ERIC Number: ED358959
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
James P. Comer, M.D., on the School Development Program: Making a Difference for Children.
Comer, James P.
One of a series of reports documenting efforts at educational restructuring nationwide, this paper focuses on the achievements and ideas of James Comer, founder and director of the School Development Program (SDP) of the Child Study Center at Yale University. The first part of the report presents remarks made by Dr. Comer on the history and philosophy of the SDP. The program was structured around a view of child development which takes into account that children are born helpless and grow via five critical developmental pathways: the socio-interactive, or how a child interacts with others; the psycho-emotional, concerning such factors as personal control; the moral; the linguistic; and the intellectual and cognitive. The motivation to learn grows out of the interrelationships among these areas, and children from marginal backgrounds may not perform or behave well in school due to different patterns of development. It was evident that schools try to control this different behavior, resulting in negative attachment and the eventual inability to influence the child positively. In an effort to change the school climate, the SDP formed a governance and management group consisting of nine components as follows: three mechanisms (a governance and management team, a mental health team, and a parents' program); three operations (a comprehensive school plan, staff development activities, and ongoing assessment and modification); and three guidelines (a policy of not laying blame, decision-making by consensus, and full participation without paralyzing the leader). The second part of the report presents an interview with Dr. Comer which covers such topics as elements of teacher preparation, organizing schools open to inquiry and the community, and other aspects of developing more effective schools. (AC)
Descriptors: Child Development, Educational Change, Educational Improvement, Educational Philosophy, Elementary Secondary Education, Interviews, Organizational Development, Organizational Objectives, Program Descriptions, Program Development, School Effectiveness
NCREST, Box 110, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027 ($5).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: DeWitt Wallace/Reader's Digest Fund, Pleasantville, NY.; Leon Lowenstein Foundation, New York, NY.; Aaron Diamond Foundation, Inc., New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: Columbia Univ., New York, NY. Teachers Coll. National Center for Restructuring Education, Schools and Teaching.