An ethnographic evaluation of an innovative educational restructuring program

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An ethnographic evaluation of an innovative educational restructuring program
Coen, Tanya Leigh
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Denver, CO
University of Colorado Denver
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xi, 256 leaves : ; 29 cm.


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Educational innovations -- Colorado -- Greeley ( lcsh )
Interdisciplinary approach in education -- Colorado -- Greeley ( lcsh )
Teaching teams -- Colorado -- Greeley ( lcsh )
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )


Thesis (M.A.)--University of Colorado at Denver, 1992. Anthropology
Includes bibliographical references.
General Note:
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree, Master of Arts, Department of Anthropology.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Tanya Leigh Coen.

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University of Colorado Denver
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|Auraria Library
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26787551 ( OCLC )


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AN ETHNOGRAPHIC EVALUATION OF AN INNOVATIVE EDUCATIONAL RESTRUCTURING PROGRAM by Tanya Leigh Coen B.A., University of Northern Colorado, 1985 A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Colorado at Denver in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Anthropology 1992 J


This thesis for the Master of Arts degree by Tanya Leigh Coen has been approved for the Department of Anthropology ig R. Janet R. Moone Date


Coen, Tanya Leigh (M.A. Anthropology) An Ethnographic Evaluation of an Innovative Educational Restructuring Program Thesis directed by Professor Craig Janes ABSTRACT This thesis do.cuments the ethnographic evaluation of a current educational restructuring effort at a K-12 school. In the Fall of 1988, the School, situated on the campus of U.N.C.the University of Northern Colorado (Greeley, Colorado)-set out to implement an innovative educational restructuring program. The initiation of this program was generally perceived by faculty as a mandate from administrators on the UNC campus. A popular understanding by participants of this effort as to why these changes were initiated related to now-pervasive beliefs throughout the country that our educational system is severely impaired. The Laboratory school program is implementing a set of 13 "key features" that were developed by a committee of faculty, administrators, and students to guide the development of these changes. The 13 key features as initially defined and described in the "new Lab School" bulletin are as follows: appropriate technology, authentic exhibition, autonomous learning, business iii


and community education, developmental grouping, early childhood education, global and community awareness, interdisciplinary education, school climate, site-based decision making, social responsibility and service, teacher education, and wellness. These key features are similar to many components currently being heralded in educational contexts throughout the country. The issues being addressed through these key features at the Lab School as I summarize them include an emphasis on team teaching and interdisciplinary education; an emphasis on social responsibility and service through community service and internships; a redistribution of decision-making power which would encourage greater involvement by teachers, students, and parents in planning and decision making; a move toward autonomous learning; and an emphasis on grouping students according to gradations of skill development in multiple areas rather than by age. The Lab School was relatively successful. However, like many long term change efforts, the Lab School's dynamic and complex restructuring effort comprised numerous contradictions. These resulted from interpersonal dynamics; power dynamics internal and immediately external to the Lab School; the social, historical, political context of the education system in the U.S.; iv


inadequate funding; the nature of change itself; differences regarding what the changes were about and how they were to be implemented, etc. This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidate's thesis. I recommend its publication. Signed v


Acknowledgements I wish to thank the Anthropology Department at the University of Colorado Denver for helping me survive what seemed at times like a lifelong journey. I wish to thank the secretary Lee Rozinski. I wish to thank my committee who provided numerous helpful suggestions on my thesis. I want to especially thank my advisor, Dr. Craig Janes for his enduring guidance, flexibility, tolerance and assistance in helping me get the most out of the Applied Anthropology program at UCD and for helping me to make significant strides towards alleviating my feelings of horror related to "the educational system" which have accumulated over the years. Further, I want to thank the Laboratory School director Jerry Christensen for giving me the opportunity to apply anthropology in a unique setting. I want to thank the students, parents, staff, and teachers of the Laboratory School for allowing me significant freedom of the school for a year and a half. I hope this thesis will be valuable in recapturing the history of the innovations of the Laboratory School. Further, I wish to thank those in the Anthropology Program at UNC especially Dr. Michael Higgins and secretary Dee Belo for the continued and frequent use of their office when I was office-less. Finally, I wish to give my most profound thanks to my editor, Marsha Moore-Jazayeri for her never ending life saving assistance. I wish to note that throughout this thesis I am using pseudonyms, with the exception of the director and the two principals, to ensure the confidentiality of the participants of the Laboratory School. vi


CONTENTS CHAPTER 1. ::IN"TR.ODUCTlON .............................................................................. l A Need for Change ......................................................................... 1 Setting ................................................................................................ 3 Background ...................................................................................... 4 Origins of the Restructuring Process .......................................... 7 A Need for Significant Change .............................................. 7 The Lab School and It's Restructuring Plan ............................ 11 Major Components and Concepts of the Lab School Restructuring Process .............................................. 13 Key Features ............................................................................. 13 Education, Family Style ......................................................... 18 Restructuring Process ................................................................... 19 An Ethnographic Profile: A Composite View of a Day in the Life of the "New" Lab School ......................... 21 The Role of an Ethnographic Assessor .................................... 30 Definition ................................................................................. 30 How the Ethnographic Method Captures Change ..................................................................... 31 Why Is It Valuable? ................................................................ 33 Conclusion and Summary .......................................................... 35 viii


2. METHODS ......................................................................................... 40 Etllnography ................................................................................... 40 Fieldwork ........................................................................................ 42 Participant Observation ......................................................... 42 Interviews ................................................................................. 43 Informal Interviews ......................................................... 43 Semi-Structured Interviews ........................................... 44 Questionnaires ........................................................................ 45 Use of Archival Material. ...................................................... 46 Field Notes ............................................................................... 46 Field Jottings ...................................................................... 46 Field Notes: Descriptive and Methodological. .......................... : ...................................... 46 Analytic Notes ................................................................... 47 Field Diary .......................................................................... 47 Field Log .............................................................................. 47 3. LITERATURE REVIEW ................................................................. 49 Introduction ................................................................................... 49 Current Educational Restructuring Debates and Issues ......................................................................... SO Critical Pedagogy and Postmodernism ............................... 55 The Origins of Anthropology and Education ......................... 77 The Emergence of a Subdiscipline ............................................ 78 Conclusions ................................................................................... 82 ix


4. THE CURRENT RESTRUCTURING EFFORT: THE "NEW" LABORATORY SCHOOL ...................................... 95 The Laboratory School: 1890-1989 .............................................. 95 Key Features: The Establishment of a New Direction ......................................................................................... 97 Integrated Learning .............................................................. 100 Interdisciplinary Education .......................................... 100 Team Teaching ................................................................ 103 Wellness ........................................................................... 110 An Emphasis Toward "Beyond the Classroom Education": Applying Your Know ledge ................................................................... 116 Social Responsibility and Service ................................ 117 Business/Community Education ................................ 125 Global/Community Education and Awareness ................................................................ 129 Increased Access .................................................................... 143 Developmental Grouping ............................................. 143 Student-ParentTeacher Conferences ......................... 149 Advisor-Advisee Groups .............................................. 154 Autonomous Learning .................................................. 158 Site-Based Decision Making ......................................... 163 Appropriate Technology ............................................... 170 X


Authentic Exhibition ..................................................... 173 P.L.P.'s-Portfolios ............................................................ 180 5. TOWARDS THE NEW LAB SCHOOL. ..................................... 185 General Concerns, What's Missing? ................................ 185 Context for Long Term Implementation and Planning .......................................................................... 186 Increased Access? /Why no Emphasis on Multiculturalism? /Empowering for Whom? ............... 193 Education Family Style--Which Family .......................... 199 Decentralization .................................................................... 200 Why So Much Resistance to Unions? .............................. 202 Material Resources/Money-Technology ........................ 203 The Missing Theoretical Voice .......................................... 204 Recommendations ............................................................... 208 Decentralization .............................................................. 212 Curriculum Development ............................................ 215 Multiculturalism ............................................................ 217 The Foundation for Change ......................................... 222 Conclusion ............................................................................. 223 NOTES ................................................................................................... 236 BIBLIOGRAPHY .................................................................................. 248 xi


CHAPTERl INTRODUCTION A Need for Change In the Fall of 1988, the Laboratory School situated on the campus of U.N.C.-the University of Northern Colorado (Greeley, Colorado) -set out to implement an innovative educational restructuring program. The initiation of this program, generally perceived by faculty as a mandate from administrators on the U.N.C. campus, was a reaction to now pervasive beliefs throughout the country that our educational system is in a critical state of declining effectiveness. Generally, critiques directed at the educational system in the U.S. have been concerned that it needs to be "democratized" and made more relevant for the majority if not all of its participants. In addition, like reasons given for implementing changes in previous decades (1960's-70's), fear of the declining prominence of the U.S. in the world, in terms of power, control, and visibility has been a major factor in currently motivating advocates of change (Giroux and Aronowitz 1990; Pullan and Stiegelbauer 1991; Popkewitz 1991). Regarding this strong belief that our educational system is grossly inadequate, other justifications regarding the need for change


are currently being advocated throughout the country. The concern over education in the U.S. as having limited access has been linked in many efforts across the country to calls for increased sensitivity to multicultural issues. Another related critique has been directed at the hierarchical nature of decision making and planning in which the broad-based collective participation of students, parents, and teachers in the decision-making and planning process has typically been discouraged. In addition, advocates of educational restructuring around the country have been concerned that there is too much emphasis on grades, passing, and standardized tests and not enough on learning. Finally, many advocates of educational restructuring have been concerned with the traditional segmentation of the school into separate knowledges, expertises, classes, periods, and sections which imply a lack of interconnectedness, influencing how the world is perceived and approached. Similarly, the relevance of the traditional, concrete separation between school and "reality,"-or real life outside of school, is currently being strongly questioned. These concerns to qualitatively imp:rove the educational system have called forth new attempts to make education more.accessible, make interrelationships the norm, and devise strategies which focus on applying knowledge outside of the classroom in the community and the world (Giroux and Aronowitz 1990; Pai 1990; Popkewitz 1991). 2


The Laboratory School in Greeley, Colorado, has also been concerned 'With many of these issues. To guide and structure the unique history and circumstances of the Laboratory School, a committee of faculty, students, and parents developed a framework for change in 1988-89 which they defined and described as a set of 13 "key features" which they would seek to implement. The context of planning and implementation around these 13 educational restructuring "key features" was the focus of the change process at the Laboratory School and will be the focus of my thesis. Setting The Laboratory School is a relatively small, K-12 public, university-funded school. It is located in Greeley, Colorado. Greeley, Colorado, is a predominantly agricultural based community in northern Colorado. Its population is approximately 60,500. It is a university town and its minimal cosmopolitanism comes from access to the students and life of the university. It is predominantly Anglo _with the north and east sides of the city occupying its large Hispanic (Mexicans, Mexican-Americans, Central Americans, South Americans) working class population (1). The Lab School's 650-750 students are mainly middle class Anglos drawn from all parts of the Greeley population. Apart from the majority Anglo student population (80%), 3


about 15% of its population is Hispanic, with a smaller quantity (5%) of African-Americans, Asian-Americans (Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Korean) and others. All faculty are Anglo (of varying European backgrounds), with the exception of one non-Anglo staff The Lab School facility includes an infant unit of 65-70 children that is somewhat separate in terms of these current restructuring efforts and a kindergarten (level 1) with 150 children (2). The elementary continuum (level 2) is comprised of 150 students and 9 teachers. One hundred and fifty students and 10 teachers make up the middle school (level3). High School is split into 2levels: level4 (mainly 9th, lOth graders) containing 10 teachers and 150 students and levelS, which is comprised of 10 teaChers and 150 11th and 12th graders. There are 3 administrators at the Lab School, a director, one elementary and middle school principal, and one high school principal. Background The Laboratory School has been in operation for 100 years, since the origins of the University itself. It has gone through numerous changes during this time, although the current changes are described by all to be the most sweeping. As previously stated, laboratory schools like this one have historically been thought of as innovative. At this school, this innovation has been reflected mainly in its small 4


size. This has always offered students and teachers a more personalized learning environment. Its smallness has also added to a somewhat exclusive reputation. Contributing to this reputation are the attitudes and beliefs by the general community that this is where the university faculty send their offspring. In contextualizing the Lab School and its population, it is common knowledge that Greeley is a community that has remained fairly geographically segregated residentially in terms of its Anglo/Hispanic populations. This has led to distrust and antagonism between the two populations. At times these feelings by Anglo parents have been transformed into a desire to send their kids to the Lab School in hopes of avoiding the other predominantly Hispanic high schools in Greeley (3) (Flannigan; Leal; Lucero; Romero 1987). The small size of the Laboratory School and its desirability have made it necessary for students to wait for up to 6 years, especially at the kindergarten, elementary and middle school level, for an opening. High school is generally much easier to enter. As conveyed to me by Greg Pierson, the high school principal, admission to the Lab School varies from level to level. For kindergarten, parents basically fill out an application. They are placed on a waiting list, according to when the application was filled out. Then students are invited until there is a mix in terms of gender, class and ethnicity. In high school, students fill out an application, but there exists no waiting list as in elementary and 5


middle school. This reflects the reality that, upon entering high school, friends are already generally made and students are more established. At 9th grade 25-30 new students are generally brought in to compensate for those who have graduated. In high school, all students and their parents are also interviewed by Pierson, the high school principal. In the interview they are asked what they know about the Lab School, why they want to be there. Pierson states that he will not reject a student; however, he notes that important to accepting students is their reaction to whether they want to be at the Lab School because, if they don't want to be there, they won't be happy or successful. During the interview, Pierson tells them about the school, he asks questions, and lets them ask questions. In elementary school, where there are only 20-25 students per class, there are probably 600-700 students on the waiting list. In middle school, as students move into high school, another 25-30 students are brought in .. In high school, there are generally 50-100 students waiting to get into the 9th grade. After that, the waiting list dwindles to nothing. As part of the admittance policy, a collaborative pact exists between Pierson and other high school principals throughout Greeley that the Lab School will take kids that are having problems at other schools. 6


Origins of the Restructuring Process A Need for Significant Change During the school year (1988), messages began sifting down from the UNC administration to the Laboratory School administration (a director and two principals), faculty, students, and parents. The message was that significant and rapid changes were needed at the Lab School. The Lab School administration was told that the Lab School "did not look different enough," and that unless it soon appeared significantly different, it would be closed down and be turned into something else. Those at the Laboratory School were essentially given a 3-year time line to make significant ground in a "different" direction. This mandate initiated by the UNC administration, seemingly motivated by the need for democratic changes at the Lab School, set the stage for numerous contradictions which were to follow. The pervasive message spread throughout the Lab School from the UNC administration and at times Lab School administration was that these changes resulted from some kind of spontaneous call from the people (meaning teachers, students, parents at the Lab School). Actual Lab School participants, however, always greeted these statements 'With chuckles and expectant skepticism. Knowing indeed that the changes 7


were not initiated in such a democratic demonstration of unity, negotiation, and urgency, these same participants seemed in one sence to accept their fate quite quickly, to accept that in general, despite how they were initiated, the changes were not an entirely bad idea. (In fact many felt that these changes were no different from many faculty had attempted before.) The participants just wanted to get on with the business of the change. In short, Lab School participants were used to being in a subordinate position to their own and UNC's administration. As a "Lab School," they were used to the cycles and mandates for change and more or less expected and accepted them. It was general knowledge, especially by teachers, that it would not, however, be those in the "ivory tower" doing the real day to day planning, constructing, implementing, and actualizing of the specifics of the restructuring plan. Instead of acknowledging these power politics, the generation of these messages by the administration was perpetuated. And, in general the Lab School and UNC administration generally denied any contrasting story. UNC administrators, including the Dean of the College of Education, generally resolved these tensions by the usual academic distance that administrators are allowed and rarely if ever set foot in the Lab School, much less to begin these changes collaboratively with teachers, students, and parents. Lab School administrators on the 8


other hand seemed to wax between solidarity with the Lab School community and the uncomfortable position of being careful not to contradict the messages emanating from above them (4). At times Lab School administrators would reply that these changes were indeed "bottom-up," citing teachers' collective planning meetings (site-based decision making), their goals of decentralization such as self-directed and autonomous learning for students, and other proposed goals. These statements by Lab School administrators would partially calm critics because they were not altogether false and were, in fact, to be the "ideal" goals of the new Lab School. With the mandate in place, committees formed, research being done on similar educational changes, concepts, strategies, and an overall plan developed, the. democratic spirit of the changes in theory was set in motion, and there was not much Lab School administrators, teachers, students, and parents could do about changing this general direction. Thus, the Lab School participants did begin the process of trying to keep their jobs in the midst of change and to accomplish within the three year time line (also mandated) the specifics of the restructuring plan. However good intentioned the initiation of these changes might have been they were rarely if ever adequately conveyed or discussed with those who would be responsible for carrying them out day to day (5). These contradictions interfered and were carried along with the changes over time. For example if the core of these overall changes 9


were to be some kind of move towards more democracy, then these initial non-democratic actions set the tone for how democracy would be defined. Clearly, the message sent to teachers and others was that there were clear boundaries to democratic restructuring or clear boundaries for who was expected to play by the rules and who was not. The fact that the UNC administrators had sent down a mandate, disappeared, and then expected Lab School administrators to defend it also set in motion contradictions. When, for example, Lab School administrators attempted to defend or perpetuate UNC administrators' positions, they were increasingly met with antagonism and skepticism from teachers and sometimes from students and parents. When and if Lab School administrators made it clear that they were also just taking orders, admitting the problematic nature of their superiors' words, and not attempting to carry through their superiors' authoritarian managerial style, solidarity between teachers and Lab School administrators could then have been more solidified. More solidarity and communication between Lab School administrators and other participants (especially faculty) would have helped them to unify together in terms of the Lab School's own issues, and they would have been better able to confront the power and fallacies of the UNC administration. fustead, in most cases, UNC administrators were 10


isolated from real engagement and cowardly used Lab School administrators to do their dirty work for them (6). In this first year (I was not hired until the second year), several faculty members, conveyed to me that intensive discussions on how to approach the changes did begin between administrators, faculty, students, and parents. The change had begun. One committee was formed to investigate similar projects at two other schools around the country; another committee was responsible for bringing in new ideas, researching change efforts in general; and still another committee was responsible for constructing the "key features" for the project (7). Along with the need to construct new modes of evaluation for teachers and students, the director of the Lab School was told by his superiors at the University of Northern Colorado that a general descriptive evaluation was needed as a further component in this process. After numerous meetings with the director of the Laboratory School at this time, I was hired the next fall as the on-site ethnographic evaluator for 1 1/2 years (8). The Lab School and Its Restructuring Plan Laboratory schools in general, including the Lab School on the University of Northern Colorado campus, have been known for their histories of innovative educational strategies. These innovations have 11


typically comprised the variable of small size (small schools relative to most public schools, and relatively small classrooms in terms of student/teacher ratio), a relationship with the university to focus on and support teacher education (9), a variety of team teaching strategies, and a personalized learning context (a focus on individualized attention to students and the encouragement of student participation in student/ teacher I parent conferences). The current "restructuring effort" at the Laboratory School has been an attempt to build on these historic innovations and has been supported, if not initiated, by university administrators. With the full blown initiation of the changes in fal11989 I was hired to do an ethnographic evaluation (10) of the restructuring effort. The evaluation of these complex, and dynamic processes at the Lab School mainly involved the use of ethnographic research skills to look at the internal dynamics of the educational restructuring process--how the "key features" were being implemented, how all the actors involved perceived and adjusted to the change process, and the program's relationship to the wider social and political environment. 12


Major Components and Concepts of the Lab School Restructuring Process Key Features As previously noted, 13 overlapping "key features" were to be the focus of these changes. As generally perceived by numerous people involved in educational restructuring throughout the U.S., including those at the Lab School, educational changes were generally perceived by the majority as necessary to meet the challenge of an increasingly complex world:, to move towards "more democratic" strategies of teaching and learning, and to make up the huge deficit in our educational system, a result of years of falling behind. To meet these challenges Lab School faculty, teachers and students came together to research and construct their own plan, framed by these 13 key features for development and change. With the development of the program at the Lab School, I witnessed features being combined and emphasized in a slightly different manner than appears in the key features bulletin created in 1988-89 to guide the Lab Schools initial direction. My modification reflects the reality that the key features were created before the actual changes began and were not able to account for the constant changes along the way (which people generally seemed to accept). Also, the 13


initial key features descriptions in a way provided more of a general structure to guide the changes than an absolute rule. Further, in my role as ethnographic assessor (beginning Fall1989), my own interpretation regarding how I saw the key features practically and pragmatically fitting together informed my perceptions. All of these realities informed the way I thought and wrote about the key features. Thus, throughout the main body of the thesis, as I describe the overall implementation of these features, I use a framework which has been slightly modified in structure from the original structure as laid out in the key features bulletin. This modified structure involves a loose grouping of the key features into 3 categories: Integrated Learning; An Emphasis Toward Beyond the Classroom Education: Applying your Knowledge; and Increased Access. Below I will summarize the key features definitions, framed by my subjective clustering and interpretion of how they were both initially defined and practically approached. Defining my first key feature subsection as "integrated learning," I have included the following three key features: interdisciplinary education, team teaching, and wellness. These three components ideally emphasize wholism. The "interdisciplinary approach," while recognizing the unique value of knowledge and disciplines, also focuses on the interrelationship between them (Key Features Bulletin 1989). ''Team teaching" is compatible with 14


interdisciplinary education and facilitates that approach by drawing together diverse disciplines and people. "Wellness" is a philosophy which underlies the structure of the Lab School. It is also taught as a class and emphasizes the multidimensional aspect of wellness from physical wellness, to social, psychological, and sexual wellness. The second category of key features as I have grouped them are "beyond-the-classroom education: applying knowledge." These include the three key features of: social responsibility and service, business and community education, and global and community awareness. In addition, in the main body of my thesis (chapter 4), under the key feature global and community awareness, I have placed the three sub-features of internships, shadowing, and colloquium. The three key features in this category and their sub-features emphasize a desire to acknowledge the world beyond the classroom and the school. The key feature of "social responsibility and service" is related to an emphasis in the curriculum on the relationship between the local and the global contexts. This would involve encouraging students to "clarify their values, intentions and roles" (Key Features Bulletin 1989) as they relate to these issues. The key feature "business and community education" articulates a desire to develop relationships between the private sector and the school. This may entail bringing in outside expertise or developing mentorship or apprenticeship programs for students. "Global and community education and 15


awareness emphasizes a need to research, critically examine, and act on historical and current information related to human and planetary issues" (Key Features Bulletin 1989). To meet these needs internships, shadowing (mini-internships), and colloquia (research and action oriented small groups at the high school level) were created. The third and final categorization of the key features as I have defined them is "increased access." This category contains the key features: developmental grouping, student-parent-teacher conferences, advisor-advisee groups, autonomous learning, site-based decision making, appropriate technology, authentic exhibition, and p.l.p's (personal learning plans)-portfolios. As the category label implies, these key features emphasize a need to make the educational process more inclusive. "Developmental grouping," in contrast to the traditional tracking approach which isolates and alienates a unique group of students, perceives all students as multidimensional, as needing help in some areas and excelling in others. "Student-parent teacher conferences" values the student voice and student participation in contrast to traditional scenarios in which students were excluded except when receiving punitive marks. "Advisor-advisee groups" also values the student voice and is a personalized structure for guiding and advising students on a range of curriculum, career and change related issues. The key feature of "site-based decision-making" targets the need to more equitably distribute decision-making power to 16


teachers, students, and parents. Previously, the majority of this power lay in the hands of the administrators. The goal of implementing "appropriate technology" seeks to give students access to a wide range of technological learning resources. These resources could potentially put students in touch with cross cultural realities through participation in projects such as those involving telecommunications. Access to other appropriate technology, such as computers or video equipment, would help prepare students to meet needs they will face in the work and educational world beyond graduation. "Authentic exhibition" is a strategy to move away from an emphasis on grades (Carnegie units), passing, and quantitative classroom seat time as indicators of learning and move.instead towards creating more qualitative measurement indexes which encourage and chart actual learning and development in the life of the student. Finally, a "p.l.p." (personal learning plan) is a plan devised with the advisors, students, and parents to chart a student's unique educational plan. A "portfolio" is a qualitative documentation of a student's work, including their revisions, evaluations, and development. It is an expression of what a student has done, the process of learning,a record of her /his accomplishments. The portfolio is intended to eventually take the place of grades (Carnegie units). 17


Education, Family Style The model created to define the new change process was "Education, Family Style" (Key Features Bulletin 1989). Essentially, family groups (small group clusterings of students and teachers) were created to frame the decentralized and personalized structure for carrying out the key features. These new "family groups" were central to the change. The Key Features Bulletin states, "families would stay together over time (students and teachers) ... this would be effective in viewing students developmentally ... "(Key Features Bulletin 1989). These small family groups, it was hoped, would be essential for "supporting innovation and risk taking." A supportive environment in which decision making was made locally defined the "family" at the new Lab School. As defined in the Key Features Bulletin 1989"levels (grade clusters) and family decisions will be guided by the Lab School Mission Statement (11), but the intent will be to show confidence in family wisdom, to localize authority, to personalize curriculum, to inject flexibility, and to present an organization that is much more amenable to parent involvement. We expect that the connection between home and school will be strengthened by the common bond of 'family' concepts. Expectations for parents to participate effectively in their children's learning will rise considerably." linked to this 18


concept of "family style learning" was the encouragement of students to move towards autonomy or a self-directed learning experience. Ideally this whole family concept was also linked as "ideally" presented in the key features definitions to ensuring and increasing ethnic and socioeconomic diversity, the transition away from grades/Carnegie Units as the measure for learning to an emphasis on Portfolios, the qualitative record of students range of work and development. Along with this, the "validity of all forms of standardized grading systems would also be strongly questioned and eventually eliminated" (Key Features Bulletin 1989). Finally, a graduation demonstration of accumulated knowledge and experience would be expected of seniors (Key Features Bulletin 1989). Restructuring Process As previously mentioned the major components of the Lab School restructuring process, including the key features, were outlined in the Key Feature Bulletin in 1989. These were created by teams of faculty, students, teachers, and administrators at that time. These components, including the key features were accompanied in the bulletin by relatively lengthy descriptions of their philosophical intent and practical purpose. 19


The degree to which these key features definitions, entirely or partially, were adhered to ranged from very little to a strong commitment to their literalness. Even the literalness of these definitions, to some degree, was open to interpretation. The definitions provided thorough but open guidelines for the change. In general, the professed flexibility (by teachers and Lab School administrators) of the restructuring plan implied that there was adequate room for a range of possible interpretations of meaning, implementation strategies, and change along the way. On the other hand, the extreme underuse of the bulletin for educational purposes and the lack of reference to it by Lab School teachers also gave me the impression at times that the structure and definition of the changes was up for grabs leaving little desire of participants (mainly teachers) to unify on structure, style, interpretations, or definitions of the changes. For example, the extent of many students' knowledge of these components and subcomponents of change by name or definition was extremely limited especially in the first two years of the change process. The use of this bulletin to educate parents and teachers could have been an invaluable tool. Instead, a distance existed between teachers' knowledge and familiarity of these components, their educational jargon, and the extent of how they were being defined and the students' and parents' knowledge and fantiliarity with these same components and 20


definitions. The main reason for this lack of use as conveyed by administrators and secretaries was the budget. In my experiences of discussing the Lab School changes with students I found it extremely useful to be equipped with a few key features bulletins. However, when I made periodic requests to the main secretaries, they generally responded that I be cautious with my use (12). The essence of the "ideal" Lab School key features definitions are embedded within the range of interpretations held at the Lab School. My thesis will attempt to capture that range. Despite this fluid and complex reality, I will certainly delineate between a person or person's particular approach to the key features and the ideal definitions as depicted in the bulletin as initially defined by collective groups of Lab School participants, and my own subjective interpretations. An Ethnographic Profile: A Composite View of a Day in the Life of the "New" Lab School This is a description of a day in the life of the "new" Lab School in the initial phase of implementing its new restructuring plan. This composite description, a precursor to the main body of the paper, featuring more indepth descriptions of key feature implementation, is here to provide a brief glimpse of what the new components of this 21


change process are and how they are being approached. This new direction, as carried forth by Lab School participants, involves the assertion of new teaching and learning values, approaches, and contexts and strategies for confronting our historically constructed educational deficits, and meeting the more rigorous demands of the present and the future. 7:30 a.m. As I enter the Lab School building at 7:30 in the morning, it is quiet. I walk down the hall to the classroom where one of the two "family" groups of teachers in level three (middle school) are meeting until9:00 a.m .. This time is generally allotted for collectively planning and discussing the daily configuration of classes and schedules of students in the different family groups. This occurs Monday Friday at the Lab School. These morning planning activities of teachers in level three can range from discussing and organizing handouts that will help a student arrange her /his "portfolio"; to a disCussion of and consensus vote for a "student of the month." This morning in choosing a student, teachers expressed a flexible criteria with a sensitivity to gender concerns. The discussion focused more on effort than traditional standards of excellence. Their discussions included a statement of desire that a female be elected, since a male had last held the honor. This seemed to be a reasonable motion and faculty unified on a choice. 22


Moreover these collaborative morning planning meetings, a new experiment to deal with the changing realities at the Lab School, frequently featured lively debates on a variety of topics relevant to the "new" direction. Generally, discussions exploring the boundaries of what it means to "team teach" were heard. In these discussions faculty may explore how best to schedule flexibly the curriculum in order to retain the expertise of each teacher while also sharing collective responsibility for acquiring and imparting knowledge in all of the other content areas. This approach increasingly defines and values teachers as specialists as well as generalists. This morning, the small group meeting closed with a reflective and thoughtful discussion on the significance and meaning of developing "critical" thinking skills in a student. During these morning meetings which occur throughout the school, it is typical that the director or one of the principals of the Lab School might stop in to listen, obserire, or lend some advice, as they are seen doing throughout the day. Nearing 9:00a.m. the early-to-sChool arrivers have begun to shuffle through the halls. Some of them casually peek in through the open door at the teachers' meeting and glance around. As the teachers motion the meetings close, they gradually get up and begin to go in the direction of their first classes; they greet and chat with students in the hallway. An outside visitor to the Lab School immediately is engaged by the frequency and ordinariness of teachers and students signing 23


