ERIC Number: ED360693
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992
Reference Count: N/A
Moving toward a Task Focus in Middle Level Schools. School Leadership and Education Reform Occasional Papers: OP#11.
Beck, Jamie Sue; And Others
This paper focuses on how school practitioners respond to middle-school reform when it is approached from a research-based, theoretical framework. Using a goal-theory framework, a school-university collaboration at a middle school in a small midwestern town sought to move the school culture toward a task-oriented learning environment. Evaluation methods included onsite observation and interviews conducted with 11 coalition team members, which included the assistant principal, a parent and former student, and 9 teachers. Initial findings suggest that "getting kids interested in learning" was accepted as a guiding mission; however, teachers and the vice principal held competing beliefs that focused on fixing the students rather than the school. Obstacles to changing the deepest level of schooling included administrative constraints on teachers' time, teachers' varied viewpoints that contributed to a lack of focus, a technocratic mind set, and teachers' rejection of theoretical discussions. However, teachers did become more reflective and committed to examining principles for change. A conclusion is that because school change should be based on a rationale that relates to the nature of students and learning, goal theory may provide that guiding force. (Contains 42 references.) (LMI)
Descriptors: Educational Change, Educational Cooperation, Educational Objectives, Junior High Schools, Middle Schools, Resistance to Change, School Restructuring, Theory Practice Relationship
National Center for School Leadership, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1208 W. Springfield, Urbana, IL 61801 ($4).
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center for School Leadership, Urbana, IL.