ERIC Number: ED360715
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Apr
Courtship and School Restructuring: Building Early Commitment to School Change for At-Risk Students. Preliminary Findings of a Research Study.
Chenoweth, Thomas; Kushman, James
This paper presents findings of a study that examined the process of building staff commitment during the earliest phase of comprehensive school change, or "courtship" phase. Participant observation in a northwestern urban school district was conducted at three low-achieving elementary schools that implemented the accelerated schools model. Methodology included interviews conducted with 24 teachers, 3 principals, 3 central office administrators, and 2 school board members; observation; informal conversations with parents and staff members; and analyses of background and demographic data. Findings suggest that a whole-school transformation model like accelerated schools is inherently vague, which can cause teacher ambiguity, which in turn saps enthusiasm. Change agents must show how the change model fits with the existing school culture so that it is understood, shared, and developed according to the school context and needs. The principal must be actively involved, use an indirect presentation approach, and understand staff experiences. To be effective and inspiring, principals need clear visions of how their roles will change and how classrooms will eventually look. Because finding time is a problem, schools should expect to devote 2-3 months for courtship activities. (Contains 24 references.) (LMI)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Atlanta, GA, April 12-16, 1993).