NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED533277
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 121
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1094-7072-7
Emergent Theory and the Effects of Structural Reforms on De Facto Tracking in Two Comprehensive High Schools
Talbot, Sarah Margaret
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Seattle University
This study accepted the theoretical framework of Friedkin and Thomas (1997), who proposed that tracking systems in large comprehensive high schools are emergent. The study replicates a network analysis methodology used by Heck, Price, and Thomas (2004) to understand the way tracking emerged in one high school in Hawaii. However, this study expanded the use of the method to analyze the effects of a structural reform on tracking in two comprehensive high schools by comparing one graduating class before a reform effort to one that graduated after the reform was enacted. The reforms did reshape tracking in the schools by changing the number of tracks and changing the curriculum that students in some tracks had access to. Hispanic students at one school moved from the middle track to the high track. Unfortunately, that move in track did not correlate with a gain in test scores--the same cohort of students that benefited from more rigorous curriculum earned lower scores on the state assessment than the cohort before the change. Changes in tracking correlated to reduced scores in one school and an undesirable impact on the achievement gap in the other. The conclusion of this researcher based on the findings is that tracking is emergent, and therefore too complex to change through structural reforms. The product of schooling as it is described by this and other research is the replication of social inequities that exist outside of schools within the school walls. The most promising hope for changing the system is to instruction. Teachers who reflect on, research, and implement effective instructional strategies can rewrite the simple set of rules participants in the system use and thus revise the product of schooling from inequity to justice. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Hawaii