ERIC Number: EJ727403
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Reference Count: 30
Change Over Time? An Introduction? A Reflection?
Louis, Karen Seashore
Educational Administration Quarterly, v42 n1 p165-173 2006
Each of the articles included in this issue launched the author backward into nostalgia and reconsideration of her own work as they motivated her to ask new questions in current and future studies. The author's goal, therefore, is not to provide a linear road map through the articles but to point to themes and ideas that run through the project and to provide a personal perspective on the questions they stimulate. Virtually every study of culture and change includes Sarason or Clark as a key reference, but few have taken up the challenge that they pose: Can we change the culture? If so, how? Even with the current rash of interest in organizational learning and professional learning communities, few systematic studies of efforts to induce shifts in culture using these concepts (Scribner, Cockrell, Cockrell, & Valentine, 1999) have been seen. But the group of articles included in this volume goes beyond the questions posed by Sarason and Clark by looking outside the school to consider a larger context for educational renewal. Again, the "big question" that the articles raise-how is school improvement affected over the long run by the broader culture and sociopolitical context-is not novel. But it has been largely ignored in recent years, except by historians (Cuban, 1984; Tyack & Tobin, 1994). What this study presents is not archival history but living history revealed by participants in an evolving process that is both intentional and reactive to evolving mandates and environmental circumstances. This project draws attention to the enormous complexity of measuring change characterized by influences within larger geographic social spaces and longer time frames. As such, it demands reflection on what is meant by school improvement-a much used but poorly defined term.
Descriptors: Educational Change, Educational Improvement, Foreign Countries, School Districts, Social Influences, Case Studies, High Schools, Urban Schools, Academic Standards, Time, Educational Innovation, Instructional Leadership, Change Strategies, Educational History, Teacher Role
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States