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ERIC Number: EJ821664
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Nov
Pages: 34
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 54
ISSN: ISSN-1040-9289
Shifting Spaces and Emerging Voices: Participation, Support, and Conflict in One School Administrative Team
Austin, Manila S.; Harkins, Debra A.
Early Education and Development, v19 n6 p907-940 Nov 2008
Research Findings: Collaborative work and supportive relationships are highly valued by teachers and school administrators. Collaboration, however, necessitates constructive conflict resolution (P. M. Senge, 1990); yet conflict is often experienced as interpersonally threatening and undermining supportive working conditions. This contradiction is critical for educators wishing to develop prosocial conflict resolution skills in children: It is unrealistic to expect students to resolve conflicts peaceably if adults in the system do not model these behaviors themselves. This study examines the management team of a school engaged in conflict resolution training to assess whether they were able to (a) create a more participatory and supportive team climate and (b) change how team members interacted during conflicts (use of internal state language as well as structural elements--voice and turn-taking behavior--were examined). Results suggest that the team improved its climate along expected dimensions and that, behaviorally, change occurred not according to how much was said or not said by any one teammate, but rather through the shifting dynamics of space "among members"--how teammates "shifted" in relation to each other and how much space team members gave to each other to allow for these shifts to happen. Practice or Policy: Theoretical and practical implications for educators and consultants are discussed. (Contains 2 tables and 3 figures.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A