ERIC Number: ED412625
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Jul-5
The Road to Emergent Restructuring and Strong Democracy: One Chicago School's Experience of Reform. Draft Deliverable.
Rollow, Sharon G.; Yanguas, Maria Josefina
Thomas Elementary School serves a poor, predominantly Latino neighborhood in Chicago (Illinois). This paper reviews some of the developments within each of the school's three sites of power--parents, the principal, and the faculty--and considers the important role of social capital in this immigrant community. Data were obtained through observation and interviews with the principal, teacher leaders, parents, and members of the school community. During the 4 years of observation, the Thomas school community progressed from a stage of uncertain politics when the principal was new, to a maintenance politics when the first school-improvement plan and budget were written, to an emergent democracy where contentious issues of bilingual education were debated. The school also saw developments in school-improvement activities from an early stage of peripheral academic initiatives, to a first stage of systemic change labeled "emergent restructuring." Factors for successful change included an active, supportive parent group; a principal with a vision for a bilingual school who encouraged participative decision making; committed teacher leaders; and trust between parents and professionals. Positive social relations enhanced democratic participation, which strengthened social capital, which in turn facilitated systemic educational change. (Contains 45 endnotes and 24 references.) (LMI)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Wisconsin Center for Education Research, Madison.; Center on Organization and Restructuring of Schools, Madison, WI.