(sign language) to each other, a result of the Lab School's housing the largest deaf student population in the county. Upon entering a classroom, one notices the jarring absence of an American flag in the corner. Similarly, the collective call over the school intercom to recite the pledge of allegiance or the familiar bells signalling the separation of classes and time for movement from one class to the next are also refreshingly absent. The advisee group is the first meeting of the day for every Lab School student. Like most other classes at the Lab School the context is informal, students sit where they desire and seats are scattered. The time is set aside for the different classes being taught that day, the number of times advisees would meet during the day with their advisors, and specific agendas for each advisee group is decided and negotiated within that group (1 teacher and 12 to 20 students) each morning. Advisee time throughout the Lab School involves a range of activities. Sometimes students and advisors discuss the values of the new changes at the Lab School; students may organize their p.l.p.'s "personal learning plans." Other times, students might discuss, research, and receive advice on their future, possibly preparing to apply to college while learning to write and organize resumes. They may work on study skills, catch up on homework, or read a favorite book One student conveyed an experience that occurred in his advisee group that illuminated for me the value of such a group. Trust, debate, listening, and solidarity were 24


encouraged, the student noted. Obviously impressed, he stated that he'd seen students gain enthusiasm and participate when they never had before. From around 9:30 a.m. until around mid-day, depending on when a level takes its lunch break, the students and faculty engage in their "core curriculum" time. This includes a diverse range of curriculum, approaches and activities, offered in a variety of grouped time allotments to handle the general subject matters of "reading, English, social studies, math, science, and the arts." This "core curriculum" time, although on the surface looks like the offering of a traditional cirrriculum it actually stresses a "thematic, interdisciplinary, applied and experiential" format. The two family groups in level three (75 students and 5 teachers each) are presently engaged in an Anasazi Indian unit. After a couple weeks of general discussion on the Anasazi, students planned research projects. These, advised the faculty, could be literary or descriptive pieces or the reproduction of an Anasazi craft item such as the construction of kivas or weaving baskets. As the projects were developed and completed, the students would evaluate themselves in an range ofindividual and group essays. They were asked to evaluate themselves, their peers, and their teachers, as well as receiving evaluations by these individuals. Throughout the process of various units students' would engage in, they would frequently be evaluated on the processes and content of 25


their work. Questions were specific to the unit being studied but typically solicited information regarding: what they most enjoyed and why, what they learned, what they had known prior to the unit, how prepared they had been for class during the unit, questions on interpersonal and group dynamics, questions concerning the content and composition of assignments and units to follow, etc. These evaluations were fairly indepth and used by teachers to plan critique themselves and plan curriculum. In addition, in the majority of classes in the Lab School including this one there existed a strong emphasis on "mastery" of knowledge over flunking or passing. This meant that an inadequate grade on an assignment or test would be taken over until an adequate evaluation was received. In what still would be recognized as a math class, students diligently worked in groups, pairs, and alone at their own paces to master an array of math skills that would be evaluated in many ways at numerous times. The flexible classroom seating arrangement complemented the comfortable approach expressed by the teacher, teachers aide, and hearing-impaired interpreter as they wove their ways throughout the loose configuration ofworking students. This day would also include the activities of "challenge" math, "everyday" or applied math, and "Anasazi" math. Anasazi math, the teacher conveyed, would be the collective exploration by teacher and student to learn how to talk about the Anasazi using math, or to discover how 26


the Anasazi themselves used math. 1his might involve studying the actual planting and harvesting context of the Anasazi, then determining through hypotheses, calculations, and experiments what to plant; the quantity of seeds needed, the reality of harvesting, distribution and subsistence. In observing and participating in these activities I have been constantly intrigued and impressed by the way the teachers are able to impart the complementary "key features" of "autonomous learning" and "developmental grouping." Implementing these approaches generally involves a fine balancing act in which a teacher guides a student who is addressed according to her /his individual needs, skill development, limitations, desires and interests, while simultaneously encouraging students autonomy and participation by involving them in a variety of experiences such as peer teaching/learning or exercises on critical thinking. In these new Lab School contexts, competition is generally devalued and allowance for the students diverse ways of expression is instead encouraged. Besides math, all the other content courses (English, social studies, math, science, arts) are also framed in terms of the Anasazi group for this 6 week unit in the middle school level. "Focused learning" instruction from around 1:30 p.m.-3:30p.m. in the afternoon is a when students choose from a wide variety of more unique classes. Many of these are developed from student input. 27


Depending on the course, ages are usually blended and are offered to almost all the age levels. As described in the Lab School's new Key Feature Bulletin (1989), these focused learning courses are designed to be "more narrow, more specialized, more sequential, and more directed'' than the core classes. The time period for these classes is also variable in length. This afternoon I decided to participate in a Spanish class. Their activities for the week ranged from working in onion fields and potato factories in and around Greeley to watching videos in Spanish, and preparing a variety of Latino foods. Monolingual migrants from Mexico, and Central America were persuaded to join with students in pairs to discuss and answer questions relating to enlarged laminated photos of everyday Latin American scenes. One afternoon ended with a collective Mexican barbecue to celebrate the cultural exchange and efforts of the students and migrants. This experience of working, teaching, and learning in these real world, local community, multicultural, applied settings with Guatemalans, Salvadoraneans, Mexicans and other Latino seasonal laborers gave the students a chance to learn Spanish in a qualitatively richer way. This Spanish teacher, while taking full advantage of his newly supported space to teach in new ways, teaches outside the classroom at every opportunity. He challenges the students to apply their knowledge in diverse, practical, and profound ways. 28


Other focused learning classes offer a desired richness themselves. They mainly delve into areas of "physics, A.P. English, advanced art, computer programming, or jazz band," and more. The small size of the classes allows for a personalized learning context contributing to the significant overall enthusiasm generated in these first few weeks at the Lab School. At 3:45 p.m. the students and teachers begin to leave for home, play, work, and other activities. Upon parting, a teacher reminds her advisee group that Monday and Tuesday are the first conferences of the year. Further, she reminds them that Lab School conferences are unique in valuing the participation of students in addition to their teachers and parents. Despite the good intentions and hard work involved in these current efforts by Lab School participants, their development and outcome are not removed from contradictions that exist, will arise as the change process evolves and failures that may surface as a result of experiments in the process of trial and error. Nevertheless, these new Lab School efforts to dissolve previously existing separations and exclusions, emphasize mastery over passing and flunking, focus on qualitative evaluations over standardized ones,offer personalized, applied, and interdisciplinary teaching/learning experiences and are worth the effort. Finally, if we take seriously the deficit of our educational system, it becomes obvious that these changes are urgently 29


required if we are to prepare the next generations to meet the needs of our increasingly complex and rapidly changing world. The Role of an Ethnographic Assessor Definition In early meetings with the director of the Lab School and in many reports and memos to faculty, I attempted to convey my role as I saw it developing in light of the proposed changes at the Lab School (13). The role of an on-site ethnographic assessor "involves the use of research skills to determine if a project, program, or policy is working effectively or has had a successful outcome" (Chambers 1985: 162-164; van Willigan 1986: 4). "The basic task is to determine objectively the worth or value of something. Sometimes this is called program monitoring. This role is a relatively common one for applied anthropologists" (Chambers 1985: 162-164; van Willigan1986: 4). This role of an ethnographic assessor ideally involves a year or more of watching, analyzing, and evaluating the process through the project development. Ideally, the research effort begins early in the development of a program, as this will permit timely observation and data collection. An assessor would ideally work in a partnership with other researchers, planners, program implementors, and students. 30


Participating in the earliest stages is important in helping to establish clear program goals that are amenable to evaluation. Periodic evaluation reports, including early findings and impressions given to the project staff, can give the staff an opportunity to make suggestions as well as to alter its program activities if these early results indicate that the staff might have difficulty in reaching its goals (Chambers 1985:162; van Willigan 1986). The role of ethnographic assessor in this case is not one of policy-maker. Instead, my descriptions and evaluations could aid policy makers in their decisions. My role would attempt to bring together and negotiate the various voices (students, parents, teachers, administrators). Because ethnography involves "hanging out" with different groups over an extended period of time, I would be in a position to help people listen to each other (Chambers 1985). How the Ethnographic Method Captures Change As the "new Lab School" approaches the teaching and learning context in an increasingly personalized, applied, and interdisciplinary fashion, so, too, does the logic for choosing the ethnographic evaluation become clear. In fast-paced, demanding contexts where there exists a high probability of obstructiveness in terms of school participants' busy schedules, methods such as ethnography, qualitative 31


methods, naturalistic observation, and other methods stressing discovery, induction, and holism are most appropriate. These types of techniques can fit into ongoing program development better than other approaches,and are thus less of a burden for program staff. The qualitative methods of anthropology, specifically the ethnographic method, are compatible with the Lab School's interest in qualitative teaching/learning styles and methods of evaluation. Overall, the dynamic methods of ethnography can capture the flexibility, innovation, and interdisciplinary aspects of such a change process (van Willigan 1986: 179). An ethnography illustrates the ranges of probabilities in people's actions, not concrete empirical realities. There is no singular voice of explanation but a mosaic of voices and concerns that can be woven into a reasonable approximation of people's every day lives (Laclau and Mouffe 1985; Marcus and Fischer 1986). Ethnography is a delicate craft that attempts to add the texture of every day life to the social science discourse on humanity. Central to this craft is that the anthropologist acts as a "participant observer." This involves participating in the "daily lives" of people, watching what happens, listening to what is said, asking questions, collecting available data to throw light on the important issues. The greatest advantage drives from the extended period of time spent in the field, 32


as well as from the intimacy that can be developed with certain people (Borman, El-Amin, Tirnm, and Winston 1990; Marcus and Fischer 1986). Why Is It Valuable ? Ethnography contributes to applied research through its emphasis on discovery, as opposed to verification. This suggests a non-judgemental descriptive and interpretive activity. The purpose is to understand and examine facets of human behavior as part of larger cultural systems. Ethnographic evaluation emphasizes a holistic understanding. This holism can be used to construct a cooperative and supportive mode of evaluation (Fetterman and Pitman 1986; van Willigan 1986: 7-iS; Chambers 1985: 175-176). As this new change effort requires the complex juggling by its participants of different cultural and role domains, the evaluation of such processes similarly requires me to be open to flexibly shifting between a combination of roles in a variety of different contexts. The ethnographic evaluation of such an innovative restructuring program contributes to the field of anthropology generally by providing ethnographic material on the popular and still growing field of educational anthropology in urban, predominantly Anglo, middle class educational settings in the U.S. 33


Further, my applied/research focus contributes to the discipline of applied anthropology, and to the subdiscipline of educational anthropology. Moreover, through the need to assume various roles I became an evaluator determining the worth, value, processes, and outcome of the program. Further, my roles partially took the forms of a change agent making practical suggestions and working to stimulate change; a needs assessor collecting data from various participants, thus contributing to program design and justification; a cultural broker--working as a liaison between the different school populations (teachers, parents, students, administrators); and other roles such as trainer and planner seeking to understand the dynamics of a complex problem in a complex system (van Willigan 1986: 3-5). 34


Conclusion and Summary For the most part, the director of the Lab School was receptive to the methodological strategies I presented, feeling they were compatible with the types of changes they had begun. I began my internship in the second year of the change process. The previous year was mainly used for planning, and actual implementation really began in the second year. Through my participation and observation activities, my early findings permitted insights to those carrying out the changes. Being hired a year earlier would have even facilitated the early planning process. I believe my findings to have had more of a direct influence on Lab School administrators than on teachers and students. This was due to teachers' lack of time, students' lack of concrete understanding of the changes, and budget limitations impacting on the frequency and quantity of reports and briefs I was able to distribute. However, my long term involvement, despite generating initial suspicion (14) and misunderstandings was generally accepted and I was not limited in terms of access to classrooms or meetings. Through my ethnographic strategies, long term involvement, and the intimacy I gained with numerous individuals, I was able to capture the recent past history (the first year of the process) and the range of voices that comprised the Lab 35


School community in the second and third years of the restructuring plan. In my opinion, the Lab School has been relatively successful in implementing its restructuring project. In the beginning and throughout this experiment at the Lab School, I was impressed and intrigued by the diversity of features being articulated and in the ways in which these restructuring efforts were being approached. However, like many long term change processes, the Lab School's dynamic and complex restructuring effort comprised numerous contradictions. The process of implementation, the outcome and success of the Lab School participants' efforts were and still are complex and contradictory. These resulted from interpersonal dynamics; power dynanucs internal and immediately external to the Lab School; the social, historical, political context of the education system in the U.S.; inadequate funding; the nature of change itself; and differences regarding desires, ideologies and what the changes were about and how they were to be implemented. Further, their overall success was informed by numerous local and global realities that were both within their reach and beyond their control. Some of the future success of the changes will stem from increased understanding of what these types of changes are about. In addition, the success of their efforts will partially be due to the further time, experimentation, and development of these changes in the 36


coming years. In sum, the initial phase of these changes at the Lab School do seem to be relatively successful despite the contradictory influences, approaches, interpretations, and reactions to these changes. The overall success or failure of the program implementation, however, could be more fairly evaluated as previously noted in the coming years as the process evolves. As the change process evolved components were emphasized or de-emphasized to different degree. The general"family" concept was emphasized and discussed pervasively at the Lab School throughout the changes. The emphasis of ethnic and socioeconomic diversity was essentially de-emphasized and de-prioritized as the changes progressed. The move away from Carnegie units to the creation and maintenance of portfolios was vigilantly addressed. This included commencement of a complex, long-term process to form committees and a create a qualitative model (entrance/exit criteria) for moving students through their learning experiences. The creation of requirements for the graduation performance is still a goal, but it naturally follows the full implementation of the entrance/ exit criteria which has not yet been fully actualized. In my opinion, apart from these numerous contradictions, these changes signify ideally a move towards more democratic and relevant teaching/learning realities and are worth the effort. As our socio/political/economic system is changing rapidly to meet current 37


needs, we are left with an educational system in this country that is still grappling with many critical concerns that have been with us for decades, if not since the beginning of "the school" (Bauman 1987; Foucault 1977) itself. Further, as we begin to question the validity of quantitative, compartmentalized, and standardized strategies and call for an increase in relevant teaching/learning strategies for educating, it seems appropriate that models for evaluating such dynamic and complex realities must be equally flexible, able to capture the dynamic quality of change and the numerous contradictory voices and actions which exist. The ethnographic research method is such a method. The core of this thesis (chapter 4) presents the key features as defined in the Key Features Bulletin and is followed by lengthy ethnographic descriptionS of how I saw people implementing and reacting to them in classrooms, the school, and community. Included in this thesis is the evaluation of these events, processes, and dynamics. Some of the complexities intertwined with this restructuring project were dealt with in more depth in the setting section, will be dealt with in the recommendations section, and the conclusion of my thesis. Further, problemrecommendations sand contradictions of educational change in general will be addressed in the literature review. Apart from these evaluations, recommendations, and critiques, the body of the paper (chapter 4), as I have stated, will be mainly descriptive. 38


The following sections include a chapter on methods, a literature review chapter, a chapter featuring descriptions of key feature implementation, and a recommendations and conclusion and chapter. The chapter on the key features (chapter 4) of the Lab School's educational restructuring program contains descriptions stemming from observational material, interviews, general participation, and everyday dialogues (15) with the Lab School participants as it relates to the school year 1989-1990, and Fall of 1990 (my internship term). 39


CHAPTER2 METHODS Ethnography Ethnographic procedures formed the basis of my research experience at the Laboratory School. This internship was performed over a one and one-half year time period for approximately 10 hours (1 I 4 time) a week. Ethnographic procedures were employed to look at the internal dynamics of the educational restructuring processimplementation of the "key features," perceptions of and adjustments to the change process on the part of the actors involve, and the relationship of the program to the wider social and political environment. The context of these multidimensional, fast-paced restructuring efforts at the Lab School by the diverse participants mirrors the multidimensional and flexible style of ethnography and other qualitative methods I used. In early efforts of the change,_ as evident in planning sessions and everyday conversations at the Lab School, discussions became focused on breaking down existing separations (i.e. between course and material) and refocusing towards a more interdisciplinary reality such as that encountered in the work world; breaking down existing 40


separations between school, the community, and home and moving towards a blending of the various contexts with an emphasis on internships and credit received for activities outside of the classroom; breaking down existing divisions that assumed a particular content to always be appropriate for a particular chronological age of students; and breaking down the concrete implicit power divisions existing between staff (janitors, secretaries), teachers, students, parents, and administrators, etc. In this move towards an increasingly fluid, dynamic, multidimensional approach to educating, Lab School participants found and still find themselves traversing many new role and cultural domains (personal, social, demographic, cultural). My role as etlmographic assessor mirrored the traversing of Lab School participants through their various role and cultural domains as they changed and evolved and as they were articulated from different points of view. The role of etlmographic assessor and accompanying methods as mentioned in this section, involved capturing the multifaceted composite of "voices" (Marcus and Fischer 1986), participating in this change, and representing their at once contradictory and unified positions to illuminate this dynamic and holistic experiment in teaching and learning. 41


Fieldwork Participant Observation In the Lab School, the procedure of participant observation comprised approximately 80% of my overall research time. Below, Lab School contexts are listed in the chronological order of time I spent observing: 1. Classrooms from kindergarten -12th grade; 2. "Family-centered" faculty planning time; 3. The main lobby of the school-an informal gathering place for mainly high school aged students; 4. The halls; 5. Non-traditional school activities, i.e. KAFE, colloquium (16); 6. Ad-hoc committees formed to develop certain aspects of the change process as it developed, i.e. the entrance/ exit committee; 7. The library; 8. The.main office-observing the general flow of traffic, i.e. the interaction between secretaries and the director, two principals,students, and others; 9. The counseling/nurses office; 10. Parent/ teacher I student conferences; 42


11. Extra-curricular activities, i.e. art shows, concerts,sports events; 12. Parent-centered orientations; 13. Student-centered assemblies. Interviews Informal interviews. Whereas in some cases the techniques of participant observation were strictly employed, more often than not it also involved gathering information through informal dialogues (17). Apart from the contexts described above, this strategy took the form of: a. Frequent informal one-on-one dialogues on a weekly /biweekly basis with the director of the Lab School; b. Frequent informal dialogues on a daily/weekly/monthly basis with students outside and inside of class; c. Frequent informal dialogues on a daily basis with a rotating group or small core group of staff and faculty; d. Periodic informal dialogues with the two principals (elementary /junior high and high school); e. Periodic dialogues with parents at assemblies, orientations, before and after conferences, KAFE lunches, art shows, and other school-centered activities; 43


f. Periodic informal dialogues with those immediately beyond the Lab School context, faculty at U.N.C., both inside and outside of the education department; g. Periodic informal dialogues with general community members regarding their perceptions of the Lab School. Semi-structured interviews. More structured than an unstructured interview (an interview based on a clear plan) the semi structured interview goes further, basing the interview on an interview guide (a written list of questions and topics that need to be covered in a particular order). This technique was useful because I was working in a fast paced, high pressure context with "people who were accustomed to efficient use of their time" (Bernard 1988: 205). Using this technique I interviewed: (3) Teachers 1-2 hours each (3) Students 1-2 hours each (2) Administrators 1-2 hours ea01 Totaling = 8 Lab School participants and 16 total interview hours 44


Questionnaires Together with a research partner, I developed two questionnaires. These surveys were guided by the methodological haphazard sampling method. As defined by H. Russell Bernard (1988), this method is "useful for exploratory research to get a 'feel' for what is going on out there, and for pretesting questionnaires to make sure items are unambiguous and not too threatening." The content of these questionnaires included: 1. A questionnaire on the the demographic context of stUdents, parents, administrators, and teachers. We distributed 550 questionnaires to the households of students and parents. We received back 34 questionnaires. We distributed 51 to administrators, faculty,. and staff. We received approximately 14. 2. A questionnaire eliciting perceptions of students, parents, administrators, and teachers on the restructuring process. Distributed 550 questionnaires to the households of students and parents. Received approximately 200. Distributed 51 to administrators, faculty and staff. Received approximately 40. 45


Use of Archival Material To supplement the above information-gathering strategies, I used archival material such as: memos I received from the director, teachers, and students; school newsletters distributed on a monthly basis to the school community; curricular materials developed and utilized by teachers; student work and evaluations; articles and memos sent by the director to the faculty and staff; a daily calendar of events distributed throughout the school community. Field Notes Field jottings. Generally, in my limited time (approximately two hours a day) spent at the Lab School, I did not have time to write down field notes in their entirety. Instead, I merely "jotted" down things I wished to write about later in greater detail. Then, immediately following my hours spent doing fieldwork, I would find a quiet place and recall the details, triggered by my jottings, that I "didn't have time to write down while I was observing events and listening to an informant" (Bernard 1988: 185). Field notes: descriptive and methodological. The bulk of my field notes were descriptive. These generally took the form of describing observations of general processes stemming from the 46


activities of participant observation on a daily basis. These descriptions eventually comprised hundreds of pages. Mixed in with the descriptive notes were methodological notes. These concerned technique in collecting data. Here I would describe an event which occurred, and a note to myself on a methodological concern I was interested in being alerted to in the future, i.e. appropriate and inappropriate words/phrases to use when discussing the "controversial" topic of demographics. Analytic notes. Analytic notes derived from my descriptive notes and were generally written up into informal and formal memos and mini-reports for placement in faculty and administrative files (to which everyone had access). These memos/reports were written up to form the basis of frequent discussions I engaged in with the director. Field diary. A field diary, a personal account chronicling my feelings and how I perceived relations around me (Bernard 1988:184), was at times interspersed with my general descriptive notes and coded for a different relevance soon after daily fieldwork hot,Irs had ended. I wrote this type of notes for approximately 10-35 minutes a week. Field log. My log book was a "running account of how" I planned to spend my time, data I still needed, and "how I actually spent my time" (Bernard 1988:185). My field log was comprised of 47


long term goals, medium range goals, and short term daily goals of what I would seek to observe or investigate and what was actually accomplished or not. 48


CHAPTER3 LITERATURE REVIEW ANTHROPOLOGY AND EDUCATION-PAST AND PRESENT Introduction Iri this literature review, I will illuminate issues of innovative education, educational restructuring, and the use of the ethnographic method in education in the United States. I will mention key theorists and non-theorists, anthropologists and non-anthropologists who have contributed to this area. I will emphasize contemporary issues, debates and persons in the field. This literature review concentrates on educational research that pertains to restructuring efforts in the U.S. Most releva11-t to the parameters of my thesis discussion are the current deluge of books, articles, and essays on the components of innovative education and restructuring. Antecedents of these debates and issues generally derive from the first mentions of anthropology and education in the 1940's and the rise of the subdiscipline in the 1960's. Despite the origins of educational anthropology as recent as the 1960's and 1970's, the field is still relatively young and filled with a range of complex meanderings. This makes it difficult to concretely 49


select the literature and trace the origins that directly pertain to my research topic. For this reason, in my literature review I will traverse a fairly broad range of content areas and developments through time (18). Current Educational Restructuring Debates and Issues The recent flood of books written on innovative education and educational restructuring takes many directions, many of which were apparent in previous decades. Contributions in this area derive from a variety of disciplines from anthropology (cultural, urban, educational, applied), sociology, education, cultural studies, literary criticism, legal studies, political science, economics, and global and international development. In a current book on the historic and current state of educational reform, School House Politics (1991), anthropologist Peter Dow comments that, despite a history of on and off again educational reform, there has always been in the American psyche a distrust of "too much schooling" (Dow 1991: 2). Moreover, the changes which do occur, cautions Dow, are more often a result of "political considerations such as a prevailing public mood, than they are by any systematic effort to improve instruction" (19) (Dow 2-3). 50


"After a decade of declining school performance, Americans in the early 1980's began to worry about the schools again. Once more, as in the 1950's, the national media was awash with articles criticizing elementary and secondary education and contrasting our system of schooling not only to that of our adversaries but to that of our allies as well, notes Dow. The new critics deplored years of erosion in achievement scores and decried the poor quality of teaching and the lowering of standards for high school graduation"(Dow 1991: 4). Politicians appointed panels to study the problems, and parents were distraught over descriptions of our schools and students as pervasively mediocre (Dow 1991: 4). Yet, today, notes Dow, our schools remain "remarkably impervious to change. While we continue to compare our schools to any number of Western countries, we condemn declining levels of student performance as disgraceful and continue to look for quick solutions" (Dow1991: 4-5). But, despite these legitimate worries, Dow questions, "Are we really interested in making the massive changes that it will take to fix our schools" (Dow 1991: 5)? Foremost, are we prepared to commit the needed "tax dollars and intellectual capital" required to make such a significant change (Dow 1991: 5)? Addressing the gap between the pace of the world and our inability to adequately grasp its change and complexity since the SO's, Dow asserts, "Today we face Dewey's challenge in a new form: to 51


make schools designed to meet the needs of an industrial society work in a post-industrial age. Our contemporary society needs people who can read and write and follow instructions accurately, but we also need citizens who can speak with fluency, reason clearly, and master a diversity of languages. We need a workforce that is personally resourceful, self-reliant, and even inventive, and we need a citizenry that can live cooperatively and provide moral leadership in a global society of diverse goals, perceptions, and values. To compete in today's world the graduates of our schools must possess a capacity for continuous mental and moral growth. They must know how to learn and respect learning" (Dow 1991: 6). Apart from our general inability by the majority in the US to grasp the complexity and magnitude of the changes profoundly needed in education, as illuminated in Dow's book, some change nevertheless is possible. Despite the overall structural constraints impinging on the degree of change that is possible in our society at large and in our schools, some efforts directed towards providing a student with critical thinking skills (which emphasize analysis and intellectual stimulation over being spoon fed), allowing them to be empowered by seeing the system as it truly exists, fraught with contradictions and inequalities, and being able to critique it, allows a student to be more than a pawn or a victim to the system. These kinds of skills would allow students and others to unify around common 52


issues and call for change. While working towards a total restructwing of "the system" (which should also be encouraged) grassroots change in local contexts could provide a context for hope and change (Dow 1991: 6-9) .. Besides general monographs on education, such as Dow's which focus on the differences between historical educational realities and those of today, other texts focus on the value of the ethnographic method or some aspect of it, as a way to begin describing the current scene in education and as a way to offer suggestions of where we might go from here. David Fetterman has written many books on the topic of anthropology and education. An applied anthropologist, he has worked as a consultant, evaluator, and administrator in many educational settings in the U.S. His books deal directly with the complexities of ethnographic evaluation in educational settings. Viewed from the consultant's role, Fetterman focuses on the value, and the practical application, of the ethnographic method. Taking on new popularity, the ethnographic method, as part of the. current restructuring efforts, is now being pervasively and passionately appropriated by those in other disciplines, most notably those in education, to look at the processes of general dynamics and change in schools (Fetterman and Pitman 1986, 1988a, 1989). 53


Fetterman's books on educational ethnographic evaluation do much to dispel the myth of a homogeneous educational evaluation. One of the first anthropological and phenomenologically oriented presentations relating to this issue within an evaluation context was Fetterman's book Ethnography in Educational Evaluation (1984). The contributors were cultural brokers, agents of change attempting to diffuse a paradigm. They demonstrated the "utility and centrality of ethnography in educational evaluation" (Fetterman 1988a: 7). This book "presented a continuum of practices with in one qualitatively oriented tradition: ethnography" (Fetterman 1988a: 7). Fetterman and Pitman's Educational Evaluation, Ethnography in Theory, Practice and Politics (1986), builds on the foundation of the previous works. "It presents the latest developments in the emerging field of ethnographic educational evaluation from an anthropological perspective. It demonstrates the various degrees of assimilation, acculturation, deacculturation to the dominant context of evaluation" (Fetterman 1988a: 8). Qualitative Approaches to Evaluation in Education (1988a) "continues the debate by presenting an insight into the rainbow of colorful issues and approaches within a qualitative dimension" (20). Besides Fetterman, Sara Lawrence Lightfoot's books highlighting an ethnographic/portraiture style have been popular with 54


educators interested in ethnography and the anthropological method (21) (Lightfoot 1983:12-13). Critical Pedagogy and Post-Modernism As previously mentioned, much work that has been done on education has come out of anthropology. Since the creation of a subdiscipline of educational anthropology in the 60's, much research on education is still being contributed by those in anthropology. Recently, though, through the discourse of critical pedagogy, there has been a dialectical sharing of insights among critical pedagogues, many coming out of education and many who are anthropologists (Giroux 1981; Giroux 1988; McLaren 1989; Popkewitz 1991). These insights have recently become a widely visible and important base informing those interested in educational restructuring. Critical pedagogy is comprised of a range of approaches. Rather than seeing education as inherently democratic, where the poor and disadvantaged may gain access to power and status, critical pedagogues are more likely to see education linked to the industrial order and framed by the structural inequalities of our capitalist system. Perceived as more than ideological apparatuses, these critics see schools as instruments for the social reproduction of the labor force. Thus, the political economy of schools is seen as an important 55


component of this discourse. Critical Pedagogues see schools as institutions reproducing ideology as well as the labor force. Advocates of critical pedagogy believe that schools cannot and do not intend to transform social relations. Whereas some of these advocates see this institution as more or less deterministic others (namely Henry Giroux and Paulo Friere) see these same institutions as terrains of contestation, where resistance, emancipation and transformation are possible. This tendency among the critical pedagogues sees the pedagogy of the schools as an effort to transmit cultural tradition and ideology as know ledges of hegemonic groups in society. But he leaves room for the possibility that the conditions of learningthe classroom, textbooks, and. others sites where people attempt to gain power through understanding, may be counterhegemonic. All critical pedagogues emphasize the contradictory character of schooling. But they vary on when and if the classroom can become open to change. An example of the mutual insights of the critical pedagogues and the important integration between disciplines can be seen in Ain't No Makin' It (1987) by educational ethnographer Jay MacLeod. Using the ethnographic method, MacLeod focuses on the component of social class but also touches on how ethnicity and gender affect the educational aspirations and success of working class youth. This ethnography, framed by a review of the theories of recent critical 56


pedagogues, seeks to explain "why there is an intergenerational continuity in social class" between two distinct urban groups of working class youth (MacLeod 1987: 1). The first argument reviewed by MacLeod is the economic determinism of Bowles and Gintis. They maintain that social reproduction takes place primarily through educational tracking. Differential socialization through this medium prepares working class students for working class jobs and middle class jobs for the middle class. However, MacLeod found the educational and occupational outcomes of the two groups he was studying to not follow such a pat explanation, in contrast to the conclusions of Bowles and Gin tis. Thus, MacLeod concluded that much of the implications of Bowles and Gintis's analysis was called into question (MacLeod 1987: 10,11). Secondly, MacLeod examines Bourdieu, a French structuralist. Bourdieu contributed the important concept of "cultural capital" to the debate on social reproduction. Cultural capital is defined by Bourdieu as "the general cultural background, knowledge disposition, and skills that are passed from one generation to the next" (Macleod 1987: 12). Upper class students, facilitated by their life experiences are provided a certain linguistic and cultural competence. Through this competence, acquired through family upbringing, they are "provided with the means of appropriation for success in school" (MacLeod 1987: 12 ). 57


