ERIC Number: ED384127
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Apr
Reconstructing the Teacher-Administrator Relationship To Achieve Systemic Change.
This paper uses constructivist theory as a framework to examine a transition in the supervisory relationship between teachers and administrators. The study examined a central New York school district attempting to shift responsibility for professional growth from administrators to teachers, with a focus on the meaning ascribed to new roles and relationships initiated by a new teacher-supervision program called the Supportive Supervision Model. The transition required both teachers and administrators to reconstruct meanings that comprised their cultural understandings about the teacher-administrator relationship. Data were collected through participant observation and interviews with a total of 32 teachers and 6 administrators. Despite the high level of collaboration and dialogue, multiple constructions of meaning emerged. The meaning-construction process was found to be simultaneously reflective and active, private and public, inclusive and exclusive, and natural and planned. Implications of the findings for the development of shared meaning and coordinated action in schools include: (1) meaning construction within organizations is a collaborative, rather than unilateral, process; (2) planned, focused dialogue promotes reflection on action and the development of shared meaning; (3) organizational members need to understand their personal agency within the meaning-construction process; (4) meaning construction is a continuous process; (5) perceptions of intentionality may be more important than actions and words; (6) challenges to the perspectives of others should be encouraged; and (7) the meaning-construction process has similar implications for classroom teachers engaged in curricular or instructional change. (Contains 24 references.) (LMI)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, April 1995).