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Critical constructs as indicators of a shifting paradigm in education

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Title:
Critical constructs as indicators of a shifting paradigm in education a case study of four technology-rich schools
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Weston, Mark E
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English
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xix, 374 leaves : ; 28 cm

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Subjects / Keywords:
Paradigms (Social sciences) -- United States ( lcsh )
Education -- Aims and objectives -- United States ( lcsh )
Educational change -- United States ( lcsh )
Education -- Aims and objectives ( fast )
Educational change ( fast )
Paradigms (Social sciences) ( fast )
United States ( fast )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 330-374).
General Note:
School of Education and Human Development
Statement of Responsibility:
by Mark E. Weston.

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|University of Colorado Denver
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|Auraria Library
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
166268729 ( OCLC )
ocn166268729
Classification:
LD1193.E3 2007d W47 ( lcc )

Full Text
CRITICAL CONSTRUCTS AS INDICATORS
OF A SHIFTING PARADIGM IN EDUCATION:
A CASE STUDY OF FOUR TECHNOLOGY-RICH SCHOOLS
By
A thesis submitted to the
University of Colorado at Denver & Health Sciences Center
in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy
Educational Leadership and Innovation
Mark E. Weston
B.S.S. Cornell College, 1974
M.S.E. Drake University, 1975
2007


by Mark E. Weston
All rights reserved.


This thesis for the Doctor of Philosophy
degree by
Mark Edward Weston
has been approved by
^ f-cq
Date


Weston, Mark E. (Ph.D., Educational Leadership and Innovation)
Critical Constructs as Indicators of a Shifting Paradigm in Education: A Case
Study of Four Technology-rich Schools
Thesis directed by Professor Rodney Muth
ABSTRACT
A paradigm is a constellation of assumptions, beliefs, concepts, constructs,
practices, tools, and values used by a discipline to view its field. The
elements comprising that constellation contribute to the theory structure of
the paradigm. The strength of a paradigm comes from that theory structure
and its ability to explain phenomena, align theory, prescribe practice, and
solve problems. After fifty years of efforts, the modem-education
paradigm appears unable to resolve three persistent demands made of it.
That inability, according to Kuhns (1996) theory of paradigm change,
indicates that the paradigm is in crisis and an alternate-education paradigm
is emerging. This study is the first to investigate that phenomenon at a
school. Specifically, it is a case study investigation of commitments made
by four technology-rich schools to an alternate-education paradigm. The
level and type of engagement with the expressions of five constructs of
practice indicate their commitment to that paradigm. The expressions for
the alternate-education paradigm are (a) differentiated instruction, (b)
ubiquitous access to information, (c) accommodation of learning-modality
preference, (d) timely formative and summative feedback about
performance, and (e) engagement of parents in their child is learning. Data
gathering involved four methods: (a) documentary, (b) survey, (c)
interview, and (d) observation. Engagement types consisted of (a)
aspiring, (b) reporting, (c) understanding, and (d) practicing. Evidence is
presented in the Engagement with Construct Expression Rating Scale for
cell, set, section, and commitment ratings of the level and type of
engagement by the sample. Based on their commitments, schools were
plotted on the Modern-Alternate Education Paradigm Pedagogy Map. The
findings indicate one school with a commitment to an alternate-education
paradigm, two moving toward a commitment to an alternate-education
paradigm, and one committed to the modem paradigm.
This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidate^sjhesis.
recommend its publication.
Signed
Rodney Muth


DEDICATION
To Kay whose love and support is unwavering.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
The encouragement and support of the following persons made this
dissertation possible.
My current advisor, Rodney Muth, and
committee members Douglas Brooks, Alan
Davis, and Robert Palaich
My former advisor, Michael Murphy, and
committee member, Christian Pipho
My compatriots Jim Andersen and Alan
Bain
And Thomas S. Kuhn whose insights into
paradigm change inspired this work
A heartfelt thank you to everyone.


