The current fragmentation across children's
services represents a fundamental failure to confront the comprehensive
needs of children, youth, and adults. Those responsible for
providing services to children have neglected to begin with the simple,
provocative question: What is it like to be a child who needs help? The current top-down policy approach operates from the organizational
perspective of the multiple providers. We outline here the changing
conditions and needs of children to form a basis for analyzing the
effectiveness of the current services delivered to them. We then move
to the conditions of the services as they presently exist, and to
prescriptions for improving and reconceptualizing policies and
administrative approaches. Finally, we delineate the role of the schools
in this new conceptualization.
We believe there are
problems in how schools relate to different family structures, in how
schools fit into diverse communities, in how schools perform their
roles, and in what the proper roles are. Thus this chapter is a critical
essay rather than a comprehensive review of research literature on
families, communities, and their relationships with schools.
Essentially, three questions guide our excursion on the nature and
status of school, family, and community relations.
I. Where did our current conceptions of the family and the
community originate, and how do these idealized concepts relate to
the political, social, and demographic realities of the 1980s and 1990s?
2. What are meaningful indicators of family, community, and
3. What is meant by the terms "school-community relations" and
In this chapter, we will assess the prospects for school reform by
examining the evidence on the nature of effective schools and their
relationship to teachers and school leaders. We will argue that the
effectiveness research, although a sound beginning for understanding
successful school practices, moved from the laboratory to the real
world before research elucidated more precise yet context-driven
procedures of effective practices.
This chapter is based on the assumption that the relationship
between teachers and principals is at the crux of school restructuring)
Moreover, it is assumed that the notion of "principal" will not
disappear in the immediate future. The American public school
system is too much a conservative social institution to expect a radical
departure from traditional structures of authority and accountability.
However, it is assumed that the concept of educational leadership will
evolve dramatically over the next decade. In other words, tomorrow's
schools will have principals, but the schools will be led in a much
The purposes of this chapter are to (1) describe the fundamental
public sector management strategies and their historic application to
United States education; (2) analyze assumptions contained in the
currently dominant, bureaucratic management strategy and specify
why those assumptions increasingly may fail to make sense; (3)
speculate regarding the models that appear to be evolving to compete
with pyramidal bureaucracy as a dominant mode of school
management; and (4) project the consequences of a shift in
management strategies for administrator practice and preparation and
systematic inquiry about educational administration.
A high school administrator adopts a feminist approach to administration.
This article considers the implications of teacher empowerment for school leadership.
Using faculty recollections of Burton Blatt's tenure as Dean of the School of Education at Syracuse University, this article considers how Blatt was able to have such a powerful impact on his faculty, and what can be learned about the concept of leadership of academic organizations from his legacy.
Curriculum workers, supervisors, and others in leadership roles
are frequently daunted by essentially political forces and pressures that
call for compromise of professional standards or ethics or the diversion
of energies intended to benefit children to other and less legitimate
activities. In some cases, the pressures take the form of mandates or
their equivalent from state governments, state agencies, or other
powerful entities seeking to accomplish certain broad social or
political goals through the instrument of public education. In other
cases, the pressures are more localized and originate with parents, both
individually and collectively, with boards of education, or with the
administrative officers of the local school district. On occasion the
pressures come from prestigious persons, organizations, or other
opinion-influencing entities such as the media. Whatever their origins
or their merit, such pressures sometimes pose enormous problems for
supervisors and eventually dilute, alter, or imperil the overall quality
of educational services. In this chapter we examine these pressures and
consider how curriculum workers are affected by and deal with them.
This chapter is devoted to an explication of how
school principals would promote curriculum work if the metaphor of
teacher as classroom executive were used as a basic guide for
leadership. Research evidence to support the use of this metaphor is
included. The chapter ends with a set of recommendations about how
principal preparation programs might be reconceptualized to make the
use of the classroom executive metaphor more prevalent in schools.
This article cautions that prescriptive announcements for school improvement currently in vogue are not all clearly justified by research on school effectiveness.
