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ERIC Number: EJ904296
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Dec
Pages: 38
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 52
ISSN: ISSN-0013-161X
Linking the Central Office and Its Schools for Reform
Johnson, Peggy E.; Chrispeels, Janet H.
Educational Administration Quarterly, v46 n5 p738-775 Dec 2010
Purpose: This study investigates how linkages between a central office and its schools served as administrative controls while fostering professional accountability and organizational learning. Method: Using qualitative data sources (interviews, focus groups, observations, field notes, and document reviews), the study examines how resource, structural, communication, relational, and ideological linkages interacted in response to three reform efforts as perceived by 45 school leadership team members, 5 principals, and 10 central office leaders. Findings: Attending to relational linkages was central to initiating reform. Introducing external resources served to link central office leaders and schools enhancing relational and communication linkages but also increased controls. Initially, teachers viewed many of the structural linkages as constraining their ability to provide good instruction, and there was a lack of ideological agreement on instructional approaches. Central office leaders, principals, and school leadership teams recognized the important role that teams, with professional development, could play in supporting the district's efforts to improve teaching and learning. Conclusions: A major contribution of this research is that it begins to clarify how linkages need to be coordinated and which ones may need to be in place for reform success. Relational and ideological linkages are essential for enhancing commitment and professional accountability and for ensuring a coherent instructional focus and organizational learning. In contrast, the structural linkage was the primary vehicle used by the district to exert control, complete organizational tasks, and enforce desired changes. The communication and resource linkages can be seen as boundary spanners between these two theories of organizational change. (Contains 1 figure, 4 tables and 2 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A