CONTENTS
Figures...................................................xii
Tables....................................................xiii
CHAPTERS
1. PROBLEM
Background of the Problem..........................1
Current Situation Three Demands....................2
Current Situation Summary..........................3
Conceptual Framework...............................4
Research Questions.................................7
Methodology........................................8
Methodological Commitments.........................9
Methodological Devices.............................11
Data Analysis......................................19
Findings...........................................20
Organization of the Study..........................21
2. LITERATURE REVIEW
Thomas Kuhn: Paradigm Change.......................24
Disparate Activities and Idiosyncratic Approaches..25
Educational Schools of Thought.....................28
Modem-Education Paradigm............................29
vi


Refinement of the Modem-Education Paradigm.........30
Demands............................................32
Early Demands...............................32
Recent Demands..............................35
Recent DemandSilencing Critics.............35
Recent DemandNormal Research...............39
Recent DemandEducating All Students........40
Anamolies..........................................44
Response to Anomalies..............................45
Technology and Education...........................48
Alternate-Education Paradigm.......................54
Differentiated Instruction................. 55
Ubiquitous Access to Information............56
Accommodation of Learning-Modality Preference..58
Timely Formative and Summative
Feedback about Performance.............60
Engagement of Parents in their Childs Learning.61
Chapter Summary and Discussion.....................64
3. METHODS
Theoretical Background for Qualitative Methods.....68
School Selection...................................75
School Descriptions................................76
School 1....................................76
School 2.....................................77
vii


School 3
78
School 4.......................................79
Study Coordinator....................................79
Sample...............................................80
Data Gathering Instruments........................... 82
Informed Consent...............................83
Documentary....................................83
Survey.........................................84
Interview......................................84
Observation....................................85
Data Gathering Methods................................86
Data Gathering Management......................86
Data Gathering Sequence and Schedule...........86
Data Analysis Protocols...............................87
Cell, Set, Section, and Paradigm Commitment
Rating Protocols........................87
Cell Rating Protocol...........................89
Set Rating Protocol............................90
Section Rating Protocol........................90
Paradigm Commitment Rating Protocol............91
Data Analysis Methods.................................92
Documentary Data Cells.........................92
Survey Data Cells..............................93
Interview Data Cells...........................94
viii


Observation Data Cells.......................94
Data Sets....................................95
Data Sections................................96
Paradigm Commitments.........................97
Modem-Alternate Education Paradigm
Commitment Pedagogy Map................98
Limitations of the Study...........................98
Researcher Bias....................................101
Chapter Summary....................................102
4. RESULTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Results Overview...................................103
Data Response Results..............................105
Documentary Method Response..................106
Survey Method Response.......................107
Interview Method Response....................108
Observation Method Response..................108
Combined Method Response.....................109
Results Sections...................................109
Data Cells...................................111
Data Sets....................................113
Site-leader Results................................113
Differentiated Instruction...................113
Ubiquitous Access to Information.............128
IX


Accommodation of Learning-Modality Preference... 143
Timely Formative and Summative Feedback about
Performance...................................155
Engagement of Parents in Their Childs
Learning......................................169
Site-leader Section Summary...................182
Instructor Results...................................184
Differentiated Instruction................... 185
Ubiquitous Access to Information..............202
Accommodation of Learning-Modality Preference. ..216
Timely Formative and Summative Feedback about
Performance...................................230
Engagement of Parents in Their Childs Learning....245
Instructor Section Summary....................256
Site-leader and Instructor Evidence................. 259
Modem-Alternate Education Paradigm Pedagogy Map.....270
Chapter Summary......................................271
5. SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Summary of Methodology...............................272
Summary of Results...................................274
Discussion of Results................................281
Conclusions..........................................284
Lessons Learned......................................287
Recommendations for Future Research..................290
Implications.........................................292
x


