ERIC Number: ED411305
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Using Focus Group Interviews as a Continuous and Cumulative Measure of the Effects of School Restructuring and Reform.
Emerson, John; Maddox, Mary
Eastlake High School, a high school in a district in the Seattle (Washington) suburbs, opened a new campus in 1993. The school agreed to work with the Washington Research Institute to examine reform efforts in the developing school. The focus was on ensuring that the needs of special education students were being met as the school unfolded its reforms. The research project has demonstrated how a continuous cycle of focus group interviewing can be used to evaluate school improvement efforts and set the stage for introducing research-based practices. Four percent of the student body at its opening (31 students) were in special education, and 3 special education teachers were included in the school's staff of 37. A team of educators has been meeting every 2 weeks to examine the school's inclusion policies and practices, and summaries of the findings of a number of focus groups have been instrumental in the team's evaluations. The focus group methodology was less expensive than individual interviews, but it allowed students, parents, and educators to interact and express opinions about reform efforts. Over the 4 years, the team has completed 11 focus group interviews. These interviews have provided both external constituents and school personnel with insight into effective inclusion-based practices and have provided a process for understanding unified school development. (Contains 1 figure and 31 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Washington