ERIC Number: ED431224
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Apr
To the Barricades: The Department Head Role in Change.
Hannay, Lynne M.; Erb, Cathy Smeltzer
This paper examines the role of individuals in positions of responsibility (POR) during the implementation of two different curriculum innovations: curriculum integration and performance-based assessment. In addition to addressing the lack of knowledge of department heads' role in implementing innovations, the report explores the effectiveness of individual departments and the impact of department heads on the teaching/learning process. The data were derived from four research studies. Three studies involved individuals in traditional department-head roles, whereas the fourth study included individuals in nonsubject POR. Results revealed various roles for managers. Study one suggested a role that was more managerial than change facilitator. Studies two and three indicated that even with the valiant efforts of individuals and of groups of department heads, it was almost impossible to facilitate substantial change. Change was unlikely as long as individuals protected the status quo. Results from study four, on the other hand, showed that a nonsubject, organizational structure can successfully facilitate and sustain whole-school change. Overall, when questions began to push the boundaries of the current department head's roles, teaching patterns, and student learning, teachers returned to past practices. Schools remained firmly entrenched in structures that fostered limited questioning. Contains 29 references. (RJM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Ontario Ministry of Education and Training, Toronto.; Canadian Social Science and Humanities Research Council, Ottawa (Ontario).
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Montreal, Quebec, Canada, April 19-23, 1999).