Another concept, that of "habitus," is composed of the "attitudes, beliefs, and experiences of those inhabiting one's social world" (Macleod 1987: 14). This concept can be used to differentiate the two working class groups in MacLeod's book. Although, according to Bourdieu, the habitus is primarily a function of social class, it can also include factors such as ethnicity, educational histories, peer associations, and demographic characteristics as these shape individual action. "The habitus acquired in the family underlies the structuring of the school experiences, and the habitus transformed by schooling, itself diversified, in turn underlies the structuring of all subsequent experiences" (MacLeod 1987: 14). The example cited by MacLeod that legitimates this position is the development by working class individuals of depressed aspirations that mirror their actual chances for social mobility. But it contrasts with the finding of MacLeod's book, mainly in that the "Brothers," an Afro-American gang, whose life chances should have been lower than the "Hallway Hangers," an Anglo gang, because of the variable of ethnicity, ended up nurturing higher aspirations than their counterparts. Therefore, the relationship Bourdieu assumed between aspiration and opportunity is too simplistic. In addition, notes MacLeod, he cannot explain how ethnicity intervenes in the process of aspiration and social reproduction. Thus, Bourdieu's major limitation seems to lie in the fact that he emphasizes structural factors (schooling) 58


over the other factors included secondarily in the concept of (MacLeod 1987: 14,15). The theoretical arguments of Basil Bernstein, influenced by Durkheim and the French structuralist movement, can be understood most easily as part of what Bourdieu refers to as "cultural capital." His focus is on the divergent development of linguistic patterns of different social class groups. He focuses on certain language patterns, how language is used, and the meaning that is conveyed. He developed the concepts of "restrictive codes" to describe a context-dependent linguistic codes. Bernstein claims that working-class children's homes are a context where common circumstances, knowledge, and values are translated into speech patterns in which meanings remain implicit and dependent on their context (a restricted code) (MacLeod 1987: 15). Middle-class families, in contrast, use "elaborated codes." "Meanings are less tied to a local relationship and local social structure and consequently are made linguistically explicit" (MacLeod 1987:15). Because schools operate in accordance with the symbolic order of elaborated codes, working class children are at a significant disadvantage (MacLeod 1987: 15). MacLeod states that, through his analysis, Bernstein goes beyond Bourdieu in many ways. He analyzes "both structures and individual practices," thereby treating the cultural sphere as an object 59


of critical inquiry in its own right, and putting a less deterministic emphasis on just the structural aspects, than Bourdieu (MacLeod 1987: 15). Fourth, MacLeod reviews the theorist Paul Willis. Like Bernstein, Willis stresses the importance of the relative autonomy of the cultural sphere. "Social reproduction is a complex process," states Willis. Willis declares that the "cultural attitudes and practices of working-class groups are not necessarily reflective of or traceable to structural determinations or dominant ideologies" (MacLeod 1987: 18). There is no standard formula and no standard outcome. Willis further asserts that people do not respond to the socioeconomic pressures bearing down on them with passivity and indifference. Instead, the cultural level is marked by contestation, resistance, and compromise. Willis, however, goes almost too far in emphasizing the cultural over the structural (MacLeod 1987: 17,18). Finally, MacLeod reviews popular theorist Henry A. Giroux. MacLeod interprets Giroux, out of education and cultural studies, to go even further than Bernstein and Willis in insisting on the "need to admit wider structural and ideological determinants while recogniZing that human beings represent more than just simply reacting to such constraints"(MacLeod 1987: 18). Giroux develops a theory of resistance. In attempting to forge past the "structure-agency dualism" of past theorists, Giroux proposes a "dialectical treatment of 60


subjectivity and structure." Giroux considers resistance a response to the educational system, a response rooted in "moral and political indignation at the injustice of the system, not psychological dysfunction." He further asserts, that "all forms of oppositional behavior by working class youth draw on elements of working class culture in a creative and potentially transformative fashion." Thus, the mechanisms of class domination are neither static nor final (MacLeod 1987: 18,19). MacLeod, in expanding the general orientation for investigating these problems and relations in his text, states that ultimately none of these theories wholly acc::ounts for the differences between the two groups he examined. While recognizing the partial influence of structural factors on the educational aspirations and outcomes of the two groups, it is nevertheless important when examining social reproduction to also recognize social actors as active individuals constructing meaningful strategies for living (MacLeod 1987: 156-157). MacLeod contributes to these arguments by examining how class interacts with ethnicity. The Hangers, as lower class white youth, react to their class status and ethnicity by rejecting the achievement ideology and by developing low aspirations and expectations. By growing up in a context (neighborhood and household) where success is uncommon, their view of the relationship between effort and reward becomes .rather solidified. The school, encouraging these low 61


aspirations through tracking and programs preparing one for manual labor jobs, further solidifies their low self esteem and view of school as worthless. Finally, in light of these circumstances the Hangers parents also reinforce these aspirations by not encouraging them, and thereby not setting their offspring up for failure (MacLeod 1987: 140-142). The Brothers, the working class black gang, through experience related to their ethnicity already expect some constraints to their success. In addition, their family histories validate for them severe constraints for blacks of their parents' generation. Their more positive current outlooks are framed by better conditions in the last 20 years and the civil rights movement. Thus, their fatalism is less than their Anglo working class counterparts. Their parents, in turn, see increased opporturtities for their offspring and encourage their offspring's high aspirations in light of these drcumstances. Finally, MacLeod briefly mentions how the concept of gender would further add another constraint to females facing a life of limited options (MacLeod 1987: 140-142). The concept of racism or ethnicity and schooling have been addressed in many works. Many of these concerns are in texts exploring multicultural and global education (Burtonwood 1986; Foster 1990; Lynch 1989; Tye 1990; ), the political economy of urban schools (Katzman 1971), ethnicity and racism in the context of general 62


educational reform (Hall1991; Troyna and Carrington 1990), and the institutionalization of racism (Troyna and Williams 1986). Like the components of social class and ethnicity, gender has been consistently focused on in much educational literature. This is important to disproportionately shaping the educational experience of females and their male counterparts in the process of schooling. Of central importance to anthropological insights, the con(:ept of gender gained even greater popularity as an analytical construct along with the civil and women's rights struggles of the 1960's and 1970's. More recently, throughout the 80's and into the 90's, the concept of gender is still important to understanding the aspirations, development, and success of members in educational settings. Books such as Madan Sarup's The Politics of Multiracial Education (1986), using the framework of Foucault, Bowles, and Gintis and Marx, explores the interconnection between race and class, mainly the complexities of schooling for Afro-American students and current controversial debates of how white feminists have played a part in the oppression of black. women (Sarup 1986: 56-66). Other books exploring the multiple dimensions of multicultural education have looked at the intersecting of class, gender and ethnicity (Banks and Banks 1989; Foster 1990; Lynch 1989; Pai 1990; Sarup 1986), focusing on the necessity of not separating one identity from another 63


(i.e. ethnicity from class or gender, etc.) when attempting to understand a situation involving students, teachers, parents and others in educational settings. In Roger Slee's anthology, Discipline and Schools: A Curriculum Perspective (1988), Christine Adler explores the differences in the educational experiences of boys and girls. She explores the "hidden curriculum" contributing to the devaluing of females and the construction and enforcement of femininity. Adler describes how education is important to girls and how school experiences contribute to their alienation and delinquency (Slee 1988: 61-80). More recently, the post-modem/ critical pedagogics approach addresses gender as part of various student groups which became empowered through struggles in the 60's and early 70's and again experienced disempowerment in the 70's and 80's. In one book, Postmodern Education (1990) Giroux and Aronowitz trace various historical, developments. They describe the general tone of conservative hegemony in this country, institutional racism, classism, and sexism, and struggles of resistance to such boundaries (Giroux and Aronowitz 1990: 3-23). In turning to issues being more frequently addressed in many current restructuring efforts, a volume of essays edited by Christine Sleeter (1991) can provide some insight. Her multidisciplinary volume of essays from Education, Sociology, Hispanic and Mrican studies is 64


called Empowerment through Multicultural Education (1991). In it she discusses a current popular controversy in educational restructuring, the problema tics of the term "empowerment," and how it is being used in the educational restructuring movement. Currently to Sleeter, multiculturalism and empowerment are intertwined. It is interesting to note this in light of the Lab School's interest in vigorously implementing a concept they refer to as empowerment (though rather non-political and ambiguous as asserted by them) 'Without ever attempting to assert a simultaneous and complementary view of multiculturalism in their restructuring program. To many people, Sleeter notes, empowerment is addressed "without ever addressing social change," while visualizing a better society or "society's racial gender, and social-class groups" (Sleeter 1991: 8). Moreover, many people discuss multiculturalism without considering how it is impacted by things such as "oppression and collective power" (Sleeter 1991: 9). Distinguishing between a real empowering in contrast to a false empowering, what is really disabling, the action of empowering would actually be "incorporating a student's language and culture into a curriculum ... or building on what they bring rather than excluding their culture and language and ignoring and eradicating knowledge that students bring with them," notes Sleeter (Sleeter 1991: 10). Empowerment "takes seriously the strengths, experiences, strategies 65


that .oppressed groups have, helps them to analyze and understand the social structure that oppresses them" (Sleeter 1991: 10), and helps them learn to act in such a way that they are able to reach their goals successfully. The problem again surfaces when empowerment is de contextually defined and non-critically analyzed as "acquiring the cognitive and sociai skills necessary to adapt to a rapidly changing capitalist society. Those who affirm this position generally view society as fair and just, and believe all people have an equal chance if their own capabilities are strengthened" (Sleeter 1991: 6-7). This definition excludes an analysis of the political, social, economic, and historical contexts (Sleeter 1991: 7). Wilkerson, in Sleeter's volume, emphasizes transformation as a necessary component of teaching empowerment. Another important question arises, notes Sleeter when discussing empowerment asking: Empowerment for whom? "Who is articulating a group's agenda, their boundaries, defining its membership?" 'Who is framing what empowerment means in practice?" She notes that "sometimes those who define the discourse on empowerment in the process shut out and exclude members of oppressed groups" such as women, people of color, working class, or otherwise "different" students (Sleeter 1991: 7). This argument is relevant to the curious and ironic absence of multiculturalism at the Lab School as I will address periodically throughout my text, and illustrates the insight of Sleeter's words. 66


"Multicultural education is an imperative dimension to empowerment, and empowerment is a fundamental goal of multicultural education. Although multiculturalism has always been grounded in a vision of equality and has served as a mobilizing site for struggle within education, since its origins in the sixties within a context of social activism" (Sleeter 1991: 10) and from struggles against oppression, Sleeter asserts that these 5 basic strategies can be seen today by educators asserting a multicultural approach: (1) The human relations approach, (2) The teaching of the culturally different approach, (3) The multicultural education or cultural democracy approach (4) The single group studies approach (5) And, an educational approach that is multicultural and social reconstructionist (Sleeter 1991: 11-12). The first approach stresses inner and interpersonal well being over social change. The second approach focuses mainly on students of color and assumes "that society is sufficiently open that once mainstream values and skills have been acquired individuals can 'make it"' (Sleeter 1991: 11). The other 3 approaches all conceptualize empowerment as collective social action in addition to achievement. The third approach invents the classroom as a pluralistic model. It doesn't explicitly teach social criticism and change but implicitly teaches it by the diverse classroom setup adhered to which is in contrast with the outside world. The fourth model includes programs such as Chicano, Black, or Women's Studies focusing on the history of 67


a group's oppression and how that works today. More than the others, it promotes solidarity among members of different ethnic groups. The fifth approach includes programs such as Chicano, Black, or Women's Studies focusing on the history of a group's oppression and how that works today. More than the others, it promotes solidarity among members of different ethnic groups. This approach emphasizes forging coalitions among oppressed and dominant groups focusing directly on political and economic oppression and discrimination, preparing students directly in social action skills (Sleeter 1991: 10-11) To promote a concept of empowerment, stresses Charnofsky, an author in Sleeter's anthology, "those in positions of power must willingly relinquish some of it if the emerging powerless are to have a chance to try it for themselves ... In empowering relationships members of dominant groups need to work with oppressed people, taking directions from thein and contributing expertise only insofar as it is asked for and judged appropriate" (Sleeter 1991: 14-15). This is an area in which that the Lab School acts ambiguously, enforcing "empowerment" more readily and specifically in terms of teacher student relationships than the decentralizing of other powerful positions (i.e. The main thing, notes Sleeter,is to be leery of a definition of empowerment that stresses individual efforts at the expense of analyzing power structures and mobilizing collective power (Sleeter 1991: 14-15). 68


In contrast to Macl..eods interpretation of the critical pedagogue, Henry Giroux, Sleeter perceives Giroux's insights as one dimensional, similar, she notes to how many educators assert empowerment in schools. Often times, notes Sleeter, Giroux exaggerates the power dimension, distorting the reality of schools. Power is never total, Giroux suggests. "Teachers do not empower or disempower anyone, nor do schools" (Sleeter 1991: 15). They merely create the conditions under which people can empower themselves. Further, states Giroux "oppressed people do not lack power, but are not mobilizing their power as effectively as possible. Power is inherent in a dialectical relationship between parties; both parties act in response to one another, although the acts of oppressed people often are not viewed as potentially powerful" (Sleeter 1991: 16). Although, like Giroux, Sleeter sees resistance as a factor, she stresses that the broader structural powers ultimately many times shape a context that is disadvantageous for the resister. Simon and Dippo, also from Sleeter's volume, note another common dilemma for those concerned with empowerment: "how to acknowledge student experience as a legitimate aspect of schooling while being able to challenge both its content and its form during the educational process" (Sleeter 1991: 20). Part of this dilemma lies in getting students to "analyze events in terms of patterns and structures rather than just individual personalities, to question why things are as 69


they are, how they could be different, and to hear and value life histories," that may present a different view than theirs (Sleeter 1991: 20). Paulo Friere from whom much critical pedagogy is derived, insists that real learning can begin only by "starting from 1HEIR (students) description of THEIR daily life experiences" (Sleeter 1991: 21). Takata, a sociologist, also from this volume, notes the difficulty in helping oppressed groups critique "society in the interests of social justice." He notes the even greater difficulty in encouraging dominant members of society to do the same (Sleeter 1991: 21). Elizabeth Ellsworth (1989), in her important article "Why Doesn't This Feel Empowering? Working Through the Repressive Myths of Critical Pedagogy", explores further the difficulties with critical pedagogy and the discrepancies between the abstract, theoretical concepts and actual, practical implementation of them in the classroom. Expressing concern, Ellsworth notes that flatly trying to implement many concepts in the classroom such as empowerment, emancipatory authority, dialogue and students' voices, as Giroux has encouraged, in actuality contributes instead to masking very unequal power relationships in which all participants are enmeshed. The teacher not only occupies power in relation to the students, but is also embedded within her or his own network of identities, interests, and experiences. Students similarly react to each other and the teacher on the basis of the trust and understanding they perceive they can expect 70


in terms of what they think they share or don't share: class, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and cultural capital (Ellsworth 1989: 297-323). Ellsworth presents Giroux's view of "dialogue." According to Giroux, in order for dialogue to be possible, classroom participants must exhibit "trust, sharing, and commitment to improving the quality of human life ... all voices and their differences become unified both in their efforts to identify and recall moments of human suffering and in their attempts to overcome conditions that perpetuate such suffering" (Ellsworth 1989: 299). However, because of these previously mentioned asymmetries that exist between students and the teacher due to difference and privilege, dialogue in this sense, states Ellsworth, was both impossible and undesirable. Giroux's position, states Ellsworth, all too easily assumes a unified classroom on the side "of the subordinated against the subordinators" and "fails to confront the dynamics of subordination present among classroom participants and within classroom participants in the form of multiple and contradictory subject positions" (Ellsworth 1989: 315). Breaking through this myth, states Ellsworth, allowed the class to confront "the power dynamics inside and outside of the classroom, making real dialogue possible" (Ellsworth 1989: 316). In the end, Ellsworth and her students concluded, "the classroom was not a safe place for students to speak out or talk back about experiences of oppression both in and outside of the classroom" 71


(Ellsworth 1989: 325). Ellsworth's class included the experiences of gays, lesbians, those of atypical weight, women of color working with men of color, white women working with men of color, etc. In the end they analyzed that things were not being said for a number of reasons: from memories of bad experiences in other contexts of speaking out, resentment of privilegizing certain oppressions over others, fear of being misunderstood or disclosing too much, confusion about levels of commitment and trust, etc. (Ellsworth 1989: 297-323). Ellsworth notes that "dialogue in its conventional sense is impossible in the culture at large because at this historical moment, power relations between raced, classed, and gendered students and teachers are unjust" (Ellsworth 1989: 297). This is something many participants of the Lab School have yet to discover, or if they know or perceive the world to be unjust, it is thought that there would be few barriers to dialogUing about it in the classroom. The work of Michel Foucault, previously a professor of education, has had a profound impact on a wide range of disciplines from anthropology, "sociology, history, psychology, philosophy to politics, linguistics, cultural studies, literary theory and so on" (Ball 1990:1,2). At the "center of his work over a 25-year period, has been a series of attempts to analyze particular ideas or models of humanity 72


which have developed as the result of very precise historical changes, and the ways in which these ideas have become normative or universal" (Ball1990: 3). In Foucault's important text Discipline and Punish (1977), he traces the "shift from the spectacle of punishment to disciplined institutional power relations in terms of everyday life; the school and the classroom are specifically mentioned as apparatuses of this sort. In the nineteenth century they emerged as particular organizations of space and persons experienced by virtually all people, at one and the same time totalizing the power of the state and producing and specifying particular individualities. This Foucault called the double bind" (Ball1990: 4). Foucault's work focuses on certain knowledges in the human sciences and specific accompanying practices which he identifies as "central to the normalization of social principles and institutions of modern society." "Among these are psychological, medical, penitential, and educational knowledges and practices" (Ball1990: 5). In an anthology edited by Steven Ball, Foucault and Education: Discipline and Knowledge (1990), the authors focus on education as analyzed by Foucault, and its "interrelationship with politics, economics, and history in the formation and constitution of human beings as subjects" (Ball1990: 6-7). 73


By normalization, Foucault refers to "the establishment of measures, hierarchy, and regulations around the idea of a distributionary statistical _norm within a given population--the idea of judgement based on what is normal and thus what is abnormal" (Ball 1990: 2-3). The concept of discourse "is central to Foucault's analytical fram.ework. ... Discourses are about what can be said and thought, but also about who can speak, when, and with what authority ... Discourses embody meaning and social relationships, they constitute both subjectivity and power relations. The possibilities for meaning and for definition" (Ball1990 3-5) are bound to the social and institutional positions held by those who use them. "Meanings thus arise not from language but from institutional practices, from power relations ... Thus the concept of discourse emphasizes the social processes that produce meaning" (Ball 1990: 6). The authors of this book are basically concerned with educational contexts as "generators of an historically specific (modern) discourse, where certain modem validations of, and exclusions from, the 'right to speak' are generated ... Educational sites are subject to discourse but are also centrally involved in the social production and selective distribution of discourses" (Ball1990: 4). Educational institutions, in short, "control the access of individuals to various kinds of discourse" (Ball 1990: 5). 74


Education works not only to render its students as subjects of power, but also constitutes them, or soine of them, as powerful subjects. The effects of power are both negative and positive. Thus, Foucault and his supporters contend that the production and distribution of this knowledge, "in what it permits and what it prevents follows the lines laid down by social differences, conflicts and struggles ... Every educational system is a political means of maintaining or modifying the appropriateness of discourses with the knowledge and power they bring with them" (Ball1990: 6). "Divisions and objectifications are achieved either within the subject or between the subject and others" (Ball1990: 6). In the educational context, "the use of testing, examining, profiling, and streaming, ... the use of entry criteria for different types of schooling, and the formation of different types of intelligence, ability, and scholastic identity" (Ball1990: 7). in the transference of knowledge "are all examples of such 'dividing practices"' (Ball1990: 7). In these ways, using these "techniques and forms of organization, and the creation of separate and different curricula, pedagogies, forms of teacher-student relationships, identities and subjectivities are formed, learned and carried" (Ball1990: 6). ''Through the creation of remedial and advanced groups, and the separation of the educationally subnormal or those with special educational needs, abilities are stigmatized and normalized" (Ball1990: 7). 75


These dividing practices are critically intertwined with the creation and increasingly sophisticated development of the "educational sciences: educational psychology, pedagogics, the sociology of education" (Ball1990: 5-6). For example, the "development of the sociology of education in the 1960's and 1970's was organized around and informed and reinforced the 'problem of working-class underachievement"' (Balll990: 6). The sociological findings of the period constructed a "sophisticated and powerful social pathology of working-class family life as deficient and culturally deprived-abnormal" (Ball 1990: 7). The author draws from Sharp and Green (1975) in their analysis that the "problem of underachievement was defined as beyond the control and capabilities of the teacher, and as culturally determined and inevitable" (Ball1990: 6-7). Teachers were armed with rich vocabularies and slick classifications to justify the inevitability of differences in intellectual performance between the social classes (Ball 1990: 7). These knowledges and practices drawn from the educational sciences provided modes of classifying, controlling, and containing educational participants, often ironically linking such strategies to "humanitarian rhetoric of_ reform and progress: streaming, remedial classes, off-site units and sanctuaries, informal or invisible pedagogies" (Ball1990: 6). 76


Below I will sununarize antecedents to these numerous contemporary approaches to education in the U.S. The Origins of Anthropology and Education As evidence of the long and steady history of the subdiscipline of Anthropology and Education, anthropologist George Spindler (1973: 95-97) and Young Pai (1990: 4-5) both cite Edgar L. Hewett as first applying anthropology to educational problems as early as 1904 (22). A little later, the anthropological influence made itself visible in the still popular Maria Montessori method of education (1913). She called her approach "Pedological Anthropology" (23) (Lightfoot 1985: 113; Spindler 1973: 98). Even prominent anthropologist Franz Boas, devoting an entire chapter to the relevance of anthropology and education, wrote an article on this subject in 1928, "Anthropology and Modern Life" (24) (Spindler 1973). As early as the mid-40's pleas addressing the need for the integration of anthropology with education were being heard by such anthropologists and social scientists as Spindler, Ehrich and Holwells (Spindler 1973: 100-102). And Spindler notes in his history of educational anthropology that not until the 40's and SO's did multiple articles of several well known anthropologists (Margaret Mead, Jules Henry, Clyde 77


Kluckhohn, Solon Kimball, Dorothy Lee, and others) begin to appear on the topic of education and culture (25). However, it was the disciplines of educational psychology and educational sociology, more than educational anthropology, that became central components of general education (Pai 1990: 4-S; Spindler 1973: 94-112). In the mid-SO's, numerous works on anthropology and education were cited in the Yearbook of Anthropology. In addition, the influence of anthropology on education can be seen in the SO's and 60's in terms of the classic articles and monographs written on child socialization by Whiting and Child and Spiro and others (26). In addition, Spindler (1973) discussed how in the 40's through the 60's social class, as influenced by anthropological concerns, was widely written about in terms of educational contexts (27) (Spindler 1973:94112). The Emergence of a Subdiscipline The steady increase of interest throughout the 40's and SO's in this area eventually culminated in the official formation of a subdiscipline of educational anthropology in the 60's along with the subdisciplines of urban and medical anthropology. The subdiscipline. was described then, and continues to be described today, as a frontier area (28) (Spindler 1973: 104-10S). 78


Jules Henry proposed the first cross-cultural outline for the study of education, bringing the two disciplines together in 1960 (29). Educational anthropologist George Spindler, a prominent contributor to the history of anthropology and education, noted the occurrence in the early 1960's of several important lecture on education and anthropology (Spindler 1973: 105-107). With the emergence of the subdiscipline of educational anthropology, several anthropologists featured quite prominently. Eleanor Leacock and the Spindlers, Louise and George, were editors of popular books, articles, and anthologies of articles on this area. In much of their writings of that time we can see similar concerns, issues, and strategies which are still being addressed in current restructuring efforts such as the values that divide peopleand groups, the overarching context in which the educational system is situated, how a teacher's cultural background impacts on their strategies and ideology in a classroom, how gender, ethnicity, and class impact school participants, the school as a controlling apparatus, roles of school administrators and how they are affected by their individual personalities and forces in their environment, etc. (30) (Leacock 1969; Spindler 1973). The ethnographic method stemming from anthropology became important (especially to anthropologists and social scientists) in charting the complex interrelationship of the dynamics of a school as a 79


whole, the movement of its participants, in describing a detailed view of classrooms, and its larger local, regional, and national context during the 60's and 70's (31) (Leacock 1969; Spindler 1973). Important to the development of educational evaluation today, similar demands in the past for improvement of the educational system were and are seen as developments of the professional educational staff's individual ideology as they are interwoven with the internal needs and direction of the school (32) (Spindler 1973). Much of this early writing also looked at the general process of change in schools, studying the points of resistance and reinforcement experienced by teachers and other participants as old attitudes and techniques were relinquished for new ones (33) (Leacock 1969:xi-xx; Spindler 1973). Schools in the 60's and 70's were being dramatically thrust into the forefront of the wider sociopolitical context as in no time previously (except the advent of the factory /hospital style school, itself paralleling the early industrial revolution) (34) (Dow 1991: 10). Stemming from these struggles, schools during this time were beginning to acknowledge that the school institution was a means for reinforcing the social-economic structure of our socioeconomic system (35) (Dow 1991:9-10). Many concerns and strategies from the 40's and SO's and especially the 60's and 70's mirror similar concerns and strategies 80


expressed today. In one sense these past concerns have immediate relevance because many of the same concerns never were resolved. However, we are now living in a different historical period, a somewhat different socio/economic/political context-if not a substantially different global context. Thus, remaining blind to the dramatic changes which have occurred could make some of our longstanding concerns less valid and our strategies less relevant (Dow 1991:9-10). 81


Conclusions The subject of my internship, the evaluation of an innovative educational restructuring effort at a mainly white middle-class K-12 school in Greeley, Colorado, was generally informed by a diverse array of literature, much of which was mentioned in my literature review. However the main intent of my internship was to evaluate if and how an identified group of "key features" were implemented throughout the school community. I have rarely seen described in the literature this specific reality, the ethnographic evaluation of such a restructuring effort, in a similar school and community context. However, as has been documented in many U.S. newspapers, many of the prominent features of the Lab School restructuring effort are being heralded throughout the country as part of similar educational restructuring efforts. These components currently being experimented with in an array of schools across the United States generally range from: team teaching strategies, interdisciplinary education, appropriate technology, a creation of portfolios instead of grades, an emphasis on social responsibility, site based decision making, etc. The implementation of these stated objectives at the Lab School also were accompanied by a variety of other more implicit objectives which could be heard in conversations throughout the school such as empowering, dialoguing, etc. Apart from descriptions of specific innovative educational components I 82


found in the literature a focus on the technique of ethnographic evaluation and assessment. Overall, I found the literature to be generally attuned to problems and realities in a school setting different from those I was directly concerned with. I will briefly describe how the literature cited in my review generally and specifically informed my internship. The literature cited in my literature review that had some of the most direct relevance for my immediate task in the Laboratory School were Christine Sleeter and colleagues' discussions pertaining to the complexities ahd implications of the term "empowerment." This term was frequently thrown around at the Lab School, but I rarely if ever heard people specify, "empowerment for whom" (Ellsworth 1989; Sleeter 1991). Because the school population was mainly white and middle class I felt the implications of this question to be especially important. The specifics around the issue of empowerment were rarely critically discussed with or among students, faculty or administration. As approached by Lab School participants empowerment seemed to imply learning how to be a confident, self directed learner. It also seemed to refer to power that was gained upon decentralizing the hierarchical system of education in the Lap School. Thus teachers, students and parents would have more power to engage in planning and decision making. However, power in a larger since and how we 83


all fit into the context was rarely explored. Why exactly would white middle class students need empowering? For example, if my power and privilege are related to someone's powerlessness (i.e. in Greeley or Mexico), then I can have an impact on this reality, and if put into perspective, power or empowerment then might have more relevance to one group or individual than another. H these complexities are not examined, as they usually are not in our country, the result is to perceive of everyone as having equal access to power. Further, many people in the U.S. (including students, teachers, parents and others) deduce from the these existing inequities that each person, population or culture are solely responsible for the position they are in. Thus understanding the full implications around the issue of empowerment, can lead to increased understanding, social responsibility, reduced ethnocentrism, a placing of blame where it belongs, and strategies for change. At the level of the Lab School and its change process greater understanding of social reproduction theory (as discussed by Jay MacLeod 1987) and its implications could have exposed the fallacies that everyone is equally able to become a confident, autonomous learner. Attuned to social reproduction theory teachers and administrators would pay much greater sensitivity to a students historical, cultural, economic, employment history. This information would then be invaluable to designing the students personalized 84


learning plan (p.l.p.) (36). Equally, the teachers class, ethnicity, personal and family history would be seen as having a direct impact on the students ability to become an autonomous learner. Without this kind of analysis, students would be unfairly misunderstood or blamed for their limitations regarding the ability to become self directed. Similarly, without examining the Anglo, middle class bias of the educational system itself and how it systematically stigmatizes and tracks students through varied subtle mechanisms, the existing powerful or powerless contexts of the students would be perpetuated if not for luck and unusual determiriation from a student. Not that these same students did not need empowering in some since, but in what since? Many times, empowerment to teachers and administrators including those at the Lab School legitimately referred to providing studentS with a set of "critical thinking skills" (can a student objectively argue, write, discuss). While at times direct power relationships were alluded to and li.nk.S dra'Wn, this analysis was generally directed at "safe" historical events or abstract events happening outside of students' own immediate contexts, experiences, or knowledge. While cross cultural discussions are important, the controversial context of ethnic relations right in Greeley and the part we all play could have been more rigorously examined, for example. This immediate, concrete context of Greeley's ethnic/ gender relations and other realities, such as war and famine in the Third World for 85


example, could have been more assertively confronted as to popular misconceptions stemming from these realities and how our privilege is related to others' disprivelege, etc. At times this was done by a small cadre of teachers in the Lab School. However, in the end I am still led back to Foucault's ideas reminding us that because of our larger context even the everyday efforts at a school to change these types of misconceptions may fall short. In the same vein, discussions at the Lab School could have remained less abstract when attempting to resolve a conflict occurring at school outside of the classroom, such as an ethnic, class .. based one. Here, there could have been more discussions between students and teachers as to why some people might need less empowering or even disempowering in contrast to others in the same school who lack basic power and access in many areas-instead of usual attempts to resolve conflicts "objectively." Apart from Sleeter's review I was similarly informed by the important article by Elizabeth Ellsworth which also dealt with the complexities of many of these terms-especially empowerment and dialogue-and the difference between them in theory and practice. This article, which I shared and attempted to discuss with the director of the Lab School on several occasions, made me aware of why good intentions weren't always enough. Similar to the insights of Foucault, which stressed the degree of institutionalization of oppressive 86


apparatuses in this country, Ellsworth's article made me aware of our glaring inequalities and why efforts in a classroom which assumed that we could come to fair conclusions if we just "negotiated" and "dialogued" and assumed that the classroom could be a "safe" place were ultimately wrong and would most likely fail. ,. Thirdly, I found myself informed by many concepts which I never heard directly articulated by those in the Lab School but were issues that I felt should have been addressed at a more explicit level. Some of these concepts such as "student voice" and "multiculturalism" were, however, addressed by Sleeter and Ellsworth. Despite the lack of visibility of these concepts at the Lab School these terms have been ironically addressed in much of the old and new literature of educational change in addition to being frequently addressed in newspaper articles describing current efforts around the state and country. The work of Michel Foucault (1977) was a strong influence on my general presuppositions which framed my insights and observations of the overall dynamics and context of the change effort. Because Foucault's powerful insights penetrate the heart of our everyday life and psyche through our interactions with the numerous institutions we come in contact with as well as the institutionalized 87


practices which reverberate throughout the life of institutions and outside of institutions, I felt that at no time could my analysis be separated from his insights. Foucault's revolutionary and complex argument was not literature that anyone seemed to have any knowledge of at the Lab School, with exception of a couple of teachers that I knew of-mainly a high school philosophy teacher anq a high school foreign language teacher. However, literature grappling with these issues was growing in popularity and was quite visible in conversations of those in the school of education at U.N.C. The two Lab School teachers whose approaches to and the restructuring efforts seemed to be informed by the teachings of Foucault, like myself, would also I believe, hav.e had a difficult time conveying the profundity of these insights to their colleagues. Foucault's insights made me at once wary and somewhat cynical about how much change was actually possible in the Lab School. Foucault's insights clued me to the overriding contexts of power and discipline beyond the Lab School, the accumulated history of "the school" as a disciplinary institution which still pervades the school reality today, and the overall, invisible, subtle and institutionalized regulatory "panoptic" mechanisms that exist and are rarely noticed or acknowledged in even the most progressive of schools. 88


The writings of critical pedagogues, especially Henry Giroux, informed my insights and analysis similar to Foucault's work, speaking to me of the almost essential and enduring oppressive nature of institutions like schools. Specifically, Giroux's analysis and my perceptions of his analysis informed me of the ability for participants of schools and other institutions to resist. Thus, I was reminded of the dialectical process of interaction which could occur between teachers and students, teachers and administrators, administrators and teachers with parents, despite my strong feelings which ultimately told me that those with the most power were, in most cases, graced with the most privilege, control, power, and access. In addition, in my practical day-to-day task of doing an ethnography, my activities were informed by the insights of applied anthropologist/ educational ethnographic evaluator David Fetterman as he laid out step by step components of doing ethnography generally in schools and in different applied settings. Through the presentation of diverse case studies and diverse approaches to educational evaluation I was able to gain insight into the range of unique problems, methods, and modes of presentation of educational ethnographic evaluation. Similarly, the ethnography by Jay MacLeod was insightful, even though it described a context much different from the one I was 89

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involved in. His day to day descriptions of field work, his descriptions of gaining rapport, asking questions, interviewing, and insights of coding his field notes were insightful. MacLeod's section on theory especially informed my overall vision. The concepts of "cultural capital," "social reproduction theory," and "habitus" became extremely profound insights to me, and I began to think that a teacher's or administrator's lack of understanding of these components when attempting to understand, advise, or teach a group of students would soon backfire, if not for extreme luck and determination on the part of the students. I asked myself quite frequently, "how can one possibly teach, advise, etc. students without knowing anything about their context (historical, family, class, ethnic, etc.). Because the Lab School was small, and students with their parents were always encouraged to participate in their conferences, over the years it was possible for a teacher to know something of a student's background. But without understanding how our specific and complex backgrounds affect our teaching, learning, listening, talking, living, we are bound to almost certainly reproduce the existing power relations of our socio-cultural-economic system. Perhaps because many of the students and teachers shared background traits (ethnicity, class ... ) these students many times were probably not much harmed. But in my couple of years at the School, I was attracted to a range of students who did not fit the norm 90

