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ERIC Number: EJ1150563
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 15
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0032-0684
Evaluating the Impact of Departmentalization on Elementary School Students
Chang, Florence C.; Muñoz, Marco A.; Koshewa, Sheila
Planning and Changing, v39 n3-4 p131-145 2008
The increasing accountability demands are leading some districts to departmentalize or consider departmentalizing at the elementary school level (Delviscio & Muffs, 2007). Departmentalization allows teachers to specialize and teach one content area in-depth which may, in turn, lead to higher accountability test scores. Although, due to accountability pressures, schools may feel it is more important to departmentalize, this might not be the best way to improve school connectedness and its outcome--student success. In fact, unless combined with looping, a departmentalization model decreases the amount of contact time between students and teachers, which, in turn, may decrease the likelihood that students feel attached to their teachers. Previous research indicated that students who feel closer to their teachers have fewer behavior problems and higher gains in academic skills (Pianta & Stuhlman, 2004; Silver et al., 2005). The current study examined the relationship between departmentalization and student connectedness to school. Findings indicated that a departmentalization model, where a student interacts with multiple teachers, does not necessarily facilitate the establishment of a caring classroom where students feel connected. If we agree that students' connectedness to school is intimately related to academic success, then it is imperative to move to a whole-child approach where teachers are aware of each student's learning style.
Department of Educational Administration and Foundations. College of Education, Illinois State University, Campus Box 5900, Normal, IL 61790-5900. Tel: 309-438-2399; Fax: 309-438-8683; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (ED)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Kentucky (Louisville)
Grant or Contract Numbers: R215S020169