ERIC Number: ED397572
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996
Reference Count: N/A
Consultation as a Technology and the Politics of School Reform.
Fuchs, Douglas; Fuchs, Lynn S.
This paper proposes that consultation meets the definition of an educational technology and examines reasons why it has not been utilized more frequently by practitioners. First, it defines an educational technology and compares consultation to exemplars of educational technologies (such as classwide peer tutoring) and to non-exemplars (such as whole language). The occasional misuse of consultation is noted but its lack of use is especially emphasized. Well-known reasons for this lack (such as a tendency to place the difficult-to-teach students in special education) are considered, but the politics of school reform are seen as a major reason for consultation's research-to-practice gap, as it is out of step with current reformist thinking. Ways in which contemporary education reform clash with the technology perspective in general and with consultation in particular are discussed, including: (1) the perceived greater value of local knowledge (insiders) versus that of technology developers (outsiders); (2) bottom-up versus top-down decision making (with consultation seen as fostering bureaucratic complexity and centralization); (3) egalitarianism versus expertise; (4) collegiality versus isolation; (4) revolutionary change versus incremental change; and (5) subjective knowledge versus objective knowledge. School reformers and technology developers are urged to learn from each other and to differentiate between collaboration and consultation. (Contains 49 references.) (DB)
Descriptors: Attitude Change, Consultation Programs, Decentralization, Decision Making, Definitions, Delivery Systems, Educational Change, Educational Technology, Elementary Secondary Education, Political Influences, Politics of Education, Research Utilization, Special Needs Students, Teacher Collaboration, Theory Practice Relationship, Trend Analysis
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Child Health and Human Development (NIH), Bethesda, MD.; Special Education Programs (ED/OSERS), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Vanderbilt Univ., Nashville, TN. Peabody Coll.