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because of class, ethnicity, gender, learning disabilities, physical disabilities and who were typical of similar populations of students who historically have fallen and continue to fall through the cracks. There were a few teachers at the Lab School who did understand how some of these traits could affect one's schooling and informed their strategies accordingly. But these were the minority. In some ways new efforts at the Lab School were intended to level the effects of inequality. For example, a move away from stigmatizing students who did not meet the status quo in different curriculum areas was being addressed by implementing a strategy of developmental grouping which calls into question the traditional "tracking" method. This is a positive move and does seem to be having the effect intended, even in these early stages. Whereas in traditional educational contexts a student may be derided for being either too young, too old, having to take a class over, or being put in a class that is outside of the status quo, this same stigma is being dissolved at the Lab School through this effort. Apart from developmental grouping, other efforts intended as progressive such as emphasizing autonomy, self. directed learning, and more choice for students in decision making and planning could have the effect of either reproducing the social system or allowing a student to become empowered and make strides toward achieving higher aspirations and viable careers. For example, a student with limited 91

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academic, middle class "cultural capital" and given a choice of classes and career paths in school, might choose what they were more comfortable with, more familiar with, and able to be successful at-thus choosing the same type of vocational jobs his parents and reletives have held, ones most likely with limited status, benefits, pay, and possibility for advancement. Following the "determinism" of Bowles and Gintis as discussed by MacLeod, in the same way, a student with middle class, professional or acedemically oriented "cultural capital" would be similarly encouraged to follow what they were most familiar with, most comfortable with, and able to be the most successful at. The bias of the system would certainly be a strong influence in these cases. The insight, subjectivity, determination and will would also be a factor in students abilities to transcend their backgrounds, however the reality of the inequality that exists in our country is strong evidence of the strength of the system to shape ones aspiratons, career paths and outcome. The deciding factor at the Lab School I think would hinge on a teachers ability to understand these influencing factors, help the student to understand these factors, provide the student with "real choice", and provide them with the ammunition to be able to manipulate themselves through the system. Thus some understanding of a students background (in order to understand their stated aspirations, goals, probability for success) would be crucial. In addition, a strong advisee program; personalized learning, teaching 92

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environments; and a wide range of internship, apprentice programs could also be quite important if students are being positively or negetively affected. If a student .consistently chose a teclmicians job as their internship, apprenticeship or shadowing experience, they might in actuality be choosing it for the factors outlined above, not neccessarily out of desire. Examining a students reason for making decisions, providing them with multiple and frequent experiences in a range of career possibilities could give them confidence to believe in their "undisclosed" desires, and give them the experience to become familiar with a job I career possibility they have little understanding or experience with. To some degree Lab School students are receiving access that would be atypical to much public school education. However, at times these opportunities are quite variable depending on the teacher or advisor. Increased advisee time and personalized learning opportunities are being increasingly emphasized, and the internship plan is still in the beginning stages, so it is difficult to tell what the full outcome of these changes will be. A related concept to social reproduction theory is the current focus, especially in education on "self concept." Much of the efforts in this area are directed at shallow, self help programs for anyone and everyone. Stating "I am great" a thousand times, or giving out praise to every student regardless of what is done, is more commonly the approach in education to cure an ailing self concept than looking at 93

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root causes and beginning there. A population such as we have in the U.S., which is plagued by numerous personal, social, economic, ethnic, gender, class and ethnic problems are in all probability the root causes of low self esteem in many cases. A serious focus on social reproduction theory and all it entails would also seem to address in some way this issue of self concept. In some ways the Lab School is moving in the right direction. However, a serious study of social reproduction theory could help many students transcend a life of drudgery and exploitation. 94

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CHAPTER4 THE CURRENT RESTRUCIURING EFFORT: THE "NEW" LABORATORY SCHOOL The Laboratory School: 189Q-1989 A Precursor to the Current Changes As previously stated, laboratory schools in general, including the Lab School on the University of Northern Colorado have been known for their histories of innovative educational strategies. These innovations have typically comprised: the variable of small size (small schools relative to public schools, and small classrooms in terms of student/teacher ratio), a relationship with the university to focus on and support teacher education, a variety of team teaching strategies, and a personalized learning context (a focus on individualized attention to students and the encouragement of student participation in student/ teacher I parent conferences). In light of this reputation, some teachers were drawn to the Lab School because of its history of innovation and flexibility. Some were drawn to the Lab School because of a long-standing interest in educational restructuring. Other Lab School faculty ended up at the Lab School because of a general interest in teaching or a lack of openings elsewhere. 95

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The current "restructuring effort" has been an attempt to build on the historic innovations of laboratory schools and has been supported, if not initiated by, UNC administrators. In fact, three years after the Lab School initiated its "restructuring process," the university community, apart from the Lab School, has now begun and been involved in a similar process. As I stated in the introduction, in this section of my thesis my prioritizing and clustering of the "key features" are modified from the way they are presented in the Lab School key features bulletin which was created in 1989 to guide Lab School participants' efforts. The main purpose for this modification mainly stems from how I observed certain components "actually" being emphasized while others were being less emphasized or de-emphasized, including my own interpretation regarding the interrelationship of the key features. Thus, my clustering reflects more the actual implementation process, combined with my interpretation of their importance, rather than the ideal description created before the implementation process began for the key features bulletin. Similarly, in my subjective choice of key features and descriptions of their implementation, I strove to reflect the flexibility and dynamic quality of the actual and ideal restructuring process. A continuum running from the ideals of the restructuring process to the contradictions involved in the practical reforming of the educational 96

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institution comprised a fluid reality. This fluid reality will be evident in the overlapping nature of the way in which these key restructuring features are presented in the text. Finally, the differences in time spent with particular informants, in specific classes or levels, or observing specific activities or events affected my articulation of the key features. The disproportionate time spent in certain contexts over others stemmed partially from my own intentions and desires, suggestions by administrators to focus on certain areas, the desires of faculty, and where a particular group of teachers were in the evolution of thinking, planning and dealing with the restructuring process. Key Features: The Establishment of ANew Direction Thirteen "key features" were constructed and developed by teams of students, teachers, and administrators during the school year (1988-89) to guide this new restructuring effort. In this section of my thesis, I will provide "narrative summaries" of specific examples of key feature implementation. Administrators were, of course, primary actors in the change effort as architects of change more in more of an ideal and macro sense than in the day to day interaction with students in the classroom. The two Lab School principals also fulfilled a sort of 97

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a reformed but disciplinarian position in their frequent contact with "disruptive" students. Teachers, obviously many times main actors in this process, were generally most conscious of and responsible for asserting a day to day practical and workable direction, involving the key features, they wanted to go in-thus moving classroom contexts and other school-related contexts in the "new" direction. Other actors, such as students and parents, were also participants in these activities. Their full participation as ideally expressed in the key features bulletin has yet to be fully actualized. Yet, actual participation of students and parents, even in the early stages of the restructuring effort surpassed the impersonal, regulated, and less innovative context of the traditional "school." Thus, in the early part of this long-term restructuring process students and parents participated more as those collectively and individually constructing their daily routines with teachers and advisors and reacting in response to efforts initially not of their own making and less as actors on a more global level constructing the direction and framework of the change effort. One piece of evidence supporting this reality is that in the first few years of the change effort, students rarely, if ever, acknowledged any knowledge of specific key features at either a superficial or general level when questioned about them. These key features as a general guide do provide a complex, interlocking, and clear framework for understanding the general 98

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dynamics of the Lab School change process and the contexts of these types of changes in general. The features in their ideally described state are influenced by the subjective interpretations of all of the various participants of this process. They can be read anywhere from "revolutionary," to "liberal," or even "new-age" depending on who is interpreting them, a participant's background, ideology, and ideas concerning how to approach the Components. The capacity for faculty unification around broad but acceptable parameters for interpretation and action will depend on access to increased time and a commitment to a broad-based participatory and in-depth examination of the key features' meanings and My key feature descriptions as a whole will provide both a composite of the Lab School restructuring dynamic and slices of the people and the process. My modification regarding the clustering and prioritizing of the thirteen key features as previously discussed will involve grouping the key features into the three general areas: integrated learning, an emphasis toward beyond the classroom education: applying your knowledge, and increased access. 99

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Integrated Learning Interdisciplinary education. Interdisciplinary education as collectively defined by the key features committee during the (1989-90) school year and ideally expressed in its bulletin highlighting the new changes, is "the recognition of the uniqueness and value of multiple areas of knowledge and disciplines, while simultaneously stressing the interrelationships between and among them." This approach "views knowledge and learning holistically, reflecting their natural integration in the world. Skills are consistently integrated for practical application, while themes relevant to the students learning are blended across content areas." An "interdisciplinary approach" organizes education "in terms of curriculum, instruction, and staffing. It is compatible with team teaching, individualization of learning, multi-aged grouping, and flexible scheduling .... "(Key Features Bulletin 1989). In my opinion, Integrated learning through interdisciplinary education is valuable. The ideal use of this approach in teaching and learning acknowledges that no where in "real life" has knowledge remained isolated, separate, untouched, and unaffected by other types of knowledge. The interdisciplinary approach encourages cooperative teaching/learning relationships over antagonistic or separate ones. It emphasizes the richness and history of individual disciplines while concurrently stressing the relationship between them. The 100

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implementation of interdisciplinary education allows us to reduce the segmentation that has been indicative to "the school." The prominent restructuring component, interdisciplinary education is compatible with the components of team teaching, the encouragement of peer teaching strategies, collective learning efforts, and wellness. One elementary level teacher, Julie Meyers describes her experience with interdisciplinary education as follows: All our units are basically based on a theme. A unit lasts until it is over. It just depends on what we think we need. In all the units we try to write about it, read about it, do research about it, do math with it, do science experiments, music, and art ... The way we make sure we are covering all the subjects (i.e. the 3 R's), is to have an implicit (two week) schedule where we just require ourselves to do certain things, like recognizing we have to do some kind of writing activity today, and no matter how we put it in, we do it. So, even if our units are theme oriented from the kids point of view, they are still curriculum oriented from our point of view. For example, because we are in the weather unit, and we need a writing activity, that activity will probably be a written assignment about weather, it may be a letter to pen pals, or writing weather/seasons poems, or stories about storms we have been in. We may learn a weather song to help us with the unit, or to 101

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help us remember something. And many times music, writing, and weather will be combined in this way. The implementation of interdisciplinary education has been approached eagerly by the majority of participants in the Lab School. In some sense the coordination has been faster and smoother at the elementary levels. This has been largely due to the closer geographical proximity of teachers and students and the decreased specialization of general subject matter in terms of what all students are being taught. In contrast, the somewhat different style of autonomy and independence geared towards older students and faculty at high school and junior high levels has framed the coordination of this strategy, which has come a little slower. Overall, many of the changes at the Lab School, including the implementation of interdisciplinary education, have come with concurrent changes directed towards team teaching. Team teaching to most teachers actually implies "pair teaching." A successful outcome of the interdisciplinary approach has involved the coordination between teachers of their schedules and expertises to facilitate interdisciplinary I team teaching opportunities in a variety of different combinations (i.e. political science-literature, English-literature political science, art-literature, French-philosophy, accounting economics-English-social science). These combinations have encouraged teachers to expand their knowledges and become skilled 102

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in being specialists and "generalists." This interdisciplinary approach seems useful in the high pressured/limited personnel context teachers work in. Coordinating the diverse schedules of teachers in order to facilitate their goals (an expression of interdisciplinary education) is done with considerable trial and error planning which generally takes a slightly different shape each quarter. The implementation of this approach generally looks more organized from the teacher's point of view than from the students', which many times expresses bewilderment, fatalism, discomfort and anger toward the constant changes each semester. While implementing these strategies, involving the students in frequent and consistent broad-based, participatory discussions on the practical reasons for switching before-rather than after the fact of the switch--could alleviate much of the distance between students and teachers in terms of the actual planning and implementation process, tending to garner support, understanding and allies instead. Team teaching. Throughout the Lab School I frequently observed the dynamic and varied way team teaching was approached. Team teaching approach combines the expertise and teaching 103

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strategies of two or more people. Team teaching is one way of socially organizing the cooperative, sharing, and blending that facilitates integrated learning approaches. In January of 1989-90, Levels 4 and 5 (high school) made the most recent in a long line of schedule changes. This change was based on input received from a student survey distributed by levels 4 and 5 faculty. In part, changes derived from the results of the survey were intended to and did lessen the isolation between levels that students were especially feeling and provided more varied opportunities for faculty as well as a more diverse range of expertise being contributed to themes or subjects taught in team teaching contexts. Team teaching is found throughout the Lab School. It allows faculty to learn from each other's expertise and blend their know ledges, it provides a more variable context for students, and it allows faculty to better meet students' individual needs because of an increased teacher to student ratio, which also makes it easier to facilitate peer teaching arrangements, field trips and other non traditional learning experiences. Overall, the way teachers organize how the class will be taught is variable and fluid. In team teaching contexts, there is usually some kind of rotation that occurs between a teacher who lectures and one who facilitates the classroom dynamics. Many times the teacher in the role of facilitator will walk among students interacting personally and individually with 104

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all the students she or he can. While one teacher facilitates the direction of the entire class another teacher may direct questions toward individual students. Teachers as facilitators frequently review material from previous classes, summarize, review, and draw connections to facilitate the learning experience. In team teaching contexts teachers are better able to work with students in a personalized manner, encouraging different students to develop their problem-solving and critical-thinking skills particular to their unique needs. This higher ratio of teachers to students is also compatible with the concept of developmental grouping, allowing for the facilitation of the complex coordination of the numerous students working at variable paces on diverse subject matter. The encouragement of peer teaching, group assignments and presentations are a common outgrowth of the team teaching context. This increased capacity for one-on-one contact ideally decreases previous impersonality and distance, mainly a result of one teacher's being accountable to an entire classroom. It frees the teaching-learning experience by allowing for students and teachers to work towards a context of autonomous learning, aided by directed study of the subject matter. As previously noted, the team teaching approach allows teachers to act as facilitators, working together and complementing their skills and expertise. Team teaching may be articulated differently 105

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in different contexts with different people. Team teaching may mean teaching every class as a pair. While focusing on a specific subject matter, teachers may daily or weekly rotate their roles in the classroom. In contrast, team teaching may be approached by dividing a class into two related subjects. While one teacher takes the class one day, the other teacher takes the class another day while they simultaneously make use of their expertise and blending of know ledges to educate students toward a common theme. In the team teaching context of the Lab School, there is generally little traditional lecturing. More likely, teachers will convey the initial course information to students and then provide guidance along the way; however, students (individually or in groups) are generally expected to take over, be responsible for researching what they need to know, ask for help when they need it, and complete a task. Ideally a reciprocal learning process takes place between teachers and students as they discover and are challenged by the subject matter together. In this context the traditional teaching role is de-emphasized and autonomous learning is encouraged. Assessment of students' progress takes place through the increased one-on-one contact, academic checkins with their advisors, and their own initiative if a problem arises. The following is a description expressing the compatibility between the team teaching approach and the encouragement of team student projects. An American Studies class, a favorite of many 106

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students, was team taught this year. This class was taught several different times during the year and approached differently by the different pairs of teachers. In this class, one of the teachers had previously team taught. Her expertise was English, economics, and environmental studies. She mentioned that for the other teacher, a social scientist, team teaching was a new opportunity, and it was "one which he came to enjoy, be excited about, and challenged by." During one unit of this class, students could organize themselves into groups or do individual projects. This small group (team), peer teaching/learning approach is frequently encouraged at the Lab School in contrast to the individualist approach so emphasized during in the educational arenas of the 70's and 80's. The number of people in the groups was arbitrary. Groups were primarily organized around themes such as AfrcrAmerican culture, Native-American history, women, etc. on which projects would be done. Presentation format of the groups was highly flexible, variable, and interdisciplinary, giving students the opportunity to express themselves individually and collectively in artistic, visual, written, and oral forms. This attention by most Lab School teachers to presenting and allowing for diverse subject matter and providing a flexible presentation format is generally expressed as a sensitivity to the diverse student "learning styles" that are encountered in a classroom. 107

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One all female group had chosen to do a project on Native Americans. They had found a filmstrip to present to the class that would illuminate the effect of colonial forces on Native Americans, their resistance to it, the blending of cultures which occurred with colonization, and subsequent ocCWTences of identity decimation. They followed up this contemporary film animation with a handout of study questions which they had constructed for the class. In it, students were expected, in written form, to express critical thought in answering such questions as: "How did the white man influence the Indians' writing? What were the Indians trying to get across in their writings? What was the main purpose of writing songs instead of just stories?" Students were asked to compare this somewhat fictional slide show to a documentary presented earlier by the two teachers on the current/historical Hopi-Navaho/ American corporation conflict. The creativity and criticality of this group's research, themes, and styles of presentation was not atypical as shown by another group's chosen activities. This mixed gender group chose the theme "Dark Secrets/Rebels." They chose this theme to illuminate a variety of chosen stories by the authors Nathaniel Hawthorn and Edgar Allen Poe. After passing out a question sheet to students, individuals in the groups began to give oral reports and interpretations of the different stories they had read and the meanings they drew from them. The other students in the class were expected to participate, discuss, and 108

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ask questions. Following the groups presentation, the group distributed its handout asking students iil the class to compare the authors' writings. They were asked what the writings represented, and what factors influenced the authors' writings, etc. This Dark Secret/Rebel" group also offered extra credit for students who completed a word search game on the authors' works. Despite the group's choice of white, western males to exemplify their theme, their desire to present their views in terms of resistance and rebellion was laudable. Allowing for the expression of multiple strategies fu the classroom, stenuning from the flexible team teaching approach, facilitates the "integration of learning and fun," according to one faculty member. The team-teaching approach ideally facilitates a philosophy of integrated learning and allows various student and faculty needs to be met. This strategy, an historic component of the Lab School, is still prominent and widely discussed in the Lab School. The whole emphasis on the blending of expertises and curriculum reverberated throughout the structure of the teaching/learning experience in this class. Another unique way team teaching was approached at the Lab School involved some efforts to choose "partners" from the university, generally from the Education deparbnent. Their partners were periodically invited to events at the Lab School and morning 109

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breakfasts. They were asked to teach occasionally and offer assistance and resource in other kinds of ways. This enriched the Lab SChool through sharing of information and expertise and helped reduce some of the distance and patronizing attitude directed atthe Lab School by the university. At the Lab School, team teaching arrangements encouraged cooperation by allowing students and faculty to work in various types of social arrangements. Due to a higher student/ teacher ratio and an increase in peer teaching opportunities stemming from team teaching arrangements and arrangements with "partners" in the College of Education, team teaching allowed teachers to increase accountability of students' progress, decreasing the chances that "unique" students would fall through cracks. Further; with the explicit link by teachers between the team teaching and interdisciplinary approach and their implications, a holistic understanding and appreciation of knowledge and lea!ning can be encouraged and nurtured. Wellness. To participants of the "new" Lab School, wellness conveys several things. It is one of the key features and has specific and general meanings to most Lab School faculty, staff and administration. At its most general, wellness conveys the ideal and holistic interrelationship of the various components in this effort, such as key features, various approaches to the features, and the 1 1 0

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diverse participants in this new change effort. Wellness is also taught throughout the Lab School as individually defined, diversely taught courses. There is considerable variation in the approach of individual teachers to the concept of wellness. Some teachers and students ground their wellness explorations in concrete social/political contexts i.e. exploring how aspects of the social wellness of others (poverty, subsistence, political developments) are related to our own social wellness conditions. Other teachers may encourage students to examine a health issue such as Aids and concretely research its various impacts and manifestations related to intellectual, sexual, ethnic, physical, and psychological wellness. Still others may take a shallower "new age" approach to wellness, focusing more on how an isolated individual is affected by a particular issue while distancing themselves from examining how it relates to other regional or global realities. Stan Moore a P.E. teacher and counselor at the Lab School, is teaching a wellness class this semester. There are five students in this class which is open to level4 and 5 (high school juniors and seniors) students. In personalized seminar fashion, the class is designed to fit the needs and interests of the individual students enrolled. The purpose of the class is to integrate the physical, social, sexual, emotional, occupational, spiritual and intellectual components of our "being." This wellness class, like many others at the Lab School, seeks 1 1 1

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to get away from separations (i.e. mind/body, academic/physical, etc.) that have been historically created and institutionalized in om schools, our society, and our lives. Students are asked to keep wellness folders. These folders convey the development of their programs, divided into the following three areas: Knowledge (includes wellness description, wellness assessment, class handouts, and written assignments); Practice (contains the students' p.l. p. personal learning plan, which documents the students' goals, their planned activities, and a record of their completed activities); Support (contains signatures of other faculty who were used in assisting students with their programs or evaluation of them, along with signatures validating student/teacher consultation for their wellness plans and updates). "During the process of the class, discussions and papers on the concept of wellness are required. The idea is to choose a topic, develop a plan, research, become informed, practice or apply what is learned, and come back to the group for discussion, guidance, and support," notes Moore Students are encouraged to integrate community resources and people into their plan, thus eliminating the school community division and enhancing the possibilities that the students will continue their activities when the class ends or they graduate, stresses Moore For example those students working on aerobics or tae-kwon-do are encouraged to work in class, at home, and at a health 112

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club or sports center, etc. This, notes the teacher, provides a link between school and community and eases the rough transition some may encounter upon approaching graduation and separation from their comfortable school environment. Bergstrom conveys that in this class, individual wellness plans involve such activities as students' doing and teaching tae-kwon-do, developing a weight program, implementing an exercise program, planning to improve study strategies, and exploring strategies to help improve their home relationships. Wellness is compatible with interdisciplinary education, autonomous learning approaches, and applied, off-campus learning opportunities. As previously noted, the way the concept of wellness is defined and implemented is highly variable and broad. Generally, though, a composite of intellectual, social, physical, and mental wellness components are emphasized. Apart from individual wellness classes, the counseling center and nurses' offices are quite active and have created a variety of valuable programs and interpersonal groups to meet the uriique student needs and interests throughout the school. These groups address various individual and group needs and problems as they come up (i.e. suicide, depression, sexuality, friendship, relationships, rejection, discrimination, etc.). Administrators and faculty from all levels have set aside a morning each week to meet, talk informally, and share breakfast to 113

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deal with problems or stresses (their general wellness needs) they are encountering. It seems, though, that whatever wellness should entail from teachers' points of view (i.e. overcommitted working conditions increased due to time and energy required for new change efforts without accompanying monetary compensation), is not generally part of the wellness definition as seen from the administrator's point of view. This seems a bit hypocritical. How and why should teachers meet students' wellness needs when theirs are devalued and met with superficial Band-Aids? Issues from alcoholism to AIDS have been dealt with in wellness classes, workshops initiated by the nurses or the counseling office, or activities at the university that entire levels or schools have been invited to. One of these activities at the university was a very engaging, musical/play on AIDS called "Secrets." All of the high school students in the region were invited. It was very explicit and emphasized responsible sex and prevention from an inclusive cross cultural perspective. Another time, a group of high school girls was working with the nurses' I counseling office to research and lobby for getting a condom machine installed in the school. One of the poorer presentations relating to wellness that I witnessed was an AIDS presentation given by nursing students from the university to several high school classes at the Lab School. Considering the urgency of the issue today, the presenters seemed 114

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prepared at a basic level but sadly unprepared to deal with the specific audience they were speaking to. And thus, the nursing students lost out on a good opportunity. They explained IDV, AIDS prevention, and medication strategies, emphasizing that the faster one began to take medication (particularly AZ'O after contracting AIDS, the better the chances were. Actually, from what I have read, this may not be entirely true. In general, the students seemed disinterested and did not ask many questions. One Chicano male made several homophobic comments such as, "I don't care about it. Why do I need to know? It's only faggots that get it anyways." He was confronted, told he should care, and that his comments weren't true. But he was not told that, in fact, AIDS has decreased in the homosexual communities because of strong educational efforts, that non-Anglos and women die faster than Anglo males with AIDS, that those who die the most from AIDS are Black and Hispanic, or that AIDS was growing faster and faster in the heterosexual communities and teenage communities because of their disbelief, ignorance and lack of adequate educational efforts. Thus, in some wellness has been adequately addressed, but with an epidemic like AIDS on our hands, the frequency and accuracy of the education, especially on issues of this magnitude presented for the most part throughout the Lab School, seemed sadly lacking. 115

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An Emphasis Toward "Beyond the Classroom Education": Applying Your Knowledge The inclusion of the following three components (social responsibility and service, business and community education, global/ community education and awareness) into the Lab School Key Features can, I believe, reflect concerns that, in theory, significantly broaden the idea of education as it has been traditionally conveyed. Together these components imply a desire to close the distance between schools and community, making schools a less artificial and shallow context. First, by recognizing that much of our learning takes place out of the classroom, the different types of internship possibilities provide the student with a means of practicing what they learn in the classroom and applying it to a variety of challenging situations. This involves a recognition that we are always learning, that much of our education takes place in our everyday lives. Secondly these components also acknowledge individual and group awareness and responsibility to community, both local and global. These components acknowledge that the school community is embedded in a larger local, regional, national, and international context. Ideally, these. components further provide a guideline for us to begin to see ourselves as related to and connected to everything 116

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around us. They can provide a bridge to understanding-and to action. In this section, under the third heading of global/ community education and awareness, I have placed the subcomponents of internships, shadowing and colloquium. Concluding comments for this entire section will follow the final description of colloquium. Social responsibility and service. As defined in the key features bulletin (1989) social responsibility and service ideally "corresponds to an emphasis in the curriculum on the relationship between the global context and the local context-thinking globally while acting locally and personally." Students will be encouraged to examine and to "clarify their own values, intentions and roles in terms of global and local issues." The Lab School"will engage students in real events and trends in an effort to use the community as a classroom, as well as expecting student involvement in their local community through community service projects." At the Lab School an emphasis on social responsibility and service can be seen in classes such as ethics, critical thinking, and environmental awareness. This emphasis can also be seen in the proliferation of elementary and middle school recycling projects and in Green Peace speakers brought in to supplement a global awareness unit. 117

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K.A.F.E. (cafe) is the new food service experiment at the "new" Lab School. The "Kafe" project embodies the concept of social responsibility and service. Kafe, in fact, goes beyond these concepts. As some might say, it is "the model" in action "for the new Lab School," and .. if it can work, so can the other experiments .. that are being newly implemented, states Kafe facilitator Dianne Baker. Dianne Baker previously a "normal" home-economics teacher at the Lab School for 12 years, decided this fall to facilitate the undertaking of this."big risk. .. Admitting that the implementation of this program all at once was a huge task, and a bit chaotic to begin with, she nevertheless admits that it has been a "huge success and that now things are running smoother ... Kafe is comprised of multiple components. On one level is the student organization of the lunch service to the school community. The menus ... reflect student choices," notes Baker. Meals are prepared by the students, served by the students, and clean-up is done by the students. To achieve part of these goals, students organized through their advisee groups rotate so that each student in the Lab School puts in one day each week to serve, clean up, and do dishes. Faculty involvement is also quite extensive in this food service experiment, as they participate in all of the jobs the students do, excluding managerial ones for the most part. 118

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Dianne Baker eagerly seeks to impart to students a sense of autonomous control and responsibility. She illustrates the possibilities of student participation and decision making by giving them challenging experiences that will help students "develop managerial skills, interpersonal relationships on the job, a work ethic responsibility, and awareness of the components that make up a business," states Baker. Ideas for Kafe projects generally come from the seniors. "These students then handpick a few younger students to help them in project development and implementation. The goal is to construct a close knit family where learning takes place through role modeling." These activities include doing basic problem solving for the upcoming year and visiting other schools with similar programs. One of Kafe's future plans is to take half of each advisee group and give students the opportunity once a month to prepare an entire lunch -called "Kafe Prepare." This would include cooking and preparing. The participation of the lab School faculty and students in Kafe means organizing themselves to participate and then giving Dianne a schedule. This involves considerable discussion and coordination. The way it works is that elementary students serve elementary students. Elementary family or level faculty are quite involved in Kafe and spend time helping and supervising. High school students' supervisory efforts are directed considerably towards serving and cleaning up for middle school and high school students. 1 19

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On another level, Kafe is the context for numerous internship possibilities. Students can do an internship individually or in a group. While some students have their own ideas about what they want to do, others were given a basic guideline to help them begin organizing. Baker stresses that "these initial ideas provide guidance, but the bulk of the ideas and plans always.come from the kids themselves." This guideline outlines ideas for groups and ways to begin organizing different tasks and responsibilities. A guideline of possible internship options includes: Environmental Agents, Public Relations Managers, Nutrition Specialists, Training Specialists, Cashiers, Dining Room Management, and Grocery Buyers. For example, those students signing up to be an "environmental agent" put boxes throughout the entire school for the collection of cans and paper for recycling. Plans were then coordinated with students and teachers to deal with the removal of the above items on a weekly basis. Recommendations would then be made on a frequent basis to Kafe staff about the use of these and other products and resources which affect the environment. Recommendations to the school community would be based upon these students' collective research. These same students also organized a mini environmental conference and invited 4 people from the community to be speakers. While I spent a few afternoons in Kafe, two middle school students had taken on the roles of organizing other environmental 120

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agents like themselves. One of them came up with the idea, while both would be the facilitators of the group. They decided that one person from each advisor group in middle school would participate (this is done on a volunteer or election basis). This productive afternoon they wrote up an agenda for their first meeting and talked about how to inform the other students in the school. Another group of four middle school students were planning the production of a sanitation video that could be used by Kafe to educate people on Kafe cleanliness. Dianne Baker declares that these students are the "backbone of the operation," but that their overall success would not have been possible without total school support and cooperation. Most of the students I talked with really enjoyed working in Kafe. They liked it for different reasons. Typical of many student reactions, one high school student, who was serving and washing dishes with her faculty advisor that day, conveyed that she didn't like Kafe at first, but after she tried it for a while she came to really enjoy being involved in a school-wide project that was student run. Another high school student choosing the internship role of public relations agent helps prepare and work the cash register on a daily basis. She kept the school community informed about what was happening in Kafe through articles written in the school newspaper. Another project of hers was to develop elementary picnic days. Another student, also a public relations agent, organized picnic days 121

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for the high school students. She stressed that she really liked Kafe, and stenuning from this "job experience," she had secured an internship at the Health Department, where she does health inspection, helps plan talks, writes up documents, and does clerical work. She emphasized how working in Kafe has been a good experience, especially because it correlates well with her internship at the Health Department and has increased her opportunities of being hired by the Health Department for the summer. As popularly stated throughout the Lab School, Kafe is important for many reasons. It allows students to be in control of their own lunch operation. It provides a collective context for students and faculty to come together and work together for the benefit of the Lab School conununity as a whole, in contrast to some of the more autonomous yet separate activities happening around the school. The concept of social responsibility and service is also compatible with autonomous learning, peer teaching, interdisciplinary education, and wellness. Many Kafe projects exist on a rotation basis, allowing for burnout protection. Though it emphasizes responsibility and learning, Kafe is a fairly informal environment. Kafe provides a time for diversion and interaction outside of the classroom. It provides work experience and internship possibilities. Moreover, the outstanding 122

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success of this year's Kafe experience generates pride, confidence, and a hope for the new challenges participants will encounter in next year's Kafe. The following year a group of 3 boys and 10 middle school aged girls organized the "Love Shack." A step up from the various projects engaged in the year before, the Love Shack was essentially a full service restaurant business apart from the already existing daily lunch service. Customers are required first to make reservations. The Love Shack group serves on Fridays only. On Wednesdays they do the shopping, on Thursdays they prepare. The following Mondays they do a profit and loss statement for which they can get math credit. On Tuesday they prepare the room or go to their teachers to make up the work they have missed from Friday. It is difficult to say what will happen to Kafe. Because the initiation of such a program is quite a radical step from their previous program (service from an outside crew), and seeks to involve the entire school, it has grown each year and been relatively successful-it would seem that Kafe will last It has also been one of the newest aspects of the "new" Lab School to establish a fairly firm autonomous direction. However, Dianne Baker will be gone as of the year 1991-92 and this is bound to make a difference. Baker understood very well the concepts of site-based decision making, autonomous learning, critical thinking, knew how to impart their meaning to students in an understandable 123

