The quest for more effective schools has perhaps never been more challenging than it is today. Here, the authors consider and investigate that challenge from the cultural perspective.
Rossman, Corbett, and Firestone examined three high schools in the midst of change. Teachers and administrators consented to grant the authors a year in each of their respective settings in order to understand better their unique system of norms, beliefs, and values as well as to track their reactions to events. The ensuing observations and interviews reveal a rich and detailed picture of the efforts to accommodate new policies and practices as well as some of the sources of resistance to change in the schools. The record of the authors' journeys with these schools provides educators, policy makers, and researchersall those interested in school change and renewal as well as staff development in the schoolswith a better understanding of the complex texture and meaning of educational refor
About the Author
Gretchen B. Rossman is Associate Professor of Education and Director of the Leadership and Administration Program at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
H. Dickson Corbett is the Director of Improvement Studies at Research for Better Schools, Inc. in Philadelphia.
William A. Firestone is Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Education, and Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Policy Research in Education at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.
Table of Contents
The Central Argument
Change: Cultural and Planned
2 Monroe High School: The Comprehensive Ideal and Basic Skills Improvement
Monroe High School
Perspectives on Purpose
The Basic Literacy Program and Teacher Responses
3 Westtown: Improvement Efforts in a Good School
Westtown High School
The Faculty Talks
Change at Westtown
The Sacred and Change
4 Somerville High School: A School for Good Citizens
The Inner Circle
Discipline and Order
Education for Tomorrow: Work and the Individual
Challenges to Autonomy
5 Culture and Change
Variations in Local School Cultures
Faculty Responses to Change
Observations on Behavioral and Cultural Change
6 Culture and Effectiveness
Definitions of Effectiveness
Appropriate Definitions of Effectiveness