ERIC Number: ED387923
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Oct
District Initiatives: Reforming Teacher and Principal Roles.
Alexander, Gary C.
A recent study conducted by a midwestern university research center surveyed 47 school districts who were members of a university-school district collaborative. Respondents indicated that the changing roles of teachers and principals were an important issue. This paper presents findings of a subsequent study based on indepth interviews with the superintendents of the 47 member school districts that were representative of mid-western school systems ranging from large urban to small rural districts. All superintendents reported that they were trying to implement second-order, or systemic, changes. All districts used a state-mandated Planning, Evaluation, and Review (PER) process as a vehicle for initiating role changes. Most districts relied on staff-development and inservice programs to help with teacher/principal role changes. In 60 percent of the districts, staff-development and inservice decisions were made at the building level. Role change was more easily initiated at the elementary level. Eighty percent of the superintendents said that parents and community members were involved in almost every aspect of the district and in individual building decision-making processes. All said that the building principal played a key role in educational change, but that there was a lack of clarity among principals about their own roles. Thirty-five percent of the districts had some form of school-based management in place. Teachers were interested in making decisions about curriculum, instruction, and staff development, but did not seek to control schools or districts. Sixty-seven percent said that changes have been institutionalized to give teachers greater voice in building-level decisions. Most superintendents believed there is a movement toward genuine collaboration and teacher/principal role changes. Four examples of teacher/principal role-change efforts are described. A copy of the interview protocol is included. (Contains 11 references.) (LMI)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A