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and engaging manner, and was quite committed, on a full time basis, to the Kafe program. Because funds for the Lab School are in such short supply and faculty are generally very overworked, it would be asking a great deal for teachers to spread themselves even thinner to share the extensive duties that Kafe comprises. The fate of Kafe as it now stands is up in the air. However, it might be possible that the autonomy, fairly firmly in place, might be able to carry on adequately more than other aspects of the new Lab School might be able to. Social responsibility and service is being widely emphasized and implemented throughout the Lab School. It has been one of the key features which has been made fairly explicit to students (in contrast to interdisciplinary education, or autonomous learning). It is most evident in environmental classes such as biology or environmental awareness where links are frequently made by teachers between global and local environments, and social action projects are frequently required. In general, there seems to be more of an interest by students, however, to focus on issues of social responsibility and service as they relate to animals rather than to humans. A greater stress on humans' global and local issues and how they are linked in realities involving poverty, privilege, subsistence, economic strategies, etc. would greatly strengthen the implementation of this component, and clarify social responsibility as it relates to Lab School students. 124

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Business/community education. As defined in the Lab School Key Features Bulletin (1989) business/ community education implies a "commitment to developing meaningful partnerships between the private sector (business and industry, service organizations and professional people) and the school in order to nurture student learning in non-school settings." These partnerships would include bringing in "outside expertise to help facilitate and enrich learning and management within the school; and by establishing shadowing, mentor and apprenticeship programs for individual students to work within the private sector in a rather than a cursory way." Many of these innovative educational programs that have been so eagerly initiated across the country have been done with the willing marriage between the school systems and large corporations and local businesses. Likewise, alliances between the local and international business community and the Lab School have occurred but with different reactions to these alliances. Some of these alliances on a national level result from attempts by private and public schools to fund and direct the expensive "innovative" programs for which they are now committed. As large corporations are an obvious financial jackpot, many large competitive grants have been aimed at these school communities from large corporations such as Kellogg Foundation company. To some school participants, these relationships are not approached eagerly, but rather 125

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with suspicion, fearing the regulation that can accompany such an alliance. However, in the end, a lack of adequate funding from other sources leaves them with little choice, especially if they choose to follow the now trendy innovative education bandwagon. At the Lab School, grants are periodically sought on an individual level, family level, discipline level, and school level in order to support the ambitious plans that a school "looking towards the future" must have. The current proliferation of grant opportunities from large corporations offers grants for a range of programs related to educational restructuring-from specialized interdisciplinary science programs to school wide (4 year) plans to implement programs such as the program the Lab School has initiated. To plan for and write these grants, valuable time was volunteered by administrators and teachers from all levels. These efforts did not always pay off, for the current competition for such grants on a national level was quite competitive. A consistent scenario, perpetuating these grant writing efforts was the lack of adequate institutional and financial support from the university administration above, which basically overrode the calls for change from the same offices. At times this left bitter, isolating, and contradictory feelings with those engaged in the day to day efforts at change at the Lab School. Some faculty and administrators remained suspicious about these alliances. Their suspicion derived from questions concerning the 126

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motives of the companies. Others suspicious of the power and control held by most large corporations were concerned about a loss of autonomy that could accompany such alliances. Others eagerly anticipated and jumped at the chance to wed schools and businesses. To them, the corporate and business world represented the most vigorous and efficient part of our capitalist system, something they were proud of and something they thought the school systems could learn and benefit from. Positively, this issue remained a focus of debate. While at times participants felt pressured (due to lack of adequate resources at the Lab School) to apply to the traditional elitist foundations, this same reality motivated others to look more towards socially responsible foundations. Thus, for all of its support of corporate predominance at the Lab School, there did exist elements of resistance attempting to educate people to another version of the corporate world. Lab School participants were wise to be wary of the loss of autonomy that can accompany alliances and funding with big businesses. However, contacts with smaller, local, or ethical big businesses could have been further explored. Consistent with the Lab School's new goals of business and community education, Lab School participants could have brought in business and community leaders, especially local and minority ones such as new Mexican migrants to Greeley who are becoming successful entrepreneurs. By freeing time 127

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that was ordinarily spent lecturing or guiding students through a discussion or assignment, teachers cc>Uld have partially met the needs of those whose frequent complaint was of being overworked, of having too little time for grading and generally keeping up. It could have fulfilled a need of multiculturalism and provided a rare glimpse at the changing context of the Latin sections of Greeley. Bringing in local community speakers would be less expensive than bringing in high powered regional or nationally known speakers and could also have helped to alleviate distance between the small minority group of Latino students and faculty and administrators. In addition, a wide range of people from the university could have been brought in as speakers to share their expertise and fulfill these same functions as previously stated. This was attempted but not to a sufficient degree. As mentioned above, these cooperative strategies could have been helpful in reducing teaching loads and providing small chunks of "free" time that were otherwise unavailable. The exploration of these types of alliances at the Lab School was being done at every level with interest and vigor. However, this plan is still in the beginning stages and, if ideally followed, will command considerable coordination. These efforts would involve organizing solid internship/shadowing/apprentice programs that would ideally facilitate learning and accountability, allotting time for considerable grant writing activities, setting up speakers, etc. The faculty seems to 128

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realize the enormity of the plannmg process and early on began consultations with institutions implementing similar plans. Further, they initiated serious planning on how to coordinate such an effort. This process could be strengthened by involving community persons, parents, and students in the planning stages from the beginning rather than at a later date. Apart from establishing macro business alliances and local and regional community alliances, the attention to establish a strong internship/shadowing/apprenticeship program is crucial to the Lab School's concern over business and community education. The specific components of internships and shadowing, as defined in the key features bulletin under business/ community equcation, are similarly relevant to the next category of global/ community education and awareness and will be discussed in further detail there. Global/ community education and awareness. Emphasizing goals of global and community education and awareness acknowledges a collective responsibility for becoming informed about and making active efforts towards addressing historical and "current planetary and global concerns" (Key Features Bulletin 1989). These concepts encourage students to recognize the world as interrelated. The active embodiment of this concept encourages a "competence in understanding one's relationship with the whole world system. It 129

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requires the capacity to respect, protect, and foster the environment and the diversity of people and their cultures" (Key Features Bulletin 1989). These goals will be encouraged in the various school and community contexts, including the activities of internships and shadowing. Below, an elementary level .faculty member, Peter Hodapp, reflects on some of the ways global/ community education and awareness has been addressed in his level this year. A lot of things we do are based on Scholastic News articles that come out. Students get hot, mad, or excited about issues. We encourage this. Often, we expand those ideas into other things we are working on, like writing. It's just a variety of things we get interested in and decide to do something about. Interest in the oil spill (Exxon) drove kids to do some science experiments having to do with oil spills. They saw what happens and how this affects the animals. They researched. Finally, they decided they needed to write some letters. So they did. In the unit on the interdependence of our planet, we talked about how the environment, people, and animals are all dependent on each We did lots of activities on litter and pollution. The kids then brought in a Green Peace speaker, paying the $25 cost with money they had made from recycling aluminum cans. This evolved into flirther projects on Rocky Flats and more letter writing campaigns .... 130

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Other students have been attuned to the local community and have gotten involved with the seniors from Bonnell Nursing Home. They have established pen pals and have gained insight through these intergenerational relationships. In addition, level2 at the Lab School is involved in a National Telecommunications program on the computer. They are doing a weather unit with 30 other schools (also hooked in by computer) all over the United States." These projects have added to the students' global and community understanding and awareness. 1) Internships Required internships provide an important opportunity for students to apply and practice their classroom knowledge. It allows them the opportunity to validate their interests, and get a glimpse of what daily tasks actually comprise a particular job. As most people know the actual employment experience provides a quite different picture than the experience of classroom learning. While most internships take place away from the school community (from working at a hospital, a public health organization, the local newspaper, a local mask shop where elaborate molds and Halloween type masks are produced, to participating in inner-city community development projects that take place during the summer 131

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months), some internships can also occur right in the school environment, especially if a student has a curiosity to see what teaching is all about. Mike Peterson, a high school student, by his own admission describes himself as one that is relatively unenthusiastic about general academic life. He is the same student who eagerly took on the task this semester of teaching a photography class to other high school students. This opportunity makes use of James's personal interest and background knowledge of photography. Drawing on his father's previous involvement as a professional photographer and a fellow student's (Brent) knowledge and experience with photography, Mike boldly approaches the experience as a multidimensional learning/teaching process. He learned froin those with more expertise while also learning from those he is teaching. While moving through the stages of this collaborative experiment, Mike states that he has gained a new sensitivity to the extensive behind-the-scenes efforts that teachers go through to make a class work, from planning a daily curriculum, budgeting for and obtaining supplies, mobilizing and maintaining student interest and involvement, meeting individual student needsand skill levels, imparting knowledge, devising diverse strategies for doing that, keeping attendance records, to reflecting on what it means to run a class fairly and democratically. In addition, Mike decided to seek 132

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advice from a couple of teachers from other disciplines that he respects. In some of these dialogues with them, he discussed his experiences in the classroom and tried to gain some insight into teaching and learning and how that might be translated into the goals and context of the photography class. 2) Shadowing The required shadowing opportunities are usually a preliminary to taking on the full responsibilities of an internship. In a sense, shadowing is like a mini-internship and involves "testing the waters" a bit. Students begin a shadowing opportunity by choosing a variety of career possibilities that seem interesting. Next, the student narrows down these possibilities to a person in a particular employment position or career setting and follows her /him around, so to speak, for several hours a week throughout the semester. In this way they begin observing what kinds of tasks comprise the daily work of a particular career choice. The students learn by asking questions, exploring, and practicing various tasks. In a shadowing experience, the student can get a preliminary but concrete idea of a job context or, if they desire, numerous job contexts. Applying classroom knowledge through these types of experiences should be woven into and be a regular part of a school 133

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experience from a young age. This is, indeed, the direction in which the Lab School is now moving. Whereas most experimentation typically occurs for students at the college level, this new approach provides a context for more early "real world" preparation and the application of their school experiences especially in light of increasingly expensive and challenging college realities to follow. The following description comes from conversations with Heather Platen, a level4 (high school) student at the Lab School, and from required write-ups of her shadowing experience that she shared with me. In her "shadowing plan," completed before the actual experience Heather emphasized that she has always been interested in medicine and genetics. After discussing her interests with nurse Jane at the Lab School, they concluded "that obstetrics would be a good outlet to learn" about those areas of interest. Heather notes on her goal sheet that she loves children, especially babies. Therefore she felt that this shadowing opportunity would be an excellent experience to find out what nursing is about and to be sure this is the work she wants to go into. Her personal goals for the shadowing of nurse Jean Huffman in the family Birth Center at the Northern Colorado Medical Center run like this: to see what the nurse's role is in birth, to see what kinds of duties the nurse has, to make sure this is the profession she wants to go into, to learn about the whole 134

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birth process, and if possible observe a live birth, to verify that medicine is the field she would like to go into, to spend some time in the nursery with the babies, to get acquainted with the way the Family Birth is run, and to get a feel for the profession. Upon completion of the shadowing experience, Heather was required to write up a short paper describing her experience and how and if her goals were met. In her narrative, Heather reports that "all the goals I wished to accomplish had been fulfilled,_ and even more than I wanted to learn had been taught me." This expresses the ideal affirmation of the value of applied or out-of-the classroom learning. Even the long-term interest in a profession, classes, and textbook information failed to provide Heather with a feel for what the job would actually be like. This shadowing opportunity gave her that concrete experience not generally received in the classroom. Heather describes feeling initial fear when first introduced to her internship experience at the hospital because of its unfamiliarity. Later she experienced a reversal as she became acquainted with staff and their willingness to teach her. She observed and participated in many activities from "wearing scrubs" to leaining about "charting" procedures. She visited the nursery "changed a diaper, and watched blood being drawn from a baby to test for PKU, watched several birthing movies, and was explained procedures in the birthing lab." 135

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Finally, Heather was able to watch a birth, expressing "that she was very happy because this was the one goal" she wanted to complete most of all. 3) Colloquium Colloquium is intended to be an exciting adventure in charting the path to discovering what it means to be autonomous student learners. It is described differently by all Lab School participants. In theory it's purpose is a collaborative experience in social action. And in light of the traditional nature of schools for the most part, this goal was not all bad. For teachers, it meant being facilitators. Colloquium was formed at the beginning of the school year for levelS (11th, 12th) high school students. Initially it was a time set aside for one hour, twice a week and was referred to by all simply as "Colloquium," a time when students would come together "just to interact" around a selected topic or activity. The first activity involved collectively watching the 14-part series of the film, "The Ascent of Man," a reenactment and a historical drama from an anthropological, evolutionary perspective. After watching each part, students went back into small discussion groups to discuss the significance of what they watched. They were given discussion questions such as, "What was the 136

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significance of the plow?" Reflected one student participant, "the discussion groups didn't work very well at all ... .lt was too (readily) assumed that people (teachers and students) had already thought about it (the concept of evolution), knew how to approach it, and would know how to talk about it." After several days of showing the series, some students were decidedly expressing dissatisfaction and were searching for a way to move the colloquium in a different direction. The preliminary Colloquium organizers (primarily faculty) had been rightly criticized for not having fully informed students about this current direction of colloquium, seeking their involvement and feedback, discussing all the options, and being better informed themselves. Through this adventure, they had all been taught their first lesson in autonomous learning, site based decision making, and learning through trial and error. Specifically, as illustrated by these complications, teachers had been attuned to the consequences of centralized decision making. They had been forced to find new solutions, encouraging a more broad based decision making process. They had been propelled to discuss more thoroughly the meaning of autonomy and to clarify and encourage discussions around the issues of social responsibility and action versus leisure, versus intellectual pursuit. 137

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"At this time," notes student Keri Caldwell, "students were asked by faculty to choose a representative from each discussion group to come in during their (faculty) morning planning time (7:30-9:30 a.m.). They said, We need some ideas because everybody was complaining about colloquium, so we are going to let you decide this.' The students said, We would like to deal with the environmental issues.' We thought that it would be a good idea. They gave us two days to plan before we started implementing this. First, we got 10 ideas: 1) air pollution, 2) water pollution, 3) land pollution, 4) rain forests, 5) nuclear wastes, 6) Two Forks Dam, 7) environmental advocacy groups like Green Peace and Sierra Club, 8) local stuff: Kodak, Monfort, Anhauser Busch, and how they are affecting our environment, 9) recycling, and 10) marine and wildlife preservation." Then, contends Keri, "Students signed up for an issue they were interested in working on, and small groups were formed. Each group tried to figure out some way they could discuss the various sub-issues around their issue, they could do some research, then they would come back and present it to everyone. From this the idea was that everyone would come up with an action, not just research something. We wanted people to do something about it." Keri described her experience this way. "I was in the water pollution group. That's how I got La uri to come up and talk to us. Some student, after the first part of her presentation during break, came up and said they didn't like it. About 20 people got 138

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into some arguments about this. The speaker was there and she said, 'I see what is happening here is an important process, so I'm going to go and come back another time.' She said it (the process) was really important." "After a small-group student dialogue, representatives generated these guidelines for Colloquium," noted Keri: Colloquium was defined as "A sharing of ideas. It would have to be done in a group. Isolating oneself was not an option. Secondly, they decided that colloquium was required, not optional. Third, each group had to have some goals and some outcomes. Fourth, the actions must serve some community, and not just for your own benefit. The community could be from the first grade community to the world community. We were trying to figure out how to do things everyone liked, because not all the students liked the environmental issues. However, it seems as a society we have to develop some boundaries for ourselves and non-participation is not an option. If you are going to be in this society, you need to learn how to participate. Not everyone is thrilled by the idea, but we are not out to thrill everybody. Out of 150, probably 30-40 weren't completely satis.fied with working on the environmental issues. So, other types of groups emerged from this." Finally, notes Keri, "now, though, we are somewhat stuck in a dilemma. We developed the guideline, but at the same time we said that any idea anyone has counts. Now we are stuck with 139

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groups which don't really fit the format of the original (community service) research and action goals." It has been several months since colloquium first moved in this direction. Having lost some of the more committed members of the environmental goal to other time commitments and requirements (internships, etc.), colloquium has lost much of its meaning and action or at least its dynamic quality. Many of the groups are now individuals. Many of the groups seem to be omitting the tone of social responsibility and action, but they are learning to eagerly appropriate the concept of autonomy as a way to do what they want, even if that means nothing. Thus, those interested in autonomy are being challenged to clarify its meaning and contradictions through these types of experiences. The various directions taken by the participants throughout the colloquium experience were worthy efforts and opportunities in exploring negotiation, collective decision making, the issues of social responsibility, action and service. Further, the participants explored what it means to mobilize and educate a population about a new change effort, implore their interest, and maintain that involvement. Concurrently, such group action calls for maintaining direction, flexibility, and integrity. It is difficult to predict where the current and future participants will take colloquium. The efforts of participatory action and 140

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responsibility are not simple or easy, but the implications and possibilities of such an exploration should not leave us uninterested. Another colloquium experience which illustrates the possibilities of global/ community education and awareness and its related key features of business and community education, responsibility, and service is conveyed below: This colloquium exploration involved a small group of students who organized a school-wide project. The group raised $5,000 in several weeks going door to door to local businesses and corporations to bring the "World Game" to their campus. Students, parents, and faculty from all the schools in Greeley were encouraged to attend. The World Game is a subtle, engaging, and interactive life-sized board game that teaches its participants about the corporate, political, social context we live in. It highlights realities such as poverty, hunger, environmental problems, focuses on the causes of these problems while focusing on the interrelationships between various social/ economic/political systems. It highlights realities of unequal distribution of subsistence resources, the effect on these realities by one's choices, and a spirit of responsibility. The World Game, despite the low-turnout of actual Lab School facultjr, generated much controversy, enthusiasm, and interest from outside of the Lab School. It received coverage in the local newspaper and seemed to educate a large number of people. On the fringes of this activity was a small movement of protesting students, 141

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led by a teacher, who were disturbed by the "non-Christian, anti American and communist elements" of this demonstration. In the end, their unfounded, uninformed rhetoric was deflated by the very subtle, descriptive, factual (facts from the W.H.O, U.N., State Dept., etc.), and non-reactionary format used by the World Game hosts. The experiment with colloquium and students interest groups was an important development. The compatible "applied" focus on shadowing and internship experiences was also a crucial development. Together these components shed light on how the key features of social responsibility and service, business and community education and global and community awareness are being approached at the Lab School. The subcomponents of these three features are also compatible with autonomous learning, wellness, and interdisciplinary education. All of these components allude to a push for making "the school" whole, relevant, and less artificial. Similar to contradictions over the direction and configuration of colloquium, the newly implemented requirement of shadowing and internship experiences for high school students was the basis over much of this exploratory struggle. This struggle generally involved debates over the definitions and parameters of social responsibility and service, the related explorations of autonomous learning, site-based decision making, etc.--and how these interacted with the internship I community service requirements. 142

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Depending on student desires, cultural capital (MacLeod 1987), and motivation, combined with the insight of their advisors, students could be encouraged to engage in a range of possibilities, ranging from those with a politically progressive focus to others who shared the conservative contradictions of the context they are emersed in and the subjects negotiating their choices. Increased Access Developmental grouping. The strategy of developmental grouping, as ideally defined in the new Lab School bulletin, evolved from the negotiated input of small groups of faculty and others (198889) last year. It states, "Students will be clustered according to their developmental readiness for particular physical, social, emotional, and intellectual challenges. Grade levels will gradually disappear and students ages will lose significance for the purpose of grouping (Key Features Bulletin 1989)." The ambitious implementation of this concept by many faculty throughout the Lab School recognizes the limitations of traditional, inflexible strategies for assisting and moving students' through a learJ.1ing environment. It also recognizes the diversity of student needs and abilities. 143

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Below, a faculty member, Carmen Schmidt discusses how the concept of developmental grouping has been expressed with faculty and students in her level. To our level, this means the kids are where they need to be because of the resources there and the activities going on and what they need." There are numerous ways we try to implement this. Previously, kids moved on to the next grade at the beginning of the next year. They all moved together, regardless of individual needs. We are hoping that in the future that wouldn't necessarily happen. They may be coming the middle of the year, or maybe even toward the end of the year, October, or whatever. Then they will move on when they have met most of the objectives from this room and they are socially, physically ready to be in middle school, which would be the next level. I know there are a few kids in "Casa Abierta" (traditionally 2nd and 3rd) that will be coming to us before the end of the year because they are ready. "They are to the point where the things they are doing in Casa Abierta aren't helping them as much as things we are doing in Casa de Viajes (traditionally 4th, 5th, 6th). "We have moved a few students around for certain reading skills. Some of the kids in our "novel groups" aren't as successful as they could be because they don't have enough phonics and decoding background, so they go to Casa Abierta just for a couple of hours a 144

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week for just an extra reading support. These students are also in the "novel groups." They do both. There are also several kids in math that need more computational understanding. They don't understand the concept of addition, even though they can do some of it. So, they go to Casa Abierta for more hands-on stuff." Developmental grouping means that learning and teaching is based on individual needs. Along with this is an acceptance of diversity, an understanding that no two kids are at the same place in every subject; neither are two kids' needs exactly the same. The movement according to needs is very is comprised of multi layered gradations, and moves in various directions simultaneously. Applying this concept in schools is still a relatively novel concept; "however," notes Schmidt, "the majority of the kids in our level see it as quite positive. They love it, they can now feel successful. Even though the time schedules between two levels (students may be shifting between different classes and classrooms) are a little different, kids are enthused; they watch the clock and always get over there at the right time. They are eager to make it, and they go. Everyone pretty much sees these strategies as a tool, including the kids, "states Schmidt. "The way this would look in terms of kids shifting grades when they were ready is: these kids would start moving/ shifting a couple of times a week out of 5 days, and even if some go early or earlier, it would 145

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mean just a few months earlier. It wouldn't mean they would be a year ahead of all their friends, and if they did go early it would be an hour at a time or two to three hours at a time, and maybe, by the end of the year, it would be full time." The concept of developmental grouping acknowledges that all individuals vary according to abilities, needs, interests, motivations, privileges, and limitations as they move through different learning experiences. The implementation of this concept also recognizes that for some students, previous models had negative consequences on a student's ability to be successful. This concern for the success of all students, and not the few, is a step in the right direction. This is clearly one of the most profound and potentially most successful aspects of the new Lab School. The effort was initially carried out in the elementary levels (level2). Following initial intense planning sessions before the implementation began, many families in the elementary level started implementing this with just a few kids or with only a few disciplines in the first year, later experimenting with how to coordinate such an endeavor and then made plans to incorporate more of the students and disciplines in the next years. Besides these intense planning efforts, efforts in the elementary level were facilitated by having several new faculty, having less physical space (classrooms) to have to coordinate, and promoting compatibility between teachers. At this same time, Level3 (middle 146

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school) was occupied with planning for schedule changes which reflected a team teaching and interdisciplinary focus and was doing more preliminary experimentation and planning with implementing developmental grouping. High school attention to this strategy seemed to be less a coordination between teachers and more of an attempt on the partof individual teachers to adjust for various skill levels within a classroom. Coordinating such an effort is complex and difficult, both within a level and between levels (i.e. matching a student's last year of elementary with the content and context of the first year of middle school). One elementary level teacher expressed that, after two years of gradual but successful implementation of this strategy in their level, they have drastically slowed their efforts on this front due to the lack of coordination between themselves and the level above them (middle school). She stated that this disagreement mainly involves a lack of compatibility in personality between several teachers (in level 3) and several students who were being moved up in some areas. Further, this teacher expressed to me that the lack of compatibility involved a disagreement between elementary and middle school teachers on what constituted physical, social, emotional, and intellectual readiness. Whereas, before students with non-traditionallearning styles, learning disabilities, or problems in certain areas felt punished and were typically stigmatized by being placed in "lower tracks" in contrast 147

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to the "norm"-the majority of students in the class. This new strategy sees learning as a fluid and multidimensional experience for all students. It moves from punishing a few and addressing only the needs of a few to seeing individuals as all needing help in some area. All students are seen as diverse learners who move at different paces with different capabilities, depending on the discipline or skill task they are situationally confronting. Obviously the implementation of this type of system involves a great deal of daily, weekly, monthly, yearly accountability and organization. The development of this strategy depends on how well a family of teachers understands the concept and how to implement it. Certainly, the implications of "social network theory" (MacLeod 1987) are also going to inform how fast a student is able to progress through the diverse areas of their educational experiences in terms of the various physical, social, emotional, and intellectual challenges. Thus a school is making a positive change when it moves to de emphasize grouping students according to a "status quo" and defining the learning experience for all students as fluid and multidimensional. But unless we understand how gender, class, ethnicity, and sexuality disadvantage some while privilegizing others' learning experiences, developmental grouping could become a more subtle way of stigmatizing and tracking students. For example, in the traditional institution of "the school" (Bauman 1987; Foucault 1977), as an 148

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instrument of middle class reproduction, the class and ethnicity of many Chicano students may not provide them with the academic "cultural capital" (MacLeod 1987) which would allow them to be as successful as most middle class Anglos. Student-parent-teacher conferences. One of the most intriguing components of the Lab School has been present historically. This feature is related to the historical Lab School commitment to personalized learning, encouraging a student towards autonomous learning, and the key feature of site-based decision making where students and parents are ideally expected to participate in decision making and planning. Here, I am referring to parent-teacher conferences where individual students' academic, social, and other performances are typically discussed, and evaluated. At the Lab School, however, the conferences are unlike those most parents have previously experienced. These conferences are, in fact, directed toward and in the presence of the students, instead in the absence of the students being discussed. The students in this case, are invited to come to the conferences. They are fully expected to participate, expected to voice their concerns about where they feel they need help, would like help, and where their strengths and weaknesses are. At these conferences, the students 149

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together with the teachers and the parents are expected to evaluate past and present learning progress. They are also expected to collectively engage in decision making about future individual and class curricular decisions. These conferences take on different configurations stemming from the desires, personalities, and time resources of the individuals involved. The Lab School teacher, usually taking on the role of facilitator, typically asks questions of the students, while also allowing parents, whose role has also increased, to provide additional insights, observations, and concerns. Parents, students, and teachers make separate and collective goals to help the students meet their goals within a collectively agreed on allotment of time. The teacher provides praise, support, and constructive criticism. She/he also provides examples of the students' work and development. I was able to attend a conference for Michael Sanchez. Michael, a level two elementary student, was accompanied by his older sister, also a Lab School student, and his father. Initially, after a short chat, the teacher presented several check lists. These lists of general skills and study skills, were discussed with Michael and his father. "A check indicates that a student has learned a skill completely rather than just partially." 'We are working on changing this to a continuum so that we can get a better understanding of the degree to which a student has mastered something, in process," notes Michael's teacher. 150

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Next, Michael, his sister, and his father were asked to set a collective goal, deciding when the other skills would be mastered. This task was not set in concrete but was important in getting Michael to set goals and get support and guidance from the rest of the family. They all decided that some time during the month of February would be a good time. Michael, with the help of the teacher, then explained a graph to his father, explaining the number of centers (diverse hands-on classroom learning contexts) that Michael had completed each week. Michael offered an explanation of why he completed so few the last week. He was never scolded nor patronized, but his opinion was welcomed. He was given support and encouraged to do his best. Finally, they were all asked to fill out some handouts together, describing strengths and weaknesses. When first asked, "What do you think you are good at? What do you like?" Michael thought and was given time to respond. "I don't know; I guess Math and English." "Why do you like them?" Michael responded, "Because it is fun to learn them; I like addition and subtraction. I like counting change (practicing math)." Michael was also asked, "what, if anything, he especially enjoyed learning and if there was anything that we could :make more fun for him to learn" "Spelling," he exclaimed right away. After being given a few spelling tips by the teacher, Michael was asked if he liked to read. Did he read to Dad and his sister sometimes? Feeling a little sister reminded Michael that, ''You read 151

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to me." The teacher exclaimed, "Good, that will help your spelling." After giving the whole family tasks to work on together, the last few minutes of this comprehensive, 3D-minute conference were reserved for questions and answers. This time set aside for personal interaction between student, parent, and teacher is also the time when the teacher can explain and answer any questions students and parents have about new components that are being implemented at the new Lab School. The new Lab School, with its numerous innovations and directions, is built upon strong historical antecedents like these student-parent-teacher conferences where student concerns are given priority. These conferences provide a context for actualizing broad based, participatory decision making and planning. Demystifying the conferences, allowing the student to engage in up front and collective dialogue between a parent and a teacher, seems to be important at the Lab School in holding students accountable and helping them to be successful. This flexibility, in my opinion, allows the Lab School community to move increasingly towards the creation of an identity that is grounded in a collective leadership, where broad-based alliances can be formed, maintained, and strengthened, and divisions can be broken down. A student's and parent's "cultural capital" would have an obvious effect on the process and outcome of these conferences. A 152

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student's and parent's background would shape ideas about learning, the school, expectations regarding academic and career development, and general notions regarding success or failure. Depending on the sensitivity of the teacher in grasping these "cultural capital" realities, students and their parents could be better understood and appreciated, possibly empowering students and allowing them to transform existing difficulties. In contrast, a lack of understanding of these concerns might encourage or perpetuate a student's privileged position, or a student's difficulties could be made more profound. It is likely that some students and their parents have had less than positive responses regarding the relationship between their cultural capital and the school context. However, in my few experiences at these conferences, despite a teacher's lack of explicit attention to the notion of "cultural capital," I did not witness any approach that I would define as insensitive or harmful. The new strategy at the Lab School to see every student a.S a multidimensional learner, achieving in some areas while having difficulties in others, helps alleviate any comparisons of student to a mythical status quo. This has been an important part of the Lab School, and by this time has been fairly well institutionalized-to such a degree that most students take it for granted and do not realize that other schools may offer a different system. These conferences would seem an obvious 153

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time to begin to discuss aspects of the new Lab School. However, in my experience, this rarely happens because of the lack of surplus time. Generally, several days are taken off each semester to hold these conferences. There are quite a few of them that a teacher must fit in, and many are held back to back. For the past couple of years the elementary family level of teachers have tried a different system. Instead of using the days accorded for conferences each semester, the teachers spread the conferences out throughout the semester meeting before class, during lunch hours, after school and at night. This way they do not feel so rushed and have more time to explain and receive questions on elements of the "new" Lab School. In addition, when the allotted conference times arrive, this group of teachers use the several days time to visit and make contacts at various other schools in the city, region, and state. Advisor-advisee groups. Advisor-Advisee groups were designed to facilitate the long-standing personalized learning experience of the new Lab School. Advisor-advisee groups as frequently discussed by Lab School participants are ideally intended to build on the "family concept." Advisor-advisee groups provide frequent opportunities for a small group of students and a teacher to 154

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be together over several years. The advisor-advisee group is intended to be the site for the development of the p.l.p. (personalized learning plan). Ideally the configuration of these groups reflects the possibilities for a long-term, trusting, supportive context to develop. Besides academic or career development and assistance, this context provides an opportunity just to interact and to engage in informal discussions on various topics that interest or concern students. This context, for many students, provides support and advice on college preparation. Advisor-Advisee groups can potentially provide a forum for discussions to clarify and increase understanding of aspects of the new Lab School restructuring process. Below one faculty member describes how her advisee group and other advisor-advisee groups in her level have approached this experience: I think we are all pretty similar. We don't plan advisee activities as a group, but we do ask each other a lot of questions to get ideas and find out what others are doing. As advisors, we have different interests and skills. We are real balanced that way. We need each other. At the beginning of the year we decided we would just do what we were comfortable with. We soon felt a need to share ideas more, so we began doing this, and it generated a lot more ideas for all of us to use and share. So each week we hear of something another advisee group did, and we try and put it 155

