ERIC Number: ED456535
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Keeping Up the Good Work: Developing and Sustaining Capacity for School Improvement.
Herbert, Karen S.; Hatch, Thomas
This paper describes findings from a study of school capacity, defined as the ability of schools to improve their practices and to sustain those improvements over time. Two schools in the San Francisco Bay Area (California) that have sustained success with distinct, though opposite, pedagogical approaches were examined to determine what makes a school's approach coherent and what enables a school to develop and maintain it. Research methods included interviews with school personnel, parents, and other school participants; visits to schools, observing classrooms and attending open houses; and examination of school documents. Findings show that cohesive relationships, commitment to the school, and an understanding of the school's identity are key aspects that enable these schools to sustain their pedagogical approaches successfully. Organizational identity is particularly important because it provides a sense of what the school stands for and promotes; it can act as a resource to schools by providing a framework for the adaptation of environmental contingencies that may threaten a school's approach; and it can provide a place to which schools can return for guidance after periods of upheaval. Appendix A describes Jefferson Elementary School's core values and Appendix B contains Hillside Community School's commitment sheet. (Contains 30 references.) (RT)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Palo Alto, CA.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California