ERIC Number: ED384977
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Apr
School Routines and the Failure of Curriculum Reform.
This paper describes first-year results of a project in Cleveland (Ohio) that was funded by the National Science Foundation. Cleveland's Problem Solving Infusion Program (PSIP) was designed to help teachers implement new mathematics standards and to empower them to make curricular decisions. In particular, the study examined whether urban teachers reformed mathematics instruction, and if so, how and how much. Data were derived from observation and interviews of 12 teachers (7 women, 5 men) during the first 6 months of 1989. The findings, which indicate that teachers worked for the letter of reform rather than its spirit, illustrate how school routines can be a major obstacle to educational change. Teachers' routines manifested themselves as school-keeping systems that ultimately maintained the status quo. Standard institutional programming, the teachers' limited concept of curriculum theory, and the tendency for teachers to follow established policy resulted in the continuation of business as usual. Comprehensive school improvement and curriculum reform requires: (1) teacher responsibility for providing effective problem-solving instruction; (2) public's trust in school teachers; (3) research of process-oriented teaching and learning; (4) the promotion of student learning as teachers' primary responsibility; and (5) a connection with the community's plans for urban reconstruction. (LMI)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; 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 18-22, 1995).