The methods of evaluating a teacher's effectiveness are many, yet all assume instructional intentions on the part of the teacher. This paper examines Socrates in order to identify his pedagogical aims and whether his intentions or lack thereof make a difference in explaining why he does what he does.
Teacher supervision is suffering from a legacy of being affiliated with an outmoded integration of science and technology. Dialectical supervision, which emphasizes empowering teachers with ways of knowing that involve continually confronting themselves and searching for more responsive and less dominant educative practices, is proposed as an oppositional view to that of hierarchical scientific management of teaching.
This article responds to the twin calls for teacher leadership and collaboration between schools and universities made by the Holmes Group and the Carnegie Forum.
This paper explores from an organizational theory point of view issues related to standards for entry into teaching, differential staffing models, and school management. The focus is on the central issue of control versus autonomy in the organizational structure of schools.
A call to consider assertive forms of school leadership.
Teachers are in the awkward position of exercising authority, yet have dubious control over the conditions within which they do so. The ideal teacher role is authority exercised in good faith and a commitment to the burdens and uncertainties of educational authority.
A strong conservative current underlies much of what is currently said about authority in schooling. Educational authority should be rooted in the ideal of democratic social transformation, a function it cannot have when conceived of more narrowly in terms of institutional heirarchy and stability.
All educational authority is not contained within the schoolyard fence. Education and re-education are processes in which the authority underlying not just knowledge of things, but value orientations and even self-identity, should be created by communities that are much more enclusive than the profession of education.
As we have seen in the
preceding essays, the term has varied meanings even among professional
humanists. Although this variability makes little difference in
most discussions, it is a critical factor when turning attention to school
improvement. Schools, unlike the more separate settings of universities,
exist in communities and under the close supervision of lay school
boards. The language of the school must be one that is clear to the
community. The term "humanities" is not now a part of that common
Many guidelines for school improvement have emerged from recent research and experience. The connected issues of school improvement and staff development are explored. Guidance for staff development as a part of school improvement is delineated.
Teacher evaluation can be a potent school-improvement tool not because it puts a floor under classroom practices—the goal of accountability-based evaluation models—but because it addresses the incentives central to individual development and the teacher’s sense of professionalism. Evaluation when seen in this light cannot be subjected to the quick fix, but requires the interaction of a host of factors that build on the norms and values central to the teaching profession.
Quality of work-life issues are described in relation to a changing labor force. Organizational issues affecting work motivation include opportunity and power. An integrated approach is taken to productivity and quality of work life.
The underlying impetus giving rise to a consideration of gifted women as a topic separate from the discussion of gifted children or gifted people in general is the fact that the number of men recognized as gifted, creative, or talented in our society far exceeds the number of women who have achieved the same level of success.
Twenty-one years ago, an interdisciplinary committee was formed at the University of Wisconsin to develop a program whereby the University could help schools meet needs of gifted and talented students. Members of the faculties of Education, Engineering, Medicine, Letters and Science, Agriculture, Law, Business, and University Extension worked together over the ensuing years
to design and finance a center for advanced study of pupils who showed superior promise in any field.
The study of teacher planning and decision making has gained considerable momentum in recent years. This acknowledgment by the research community that teachers think, that teaching is not simply a mindless following of formula and folklore, has stimulated a broad range of imaginative descriptive and experimental inquiry.
Philip Jackson called attention to the fact that public school classrooms are characterized by "crowds" and "power" relationships} No other institution in our society (except possibly prisons) requires so many people to spend such long hours in such close physical contact with so little privacy or freedom to pursue personal interests and goals.
Our intention in this chapter is to apply concepts from organizational sociology to problems of classroom order. In doing this, we take issue with the idea that order in a classroom runs along a single dimension from "in order" to "out of order."
A Framework for Conceptualizing Instructional Groups. An important factor determining the teacher's instructional task
is the nature of the students assigned to the class and the teacher's plan for organizing students for instruction. The assignment of students to instructional groups takes place at three levels.
Fuller identified classroom management as a primary focus of concern among student teachers. Experienced teachers mention it as a major problem, and administrators and parents stress it in evaluating teacher competence.