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A CASE STUDY OF RELUCTANT CHANGE AT A MIDDLE SCHOOL

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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/20803

A CASE STUDY OF RELUCTANT CHANGE AT A MIDDLE SCHOOL

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Title: A CASE STUDY OF RELUCTANT CHANGE AT A MIDDLE SCHOOL
Author: Alexander, Kathy
Advisor(s): Borden, Allison
Committee Member(s): Bova, Breda
Preskill, Stephen
Woodrum, Arlie
Department: University of New Mexico. Division of Educational Leadership and Organizational Learning
Subject(s): restructuring
middle school
understanding change
positive learning environment
policies and mandates that affect teachers
LC Subject(s): Middle school teachers -- Attitudes -- Case studies
School management and organization -- Case studies
Educational change -- Case studies
Degree Level: Doctoral
Abstract: This is a single bounded case study, which investigated reluctant change in one restructuring middle school in a large urban school district in the Southwestern United States. Three research questions were addressed in this study. How do middle school teachers understand school change in a school designated as restructuring? What are the connections among teachers’ understandings of change and how they respond to or act on mandates and policies? What are the processes that will reshape school values and culture to build a positive, creative learning environment? Data were collected via an electronic questionnaire, face-to-face interviews, and document analysis. Teachers saw change as mandated and punitive. When presented with opportunities to make decisions at the school level, teachers believed they could better meet the needs of their students. Teachers saw school change as the evolution of teaching practices based on research as well as on experience and collaboration with peers. When afforded the opportunity for discussion and questions about mandates and policies, they made connections between what they were being required to do (through federal, state, and district mandates) and the classroom. Teachers value communication and the time to communicate. They found the collaborative learning communities at the school to be valuable and expressed favorable reactions to being provided time to work together. By being heard and contributing to the school’s direction, teachers believed they were becoming a more cohesive group that worked well together in a more positive, creative learning environment.
Graduation Date: May 2012
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/20803

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