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ERIC Number: EJ794760
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jun
Pages: 27
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0042-0972
Capacity Building: Sustaining Urban Secondary Schools as Resilient Self-Renewing Organizations in the Face of Standardized Educational Reform
Giles, Corrie
Urban Review: Issues and Ideas in Public Education, v40 n2 p137-163 Jun 2008
Historically, the progressive ideas of innovative schools have influenced the professional practice of North American educators since the latter part of the 19th century. Indeed, since the beginning of an industrial society, and now with the birth of globalization and a knowledge economy, there has been a need for public schools to sustain their capacity for innovative self-renewal. Yet, much of the classic literature on change in schools leans implicitly towards overcoming resistance, or the building of short-term capacity enhancements to implement specific reform mandates. Insufficient attention has been paid to understanding the internal and external conditions that are necessary for all schools, particularly those in urban areas, to build and sustain sufficient resilient capacity to self-renew as contextually specific challenges unfold and intersect over time. Building on data from the 1970's and 1980's, this article focuses on the resiliency of two innovative and activist urban secondary schools located in New York State and Ontario, Canada, during a decade of standardized educational reform (1990-2000). A picture of rapid capacity derogation emerges as a result of the particularly inflexible forms of contextually indifferent standardized reform imposed in the 1990's. However, the data suggest that, although much eroded by the cumulative negative impact of socio-economic and political forces over time, the resilient self-renewing capacity of these innovative schools, when coupled with teacher activism, can delay, and even defeat, unwarranted standardization in a bid to ensure the survival of their progressive vision.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada; New York