ERIC Number: EJ1083043
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Abstractor: As Provided
Education Reform: The Effects of School Consolidation on Teachers and Teaching
Barter, Barbara G.
Alberta Journal of Educational Research, v60 n4 p674-690 Win 2014
At least as early as the nineteenth century, the two most related approaches to societal improvement have been restructuring and systemic reform. For education, that has meant school closures as well as consolidation of schools and school districts. Although there exists a substantive literature on educational reform there appears to be little discussion on the impact such actions have on schools. This paper briefly describes research on current issues in rural education with a focus on consolidation. The methodology emphasizes teachers' knowledge of practice and is followed by the findings, which highlight the impact these reforms have on practicing teachers. The argument is made that government reforms have adopted consolidation of schools and districts as a primary strategy for fiscal accountability. This focus singles out economics, while excluding the cultural and social context embedded within schools and central to the communities in which the schools are situated. In this paper, the argument put forth is that consolidation as a single-minded strategy of education reform is an inadequate framework that places teachers' work and student learning at risk. The accounts of practicing educators speak for using consolidation only where absolutely necessary and maintaining as many small schools as possible.
Descriptors: School Closing, Consolidated Schools, Educational Change, Educational Research, Rural Education, Knowledge Base for Teaching, Teaching Conditions, School Districts, Educational Finance, Cultural Influences, Social Influences
University of Alberta, Faculty of Education. 845 Education Centre South, Edmonton, AB T6G 2G5, Canada. Tel: 780-492-7941; Fax: 780-492-0236; Web site: http://ajer.synergiesprairies.ca
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A