ERIC Number: ED450451
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000
Reference Count: 0
School Restructuring: A Literature Review.
Conti, Scott D.; Ellsasser, Christopher W.; Griffin, Gary A.
The first wave of school improvement, largely perceived later as a failure, responded to Sputnik-era fears the United States was falling behind other nations, and focused on minor reforms of the educational system. Larry Cuban distinguishes the first-order changes of the first wave from the more fundamental changes implied in second wave efforts. The current third wave of school restructuring focuses on choice, implementing more challenging standards, and achieving better school outcomes. A series of reports in 1983-84 crystallized a national consensus for change in educational practice, best exemplified by the "A Nation at Risk" report in 1983. The literature indicates educational problems are systemic, schools are not fundamentally sound, and schools will not undertake reforms without internal and external changes. Common assumptions in restructuring literature include the need to promote teacher participation, professional development, learning about the change process, and changes in school culture. A trend in restructuring literature is the perceived importance of teacher empowerment in focusing restructuring work directly on effective teaching and learning. Restructuring requires new types of leadership from both principals and teachers, a slow, complex, and chaotic process. Major school restructuring studies from 1991-98 are described with brief summaries of major conclusions. Taken together, these studies indicate restructuring can effectively improve school conditions, capacities, cultures, and student learning, and they highlight the need for a constructivist approach tailored to particular circumstances. Studies demonstrate that when conditions, structures, and cultures promote their influence, teachers respond by focusing on the teaching and learning process, particularly where supportive leaders exist to facilitate the reform process. (Contains 86 references.) (TEJ)
Descriptors: Educational Change, Educational Environment, Educational Objectives, Educational Policy, Educational Practices, Educational Research, Elementary Secondary Education, Professional Development, School Choice, School Effectiveness, School Restructuring, Teacher Effectiveness, Teacher Influence, Teacher Participation
Full text: http://www.npeat.org/publications.htm.
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Columbia Univ., New York, NY. Teachers Coll. National Center for Restructuring Education, Schools and Teaching.; National Partnership for Excellence and Accountability in Teaching, Washington, DC.