ERIC Number: ED357512
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993
Reference Count: N/A
Overcoming Barriers to Educational Restructuring: A Call for System Literacy.
The drive for systemic reform in education reflects a widespread hunger in all sectors of society to make sense of the whole, as is shown in the increasing recognition of people in organizations of the interrelatedness of the organizations' parts. However, many attempts at systemic reform are hampered by the lack of a common view of what an educational system is, how it operates, and what the individual's role in the system is. The need for radical restructuring of public schooling in the United States is all but taken for granted and the idea of "system literacy," which asks for a much deeper understanding of how organizations function provides a useful approach to thinking through strategies to support restructuring. While there is no single definition of restructuring, some common elements are results orientation, innovative ways of reaching goals, and site-based decision-making. While some restructuring efforts have been successful, systemic reform may not be able to meet the increasing expectations for education. Elements lacking in systemic reform include a sense of urgency within school systems, a strong partnership of support, a strategic direction, and innovative methods. In addition, organizations do not easily learn because individuals view their parts as disconnected. An organization can be improved when its members develop system literacy. Steps to improve partnerships and restructuring efforts include the use of strategic planning, transforming collective bargaining, fostering system literacy, developing collaborative dialogue, and focusing on the customer. Brief responses to this paper from six educators are appended, and 23 endnotes are included. (JPT)
Descriptors: Change Strategies, Educational Change, Educational Objectives, Elementary Secondary Education, Organizational Change, Organizational Effectiveness, Public Schools, Resistance to Change, School Restructuring, Systems Analysis, Systems Approach, Systems Development
American Association of School Administrators, 1801 N. Moore Street, Arlington, VA 22209 (Stock No. 21-00397).
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: American Association of School Administrators, Arlington, VA.; National Education Association, Washington, DC.