APPENDICES
A Documentary ChecklistSchool...................296
B Documentary Checklist Classroom...............297
C SurveySite Leader.............................298
D SurveyInstructor..............................302
E Interview GuideSite Leader....................306
F Interview GuideInstructor.....................309
G Observation ChecklistSchool...................312
H Observation ChecklistClassroom................316
I Informed ConsentAdministrator.................320
J Informed ConsentSite Leader...................322
K Informed ConsentInstructor....................323
L Letter of Invitation...........................324
M DocumentsSchool 1.............................325
N DocumentsSchool 2.............................326
O DocumentsSchool 3.............................328
P DocumentsSchool 4.............................329
REFERENCES.............................................331
xi


LIST OF FIGURES
Figures
1.1 Paradigm change process....................................5
1.2 Modem-Alternate Education Paradigm Pedagogy Map............17
2.1 Development of the modem-education paradigm
1780 present..............................................29
2.2 Modem-education paradigm and demands.......................35
2.3 Computer deployments in education..........................52
2.4 Intersection of concepts...................................64
4.1 Paradigm pedagogy map with schools and instructor-groups...271
xii


LIST OF TABLES
Table
1.1 Construct of Practice Continuum..................................12
1.2 Method and Engagement Category Field.............................13
1.3 Method, Engagement Type, and Construct
Expression Matrix.............................................14
1.4 Engagement with Construct Expression Rating Scale................15
1.5 School Paradigm Commitment Rating...............................16
3.1 Data-Gathering Management Chart.................................86
3.2 Data-Gathering Schedule.........................................87
4.1 Site-Leader Comparative Cell RatingDocumentary
Evidence of Aspiring to Differentiate Instruction...........114
4.2 Site-Leader Comparative Cell RatingSurvey Evidence
of Reporting about Differentiating Instruction..............118
4.3 Site LeaderHow Often Do You Customize Instruction to Accommodate
Differences in Student Achievement and Aptitude Among
Students in the Same Class?...................................119
4.4 Site-LeaderHow Much of Your Regular Curriculum
Exists in a Differentiated Format?............................120
4.5 Site LeaderDo You Regularly Customize the Assessment(s) of
Students Performance to Reflect the Ability of that Student?. 120
4.6 Site-Leader Comparative Cell RatingInterview Evidence of
Understanding of Differentiated Instruction.................121
4.7 Site-Leader Comparative Cell RatingObservation Evidence of
Practicing Differentiated Instruction.......................125
xiii


4.8 Site-leader Comparative Set RatingDifferentiated Instruction.128
4.9 Site-Leader Comparative Cell RatingDocumentary Evidence of
Aspiring for Ubiquitous Access to Information..............129
4.10 Site-Leader Comparative Cell RatingSurvey Evidence of
Reporting about Ubiquitous Access to Information...........133
4.11 Site-LeaderHow Do You Routinely Use Computers
and the Internet in the Classroom?.........................135
4.12 Site-LeaderHow Have Computers and the Internet
Furthered Instruction?.....................................136
4.13 Site-LeaderHow Have Computers and the Internet
Furthered Student Learning?................................136
4.14 Site-Leader Comparative Cell RatingInterview Evidence of
Understanding Ubiquitous Access to Information.............137
4.15 Site-Leader Comparative Cell RatingObservation Evidence
of Practicing Ubiquitous Access to Information.............140
4.16 Site-Leader Comparative Set RatingUbiquitous
Access to Information......................................143
4.17 Site-Leader Comparative Cell RatingDocumentary Evidence
of Aspiring to Accommodate Learning-Modality Preference....144
4.18 Site-Leader Comparative Cell RatingSurvey Evidence of
Reporting about Accommodating Learning-Modality Preference.... 148
4.19 Site LeaderHow Often Does Your Routine Instruction
Accommodate Student Learning-Modality Preference?.........148
4.20 Site LeaderWhich of the Following Do You Routinely Use
to Address Student Learning-Modality Preference?...........149
4.21 Site-Leader Comparative Cell RatingInterview Evidence of
Understanding Accommodation of Learning-Modality Preference. ..150
4.22 Site-Leader Comparative Cell RatingObservation Evidence of
Practicing Accommodation of Learning-Modality Preference...153
xiv


