ERIC Number: ED422615
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Apr
Lessons from a Survivor: 25 Years of Open Education in a Public Alternative School.
Dunn, Mary Anna
Moore's Creek Open Elementary school, located in a quiet African-American neighborhood in a sun-belt city, has operated as a progressive school of choice since 1973, despite the low survival rate of public alternative schools. This study identifies forces that have affected curriculum and instruction at Moore's Creek over the past quarter century. A combination of opportunities, initiatives, and attitudes has contributed to the school's survival and success. Certain city characteristics created favorable conditions for establishing and fostering this open school, including a strong economy, commitment to education and school reform, and importation of new ideas. Moore's Creek has built positive, mutually supportive relationships with the community and has had numerous parent and faculty advocates. However, curriculum and instruction has been pulled toward the conventional by district and state pressures (standardized tests, end-of-year testing, and direct instruction), staff-related pressures (lack of exposure to student-centered education, philosophical incompatibilities, faculty overload, and school size), and an increase in the number of students experiencing difficulty with self-directed learning. Faculty have initiated measures to mitigate these effects. (Contains 24 references.) (MLH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Diego, CA, April 13-17, 1998).