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into ours. Different things we may do with kids are plan activities for the day, week, year. They mayhave something from their p.l.p.'s [personal learning plans] that they want to show; for example, if they have published a book, they will read it to the other kids. At this time I might also read progress reports that different teachers have given me about the kids. The context for advisor-advisee groups potentially provides a way to explore, build and nurture understanding of what these new changes are all about, to encourage dialogue between faculty and students. It provides an example of decentralization and site-based decision making-hence egalitarianism in action. Advisor-advisee groups provide a context for individual support and guidance as students work their way through a range of experiences. It provides opportunities for long-term relationships to develop with a small group of students who might ordinarily be outside of one's peer group. Thus, the valuable implementation of advisor-advisee groups can provide a framework to explore the boundaries of friendship, understanding, pursuit of knowledge, and unity. At the high school level, the way advisor-advisee groups work in practice iS highly diverse. Some teachers have concrete goals they want to accomplish during this time; other teachers seem to use this as more of a free time. In theory, there is real potential for the development of a meaningful advisor-advisee system. 156

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However, because of that old familiar problem, lack of time, many teachers who were initially quite hopeful about this opportunity and its possibilities have instead been forced to use this time for the sole purpose of catching up and grading papers. Despite such pervasive time limitations, other teachers have found a way to consistently engage students in critical discussions about the day-to day progress of the changes at the Lab School. Further, this forum has allowed a few teachers to actively challenge students on the meaning of the changes while encouraging student input. It is the minority of teachers, however, who have focused their group's activities on clarifying and educating students on the general and specific components of the Lab School's restructuring effort. Still others have used this time to schedule group field trips to the art gallery on campus or to the career center to do computerized career assessments and projections. Others have supplied students with challenging reading lists and encouraged lots of reading and discussion on the books. And others have used the time to help their students plan and engage in their internship and shadowing experiences. The bottom line is that many teachers could do more with this allotted time than grade papers if there were more sensitivity by those above them to their general working conditions. Some students, especially at the high school level, have complained about the lack of standardization of advisee group 157

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experiences. These students, mainly those who understand and are supportive of the ideal intention of the advisor-advisee groups, complain that many groups do nothing more than play games. Some of these students have rebelled by choosing to participate in a group other than that to which they were assigned. This has been a point of discussion among faculty, one they are seeking solutions to. Ideally this advisor-advisee time provides a valuable resource for closing the distance between teachers, students, and their parents by discussing in depth the complex changes and the ideas behind them at the Lab School. However, time constraints or priorities in other places have limited this possibility. Discussing the issues central to the changes with students would gamer support and understanding for faculty instead of alienation. Further, these advisee groups can potentially work as of status and difference by grouping students randomly. They also provide a supportive resource for those with academic limitations. Without focused support around the Lab School changes, attention to academic counseling, college preparation, or career development and assistance, the unique value of these groups will be lost, and they will become nothing more than the typical, shallow, and regulated "home room." Autonomous learning. Autonomous Learning is closely related to site-based decision making and the strategy of peer teaching. It 158

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involves imparting the skills to students so that they can, in time, develop the skills to be more responsible self-motivated students. Autonomous learning implies "a continuous process which involves a balance of responsibility and interaction between student and teacher, allowing for both self-directed and individually-guided learning" (Key Features Bulletin 1989). Below, a teacher, Paul Jacobs, discusses how he has observed and been involved in the implementation of this concept at the new Lab School: Autonomous learning is a major part of our day, because when students, their parents, and advisors sit down at the beginning of each month to make goals, its mostly based on what the kids say, and we sometimes modify or challenge those things. But, for the most part, it's the kids' goals. During the month, when they have independent time or other activities, frequently they make their decisions based on the goals they made ... We have at least an hour each day to share. The teachers are just facilitators, and the kids do what they choose. There are kids that go down to the computer. We have one child who just wanted to get better at thinking logically, so she decided the best way to do that is to use some of her p.l.p. time to do a computer program called, 'Where in the World is Carmen San Diego." It involves taking logical steps based on clues to find Carmen 159

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San Diego. Another student has wanted to learn how to edit stories, so one of their goals on a p.l.p. {personal learning plan] might be to publish a story; so they will write during that time. Other students have wanted to learn how to sign (sign language) better, so they might practice signing in different ways. Then their goal may be to learn a poem in sign and sign it for the class. This automatically increases their vocabulary because there are words in the poem that they have to go and find. Most of them have physical goals, emotional goals, and intellectual goals. One student is developing a 4-day-a-week aerobic and anaerobic exercise plan. She does it at home, and by parent signature, I know that is going on at home. Other goal related activities made by kids are a desire to increase the number of baskets made in basketball or an interest in getting better at finding things in the library .... To complement these activities generated in the kids' goals we (teachers) sponsored different workshops, addressing different students goals and interests. During these lessons, we automatically get the kids who have made those goals. In addition, we usually get 5-6 kids who are just interested but many times end up making it a goal next time. It is frequently stated by "star" students, faculty, and administrators that the autonomous student learner drives the new program at the Lab School. Without grasping the centrality and importance of autonomous learners, we are more or less left with a 160

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traditional system where teachers assume all authority, direction, and expertise of students' learning, and students take orders, absorb the teachers lectures, and are not challenged. Moving towards this goal has great merit. However, achieving a state of autonomous learning is impossible without simultaneously grasping the importance of employing responsible action for one's own learning. Further, without understanding that responsibility is important to being an autonomous learner the freedom and assertion to pursue one's own path lacks a certain credibility and experience. In addition, imparting a desire to become an autonomous learner presupposes a healthy teaching/learning environment to begin with. The devaluation or underestimation of a students' knowledge (i.e. a student's Chicano street identity and the importance of rap music to that identity or the social context of a hearing impaired student) which is typical of many traditional educational contexts can derail a teacher's efforts or instead encourage the student to become disinterested or fatalistic. As previously stated one problem with implementing the concept of autonomous learning is imparting to students,.especially older ones (high school), what the meaning of autonomy is. Many times teachers have not done a good job of describing and discussing this concept critically. Thus, some of teachers' problems with student .. resistance .. (still perceiving their rights, as students, to be spoon fed) 161

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stem from this. Too early in the development of these changes, autonomy I the freedom to do what one wants was granted unconditionally to students. This implementation paralleled and intersected with the concepts of decentralization, hence site-based decision making. As previously mentioned, it was not understood by many of the students that responsibility is crucial for autonomy, nor did they understand what responsibility meant. Cmriplicating the issue, teachers were not unified on the complexities of this issue. For some, autonomy and responsibility had moralistic, Christian overtones. Other teachers were more concerned to impart understanding around the issue of social responsibility. However, most of the time "freedom" was free from any conditions. Thus, students were not told, for example, that freedom does not mean you can choose racism, or sexism, etc. In many cases autonomy was perceived by students to mean more free, unstructured time and nothing more. In preparing them for their new freedoms, some students were told by faculty that teachers had too much authority in the past, that this was not right, and that this new autonomy was an attempt to correct that error. During colloquium or advisor-advisee time when students were asked what they wanted to do, many would reply nothing; that this should be free time. Other times students understood their increased autonomy to mean they could goof off, 162

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instead of claiming this opportunity as a way to move from being spoon fed towards a system that encouraged self-:directed learning. In sum, self-directed learning implies a high degree of self motivation. Students not valuing or understanding the implications of autonomous learning or students at a place where they could not take advantage of the opportunity granted them were at a loss. Sometimes these students might be desirous of change but confused or ignorant as to how to embrace autonomy. Without a way to critically understand the meaning and implications of autonomy students might instead be left feeling content with their limited comprehension and pleased with the increased "free time" they could exploit. The implications of autonomy are related to the discourse on social reproduction theory. Obviously, a student's "cultural capital" would influence their attempts and success at autonomy. An understanding of this by the teachers at the Lab School, would create a more supportive environment for students at the Lab School, and would provide a way to better clarify this concept to the students. Site-based decision making. In theory the concept of site-based decision making has profound and far-reaching implications. Site based decision making means that, instead of having decisions made for students by teachers, administrators, and parents, students are looked upon to make respm:i.sible, constructive and insightful decisions 163

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about their own destiny (with guidance, of course). Site-based decision making is a precursor to becoming a self-directed, autonomous learner. In the same way, decisions that concern teachers most and are closest to their daily are now made by "teams" of teachers collectively in small group settings (families), rather than by administrators. This decentralization process ideally assumes that the roles of administrators will also change and parents will be more encouraged to participate in planning and decision making. These new directions, in theory represent and acknowledge the validity, relevance, and creative insights of everyone in the Lab School Community, not just "the boss." In fact, this move towards site-based decision making and, hence, decentralization indicates a new valued priority--the student voice. Examples of this new decision making power can be seen all over the Lab School, from administrators rethinking what their new positions would be and dialoguing with teachers and students about these changes, to high school students defining colloquium and deciding its course of direction to elementary students being asked to make important and responsible decisions about their needs, desires, and goals in charting their destiny to collective efforts by students, teachers, administrators, and coordinators in terms of how to start, manage, and continue autonomous programs in the Lab School, such 164

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as the new kafe lunch program. This kafe scenario as previously discussed is in contrast to previous strategies in which people from outside came in to decide students' lunch options, prepare, cook, and clean for the students. One of the most striking examples of site-based decision making that I was able to observe was a small group of high school teachers who came together over several months to tackle the horrendous challenge of defining and creating criteria for entrance and exit of students through the Lab School. Comprised of six faculty members from different disciplines and an administrator who participated much of the time, the entrance/ exit committee set out to create a multi-dimensional criteria that would allow students to move through a series of content and skill-based stages. They would "develop specific kinds of experiences (through disciplines) to get through these stages." It is difficult to convey how the participatory and broad based nature of the activity created an exhilarating dynamic of exchanges and interactions between the entrance/ exit committee .. Through these various meetings, the committee members approached this task with serious intellect, ambiguity, creativity, struggle, and humor. The spirit of consensus decision-making, negotiation, and collective participation was reflected in these meetings. They were organized so that the 165

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individual expertise of the various conlmittee members was respected and could be utilized to facilitate the planning process. The concept of broad-based participatory democracy was carried even further as the members of the entrance/ exit committee solicited feedback from the wider faculty population in several meetings, after explaining the tentative criteria they had created. This desire to widen the decision-making arena by encouraging mass participation in numerous aspects of social life through decentralizing, as illuminated through the dynamics of the entrance/exit committee; is an active example of what the Lab School environment can be on a wider scale. Another interesting and diverse example of site-based decision making that I observed and participated in was an ad-hoc grant writing committee. On it were teachers from every level, an administrator, a student, and myself. More or less each person in the group committed the same amount of time, expertise, insight and practical assistance (i.e. typing, previous grant writing experience, general knowledge of education from unique points of view, a picture of the larger context). This collaborative, multi-aged, multi experienced approach seemed to work well. Time devoted to the committee limited time they could spend doing their ordinary responsibilities. Thus, these types of activities would be rotated 166

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throughout the school population -and would then not take away from overall time during the year. The Lab School continues to expand in this direction, further involving students, parents, faculty, and other staff in the the ongoing decision-making process. This significant decentralization process encourages a wider representation of ideas and needs to be voiced, listened to, and met on a more autonomous and egalitarian basis. In many areas of the Lab School, site-based decision making is being carried out with great effectiveness and a spirit of egalitarianism; from team planning and teaching by faculty, to participation of administrators in various faculty planning sessions, to parent-student teacher conferences, etc. The basic problem, is that this concept is not carried out fully enough. To me, the concept of site-based decision making (decentralization) would imply the fazing out of administrators, or at least a drastic rethinking of their roles. While administrators have been eager to decentralize much of the organizational work to teachers (such as scheduling), they have not been as eager to impart real control and power. Much of the control and power still remains in the hands of the administrators, and to a large degree, this lack of decentralization in this area remains unquestioned. It is evident, however, that the final decision of hiring and firing of faculty remains in the hands of the administrators while the highest salary remains in the hands of the administrator and the 167

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two directors. Instead, the degree of decentralization in this regard did not involve collective discussions with faculty regarding how a new, more egalitarian system could evolve. Faculty meetings, for example, are still led by the administrator, and especially when someone has something "negative" or controversial to bring up, faculty are greeted with ambiguous, elusive and short answers or an air of intimidation which discourages such "unity." There is clearly an unspoken limit as to the degree to which work may be decentralized but salaries, time, control and power can not be decentralized. These, for the most part, remain undiscussed, unchallenged except through informal gossip networks-and continue to be decided by those still in the highest positions of power and authority. Another problematic area involves the degree to which site based decision making has been conveyed and taken up by students. As previously discussed, some of the teachers' problems with not having enough time to explain what these changes were all about could have been alleviated by encouraging or requiring that students for example participate in a specified number of hours of planning versus class/curriculum time to deal with issues central to making the new changes (i.e. curriculum committees, entrance/ exit committees, scheduling committees) for the semester and year to come. In this way, the students' ideas could be valued in a different way: students could have the opportunity to slowly come to understand these 168

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complex concepts as teachers have had the opportunity to. They would have a better understanding of the overall complexity of what they were engaging in apart from information received in class and, thus, would have less contempt for teachers when a slight error was made in scheduling, etc. And students could gain more of an understanding of teachers' roles, duties, and working conditions. This alone would be a great asset, and for some students, it could also count as an internship or shadowing experience. The one area in which the concept of site-based decision making had barely been approached, especially at the high school level, was with parents. Parents, to my knowledge, have been minimally mobilized to take part in school planning meetings (ie. curriculum committees, scheduling committees) to a sufficient degree. In many ways parents probably had the cloudiest view of what was happening at the Lab School. This was partially due to their lack of inclusion in some areas, parents' own time constraints, and their overall geographic distance from the school. It seems that these are the people you would want to incorporate as your allies as soon as possible in a newly implemented change program. And it seems that a stronger effort to engage their expertise, assistance and solidarity would have assured a stronger base with which to work. Of course, parents participated in teacher-student-parent conferences, were in theory more than action members of several administrative advisory committees, were the 169

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audience for concerts, were invited to the World Game, and carne to a few student, faculty, or administration sponsored presentations. However, encouraging parents to teach a variety of things in a variety of ways or involving them in wider decision making and planning efforts could have been satisfying, could have helped break down the historical suspicion and distance, could have been an opportunity to demonstrate the Lab School's key features and teach parents about them. Obviously, as I have discussed elsewhere, the whole issue of social reproduction theory is important here. The degree to which students, and even parents are able to participate to an optimal degree is shaped by the dynamics of "cultural capital." A stronger understanding of how this can affect students and parents participation could lead to creating a more urgent or flexible strategy for involving these participants. Appropriate technology. As described in the Lab School bulletin, the goal to incorporate appropriate technology into its program reads: "In order to be an effective educational laboratory the school will maintain a broad array of learning resources. These resources will include technology appropriately applied to student needs, such as computers, software, telecommunications, video, etc. The Lab School accepts that technology should develop as a tool for 170

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learning rather than an end product to learning. The UNC laboratory school plan for the development of appropriate technology will be in concert with the restructuring efforts of the Laboratory School itself" (Key Features Bulletin 1989). In. short, apart from making this an important goal, the Lab School has had difficulty fulfilling much of this objective. Primarily because of a lack of funds in the last few years, many students who should have had more access to computers did not have it at the junior high and high school levels. For at least a year, the computer lab had to be shut down. Another smaller room containing computers was mainly used for word processing classes. Preschool and elementary students had more access to computers, several of which were housed in their rooms. International telecommunications projects were frequently engaged in by elementary students. These projects allowed students to interact electronically across cultural and linguistic boundaries. This provided students the opportunity to gain understanding of the different values, traditions, and cultures of those they were interacting with. Further, this type of participation encouraged students to reflect on their own and participate on joint problem solving activities centered on instructional issues. Computer work in general encouraged autonomy and peer interaction while also providing early training on a valuable skill. 171

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Students did have access to video cameras and monitors to use for a variety of school projects and presentations. Relatively frequently they were used, but even more students could have been encouraged to learn this valuable skill. As for actual presentation of videos for educational purposes, it seems to me that this option, had it been relied on more frequently, could have provided students with a rich array of cross cultural realities and educational resources. Developing an up-to-date CD, record, or tape collection, along with the knowledge of and desire to teach through music could have also been a rich way to educate students. A frequent complaint of teachers of being exhausted and not having enough time could have also been alleviated through the use of these resources. Like many Americans in the 30, 40, 50 age range, many of the teachers held conservative, if not seriously outdated, musical tastes. Pop-culture, especially the rap, metal, rock in magazines and on MTV, an obvious heart string to youth identity, was not valued as it could have been by teachers and administrators. Being a mostly white school with a mostly white faculty (99%), the faculty's white, middle class musical tastes at times translated into stereotypical language when discussing students tastes. While making reference to contemporary Latin and Black hip hop and rap music, articulating their distaste only illuminated faculty's ignorance and contributed to distancing and alienating them from students, not exactly making them fast friends. 172

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Accentuating this distance, contrary to some desires, it is now obvious that rap is fast becoming integrated into mainstream culture so that even white kids in talent shows engage in significant rap posturing and performing. As usual, there were exceptions to the rule. Contrary to the faculty's and administration's distance from students' music tastes were Art classes. They were usually a freeer scene and were generally blaring with rap music, even through the hiring and firing of two different teachers. Authentic exhibition. Authentic exhibition, as described in the Lab School bulletin, states that "the UNC Laboratory School will systematically replace conventional grading systems and 'Carnegie Unit' measures with practical, measurable demonstrations of competence. Systems for such demonstrations will be developed. Broad definitions of mastery-in-learning, performance-based education, and outcome-based instruction will be utilized" (Key Features Bulletin 1989). The high school students and faculty are basically broken up into 2levels, levels 4 and 5. Individual faculty members came together from both of these levels to comprise the ad-hoc entrance/exit committee. Other ad-hoc groups of high school faculty members were concurrently meeting on various issues related to the restructuring effort on a long term basis. 173

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Comprised of six faculty members from different disciplines and an administrator who participated much of the time, the entrance/ exit committee set out to create multi-dimensional criteria that would allow students to move through a series of content and skill-based stages. They would "develop specific kinds of experiences (through disciplines) to get through these stages ... Courses would be designed in reference to the particular skills. The course is the content that holds it together, and the skills are what you are aiming to achieve." There would be "a continual check on students' progress, a continual validation." This assessment of various levels along the way of the learning continuum would involve individual and collective demonstrations of the students various learning experiences. The curriculum, as it was discussed, would increasingly be geared towards individual needs and abilities. "Students would no longer graduate in June, but they would graduate when the stages were completed." The criteria, as they were negotiated, were comprised of six categories: communications; problem solving; values and decision making; social, community, and global citizenship; wellness; and the arts. Each one of these categories was broken up into five stages. They recommended that, to graduate, every student would have to attain stage 4 in all areas and stage 5 in at least two categories one or more times, contingent on departmental requirements. To complete a stage, one or several "validations" would need to be successfully completed, 174

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depending on the requirements of a particular class or teacher. This validation might be an assignment, a test, or a verbal, written, or performance-based demonstration of the knowledge mastered. Below is an example of one category and its five stages. These criteria were designed through numerous dialogues, input from criteria developed from similar innovative schools, and a recognition of the Lab Schools own needs, context, and history. Values and Decision Making: Stage 1: Stage 2: Stage 3: Identify your own values and their relationship to your behavior. Infer and define values of others from observation of their behavior. Apply your values to a specific decision-making process and determine the consequences. 175

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Stage 4: Stage 5: Demonstrate the ability to use your values in group inter actions/ decision making. Evaluate the effectiveness of a group's interaction and its use of values in decision making. The entrance/ exit criteria were actually developed as a packaged deal compatible with advisor/advisee groups, portfolio development, a senior project, interdisciplinary teaching/learning experiences, internships, shadowing, and community service. First, this movement through these criteria and through high school itself, would be facilitated with a strong advisor-advisee program. These would include an advisor and a multi-aged group of no more than 12 students. They would move together through their high school years, building a context for trust, support, and guidance. A portfolio would document various samples of the students' work, evaluations, progress, and dimensionality over time. A senior project would be required as the final accumulative demonstration ofmovement through the exit criteria (stages). This senior project would demonstrate an integration of much of what had been learned and "a culmination of efforts," with an emphasis on a specific content area. 176

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Rather, components of this high school experience would include the participation of two integrated studies (interdisciplinary) a year for both students and faculty. For faculty, this ideally meant "a variety of interdisciplinary team teaching possibilities" and an opportunity to be a "role model" so that kids can "see an active exchange of ideas, connections, and interactions, between faculty in different disciplines." For students, this interdisciplinary component would be stressed extensively at the new Lab School. Students would also be required to participate in shadowing experiences in their freshman and sophomore years. These were like mini-internships, a chance for students to try out some ideas they've had about careers. This may just involve observing someone in a job setting and asking questions. A full blown internship would also be required as a junior or senior. Finally,36 hours of community service would be required sometime during the high school career. The further development of the plan to implement the entrance/ exit criteria was accompanied by the creation of a set of courses in the Fall of 1991. These courses implemented at the high school level involved examining the meaning, significance, and implementation strategies of the categories and their stages. As discussed throughout this text, one of the main problems since the beginning of the restructuring process is that the students had no clear conception of what these changes were about. The actual 177

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concepts of the "new" Lab School had barely been explained to students and had not been discussed as to their content and validity or non-validity. Classes were simply carried out and "new" strategies from the teachers cognitive viewpoint were put in place; thus, these changes were not fully understood and were more frequently misunderstood by the students. Students, faculty, administrators, and parents could and should have been engaged in continual discussions regarding the key features, what they were all about, what they meant, why they were important, how they were achieved, and what their consequences were. Thus, this year (year 3), after a year and a half of planning how the entrance-exit criteria would functionally work, it was finally made into a class. There would be four different cla!ises, they would be team taught for 10 weeks for 2 and 1/2 hours every day to discuss the complexities such things as i.e. wellness and aesthetics, and then students would shift to another class, ie. communications and problem solving. ThiS, I feel, is finally a step in the right direction. Last year, when I would ask students what a particular key feature was, they would respond blankly as though I were speaking a foreign language. But from the faculty's point of view, they were being taught it every day. Neither had any of the students seen the official lab school brochure, a brochure that fully explains the new program, including 178

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the key features. No wonder so much confusion and misunderstanding existed. So far there seems to be mixed reaction to these classes by the students. Some students are desirous of classes that are geared more towards "fun." To me this absence of fun and an emphasis on critical exploration of complex issues has been greatly needed. Steps in this direction can not help but to lessen some of distance between administrators, teachers, students, and their parents. Last year, part of my job description was to take on some internees. I described the opportunity as a journalistic adventure. I would help students write and develop articles for publication in the Greeley newspaper or the student newspaper. They could write about anything that was of interest to them, but they had to find a way to talk about it in terms of the key features and the new direction the Lab School was taking so they could begin to see the connections between these things. They were required to research and study the key features bulletin and cut articles out of the Greeley Tribune or other papers on similar educational changes occurring in Denver and throughout the country. In this way they could also get a feel for their school and its changes as embedded into the larger context. This was fairly successful. However, this adventure also required quite a bit of self motivation from the students because of the limited time of students and myself. With more institutional support, students with ; 179

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less "cultural capital" (MacLeod 1987) and less confidence in the school system might have been interested in such an adventure and might have been able to be successful. Another issue relating to the move away from traditional and standardized ways of evaluating students' learning is the emphasis at the Lab School on a student "completing a task." A widespread strategy at the Lab School involves teachers not accepting as the final piece of work those which carry a non-passing grade. These works, before returning them to a student, are marked with feedback. The student then is expected to take to heart the feedback, solicit further assistance if needed, and complete the task for an improved grade. Incomplete work recieves the same response. In this way, teachers are sending the important message that the content and process of learning is more important than classroom seat time and a letter grade. This same flexible strategy for facilitating student learning many times carries over to a test situation where students are seldom timed and are similarly given numerous chances if necessary to improve their grade and complete the task to their's and their teacher's satisfaction. PLP'sportfolios. In the "new" Lab School brochure, p.l.p.'s (personal learning plans) are defined as the "mechanism through which the essence of planning as it affects the students' learning are done. This p.l.p. will be made by each student and her/his 180

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teacher I advisor. It will be a focal point for educational planning and monitoring. It will include parent participation and/ or endorsement. This personalized approach to organizing ones education, over time, will lead to the development of a graduation portfolio" (Key Features Bulletin 1989). These p.l.p.s, "will be the key for documentation and demonstration of one's school experience. It will be a student's 'credential' for college entrance and job placement" (Key Features Bulletin 1989). Below, a teacher, Frank Morgan, describes how he and his students have approached the development of p.l.p.s (personalized learning plans). "Last year these were developed with kids, and then parents were informed of them. This year (year two in the implementation process), in our level parents are coming in once a month and developing p.l.p.'s with advisors, students, and parents, and then all three of us work throughout the month, to accomplish the goals, and at the end of the month, or the next month or whatever, we evaluate previous goals and set new ones .... Portfolios reveal a multidimensional view of students, and the evolution and development of their school work. It highlights their interests, their goals, their strengths, their weaknesses. Contained in a portfolio are samples of the student's work. It might contain papers she/he has written, including feedback from a teacher. The 181

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development of student skills, comprehension, and persistence is illustrated in the flexible possibility students have to rewrite papers, improve upon them, and complete them. Art work, theater, videos, musical performances, various science projects, and industrial art work which complement units or assignments in science, social studies, or language arts can be illustrated by photographs and descriptions of student's work. In many parts of the Lab School, the development and maintenance of portfolios has been infused into the everyday life of the school. This impressive coordination effort begins, many times, at 7:30 in the morning when teachers meet to plan. Here, the status of the portfolio is frequently discussed. Teachers talk about sections that can be tossed out, updated, or added. Students are given the freedom to choose the work which best represents the range of their progress and development as a student. Teachers offer suggestions, and sometimes require that certain components stay in the portfolio. Teachers and students usually deal with portfolios when they meet for advisor-advisee. But in reality, it may be done with any teacher in any context. When the maintenance of a portfolio is done on a frequent basis; for example, at the beginning of each class everyday, I have seen students approach these efforts knowledgeably, with 182

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comfort, not as a hassle, or something which is separate from the other activities of school, but as the "natural" documentation of who they are as a student. As part of this new effort to present the student at the Lab School in a more complete, holistic fashion, the portfolio contains the various qualitative written evaluations. These may be self evaluation group evaluations or evaluations of students by teachers. These are written descriptions of students and their work. They involve considerable thought, effort, and time to put together. This evolving portrayal of a student as dynamic rather than as somewhat static, as typically illustrated by letter grades, illuminates the full spectrum of what a student is and can be. In the beginning, especially at the high school level, there was considerable resistance by high school students over the issue of portfolios. Students, socialized for years to the notion that a number or a letter grade could fully and accurately represent them as students, were attempting to derail this plan. Teachers were not then unified over which graduating class would be fully transferred to the portfolio track versus the Carnegie units track. Many graduating seniors were fearful and cited numerous examples that their portfolios would not be accepted for college entrance. Administrators countered these claims, stemming from numerous discussions they had had with university officials at universities in Colorado and around the country. 183

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Throughout the next year, many teachers felt pressure to create a dual system for each student of grades and a portfolio. On top of teacher's already limited time, this created an even greater burden. Past that difficult transition, teachers are now on line to attend to the portfolio idea, which has now become the popular tool for student assessment in the mainstream of restructuring efforts throughout the country. 184

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CHAPTERS TOWARDS 1HE ''NEW" LAB SCHOOL General Concerns--What's Missing? Success of the restructuring process at the Lab School depends on the maintenance of patience, tolerance, endurance, and sensitivity to allow the process to evolve and develop in a context of long-term support, continuous planning, and increased access and participation of those not traditionally heard (minority voices). In addition, the degree to which these key features are understood by the participants and can be and are implemented will depend on the overall comprehension of the concepts, strategies and arguments involved, general working conditions, material resources available, perceived threat or perceived benefit of implementing the components of the restructuring process, and the external context in which the Lab School is situated (Banks 1989; Ellsworth 1989; Fullan and Stiegelbauer 1991; Hall1991; Slee 1988). Below, I will provide a summarizing discussion of my major findings of the Lab School restructuring process. This chapter will be divided into three sections: general concerns-what's missing; recommendations, and conclusions. These findings stem from the 185

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range of contradictions influencing the implementation of such a plan, in combination with the differences between the .. ideal .. restructuring plan (as depicted in the initial key features bulletin) and its actual implementation context. Context for Long Term Implementation and Planning In this section, I will illuminate the disparity between the "ideal .. and "actual" Lab School realities through short discussions on the Lab School's context for long term implementation and planning; the context of increased access, multiculturalism and empowerment; problems surrounding the context of the Lab School's family style learning; the context of decentralization; the resistance to unions by Lab School participants; complexities around the issues of material resources and technology; and the context of the various theoretical voices which have influenced the Lab School change context. A presupposition of broad-based, qualitative changes, such as these the Lab School is attempting, so different from typical approaches to education, is that they are not done quickly. In addition, required in these long-term experiments is the freedom to experiment and be innovative. Trial and error may lead us to realize that the path we took was wrong. In contrast, strategies of informed trial and error 186

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may lead us to new discoveries. As previously mentioned, this all takes time, time to plan, act, reflect, revise, coordinate, and replan. Real and profound changes, arising from the soul, the creativity, and the intellect of people takes real time. It is essential that a context of long-term support and implementation be realized. There are numerous factors impeding the transition to a context of actualized innovation. One of these factors at the Lab School involve some ways administrators hung onto power and discouraged certain types of innovations, at times sending double messages to faculty (Brown 1991; Popkewitz 1991). For example, the director would state, "This is a long-term, flexible plan, so be innovative." But, if faculty were experimenting "too much" or not in the "right way," administrators typically intervened. Thus, there was an implicit limit to the decentralization process, degree of site-based decision making, and flexibility of definitions for what actually constituted "change." Another example illuminating this problematic involves administrators' typical reaction to the use of textbooks in a class. The use of a textbook by teachers does not make their overall teaching style inherently conservative per se or lacking in innovation. A specific example of this reality occurred when a middle school teacher was aggressively encouraged not to use a textbook for teaching/learning purposes. This textbook was current and was written by the teacher and others collaboratively. It addressed the teaching of science from a 187

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very innovative, interdisciplinary style. Further, the teacher and book received awards for excellence. These factors did not seem to have an impact on the administration's decision. Other times, teachers were subject to punitive remarks and actions due to "lecturing" instead of using "other more innovative techniques." In this way, lecturing was also perceived as innately uninnovative and destructive to students, regardless of how it was approached. These examples shed light on some of the contradictions involved in long term, qualitative change efforts. These problems can be alleviated by a long term commitment to making these concerns explicit, and working through them. Further, these types of double messages emanate from the confusion over what these changes are and what they entail, failure to admit or deal sufficiently with existing power realities, and a failure to frequently and consistantly debate these fine points. (Brown 1991; Ellsworth 1989; Popkowitz 1991). Another example of this is the encouragement of teachers and students to "get off campus"-providing students with more "applied" experiences. However, there was rarely transportation to do this. Buses were still mainly reserved for sports events, which, ironically, did not manage to reduce their priority with the advent of the new changes. Extreme efforts were needed many times to get students off campus. Sometimes it was even necessary to come up with the money for transportation, (for the salary of a substitute teacher) or for the use 188

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of private transportation, thus risking liability. Teachers were too often criticized when they didn't meet the challenge, in a less-than adequate context for doing so, and too often, they received mixed messages or none at all when they did manage to pull it off. Apart from the thwarted efforts of many trying to attain these goals, there was also a small cadre of faculty, who apart from these difficulties, just didn't have the interest or realize the benefits of "getting off campus." Despite the fact that these efforts sometimes involved a personal liability, there was a Spanish teacher who frequently did get students off campus into unique educational experiences. For example, he would arrange for his Spanish students to visit and. work in the potato factories around Greeley and to work in the onion fields all day with migrant workers from Latin America. Generally, during these off-campus experiences, the rules imposed were to work, to get to know the Latin workers, and to speak Spanish all day. Instead of being praised, this teacher, with his flamboyant style, was more often not held up as a model by administrators and some other teachers but was instead perceived negatively as going beyond the norm, being on the fringe, being crazy, someone not to emulate. Yet, he was doing, in the similar context of struggle in which all were emersed, exactly what he should have been doing. Finally another example of these types of complexities involve situations in which administrators encouraged faculty to enrich the 189

