Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)

Program

Educational Leadership

Date of Award

5-2010

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Eric S. Glover

Committee Members

Catherine H. Glascock, Elizabeth Ralston, Pamela H. Scott

Abstract

Schools and districts are implementing more change initiatives because of an increase in accountability through national, state, and city requirements. Teachers and administrators are responsible for adhering to change initiatives and producing the results to bring the reform initiative to a successful fruition. This study explores the attitudes that are prevalent in the schools regarding reform initiatives and the change process.

A qualitative research method was used to explore the prevailing attitudes about change among teachers and administrators. Teachers were not opposed to changing if their students would benefit from the change; however, changing just for change sake was not acceptable. Themes of teacher empowerment and voice were prevalent. Teachers wanted to be heard because they had the expertise within the classroom with their students and they wanted the autonomy to shape reform initiatives to fit the needs of their classrooms. School support, district support, and community support were important systems to ensure success of reform initiatives. Within each support system were important roles and responsibilities teachers depended upon for resources as a reform initiative progressed. In addition, teachers spoke candidly about essential professional development opportunities and collaboration within their schools. Teachers addressed the 4 reform initiatives pertinent to this study and discussed the impact of the initiatives on the classrooms.

Reform initiatives are not cure-alls for what is ailing the public schools; however, there is a place for reform within each school and district. Teachers want to have valid data and clear cut goals and objectives to support the reform. Principals and superintendents have roles and responsibilities before, during, and after a reform initiative because teachers look to them for cues regarding reform. The 4 reform initiatives studied are still having an impact on classes today, some more than others.

This study adds to the development of knowledge about the change process and change initiatives. It provides a framework for administrators involved with change to understand the preconceived notions and explore ways to reshape those notions. It may also aid future developers of reform initiatives as they develop programs for schools to adopt.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

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