suggestions are offered for improving the planning process, creating a nurturing environment for teachers, and managing environmental pressures. A conclusion is that the myth of Sisyphus--being doomed to an endless uphill challenge--does not apply to school reform. (Contains 27 references.) (LMI)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center on Organization and Restructuring of Schools, Madison, WI.
Identifiers - Location: Minnesota