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Lab School environment with speakers and teachers from outside; however, there was rarely money for this or for conferences that faculty desired to attend in order to enrich their own education and build alliances (Slee 1988, Fullan and Stiegelbauer 1991, Hall1991). Compatible with the crucial need to constantly discuss what these changes mean is the integration of a scenario of constant planning. Ideally, this planning begins before the restructuring effort, and is maintained throughout the restructuring effort. The involvement and incorporation, in the beginning planning stages, of the widest range of people and their opinions will ensure a less chaotic scenario when the school year begins and ordinary school issues begin to take more precedence, especially for teachers who are overwhelmed with. everyday realities on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis (van Willigan 1986, Chambers 1985, Pullan and Stiegelbauer 1991). Below, one teacher, Julie Meyers, illustrates the significance of the process of constant planning in her family at the Lab School: ... A couple of those (faculty) in our level were new, and were specifically hired to work in a new innovative context. For us ( less recent faculty of 1 or 2 years) the sys-tem was also new, one which we did not have years and years already invested in. We were excited,. .. we liked the changes, and we liked our partnership. So, even though the actual changes were not to begin until Fall, 1989, we just started planning last spring. 190

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For several months we went through a lot of strife. We also met a lot during the summer. So, we were ready and we had a good idea of what each other expected ... We talked about everything, from behaviors we expected from kids, to how we were different, how we were the same, and all those things that in a daily routine can hurt little by little, and where frustrations and irritations can arise. We worked a lot of that out before. So I think that is one reason why we are more relaxed now .... We are somewhat hap pier now, and maybe more effective,. .. not because we are better, but just because we have had more time and we went through all the frustrations earlier." At the start of these restructuring changes, levels other than the elementary levels weren't as diligent about meeting during the summers to discuss the complexity and details of implementing such a qualitative, complex, and time-consuming plan--things did not go as smoothly once the school year began, and this contributed to feelings of continually being rushed or behind. During the next couple of years, though, strong efforts were made at junior high and high school levels to meet after the school year ended for a week or two and before it began again the next fall. This contributed to the increased smoothness once the school year began and teachers were again quickly consumed with student needs (grading, teaching, counseling, planning). However, the whole process could have been facilitated had there been even more time integrated into their school loads to 191

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constantly plan throughout the school year, but teachers in general were continually overwhelmed with their everyday duties. Additional positions (i.e. for increased teacher to students ratio or the possible formation of an advisory staff to work with faculty to help structure the change development process, etc.) or increased salaries could have helped alleviate some of these problems (Fullan and Stiegelbauer 1991). The planning process could also have been facilitated if many faculty and administrators had been more anxious to grasp the value of having a broad-based, decentralized range of positions represented in planning meetings from the small family group meetings to the more infrequent, large faculty-wide meetings (Brown 1991). Students, parents, and community members should have been "briefed" more thoroughly from the beginning on the general meaning and parameters of these changes. They should have engaged in continual discussions throughout the process on these changes and been continually encouraged to participate in all levels of decision making. This could have decreased distance, resistance from the community, faculty, and students and increased receptivity, understanding, and willingness to be allies. 192

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Increased Access? I Why No Emphasis on Multi-Culturalism? I Empowering for Whom? In an educational restructuring effort, which seeks to change, reform, restructure itself, increased access should be one of the first priorities. An emphasis on increased access and participation recognizes that many students (and others) have typically been excluded from the learning process in our community and in our country (Bal11990; Banks and Banks 1989; Giroux 1981; Lynch 1989; Pai 1990; Popkewitz 1991; Troyna and Carrington 1990). On one level, increased access means finding a way to increase the minority voices in a either by recognizing them (hearing impaired students, students of color, students with learning disabilities, students who come from low income homes or no homes, those with financial difficulties, families which lack certain forms of support, or are alternately abled) and addressing their experiences and concerns. It also means recognizing the minority community beyond the school, attempting to reflect that diversity in the school, enriching the school environment by seeking to recruit a larger minority population. An enriched environment, through increased access and participation, also means increasingly finding new ways to involve parents anq community members in the learning/teaching process. This broad-based outreach and incorporation is necessary in bridging 193

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understanding and clarifying how we all fit into the scheme of things. Having an inclusionary approach, in our isolated and segregated world is important to educating our youth. And it is imperative to making informed decisions in confronting the future (Aronowitz and Giroux 1985; Brown 1991; Fullan and Stiegelbauer 1991; Trueba and Delgado-Gaitan 1988). Historically and currently the Lab School is known for its relatively small size in which a certain degree of intimacy can be achieved between administrators, faculty, students, and parents. But there is still a wide gap between the faculty's perception of a student and how that student's identity may derive from her/his family, social, political, ethnic, gender, economic, educational, and other backgrounds (i.e. Jay MacLeod's interpretation of social reproduction theory and the notion of cultural capitol) (Ellsworth 1989; Ughtfoot 1985; MacLeod l987). A survey I constructed with another graduate student in an attempt to get this type of information was significantly edited and censored by administrators and faculty (see narrative journal submitted to Dr. Craig Janes, Dec 1989, for details) because of what they perceived to be threatening questions. Basic questions on the education and employment history of households, household composition (basic ethnographic questions I had modified from other fieldwork situations) were perceived by many administrators, faculty, 194

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parents, and even my co-researcher from the education department as "too personal and none of my business." Especially on questions asking for income, ethnicity, educational background, andjob history, it was generally those households that were most privileged that perceived the most threat. I argued that without knowing a student's family and household background one could not understand the current Lab School population, where it was starting from, and where it was going, students' identities, their attitudes, or success or failure in .. terms of education. In this context, I stressed in the cover letter of the questionnaire that providing names was completely optional (Fetterman 1989, van Willigan 1986, Chambers 1985). A separate survey solicited a series of questions on the changes in general. Again, I was discouraged from asking for names, and confidentiality was diligently ensured. To facilitate my analysis of the data upon their return and completion I matched the two questionnaires with the same numbers. This strategy was perceived as suspicious (as though I had the desire to override the administrators' and teachers' mandates and create an elaborate strategy for identifying those on the survey by name). I was encouraged not to personally distribute the survey to parents, and I was not allowed to do a personal follow-up. Not surprisingly, due to may lack of personal attention to the survey participants, in addition to this "charged" reality, I received back only a minimal number of the questionnaires asking basic 195

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demographic questions and received only a few more of the others. I was able to analyze the demographic surveys. However, of those I got back (on the general change process), the results first went to the various administrators, and magically, after six months, they were lost, and I never saw the the responses. In general, this suspicious middle class Anglo reaction, in which one's right to privacy about one's privilege is greatly valued, paralleled other scenarios of this type at the Lab School. As previously mentioned, many parents actually sent their kids to the Lab School because they perceived it as kind of a private school and definitely more Anglo than the other schools in Greeley. Central high school is about 55% non-Anglo (mainly Hispanic) and West high school also has a high percentage of non-Anglo students. Most schools engaging iri similar types of innovative changes around the country were quite different from the Lab School in one respect. Most of them included as a prominent feature in their program the concept of multiculturalism. Apart from a rather vague, ambiguous, and rather arbitrarily implemented notion to teach students about other cultures (a kind of cross-cultural perspective), there was little effort to take advantage of the rich cultural/ethnic community in front of them-the Greeley community. Further, multiculturalism was neither addressed in terms of critical explorations of concrete inequalities that exist in the community, the 196

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world and how our lives and others are related in terms of these inequalities. In many senses, multiculturalism just wasn't the Lab School's priority and was instead individually emphasized and prioritized instead of being encouraged and institutionalized school wide. Apart from this, there was no active minority recruitment. For this they relied on word of mouth. In addition, the only non-Anglo faculty member was a counselor in the counseling office (Banks 1989; Foster 1990; Lynch 1989). Throughout the first three years that they were implementing these changes, they had several faculty members leave for different reasons. Never was there a minority faculty member hired to replace one of these Anglo faculty. There is no excuse for this, especially in a school that adheres to a certain innovativeness. Concerning this reality, a Lab School principal conveyed to me how many of their good intentions had been thwarted by the UNC administrators. When a good candidate was found to hire, noted the principal, UNC administrators refused to offer minorities salaries, benefits, etc. equivilant to those they received in the current jobs they held. Further the context of competition for these individuals across the country similarly complicated this reality, noted the principal. But what of the "minority" teachers graduating from the notable UNC college of education? 197

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A minority group that was significantly integrated at all levels in the Lab School, however, was the large hearing-impaired population. The Lab School had the largest hearing-impaired program in Weld County. This program had a profound effect on the school. Hearing students were made very aware of hearing-impaired students. Most hearing students learned sign language, and were greatly enriched by the presence of the hearing-impaired in their school. The attentions to this group and the benefits it generated could have been transferred to other minority groups, but they generally weren't. As previously mentioned, in the Lab School one would frequently hear the word "empower," that students, faculty, and parents needed to be empowered. However, it was rarely questioned why certain groups needed empowering (arid why some groups might not) and why certain populations of students might have more of a right and legitimacy to being empowered than others. The examination of this terrain, facilitated by information from my questionnaire along with real critical discussion in this area, could have alleviated some of these types of situations. In the absence of these kinds of critical investigations, people who had power generally retained it and were encouraged to indiscriminately seek more, and those lacking it, instead of being empowered, were many times 198

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misunderstood or criticized because they did not know they had a right to it nor did they know how to claim it (Ellsworth 1989; Sleeter 1991). Education Family Style-Which Family? Central to the Lab School's restructuring effort was the concept of "family." This is also a current buzz word for many in the U.S. who are interested in educational restructuring. UNC faculty now use the term as they initiate their current changes, and a UNC presidential hopeful used this term in a talk during an on-campus visit. The basic problem, as I see it, is in the way this concept is used. The concept "family" is consistently decontextualized, as though there were only one type of family. This family is typically romanticized as though it were nuclear, white, and devoid of conflict. Which family are we talking about? American families? Which American families? African American working class families? Single-parent families? Dysfunctional families? George Bush's family? Many times the Japanese family model is similarly romanticized and used as a model in this country, as though it never changed or was touched by conflict, and as though its only identifying feature were unity for all. Similarly, it is assumed that the Japanese family model could easily work in our system, regardless of our unique history, cultures, and economic 199

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systems. In short, if family units are to be the model for living and working together, they must be seen as the good and the bad that they are, for their diversity and complexity, not romanticized and decontextualized. Moreover, some faculty expressed dissatisfaction with the air of hypocrisy inherent in the expectations comprising the family model at the new Lab School. This pervasive critique of faculty highlighted the disparity between a priority favoring increased time, resources, care of Lab School families in contrast to and at the expense of faculty's families at home. Decentralization As described in the key feature chapter of my paper and earlier in this chapter, many "new Lab School participants" did not fully comprehend what was involved in long term planning and didn't know that it took continual work and discussion on the finer points of how this is accomplished. There was some effort made to discuss realistically and meaningfully the complexities of these issues, usually with one administrator at a "family" level meeting. However, there were numerous concerns which were never explicitly voiced beyond these small group meetings in the presence of other faculty or administration. On rare occasions when the specific faculty concerns 200

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did reach the administration, there were several ways that faculty perceived being intimidated, receiving messages that their concerns were inappropriate. Typically the context ofthese large faculty-wide meetings (the more infrequent type of meetings as opposed to the daily or weekly small family meetings), seemed to contribute to an environment of disunity. At these meetings a faculty member would periodically confront the administration on legitimate concerns (i.e., why wasn't the administrator's power being decentralized, and why didn't the faculty have some decision-making power on how that should be done, or why weren't due for increased time and commitment)? Despite my knowing that many faculty supported these assertions, having expressed the same concern among themselves or to me personally, they clearly, in these meeting contexts, felt threatened and rarely publicly acknowledged their solidarity. The bottom line reason for these reactions seemed to be related to the issue of power-job security. Administrators still held the power to fire. Thus, other faculty seldom agreed and united behind the person's position but instead sat silent, leaving them alone to defend a popular and pervasive position. Thus, either the administration was not actually aware of the unity that really did exist between the faculty on certain issues such as these, or they were aware and used this technique (maintenance of powerful position of arbiter in faculty meetings, unwillingness to decentralize, evasive answers to important 201

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questions) to discourage meaningful dialogue and real decentralization (Ball1990; Brown 1991; Fullan and Stiegelbauer 1991; Popkewitz 1991). In sum, there were clearly aspects of decentralization that were perceived as "off base" to talk about These invariably concerned the administrators' changing positions. At times, administrators (there were two principals and one director) did cross traditional boundaries to teach classes. Ordinarily, as part of their job description, there were certain tasks that were expected of the administrators. But the boundaries of these tasks always seemed to be decided by the administrators. Ironically, it was implicitly assumed that administrators would help to decide what the changing roles of teachers, students, and parents would be, especially if they deviated from the administrators' vision of things. But it was not understood that teachers, students, and parents would equally decide these things in regard to the administrators' positions (Popkewitz 1991). Why So Much Resistance to Unions? In light of the tab School's emphasis on empowerment, which is partially related to a concern with better working conditions and increased derision making for teachers, it is then ironic to note the absence of overall interest in union partidpation. The history and context of union participation in this country as a whole has been less 202

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than empowering for many of its members. However, teachers' unions have generally fought for teachers' rights. Indeed many of those most supportive of the changes at the Lab School did seem to be union members. However, only a small core of faculty were involved in the union. Regarding their union involvement in the context of the Lab School, soliciting union interest from other Lab School participants was generally met with defamation or disinterest. This, like the difficulties regarding decentralization and the absence of multiculturalism at the Lab School, represents the confusion of participants about some of these concepts, the profound need for frequent and critical dialoguing, and the innate conservatism of some of these changes. Further, these perceptions and reactions to union participation did not seem to change as the entire Lab School plan progressed. In sum, teachers and administrators did not see a link between the espoused direction of the union and the course they espoused at the Lab School (Popkewitz 1991). Material Resources/MoneyTechnology So much of the successful implementation of many of the above components depends on having adequate access to material resources/money and technology. Teachers are already underpaid and severely overworked in contrast to university professors. But not 203

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fully appreciating that reality and then expecting teachers to implement a long-term qualitative restructuring program requiring further commitment, time, energy and work to be donated is less than wise. Further, without renumeration of money, benefits, or increased job satisfaction, expecting participants to change soley for the "good for the school" will tend only to invite antagonism. Finally, a lack of monetary resources affected the Lab School's general maintenance and restructuring process on many levels: from a need for more teachers and staff because of the increased work loads and probability for teacher burnout, to an inability of teachers to be as innovative as they would like to be due to a lack of computer or other technology or of being able to go on local and regional field trips and bring in speakers (Fullan and Steigelbauer 1991; Hall1991; Slee 1988,). The Missing Theoretical Voice Quite recently it has been evident that teacher education at the university level has incorporated or appropriated the concept of ethnography as valuable to teaching and research. Many times, though their definition is a partial one, that does not necessarily acknowledge the definition's origin in anthropology or how it has been defined and explored by many anthropologists. Frequently, it seems the part of ethnography most stressed by people in education is the 204

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concept of long-term participant observation. The aspect most frequently ignored would be the anthropological insight for observing such changes or the overall context in which the event is situated. This anthropological insight, which is sensitive to the components of class, ethnicity, gender, history, political and social and economic systems, and the larger context, is a profound component of ethnographic .research. This discrepancy between my definition and the definition of those on campus and at the Lab School made my job complex. In addition, this scenario was further complicated by the discrepancy between definitions used by those in the educational department on the UNC campus versus the definitions of those at the Lab School. Overall, there was a lack of coordination between these two contexts. Even in light of its more watered .. down notions of ethnography, the education department on campus frequently dealt with concepts such as critical pedagogy (frequently overlapping with some issues from the post-modernism and professional education discourse), including the concepts of ethnography, student voice, dialogue, and what these concepts might mean. In contrast, the administrators and teachers at the Lab School for the most part were not as familiar with some of these concepts. Throughout my internship experience, in discussions with the director of the Lab School, I found myself in a position of helping him come to an awareness of several of these concepts through articles, books, and 205

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references that I would provide, as well as through our discussions. He was intrigued and soon saw these concepts and issues as important to know about and began reproducing similar articles and distributing them to the Lab School faculty. The concept of ethnography seemed to be an even greater mystery to the Lab School faculty. The interest of faculty in these issues did not really develop. Rather, individual faculty picked up on certain aspects and began integrating these approaches somewhat in the classroom. In some cases this actualization by certain individuals might have built onto previous budding interests in these areas. Amidst this general lack of understanding by Lab School participants regarding the concepts and arguments of post-modernism, critical pedagogy, and what they might entail, there also seemed to exist a difference in preference for reform versus those who desired more restructuring. Some Lab School participants perceived the current changes as identical to those of the 60's and 70's; they were in somewhat of a vacuum, as though methods of the past were wholly appropriate for today's realities. Other factions seemed to be less reform minded while perceiving a need for greater restructuring perpetuated by crucial, existing realities in our social/political/historical system. These discrepancies were related, I believe, to a general failure to engage participants continually in dialogue on what the context of the Lab Schools change is in terms of 206

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larger local, regional and global realities. Instead, in this acontextualized, apoliticized manner, these global changes and realities, including those at the Lab School, were perceived many times to be a result of our quickly changing techno/communications world (Dow 1991, Fetterman and Pitman 1986, Fullan and Stiegelbauer 1991). Some of the distance between the theoretical knowledge base of Lab School faculty and administration and the education department at UNC was also influenced by the work overloads of teachers (providing them with little time to keep up on current literature) or their lack of interest. Some of this gap was due to the actual conscious lack of inclusion of the Lab School faculty by those at the university. This reality is due to a pervasive, patronizing, elitist attitude that is directed by UNC faculty at the Lab School's people and its programs. Currently, and in the past couple of years, there have originated at U.N.C. many new study groups on such issues as critical pedagogy, post-modernism, and education in the 21st century, etc. As I was a part of some of these groups, I saw part of my role at the Lab School as a liaison and attempted to get Lab School people involved in such discussions. I also felt their insights were valuable, as they began their restructuring effort three years before UNC began its own. Being invited surprised many of them; some have been able to participate, but obviously because of the great difference in work loads between Lab School and university faculty, many do not have time to 207

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participate. However, I think this aspect of my role was very important and is greatly needed (Chambers 1985; van Willigan 1986). Recommendations One of the greatest problems I encountered with my internship was that I was just one person attempting to do an ethnography of an entire school (Chambers 1985; Fetterman and Pitman 1986; van Willigan 1986). I soon realized that this would be a major challenge. In the beginning, I quickly decided to focus on one area of the Lab School, the middle school. For a while, it gave me an indepth view of what was happening on a day-to-day basis, gave me a chance to become familiar with the teachers and students, and gave me a feel for the continuity of what they were doing (planning, making assignments, dealing with students implementing complex concepts such as developmental grouping and interdisciplinary education). From these faculty and students, I gained trust and was generally welcomed. However, I began to feel a bit alienated, and I was not sure of what was happening in the rest of the school. (There was minimal standardization, meaning that everyone had their own way of approaching things). My distance with the other faculty grew, and aside from trying to maintain some individual relationships throughout the school, the faculty as a whole had little idea what I was 208

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doing because they never read any of my memos, descriptions, or recommendations that were kept iri files in their levels and in the library. Generally, I do not think they were very interested and felt that reading them consumed time they did not have. I began branchirig out again, to float around the school. This was somewhat satisfying as I got a general feel for the movement and dynamic of the entire school, but never could I recapture that indepth focus that I had when I was just focusing in on one level. Because of the general tension-filled and suspicious context of the faculty-wide faculty meetings, I did not make presentations about my observations. Instead, I tried to be sensitive to the constraints and concerns of the faculty. I tried to form a small discussion group with representatives from many levels, but with their other commitments, this group was not formally sustained. I decided the archives placed in each level would be a good way for the faculty to keep up with what I was writing about. Instead, as I mentioned above, they did not read them, seemed reasonably interested but claimed they didn't know what I was doing. In the end, I found the best way of maintaining twoand multi-way communication was through my participation in ad hoc committees (frequently spending time with a few faculty over a period of weeks or months) and just maintaining personal visits and contact with individuals. Through this participation, faculty in these groups generally welcomed my involvement. This participation was 209

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more concrete from the faculty's point of view than the misunderstood participant observation. But my ambiguity, framed by being an outsider and feeling anxious about what I was missing elsewhere in the school, also framed my level of interaction in these contexts. My overall participation in the Lab School was frequently far from perfect. I had plans and could have done more with a couple of assistants. (The director agreed but could not fund them; it was hard enough for me to find funding). This general arrangement obviously left gaps in the information I could attain. Further, there were people with whom I did not maintain much contact. The most difficult part was not seeing the continuity of what one teacher or many teachers and classrooms were doing. The Lab School restructuring plan was just so immense, complex, constantly changing and different in each family and at each level that I could not see it all. From my trial and error internship, I concluded that one class, its teachers, and students could have been enough. Complicating my own information gaps in some areas, I never did get to access the school archives (in terms of attendance, grades, wide access to student work and evaluations, information on the activities of graduates, etc.). Administrators and their assistants were generally evasive concerning this information, implying that it was too sensitive for me to see. They stated that they were mainly opposed to my being able to see people's names, and thus confidentiality would 210

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be a problem, "they stated. They finally appeased me by letting me produce my questionnaire which they highly censored. In the area of knowing who the Lab School population was, I have significant gaps. I found this to be disheartening, and I believe it definantlyaffected my general perceptions and conclusions, which were always partial. Based upon the general concerns and realities presented in this chapter, I have summarized several concrete recommendations and steps of action that could facilitate a smoother transition to the "new" Lab School. Other more situationally contextualized recommendations such as (i.e. coordinating the entrance/exit criteria between levels; developing a strong program and staff to organize student's internship/shadowing/community service opportunities; facilitating communication between levels), have been articulated at different times throughout the restructuring process by Lab School participants (especially administrators and teachers). These have become priorities and are in process of being actualized. I will not deal with these concerns here since they have been dealt with previously throughout my thesis. The suggested recommendations below should only be addressed or actualized with the broad based collaborative participation of administrators, teachers, students, and parents. Through the general recommendations presented below, I will attempt to elucidate the differentiation between the "ideal" discourse of the Lab School restructuring process and the "actual" context which exists. 21 1

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These action steps can be divided into 3 general categories: decentralization, curricuhim development, and multiculturalism. Decentralization Several of these recommendations relate to the context of decentralization which has been prioritized both "ideally" from the start of the restructuring process as developed by Lab School participants for the Lab School Key Features Bulletin (1989) and in "practice" throughout the restructuring process. The action steps are intended to facilitate the full actualization of the Lab School towards a fully innovative educational context. 1. The Lab School has engaged in numerous attempts to make the planning and decision-making process more inclusionary and less hierarchical (i.e. family planning, student's participation in p.l.p.'s, committee participation spanning parent's, student's, communities, faculties, and administration's collective and collaborative involvement, etc.). There are still areas in which this has not been carried out to an optimal degree (i.e. failing to significantly involve parents and students in committees of all types at all times, or failing to a sufficient degree to collaboratively discuss how administrators roles 212

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can or should be changing, failing to fully explore the implications of site based decision making and autonomous learning, etc.) by: Lab School participants could closer approximate these goals a. Explicitly recognizing existing and previous power inequalities (such as those which exist between administrators and teachers, teachers and students, and teachers and parents) in all contexts. b. Openly and collaboratively discussing the complexities of these power inequalities, in terms of their significance in order to change the realities to closer approximate the goal of a more egalitarian, broad based planning and decision making context. 2. The goals of the Lab School have included the prioritization of issues such as empowerment, critical thinking, and autonomy. Because these issues are crucial an effort has been made by Lab School participants to include them. However, there needs to_be a reassessment of educators' expectations as it relates to the student's aspirations, desires, efforts, capacities, and success stemming from how these goals or strategies (i.e. empowerment, autonomy, etc.) are understood and addressed. a. The complexities of these issues need to be collaboratively researched and discussed by Lab School participants (administrators, 213

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teachers, students, parents). Questions which need to be addressed include in what context is empowerment a worthy and equally accessible goal for all? In what contexts are certain students already empowered (i.e. by their class, ethnicity, or gender), thus facilitating success and privilege over others while helping to stigmatize, punish or track others? How do the backgrounds of students shape their educational and career aspirations, ability to be "tracked" or levels of success? The theoretical underpinnings of these concepts and others such as "social reproduction theory" and the concept of "cultural capital," as discussed in the book Ain't No Makin It (1987) by Jay MacLeod, the various ideas of Michel Foucault (1977), Henry Giroux (1981, 1988), 1990) and Henry Giroux and Stanley Aronowitz (1990), the writings of Elizabeth Ellsworth (1989), and the ideas of Christine Sleeter (1991) would be invaluable in being able to appropriately apply the concepts of empowerment, etc. b. The issues of empowerment and autonomy should also be seriously addressed by UNC administrators and the College of Education as these relate to the social subordination (in terms of control, power, and regulation of the desires, direction, and priorities) of the Lab School arena and participants by the larger context of UN C. 214

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Curriculum Development Other recommendations included here relate to issues of curriculum development: the use of textbooks, the lecturing method, and optimal educational use of materials developed to guide the restructuring effort (Key Features Bulletin 1989). These concerns about curriculum development at the Lab School exemplify misunderstandings regarding what constitutes change, communication breakdowns and antagonism and to the way these concerns were handled. These misunderstandings, combined with material limitations, added to participants' confusion and the difficulties concerning overall program development. 1. Numerous efforts have been made as part of the Lab School's restructuring efforts to abandon outdated models for teaching and learning and to incorporate more flexible, relevant strategies (i.e. the latter include recognizing the multidimensional reality of the student through the development of portfolio's and a replacement of carnegie unit measurements with an entrance/ exit criteria, etc.). However, there are some areas where the validity or significance of the use of certain models should be up for in-depth collaborative discussion rather than their being automatically decided by administrators' and abandoned: 215

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a. The use or non-use of textbooks could be collaboratively and flexibly decided according to a textbook's unique merit regarding innovative methods and presentation of content. b. The inclusion of a methodology (i.e. textbook use) as part of a range of multiple strategies (i.e. textbooks with newspapers, journals, magazines, trade publications), rather than the sole focus on one strategy could provide an additional criteria for evaluating what should or should not be allowed in a classroom. c. The same recommendations regarding the "collaborative" exploration of appropriate textbook use could also hold true for "lecturing" as it is currently approached at the Lab School. .2. There have been several efforts to convey the strategies, goals and priorities of the Lab School to students and parents. Following this 3 year restructuring process many students and parents are still unsure what these changes are, what they might mean, or if they are or will be affected by them. More efforts need to be made to reduce this distance: a. The frequent and indepth use of the key features bulletin, (1989) (which includes descriptions of the 13 key features among other major Lab School components) by teachers to collaboratively educate students, and parents about the restructuring goals could significantly reduce the current gap in concrete understanding in this area. Although the key features bulletin exists, due to cost factors there is no 216

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consistent, frequent, and personalized use of this bulletin for educational purposes. Finding a way to traverse this difficulty could significantly bridge understanding where there clearly lacks an abundance. b. Efforts to continue and strengthen the education of students concerning the Lab School's goals were introduced this year (1992) at the high school level. This involves requiring high school students to take a variety of core courses on the parameters, components, content, and processes of the change process. This has so far proven significant in reducing the kind of distance I am referring to. Similar efforts, such as workshops for parents, community participants, and other district 6 personnel (who are now in the process of oruy beginning their restructuring efforts), could similarly bridge numerous misunderstandings. M ul ticul turalism Finetlly, I have included in my action steps some recommendations which relate to the issues surrounding multiculturalism. As previously discussed in this chapter, these are issues which have been relatively de-emphasized to a great extent at the Lab School. Thus, my recommendations here will be a call for a much greater emphasis than has previously be given. 217

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1. The Lab School has made significant efforts towards accommodating "exceptional" or unique student's learning styles (i.e. through developmental grouping, an emphasis on mel$tery rather :than on failing, a move away from standardized learning methods, etc.). Identifying as a priority, the development of a more comprehensive, visible and supportive service for identifying and assisting students with learning disabilities could greatly improve the Lab School program. In the recent past, this has not been a priority and individuals (rather than a staff or program) have been targeted for carrying out these services: a. Like hearing impaired students, students with learning disabilities could benefit by a context (office and staff) that could assess students for diverse types of learning disabilities and provide tutoring and compensative strategies. b. I recommend that significant sensitivity training for teachers and administrators be undertaken on how to identify and support these types of exceptional students. c. Besides the general sensitivity training targeted for all teachers, building supportive links between these teachers, students with learning disabilities, and "staff' would be important in meeting these students needs. Staff coordinating these services could be "advocates" for these minority voices. Just as the larger population 218

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benefits through increased understanding by having a significant hearing-impaired population in the Lab School, so could this happen in the case of students with learning disabilities. 2. As part of the Lab School's restructuring plan, participants have incorporated a broad array of impressive issues, concerns, and strategies into their goals (i.e. efforts to account for individuality and a de-stigmatization of chronological age by developmental grouping, recognizing students and others as multidimensional through wellness and interdisciplinary education, etc.). However, the emphasis on multiculturalism currently occurring throughout the US and the world, has not been sufficiently reflected in practice (i.e. because there is no formal student recruitment policy, the reality of the student ethnic composition of the Lab School does not reflect the diversity of the other Greeley high schools, Greeley, or Weld county; the reality is that only one "minority" staff member exists at the Lab School) even after 3 years of restructuring efforts as part of the Lab School's restructuring plan. These steps could be taken to more adequately address this deficit: a. There should be a formal prioritization on student recruitment of ethnic minorities (i.e. Mexicans, Chicanos, African Americans, working class students, alternately abled, etc.) with the desired outcome of having the Lab School reflect the ethnic and class 219

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diversity of the Greeley community. This would be consistent with the Lab School's emphasis on wholeness, diversity and access. b. An equal prioritization on developing a diverse ethnic and class faculty, administrative, and staff composition would be important and laudable in meeting students needs, becoming more inclusionary, and reflecting the diversity of our community and our world. Efforts to meet the above challenge (regarding recruibnent of diverse students) without concurrent efforts to increase the diversity of faculty, staff, and administration at the Lab School could be inviting a level of antagonism, as well as failure and resistance by the student population. 3. Along with non-curricular programs could be the development of a cultural center, and mentor programs with schools, businesses, students, teachers and families from Greeley's north side. a. Cultural Center. This cultural center could be the focus for multicultural curriculum development (videos, films, books, magazines, alternative newspapers, music technology, etc.) for classroom and extracurricular teacher, student, or staff use. Besides fulfilling an educational role, it could also be a location for cultural, ethnic, social/multicultural expression and intercultural alliance building. In such a cultural center individuals and groups of Lab School participants such as the Anglo, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Native 220

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American Indian, African American, Chicano, Mexican, Swedish, Jewish, etc. participants which currently make up the Lab School population would be encouraged to discover their identities, assert their identities, and educate others in terms of those identities. b. Mentorship Program. A mentor program could fulfill a concern to address multiculturalism. First, it would be a way to develop an understanding of the multicultural context of the community the Lab School is situated in. Secondly, it could provide a context for building intercultural alliances with the north side community and provide a foundation for student recruitment. Contacts between the Lab School and institutions, businesses, other schools, and households in the north side could provide a setting for the internship, shadowing, and community service opportunities which comprise a significant priority at the new Lab School. Finally, these relationships, contacts, and alliances, more than just providing a kind of a Laboratory or fieldwork setting for the Lab School participants, could further foster a "mentorship program" between teachers and students or students and students, prioritizing "reciprocity" as a central component of the multicultural/mentorship project. 221

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The Foundation for Change The actualization of these recommendations, as many at the Lab School also recognize, would be framed by the overall material constraints (time, space, resources) surrounding the Lab School restructuring process. These would be such things as time constraints as addressed earlier in this chapter and throughout my thesis. Many recommendations as periodically proposed and addressed by Lab School participants are the result of processes that have come before, thus an accumulation of events, trial and error experimentation, or the process itself have generated a situational response that is primarily the result of the passing of time. The reality of allowing process to take shape, change, be assessed and reassessed are a crucial necessity for long term, qualitative restructuring processes. The outcome, actualization, and success or failure of all of these situational events, including the events I have described and the recommendations I have proposed are still too soon to predict. Many changes have been made at the Lab School. Many areas have been targeted for improvement by the participants themselves. Some components which have been neglected in the past should be included for optimal success of this restructuring process. Many changes have yet to be made. Time will be a significant factor in defining the success of these processes. 222

