Type of Document Dissertation Author Vartenisian, John Paul Author's Email Address firstname.lastname@example.org URN etd-012999-133354 Title An Elementary School Speaks Out: Their Decision To Initiate An Innovation Degree Doctor of Education Department Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Fortune, Jimmie C. Committee Co-Chair Gillespie, Diane Newkirk Committee Co-Chair Abouzeid, Mary P. Committee Member Carlton, Patrick W. Committee Member Earthman, Glen I. Committee Member Keywords
- School change
- innovation change
Date of Defense 1998-12-15 Availability unrestricted Abstract
This study is a retrospective examination of elements that influenced one
elementary school staff to initiate and implement a school-wide innovation in
their reading program in 1990-91. This school served 315 preschool children
through grade three in small town set in the rural countryside. Case study
methodology was used to discover how the change was initiated; why the
particular program elements were chosen; the role of the staff, the principal, and
the parents played in initiating the innovation; and what lessons this school’s
experience may have for school reform.
As the school community planned for the initiation of their new reading
program, the “whole language” approach to reading was gaining momentum. The
notion of “early intervention” was popularly used to describe a variety of methods
educators were using to deal with evidence of reading failure in young children.
Their stories describe the challenges this school staff felt as they attempted a year-long
initiative to merge phonics and whole language into a holistic approach to
reading for grades one through three. Findings were reported around seven central
themes emerging from the data collection, including: 1) empowerment, 2)
academic improvement, 3) shared vision/beliefs, 4) collaboration, 5) focus on
children’s needs, 6) site-based decision making, 7) participatory leadership.
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