ERIC Number: ED385009
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Apr
Zig-Zag--The Zeitgeist of One School's Change.
Schneider, Lydia; Kinavey, Randy
This paper presents a history of restructuring efforts undertaken since 1991 at one high school located in a predominantly white suburban community. Data were gathered through document analysis, interviews, and a faculty survey (to which 35 out of 63 teachers responded). Since the late 1980s, the school's student population declined and became increasingly diverse. School restructuring was hampered by periodic, major changes in administrative leadership. For example, during the 1991-92 school year, many faculty made a strong commitment to restructuring; however, in fall 1992, the new principal announced that the program would be suspended. He later championed the formation of a "Futures Committee," in which teachers worked collaboratively to develop a new school schedule for the best use of student/teacher time. The school-site council then rejected their proposal. This was truly consensus decision making on the part of the entire school, but the problem was that the process was not clear to the entire faculty. Leadership needed to explain the decision process in the interest of teacher morale. Three critical issues--leadership, time, and momentum emerged from examination of the change process. Teachers were frustrated with the limited opportunities for participative decision making and the lack of time for effective planning. A conclusion is that the only way to increase momentum for restructuring is through consistent, focused efforts, with an agenda that is defined by faculty leaders. To counter the minimal sense of continuity of leadership and organizational goals, teachers must participate in school leadership. Appendixes contain a copy of the surveys administered to staff in November 1991 and March 1993. (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).