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ERIC Number: ED407113
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Pages: 26
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Teachers and Parents Working Together for Curriculum Reform: Possibility or Pipe Dream?
Konzal, Jean L.
Two concurrent themes in recent educational reform efforts--teacher professionalism and parent participation--have not been easy to reconcile in practice. This study investigated the introduction of two controversial curriculum reforms in a small New England high school with an eye to the relationships that existed among parents and between parents and educators during the process. Using Eisner's work on educational criticism as a guide, the study used an alternative form of representation--reader theater scripts--to describe its results. The study found that it is difficult for parents and educators to come to common understandings about what goes on in "good" classrooms because: (1) parents have widely differing views, or mental models, based on their own school experiences; (2) the traditional or bureaucratic mode of school operation (as described by Goldring and Bauch, 1995) put administrators and teachers in the position of making educational changes essentially without parent participation, provided such changes were within the community's "zone of tolerance"; and (3) the new concept of teachers as professionals provides teachers with common mental models about what constitutes "good" education, but privileges these models and puts parents in the unequal role of client. The study concluded that redefining educators and parents as members of a community, held together by informal, responsive interactions, holds promise for reconciling current tensions. (Contains 50 references.) (EV)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A