ERIC Number: ED408701
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Making Connections in School Reform: An Examination of Communication Strategies.
Meyers, Joel; And Others
Many recent educational reform efforts are based on the active involvement of administrators, educators, parents, and community members, all stakeholders in decision making. This paper presents findings of a study that investigated communication strategies used by shared decision-making teams in a small suburban school district in New York State serving 3,000 pupils. The study explored communication within the team, between the team and various constituent groups (e.g., parents, community members, teachers, etc.), and across different teams. Interviews were conducted with all members of three building-level shared decision-making teams from a primary school, a middle school, and a high school during the teams' second year of operation. The data point to the importance of a systemic, comprehensive approach to establish structured patterns of communication. Four research questions were addressed: (1) What are the perceptions of shared decision making team members concerning the methods used to facilitate coordination and communication between their shared decision making team and other groups engaged in educational reform activities? (2) What are the perceptions of shared decision making team members concerning the use of products (e.g., new curriculum goals, results of surveys developed by shared decision making teams, brochures distributed to educators and the community, etc.) produced by other teams engaged in educational reform activities? (3) What do shared decision making team members describe as the methods used to communicate to the constituent groups they represent on their shared decision making team? (4) What do shared decision making team members suggest as effective approaches to improving communication about educational reform efforts in their school district? Results of the study are discussed. The data point to the difficulty of doing school reform in a manner that includes effective communication throughout the system. Five tables are included. (Contains 25 references). (LMI)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, March 24-28, 1997).