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Changing Students/Changing Needs


by Aaron Pallas, Gary Natriello & Edward L. McDill 1995

We begin by describing the context of contemporary American schooling. We then examine the consequences of this context for the social organization of schools and schooling, drawing on organizational theory to help us understand the relationship between schools and their external environments. Next we consider the consequences of context and school organization for students' experiences in schools, focusing particularly on the ways in which schools attempt to resolve the quintessential American dilemma of creating citizens who are at once individual and different on the one hand, and unified and equal on the other hand. We conclude by exploring some of the tensions of this dilemma in school context, school organization, and student experiences, and we speculate on the likely consequences for schools of the future.


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This article originally appeared as NSSE Yearbook Vol 94, No. 2.


Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 96 Number 6, 1995, p. 30-58
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 18825, Date Accessed: 10/20/2017 3:18:09 AM

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About the Author
  • Aaron Pallas
    Michigan State University
    AARON M. PALLAS is Associate Professor of Educational Administration at Michigan State University.
  • Gary Natriello
    Teachers College, Columbia University
    E-mail Author
    GARY NATRIELLO is Associate Professor of Sociology and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University.
  • Edward McDill
    Johns Hopkins University
    EDWARD L. MCDILL is Professor of Sociology at Johns Hopkins University.
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