ERIC Number: ED374936
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1990
Reference Count: N/A
A Primary Change from Within a Rural Kentucky School District.
Williams, Marium T.
This paper describes how a vice principal at a rural Kentucky elementary school successfully implemented curriculum changes to meet the learning needs of young children. The change process also addressed the concerns of kindergarten teachers frustrated with the demands of teaching basal reader activities that eliminated explorative play and other developmentally important activities. Initially, two kindergarten teachers and two administrators attended training sponsored by the Parent and Child Education Program (PACE). PACE advocates the use of the High Scope curriculum, which is based on a child-centered, active-learning approach. By the next school year, classrooms were redesigned and an individualized curriculum was in place. Meetings were held with kindergarten parents to prepare them for program changes. Parents had positive reactions and, after witnessing the benefits of the curriculum, wanted this same approach to carry over to the first grade. Although first-grade teachers were critical of the approach, they agreed to attend training and try some of the advocated practices. The following summer, primary teachers, special education teachers, the school librarian, the curriculum supervisor, and the principal attended training conducted by a certified High Scope certified trainer. Although attitudes of the first-grade teachers presented the biggest impediment to change, faculty from grades K-3 decided to move toward literature-based reading. In 1990, the Kentucky Legislature mandated that all students in grades K-4 not be given standardized tests and that every school move to an ungraded primary model by fall 1992. This move has supported educational change in other Kentucky schools and in addressing the learning needs of young children. (LP)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Kentucky Education Reform Act 1990