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Moreover, material constraints (such as money, space, and technology) (addressed earlier in this chapter and throughout my thesis), will greatly influence the rate of change, the general accessibility of participants, the extent to which the change effort is incorporated, and miscommunication which occurs between participants which are partially due to the material gap between the "ideal" and the "practical". Maintaining a sufficient level of material resources in this area will depend on continued, uninterrupted, and increased support by the UNC administrators who still decide much of the fate of the Lab School. Further, it will depend on the ability of Lab School participants to maintain the restructuring process, communicate their goals, ideals, plans, and generate assistance from both local and international resources. Conclusion In terms of the questions I raised in the introduction and literature review chapters i.e., the context and use of applied anthropology in these types of settings, the value and use of ethnography and ethnographic assessment, the complexity and difficulty of change, the complexities of the actual implementation process at the Lab School, and theoretical influences-! will attempt to. address in narrative descriptive form how these realities affected the 223

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differentiation between the "ideology" surrounding the Lab School's changes, and the actual "reality" of the restructuring context and the reasons for the discontinuity between them. In theory, the initiation of these changes was a good idea and was worth the effort. They generally involved providing measures to increase the democratic spirit in terms of decision making power, control and access, and making education more relevant. This is difficult to do. These efforts were obviously framed by the overwhelming and pervasive educational institutional failures of the past. It would be an understatement to say that the educational process in this country needs rethinking. However, intentions directed at the Lab School restructuring process were generally good. This is not to say that there were not other motives affecting the decisions for making these changes, especially at the upper levels of UNC administration and institutions throughout our country. Many difficulties and contradictions occurred in the overall change process. Many of these are inherent to change itself and some of these derive from our lack of understanding and experience with what democracy, egalitarianism, or grass-roots change entails and is. In our country, where we are so removed from many of these issues and concerns asserting a need for more democracy in a broad, 224

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participatory fashion, we have become confused and mislead as to what actually constitutes democracy, who has it, and how it is conceived and sustained (37). Sprouting from these contradictions, perceptions, and misperceptions were the various movements of Lab School participants to either resist these changes, praise what was being done, and unify in terms of the efforts, or fall somewhere in between. In mobilizing Lab School participants in light of the various complexities affecting the overall restructuring process, it would seem imperative to keep focused throughout the change process on a need to rigorously, carefully, slowly, and frequently engage the participants every step of the way in educating them as to what the changes were about, how, and why they were going about them. In short, the changes should have been done as thoroughly and as collaboratively as possible to ensure success and minimal resistance. Despite several regulatory mechanisms left in place (i.e., the existence of administrators or the fact that administrators might intervene when a teacher was using a textbook or lecturing instead of using other strategies), the overall change process nevertheless did entail a considerable degree of autonomy for its participants reletive to most public schools. For faculty, students, and administrators this autonomy primarily involved defining concepts, prioritizing concepts, implementing these componentS, and deciding how that was to be 225

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done. Inherent in this reality was a voiced (if not always adhered to) understanding that these efforts towards autonomy wo\lld involve some experimentation, som:e trial and error. The best way I can illustrate this difference between the "ideology" and the "actual" context of implementation is to review my ethnographic role at the Laboratory School. My efforts in the midst of this restructuring process went in many directions. A main component involved negotiating and renegotiating the multiple terrains I encountered at the Lab School. This partially involved a constantly shifting job description, a result of the changes themselves. These complexities initially involved analyzing the many, multi-faceted contexts and deciding where and how to start. Then, as previously mentioned, I reduced the general scope of the project to focus on one area of the school in order to get an indepth look at the practical day to-day implementation of the key features and the teaching and learning context. As this provided a way to assess certain processes, it also limited my vision of the overall school-wide process, including the sheer diversity with which these changes were approached, and I found myself shifting to try to gain different and wider perspectives. Other related problems I encountered throughout my internship experience stemmed, I believe, from the familiar complexity of the overall change process and having too much to adequately evaluate 226

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alone without the help of assistants of some sort. This problem of feeling overwhelmed by the magnitude of the task was heightened by the process of change itself. Apart from these more practical complications, my role of an on-site ethnographic assessor involved the use of research skills to determine if a project, program, or policy was working effectively or has had a successful outcome. The "basic task was to determine objectively the worth or value of something. Sometimes this is called program monitoring. This role is a relatively common one for applied anthropologists" (Chambers 1985; van Willigan 1986: 4). Reflecting the multifaceted context of the Lab School, this "program monitoring" is also multi-faceted and involved the use of multiple research skills. Determining the success of the project involved assessing what the Lab School had been historically, what had happened since the year before I was hired when the changes actually began, understanding the basic components of the change process, knowing who the participants were and how they were adapting, and monitoring this change over time. To assess these factors, I most frequently used the ethnographic method, specifically the skill of participant observation. Related to the strategies and skills I used, there are several openings in the data I was able to gather. These mainly relate to the construction of the questionnaires, their distribution, and access to the results. A more effortless traversing of these difficulties could have provided more 227

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indepth knowledge about who exactly the Lab School population was and how it was perceiving and adjusting to the changes. Despite encountering these types of difficulties, the role of an applied anthropologist can provide a means for mediating these complex terrains. The role of an ethnographic assessor in many applied contexts involves being a policy maker. Instead, my ethnographic descriptions and evaluations in this context played a more supplemental role in aiding policy makers (i.e. ideally administrators, teachers, students, parents) in their decisions. Concurrently, my observations stemmed from my role as a liaison, mediating the existing and changing educational processes and the people who were teaching and learning in these various contexts. Overall, my role attempted to bring together and negotiate the various voices (students, parents, teachers, administrators) involved in the Lab School's restructuring process. Because ethnography involves "hanging out" with different groups over an extended period of time, I could be in a position to help people listen to each other (Chambers 1985, Marcus and Fischer 1986; van Willigan 1986). As a negotiator of the multiple voices trying to make sense of the complex dynamics at the Lab School, I think I was fairly successful. After the initial suspicion (mainly by faculty) subsided, stemming from a lack of understanding about what I was doing and feeling threatened because I (someone from the outside, hired by the administration) was 228

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evaluating them, I was generally welcomed and was able to develop relationships of intimacy and accommodation with a range of participants. Because of my participation in these multiple contexts, in which I attempted to make everyo:n.e more or less an ally, I was able partially to bridge the existing different realities and the asymmetrical power realities of helping people listen to and understand each others' positions. In some cases, apart from listening, my role entailed validating or not validating a person's perceptions. However, while at times this multifaceted role allowed me increased facilitation, other times I found this same traversing strategy (attempting to be a:n ally of everyone) to be taxing and confusing (Fetterman and Pitman 1986; van Willigan 1986). I do feel that the role of an applied anthropologist, especially while combining several roles (assessor, liaison, planner, cultural broker, change agent), provides a way to capture the dynamics of a change process such as the Lab School is addressing. A flexible and multimentional approach which combines several applied anthropology roles is especially relevant in light of the Lab School's emphasis on qualitative teaching/learning methods, an emphasis on blending school and real world events and contexts, and their emphasis on efforts to increasingly see the educational process and its 229

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participants in holistic, interdisciplinary ways-as individuals engaging the complex, changing world with different roles in different contexts (Chambers 1985; van Willigan 1986). Ethnography contributes to applied research through its emphasis on discovery, as opposed to verification. This suggests a non-judgemental descriptive and interpretive activity. The purpose is to understand and examine facets of human behavior as part of larger cultural systems. Ethnographic evaluation emphasizes a holistic understanding. This holism, as exemplified by this flexible use of multiple roles and strategies to address multidimentional contexts, can be used to construct a cooperative and supportive mode of evaluation (Chambers 1985; Fetterman 1989; van Willigan 1986). Thus, the relationship between my overall internship task, my limitation of working as one person in a quarter-time position assessing a school wide project, in addition to the constantly changing and non-standardized process of change, was complex and produced in me at times feelings of frustration and anxiety that I was missing parts or seeing things in a jagged, acontextual way as when, for example, I happened to drop by a classroom for a short time that I hadn't visited in weeks (Ball1990; Fetterman and Pitman 1986). In this way, I think I perceived the overall process at times in a fragmentary fashion. While I had some indepth knowledge of certain classrooms, teaching styles, general processes, teachers, students, etc., I 230

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perceived these more or less generally and situationally. Because there wasn't a high degree of standardization to the change process, I felt my role had to be equally flexible in changing to meet the changing or situational circumstances, i.e. a desire to go observe a one-day aids forum which arose, feeling a need to participate in an important ad-hoc change/ development committee spanning several hours a week over a period of months, or being asked to participate in a grant writing task all day for two weeks. Although, providing me with a fragmentary point of view in one sense, my flexible approach and the overall configuration of the changes also illuminated for me a view of the general dynamics, feelings, movement, perceptions, and reactions which comprised the different persons and realities involved in this change process. Consistent with the spirit of these changes, my initial efforts could have been more valued and understood if Lab School faculty, as well as students and parents, could have collaboratively been in on the decision to hire me, hear who I was and how I could provide a service for the Lab School. Nevertheless, I appreciate the faith, interest, and energy that transpired in my initial meetings with the director which led to my being hired (albeit a quarter-time position). H the director is at fault in not seeking a wider audience in this respect, I am equally at fault in appreciating the efficient way in which I was hired cmd the fairly autonomous fashion in which I was able to carry out my work. 231

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In retrospect, I could have found a way to make myself better known, initially helping to alleviate some of the initial suspicions myself. But in my own trial and error attempts, I instead chose to read these various tensions and contradictions by approaching situations cautiously and on a more micro level of interpersonal relations. Secondly, my lack of access to archives which included data on attendance, grades situationally and over time, wide access of student work and evaluations, information on the activities of graduates (if they went to college, where they went, and how they were doing) could have provided me greater insight into the degree of success or failure of the overall changes. In part, this limitation involved my own lack of time. These difficulties also involved the reluctance on the part of different participants who were either evasive and did not want me looking at this type of data, were afraid of legal repercussions, or were many times innocently evasive due to the obvious lack of existing time they had to provide me this service. Thus, if I were to enter a phase II of this same ethnographic context, after grasping a feeling of the general dynamics and direction of these changes, I would feel a great need to gather much of this type of quantitative information that I missed for various reasons. Further, with an assistant or assistants or a 232

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smaller context on which to focus, I could have gathered more of this data and gained a more inclusive and wider picture (Bernard 1988; Fetterman 1989; Leacock 1969). job/internship I was accountable to the entire Lab School community-students, teachers, parents, and administrators. However, because the director hired me and I was expected to assist him in providing documents to meet his specific deadlines, I was accountable to the director in a more concrete way. My frequent interactions with the director were insightful and provided me with experience in articulating to him what I was observing, what my perceptions were, and voicing my concerns and recommendations. In this experience I also received numerous experiences in writing for audiences (informal notes to the director, more official memos and mini-reports to the administrators, cover letters to parents and other Lab School participants, general descriptions on specific features of the change process to appear in the school newspapers and city newspaper, and official documents required by the directors' superiors, explaining and justifying a three year restructuring process). These tasks also familiarized me with the world of deadlines and the contexts of developing a public persona (Chambers 198; Fetterman 1989; van Willigan 1986). Apart from the ambitious agenda engaged in by the Lab School participants, and considering what actually was possible and 233

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accomplished at the Lab School, I am reminded once again of Michel Foucault's insights on institutional power, regulation and control (Ball 1990; Foucault 1977; Popkewitz 1991). These insights, which made me at once wary and somewhat cynical of how much change was actually possible in the Lab School, shadowed my overall perceptions. Foucault's insights informed me of the overriding contexts of power and discipline beyond the Lab School, the accumulated history of "the school" as a disciplinary institution which still pervades the school reality today, and the overall, invisible, subtle, and institutionalized forms of regulatory control (such as Foucault's ideas on "panoptic" mechanisms) that exist, and are rarely noticed or acknowledged in even the most progressive of schools. Foucault's insights encouraged me at times to feel fatalistic-as I sat wondering what use this effort was despite all the knowledge, good intentions, and energy. These same insights made me appreciate change when I did see it occur, despite these tremendoUs odds which Foucault alerts us to, but made me wonder if the remnants would be forgotten, overwhelmed and washed away upon being removed from this plastic bubble. However, as previously mentioned, the work of Giroux (1990), Ellsworth (1989), and others assured me that institutional boundaries and oppressions are never total or essential. Instead, global and other processes involve dialectical movements; resistance is possible. The transformation of the "ideal" into the "real" is a constant struggle. 234

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Despite the limited impact of the Lab School's efforts at times, these theorists encouraged me to see that the types of changes such as those the Lab School are attempting are worth the effort and can make a difference. 235

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NOTES 1. To generally refer to people of Latin American origin, the terms Hispanic or Latin are generally used. The best word to use usually depends on personal preference. However, when and if possible, it is better to use a more specific origin of the. people being discussed such as South American, Nicaraguan, Peruvian, Mexican, etc. When possible, I will specify accordingly. -Otherwise, I will use the word Hispanic in order not to confuse the reader. 2. The Laboratory School is commonly referred to as the Lab School. Throughout this paper I will use the common usage. 3. The ethnic composition of Greeley in general is Anglo, German, Hispanic, and Asian. However, the historical configuration tends to be seen primarily as Anglo/Hispanic. The north and east sides are characterized by a high level of low income households, with 50 percent of the households having an annual incomes of 7,000 or less. Further, more than half of the households in the north Side have less than a high school education (Flannigan, Leal, Lucero, Romero 1987)). There have been several studies done addressing the high attrition rate of Mexican-Americans living in Greeley. One study done in Greeley schools provides evidence of considerable misperception by teachers concerning the manner iri which students perceive their problems versus how their teachers viewed the students' problems. There is a high incidence of police/Hispanic interaction on the north and east sides of Greeley. This is indicated by an unwarranted suspicion and attention paid to the north and east sides by the Greeley police department. An example of this can be seen in the high documentation of D.U.I.'s of Hispanics over Anglo youth (Flannigan, Leal, Lucero, Romero 1987). The perception of the north and east sides in general is exaggerated and misunderstood. It is not based on an understanding of these incidences and an understanding of legitimate differences that may occur. Rather, these images have exceeded and continue to exceed this and mount in negative and stereotypical images of the north and east side and Hispanic residents. These are perpetuated by the community in general and seem to contribute to a real prejudice and fear expressed by the rest of Greeley. This is represented by the 236

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real and symbolic segregation that exists between the north/ east sides and the rest of Greeley (Flannigan, Leal, Lucero, Romero 1987). For more information on the history of Greeley and UNC see Robert Larson's Shaping Educational Change: The First Century of the University of Northern Colorado at Greeley (1989), and Tanya Coen's The North-Side of Greeley: An Ethnographic Analysis (1988). 4. Lab School administrators did not always act in unison in reacting to their responsibilities or to UNC administrators. Also, the director and the two Lab School principals were perceived as having unique styles by Lab School participants. These perceptions by Lab School participants varied widely. Whereas some faculty in the elementary and middle school saw the elementary and middle school principal as intrusive or authoritarian, some also welcomed her insights and presence. She was generally perceived as being very intelligent and qualified. Many teachers at the high school level perceived the high school principal as having a relatively informal and hands on managerial style. Others spoke of rarely seeing him in the classrooms and therefore wondered how he could know what was going much less how to fairly evaluate teachers (a controversial issue throughout my term). The director of the Lab School was well liked by many but was perceived at times to be too distant from the daily chores that teachers confronted. A frequent critique was that if decentralization and site based decision making were new goals then why weren't administrators discussing how their roles were changing or evolving. Certainly, the director was quite busy with his own chores. But his lack of understanding of how to adequately communicate and discuss his chores, privileges, changing job descriptions seemed to only increase animosity between him and many faculty. Essentially, he was caught in the middle of the UNC administrators and the Lab School community. This put him in an especially tricky situation which was difficult to transcend. Although many felt him to be unapproachable, others did not. However, faculty generally seemed to feel more comfortable approaching him with their criticisms in his office. Despite this one on one reality it also had the effect of decreasing the effect of faculty unity on many issues and workability of faculty-wide meetings. 237

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5. Clearly, there were some good intentions involved in initiating the changes. However, the partial hierarchical nature of the changes and how they were misconstrued to have been initiated from the bottomup complicated things and generated resentment throughout the Lab School community. It is likely that there were other reasons for initiating such changes. It is now socially acceptable and the norm to engage in such innovative explorations in educational contexts throughout the country. There currently exist throughout the us numerous large grants directed at K-12 schools by corporations for innovative restructuring programs. In addition, UNC's college of education is noted for its reputation in teachers education. Jumping on the bandwagon so early certainly could not hurt enrollment or UNC's reputation in this area. Of course this enthusiasm to initiate innovations: was watered down by the distance between the college of education and the Lab School. 6. The Lab School administration also had its own problems relating to distance, hierarchy, and understanding of the complexities of change. In general, all of the Lab School administrators to some extent had a hard time communicating how their roles would change and how that would affect the move towards decentralization and more equitable, participatory and broad-based decision making and planning. Lab School administrators' reactions to these issues varied according to their own approaches and the various contexts in which they were emersed. Most of those at the Lab School, including the administrators, had a somewhat reductionist or encapsulated understanding of change. Most of their understanding of "change" and educational innovation seemed to be limited to articles generated in education journals and newsletters on similar changes occurring in schools throughout the country. However, the literature and theory of critical pedagogy (the theoretical foundation of much educational change as discussed in the literature review) was something they were quite unfamiliar with for the most part. They seemed equally unfamiliar with change processes in general (societal, economic, political) and how these could affect what went on in the Lab School. 7. Participants' perceptions regarding the extent of how thourough these committees' activities were and how broad based they were are 238

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highly variable. I was hired the year after these committees were formed and began functioning. Thus, I have no first hand perception stemming from personal involvement in these initial committee activities. 8. The first year the Lab School received a "creative school grant" from the governor, and my salary came from that. 9. One of the historic innovations of the Lab School has been their relationship to the university, particularly the school of education. Teachers in training (clinicals) are required to teach and aid a number of hours at the Lab School. Clinicals for the most part seem to enjoy these activities and generally perceive a significant difference in educational arenas (in terms of size, approaches, styles, goals, and structure) between the Lab School and other more traditional public schools where they do their student teaching. From my perception, I am not sure if anyone really benefits through this arrangement of clinical involvement at the Lab School. Some teachers are receptive to the clinicals in their classrooms and see their assistance as a component of the one on one personalized attention students have access to. Other teachers, however, seem to resent the intrusion of the clinicals. After asking numerous clinicals how and if they were briefed by anyone on what the new changes were and how their teaching strategies might be affected or modified by the changes, they nearly always replied that they had not been briefed. From what I could gather, the distance and antagonism between the Lab School and the college of education was most obvious here. This lack of briefing seemed to also reflect the clinicals classes at UNC, and in their "clinical" settings at the Lab School. Besides general feelings gathered via their overall Lab School experiences most clinicals did not even know changes existed at the Lab School. In general they were expected to decipher the rapidly changing and complex schedule changes that existed and make do. The feeling of resentment held by several Lab School teachers over having clinicals in their classrooms stemmed from clinicals"'lack of qualifications"(in general and on the change process) and from not having control over whether the clinical program existed or not. Many times teachers just felt so overwhelmed with the 239

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changes, and their own limited time, that clinicals in classrooms seemed to be just one more intrusion. There were also teachers that welcomed the extra help in classrooms. 10. I am aware of the extensive literature on evaluation and assessment out of the social sciences. The definition of evaluation and assessment as used in much of this literature carries with it connotations of more structured methodological steps than I am addressing in my thesis. The definition of evaluation as I am using it comes from a more informal usage, similar to the ethnographic evaluation strategies as discussed by applied anthropologist David Fetterman (see the literature review for further discussion of ethnographic evaluation). In part, rather than a formal evaluation, my task consisted of doing a "critical" institutional ethnography of the Lab School restructuring plan. 11. The mission statement is essentially all of the components included in the Key Features Bulletin (i.e. the key features, description of family style learning, new Lab School jargon, and the overall summary plan for implementation). 12. These types of cautionary statements concerning budget limitations were common. These limitations significantly affected the lack of distribution and use of the key features bulletins as well as significant regulation on xerox use. 13. The Lab School began its restructuring effort during the 1988-1989 school year. In response to a letter sent around the university (U.N.C. The University of Northern Colorado) looking for an evaluator, I responded with a letter and several meetings with the director of the Lab School before securing and beginning my internship/job at the Lab School. The letter explained that I was aware of the recent interest in education encouraging the use of qualitative and ethnographic assessment strategies and that I would be available for such evaluative or descriptive tasks. In these meetings with the director, I attempted to convey to him that ethnographic evaluation Was better suited than other evaluation methods in documenting innovative change efforts such as the change the Lab School was attempting. These ethnographic 240

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methods, ideally would include participant observation in classrooms, in the community, and at home (of parents, students, teachers, administration). I explained that general questionnaires are typically used to elicit basic demographic, sociological, individual, and cultural information regarding the contexts of the students, their households, administrators, and teachers. Questionnaires would also attempt to elicit perceptions of the change process. I explained that ethnographic evaluation involves key informant interviews and retrieval of archival material to document dynamic change processes such as this one. The director of the Lab School, Jerry Christensen was generally supportive of the ethnographic style and methods as we discussed them. In our discussions he was generally more sceptical of the receptivity of my style by the general Lab School community and the UNC administration. 14. Upon being hired and beginning my observation throughout the Lab School, there did seem to be some initial suspicion of who I was and what my role was. Some of this suspicion was due to the fact that I was hired by the administration and not the faculty. Some of my early allies (staff and teachers) told me that others suspected that I might be spying for the administration. My presence seemed to perpetuate an already existing contradiction with which the administration was not dealing sufficiently. While teachers had been given the "freedom" to begin experimenting, they simultaneously felt they were subject to being regulated, observed contributing to teachers' job insecurity at the hands of the administrators. These tensions between myself and Lab School participants lessened with my increased time spent in classes and throughout the school. However, there was an element of suspicion which did remain. This suspicion was, I think, linked to the unfamiliarity of my role, what my insights were, how they were derived, and methods I used and adhered to. Most people are unfamiliar with anthropology, much less applied anthropology in this type of setting. Further, the budget constraints impacted on the infrequency with which I could distribute my briefs, memos, and reports. Lab School participants' time constraints contributed to their inability to read many of these reletively long descriptive and evaluative reports when they were distributed. In addition, because of the sheer number of Lab School participants, I was not able to and did not establish equivilant 241

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relationships with everyone. Towards the end, as participants began to see me as more of an ally of the faculty, some of the feelings directed towards me may have actually resulted from my inability to spend more time with individuals in their classrooms, meetings, and planning sessions: Thus, the sheer magnitude of the task and my own time constraints also had an impact on the overall ease of the internship. 15. The word dialogue was appropriated by numerous Lab School participants to describe collaborative, participatory, non-hierarchical discussions. This label, common to current educational restructuring jargon, is seen in the media and in much of the literature on innovative education, including some critical pedagogy. See Paulo Friere and Elizabeth Ellsworth on the current use of the word dialogue as part of the theoretical discourse of critical pedagogy. 16. KAFE is a school-wide, student run lunch program at the Lab School. In KAFE students plan meals and organize various food services for the school population and numerous community populations. They are involved in every aspect of running and "managing a restaurant" so to speak. 17. I have separated informal dialogues in my methods chapter from participant observation for the purpose of this thesis following the example of H. Russell Bernard (1988). 18. For approaches that depart more radically from a chronological listing (laundry list) approach to literature reviews, see Jay MacLeod's Ain't No Makin It (1987). 19. Further, states Dow, "just as fear of Soviet science supremacy had spawned a decade of curriculum reform led by some of our most creative research scientists during the late 1950's and 1960's, a new wave of political conservatism and religious fundamentalism in the early 1970's began to call into question the intrusion of university academics into the schools." 20. There are a multitude of approaches to qualitative evaluation, ranging from the scientifically based to the artistically oriented 242

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(Fetterman 1988). This qualitative diversity is important in dispelling the "myth of a homogeneous enterprise." "As is the case in many fields of scientific endeavor, educational evaluation is experiencing a change in direction" (Fetterman 1988a: 4) ... "It is increasingly turning away from traditional positivistic approaches and toward the acceptance and use of the phenomenological or qualitative concepts and techniques." A strong advocate of the positivistic approach, Fetterman uses Donald Campbell's statement to exemplify this shift. Campbell has recently stated that "where such qualitative evaluations are contrary to the quantitative results the quantitative results should be regarded as suspect until the reasons for the discrepancy are well understood." Notes Fetterman, "although the gap between this is quickly closing, positivists represent the dominant culture in educational evaluation and research, while phenomenologically oriented evaluators remain a subordinate subculture ... Typically, positivists search for social facts apart from the subjective experience of individual. In contrast phenomenologically oriented researchers seek to understand human behavior from the insider's perspective." (Fetterman 1988a: 6). Their most significant reality or set of realities is found in the subjective realities of human perception. "This basic philosophical difference, in conjunction with the social and psychological attributes of the individual researcher, sets the tone of the research. These characteristics shape the research endeavor from the methods used to the types of questions asked" (Fetterman 1988a: 6) .... "Moreover, as the research evolves, the evaluator may i;ilter his or her vision. The work of most anthropologists is designed and conducted from a phenomenologically oriented perspective" (Fetterman 1988a: 6). Fetterman, in clarifying this continuum of methods and approaches to educational evaluation, notes the distinctions of several researchers. Cuba and Lincoln "argue that elements of the conventional and the alternative paradigms cannot be mixed without resulting in complete ruin ... Patton, similar to the approaches of Miles and Huberman presents a paradigm of choices. He agrees with Cuba and Lincoln that paradigm distinctions are real and useful. However, in marked contrast with their stand, he argues that one can actually mix methods with out uniformly adhering to a specific paradigmatic party line" (Fetterman 1988a: 10). 243

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21. In Lightfoot's earlier books she has used the ethnographic method in "carefully documenting, the longitudinal" contexts of schools, attempting to capture the "multi-dimensional contexts and intersecting processes" (Lightfoot 1983:12) derived from the ethnographic method. One of her later books The Good High School (1983), which has received great notoriety in the educational community, is concerned largely with portraiture. This is a collapsed version of ethnography, carried out in 3 or 4 intense days. This method, which has both benefits and limitations, does highlight anthropological insights and draws upon valuable ethnographic skills and goals in describing schools as "cultural organizations and uncovering the implicit values that guided their structures and decision making" (Lightfoot 1983: 1213). 22. Hewett wrote his first pieces on education for the American Anthropologist entitled "Anthropology and Education" (1904) and "Ethnic Factors in Education" (1905). 23. Despite the current use of the Montessori method of teaching, which in anthropological terms is a bit outdated and limited, this method has many positive traits and is generally ahead of the mainstream educational vision (Spindler 1973: 94-112, Lightfoot 1985: 113). 24. Some of these important contributions were made by Otto Klineberg (1935) and later through prominent discussions in the UNESCO pamphlet of 1951. These contributions of physical anthropology to education were framed mainly in terms of the classic treatment on relationships between race, culture, and I.Q (Spindler 1973). 25. Anthropological examples, however, which became integrated during this time into the body of other disciplines such as educational psychology were mainly authored by the same group of people (Mead, Benedict, Linton, Kluckhohn). 244

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26. Margaret Mead's article on education in the non-traditional culture and numerous others in the SO's contributed further to descriptions of education as they relate to cultural change and cultural continuity (Spindler 1973:94-112). 27. This focus was asserted by the "Chicago group" (1951), Davis (1952), and Warner and Loeb et al. (1944) as it influenced learning in relation to community structures and in relation to the school and educational opportunities. Studies were also done on how social class affects implications for education and scores on educational tests e.g., IQ tests (Spindler 1973: 94-112). 28. Early lectures on evolution in general education primarily originated from a 1960 article in the Scientific American by Washburn, Dobzhansky and other physical anthropologists (Spindler 1973). 29. In his outline he asserted his definition of education "as the process of transmitting _culture-skills, knowledge, attitudes, and values, as well as specific behavioral patterns" (Spindler 1973). 30. In some of these early articles and anthologies edited by Eleanor Leacock, concerns related to school reform were aimed at a failed educational system which disproportionately met the needs of middle class white students. This past concern echoes many of the concerns and strategies of current restructuring efforts. Some of the concerns highlighted by Leacock and others were asserted in an interdisciplinary focus, similar to educational strategies being promoted today (Leacock 1969: 3-19). Some early theories were framed in terms of "optimal human functioning," mirroring similar goals of "wellness" (social, physical, psychological, intellectual) being asserted in some of today's restructuring efforts. This desired goal derived from psychodynamic theories of personality development (the culture and personality emphasis at the time). This theory "favored humanist values in the individual's interaction with the world which saw the school, in the perspective of John Dewey, as a vital instrument in which to accomplish these goals for people and society" (Spindler 1973, Leacock 1969:3-19 ). 245

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31. At this time, a national concern for mental health which had originated in the SO's also became infused into much educational evaluation, blending disciplines such as psychology, education, and anthropology (Spindler 1973). 32. Demands by competing groups internal and external to the school were noted by Leacock and others as they described modifications and compromises, endless conflicts and negotiations which occurred in educational settings (Spindler 1973, Leacock 1969: xi-xx). 33. Many of the innovative strategies of.the time focused on intellectual mastery for students, programs focused on cognitive skills, new instructional .techniques, and modes of learning that involved a discovery route for the student (Spindler 1973, Leacock 1969: xi-xx). Again, we see these issues being prominently addressed in today's debates. 34. These changes were encouraged by the potent 1954 Supreme Court desegregation ruling and the implications and consequences of civil rights, feminist, and anti-war struggles which followed (Leacock 1969, Fullan and Stiegelbauer 1991, FoucaUlt 1977, Bauman 1987, Dow 1991). 35. Many of John Dewey's strategies, such as experiential learning, were being touted. Distortions stemming from Dewey's logic at that time also led to critiques of his strategies which prioritized education as "fun" over a focus on genuine intellectual stimulation. Other debates focused on the concerns and educational development of deprived children and the merits of rigorous intellectual education for these children versus a need to look at a child's knowledge and experience apart from that generally valued and taught in the main stream school (Spindler 1973: 94-112). 36. Without regard to this type of information on students and their contexts, the PLP could be useless. Ordinarily PLP development is not made on this type of information. It is made more on a student's strengths and limitations in different areas, career goals, interests, perceived needs, advise from teachers, advisors, and parents. However, all of this information is similarly affected by the implications of social reproduction theory. Working class students for 246

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I example, whose family histories are far removed from academic life, would most likely be at a disadvantage all the way through school. Their desires would most likely follow jobs or careers they have concrete information on, those their family members or neighbors have held. Socialized to this type of context, students might be more comfortable maintaining low. aspirations than striving to be doctors, lawyers or university professors, something they know little about. If they did strive high, their lack of concrete experience (cultural capitol) in this area would most likely shape the degree of ease or difficulty they would traversing such a complex arena. There are, of course, exceptions to the rule, and these factors merely shape, not determine. However, without attention to these aspects, students may remain unsuccessful. They might be blamed for their situation without sensitivity to their context or a sensitivity to assist them in more thorough and relevant means, possibly perpetuating existing power relations. 37. This insight derives my ethnographic fieldwork in Nicaragua where, during the Sandinistas there. were considerable debate and broad based participatory projects and actions directed towards egalitarian, grassroots forms for change. For many involved in these eff()rts, they had built on a long committment, analysis and understanding of these types of processes (i.e. partially derived from solidarity with the Cuban revolution and struggle, a long history of resistance to the United States, the Nicaraguan people's own popular struggle culminating with the overthrow of the Somoza dictatorship and the consolidation of power by the Sandinistas). The subsequent institutionalization of mass organizations under the Sandinistas situated these efforts of participatory democracy in the context of everyday life. 247

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