ERIC Number: ED401090
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
Curriculum Adequacy and Quality in High Schools Enrolling Fewer Than 400 Pupils (9-12). ERIC Digest.
One third of public U.S. high schools enroll fewer than 400 students. Small high schools are challenged to maintain a broad curriculum with diverse course offerings. However, this digest demonstrates that many small schools provide curricula and programs comparable in quality to those of larger schools. Research findings include: (1) core curricular offerings in small high schools are well aligned with national goals and comparable to those in large schools; (2) smaller high schools have lower availability of advanced courses, but large size guarantees neither such offerings nor high enrollments in them; (3) larger schools offer a broader array of courses in occupational and technical education, but smaller schools offer more favorable proportions of vocational offerings per student; (4) larger schools offer more special services to students with disabilities and special needs, although small schools may use shared programs and well focused curricula in this area; and (5) smaller schools have fewer extracurricular activities but higher participation rates. Small high schools are meeting pressures to expand curriculum opportunities through integrated curriculum, block scheduling, interdistrict sharing, and distance education. Three curricular components are identified as common to successfully restructured instructional programs: common academic curriculum, high academic standards and expectations, and authentic instruction involving sustained critical thought. Lower enrollments allow for such engaging and meaningful instructional practices, suggesting that small schools are ideal sites for curriculum reform efforts. Contains 15 references. (SV)
Descriptors: Curriculum Development, Educational Change, Educational Quality, Educational Research, High Schools, School Restructuring, School Size, Secondary School Curriculum, Small Schools, Student Participation
ERIC/CRESS, P.O. Box 1348, Charleston, WV 25325-1348 (free).
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools, Charleston, WV.