Date of Award

12-1994

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Educational Leadership, Research and Technology

First Advisor

Dr. Eugene Thompson

Second Advisor

Dr. James Sanders

Third Advisor

Dr. Paul Williams

Abstract

The purpose of this qualitative case study was two-fold: (1) to describe interim outcomes that occurred within a restructuring school district and the change processes related to each outcome; and (2) to confirm or expand what is known about educational restructuring. Individual interviews were conducted with fifty-five (55) persons including central office administrators, principals, teachers, support staff, parents, and School Board members. Approximately 120 hours were spent in the field observing meetings, classroom activities, and other events. Existing documentation (meeting minutes, policies, and procedures) also was reviewed.

This study produced detailed descriptions o f six categories of interim outcomes that emerged from the data: (1) vision/values; (2) roles/relationships; (3) decision making; (4) policy alignment; (5) resource allocation; and (6) core technology (instruction, curriculum, and assessment). Findings within each of these categories confirm what was previously known about the content or "what" o f restructuring. The characteristics o f each interim outcome were described further by using a continuum which presents six stages o f systemic change. Based upon the study’s findings, each interim outcome was placed in one o f the six stages o f the continuum.

Change processes that were used by the district include reading about and researching restructuring, visiting other restructuring school systems, developing a shared vision o f the future, offering a variety of professional development opportunities, providing time for collaboration and practicing new roles and instructional strategies through a reallocated time plan, and applying quality principles. The use o f quality principles expands what is known about systemic change as few school systems have experimented with quality. The findings indicate that quality principles such as driving out fear, adopting a new philosophy, instituting leadership at all organizational levels, and providing training do facilitate the change process. The district’s reallocated time plan also was related to many interim outcomes.

Finally, the findings were compared and contrasted to seven propositions that restructuring experts argue must be incorporated into successful systemic change efforts. Results indicated that the district has begun to incorporate the seven propositions into its restructuring to varying degrees.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

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