ERIC Number: ED466999
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001
Playing by Someone Else's Rules: A Phenomenological Study of Vocational Teachers' Lived Experiences under School Reform.
Reinsel, Michael D.
The experiences of six vocational education teachers from several high schools in Chesapeake County, Maryland, who "lived under" the educational reforms of the past 2 decades were examined in a phenomenological study. The study, which used the approach designed by Van Manen in "Researching Lived Experience," included consideration of the researcher's personal experience; the experiential descriptions of others; open-ended and repeated conversations with teachers to generate themes and key words or phrases that open up the phenomenon; etymological tracings of words to reveal more about the phenomenon; and experiential descriptions found in literate and art to understand the phenomenon more fully. The teacher's experience under school reform was determined to be similar to the following stages of grief experienced by dying patients: (1) denial and isolation; (2) anger; (3) bargaining; (4) depression; and (5) acceptance. The stories collected during the study provided evidence that sharing their stories of "life under reform" helps vocational teachers feel less alone, enables them to begin imagining and talking about a better future under reform, and allows them to put their pain to good use by understanding how it has transformed them. The importance of school reform and teachers finding ways to draw strength from one another was emphasized. (Contains 24 references.) (MN)
Descriptors: Adjustment (to Environment), Attitude Change, Behavior Change, Collegiality, Educational Change, Educational Environment, Grief, Hermeneutics, High Schools, Literature Reviews, Onomastics, Peer Relationship, Phenomenology, Research Methodology, Secondary School Teachers, Teacher Attitudes, Teaching Experience, Vocational Education, Vocational Education Teachers
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 (New Orleans, LA, April 1-5, 2002).