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This paper assesses how three schools' change capacity influenced the implementation of school reform, specifically Basic education, a renewed curriculum in the first phase of secondary education. It reports on a study that examined the relationship between the characteristics of Dutch schools and their staff, the actual use of change capacity during the implementation process, and the implementation of a school reform. In May 1997 and in December 1998 qualitative and quantitative data were collected in case studies of three comprehensive secondary schools. During the initial visits to the schools, a number of school documents were collected and 10 to 15 interviews were administered at each school. Interviewees included management, members of the coordinating group, student counselors, and coordinators from several departments. During a second visit to the schools more documents were collected and four interviews were administered at each school. The results indicate that the extent to which a school possesses change capacity affects its ability to implement reform. However, no causal relation between this potential for change capacity and the schools' actual use of it was proven. Each of the three case-study schools is described by means of some general characteristics. The schools' vision, planning process, support of learning, and treatment of basic education are briefly elaborated. (Contains 17 references.) (RJM)

Descriptors: Change Agents, Change Strategies, Educational Assessment, Educational Change, Educational Environment, Educational Improvement, Foreign Countries, Program Implementation, Secondary Education

Autor: Klerks, M.; Stokking, K. M.; Lagerweij, N. A. J.


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