Advisor

Tom Chenoweth

Date of Award

Spring 6-5-2013

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership: Administration

Department

Educational Leadership and Policy

Physical Description

1 online resource (xx, 307 pages)

Subjects

Educational change -- Handbooks manuals etc, School administrators -- In-service training, School improvement programs

DOI

10.15760/etd.1067

Abstract

As budget belts tighten in the public schools today, more and more schools are moving toward participation in federal Schoolwide Title I Programs to most effectively meet the needs of struggling students. This study seeks to inform school administrators how best to approach this yearlong change initiative by both meeting the needs of the rigorous federal standards and facilitating a positive school climate for staff, students, and community. Using a Problem-Based Learning method, the purpose of this study was to research, develop, and validate a handbook for shaping school culture during a major school change project while creating or maintaining a positive school culture. The handbook was developed as a resource for principals, and will ultimately be disseminated to Oregon school leaders with the goal of improving the transition process from a Targeted-Assistance Program (TAP) to a Schoolwide Title I Program (SWP).

Research and development (R&D) methodology (Borg & Gall, 1989) was used to develop and validate Moving to a Schoolwide Title I Program: The Path Principals Should Follow to Maintain a Healthy School Culture. The literature review and the researcher's experience in Title I schools provided the necessary information to build the preliminary product (prototype). Field-test reviewers used an evaluation rubric to measure efficacy, practicality, effectiveness, and impact on school climate for each section of the handbook. The handbook was reviewed by three groups: principals of Title I schools, Title I directors and coordinators, and Title I compliance officials. The handbook was then piloted by the principal of an elementary school that is currently making the transition from a TAP to a SWP.

Changes in the school's curriculum and innovations in the classroom, even if they are beneficial to student learning, can be challenging to the health of the school culture. Research suggests that school culture is defined by rituals, expectations, relationships, curricular focus, co-curricular activities, decision-making processes, school requirements, and a sense of the "way we do things here" (Bower, 1966, p. 22). School culture directly impacts a school's social, emotional, and academic end results.

Through conversations with educators across the state, it is evident that the transition is not always sustainable or fully implemented by all staff, and many times the efforts for change are overcome by resistance, and the momentum toward change is abandoned. The handbook promotes the idea that though collaboration, shared leadership, data driven instruction, and staff buy-in, the yearlong transition process is not only possible, but it can also positively impact a variety of aspects which make up the school culture in hopes of creating a sustainable change.

Persistent Identifier

http://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/9890

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