4.23 Site-Leader Comparative Set RatingAccommodation
of Learning-Modality Preference...........................155
4.24 Site-Leader Comparative Cell RatingDocumentary Evidence of
Aspiring for Timely Formative and Summative Feedback
about Performance..................................156
4.25 Site-Leader Comparative Cell RatingSurvey Evidence of
Reporting about Providing Timely and Summative
Feedback about Performance................................161
4.26 Site-LeaderWhich of the Following Approaches Do You
Regularly Use to Provide Feedback to Students about
Their Academic Progress?..................................162
4.27 Site-LeaderHow Do You Characterize Your Turnaround Time
for Providing Feedback to Students about their Performance
on the Assignments You Give Them?.........................163
4.28 Site-Leader Comparative Cell RatingInterview Evidence of
Understanding Timely Formative and Summative Feedback
about Performance.........................................164
4.29 Site-Leader Comparative Cell RatingObservation Evidence of
Timely Formative and Summative Feedback about Performance.... 167
4.30 Site-Leader Comparative Set RatingTimely Formative
and Summative Feedback about Performance..................168
4.31 Site-Leader Comparative Cell RatingDocumentary Evidence
ofAspiring for Engagement of Parents in their Childs Learning.... 170
4.32 Site-Leader Comparative Cell RatingSurvey Evidence of
Engagement of Parents in their Childs Learning...........174
4.33 Site-LeaderTo What Extent Do You Regularly Engage
Parents in Their Students Learning?......................174
4.34 Site-LeaderAbout Which of the Following Topics Do
You Regularly Ask Parents for Feedback?...................175
4.35 Site-Leader Comparative Cell RatingInterview Evidence of
Understanding Engagement of Parents in their Childs Learning... 176
4.36 Site-Leader Comparative Cell RatingObservation Evidence of
Engagement of Parents in their Childs Learning...........179
xv


4.37 Site-Leader Comparative Set RatingEngagement of
Parents in their Childs Learning.............................181
4.38 Site-Leader Section RatingsSummary..........................183
4.39 Site-Leader Comparative Section Ratings.......................184
4.40 Instructor Comparative-Cell RatingDocumentary Evidence of
Aspiring to Differentiate Instruction.......................186
4.41 Instructor Comparative-Cell RatingSurvey Evidence
of Reporting about Differentiating Instruction..............190
4.42 InstructorHow Often Do You Customize Instruction to
Accommodate Differences in Student Achievement and
Aptitude Among Students in the Same Class?....................191
4.43 InstructorHow Much of Your Regular Curriculum Exists
in a Differentiated Format?.................................191
4.44 InstructorDo You Regularly Customize the Assessments) of Students
Performance to Reflect the Ability of that Student............192
4.45 InstructorWhat Percent of All Assignments to Students Are...?.192
4.46 Instructor Comparative-Cell RatingInterview Evidence
of Understanding Differentiated Instruction.................193
4.47 Instructor Comparative-Cell RatingObservation Evidence
of Practicing Differentiated Instruction....................197
4.48 Instructor Comparative-Set RatingDifferentiated Instruction...202
4.49 Instructor Comparative-Cell RatingDocumentary Evidence of
Aspiring to Provide Ubiquitous Access to Information..........203
4.50 Instructor Comparative-Cell RatingSurvey Evidence
of Reporting about Ubiquitous Access to Information.........206
4.51 InstructorHow Do You Routinely Use Computers and the
Internet in the Classroom?..................................207
4.52 InstructorHow Has Computers and the Internet
Furthered Instruction?......................................208
xvi


4.53 InstructorHow Has Computers and the Internet
Furthered Student Learning?...............................208
4.54 Instructor Comparative-Cell RatingInterview Evidence
of Understanding Ubiquitous Access to Information.........209
4.55 Instructor Comparative-Cell RatingObservation Evidence
of Practicing Ubiquitous Access to Information............213
4.56 Instructor Comparative-Set RatingUbiquitous Access
to Information............................................217
4.57 Instructor Comparative-Cell RatingDocumentary Evidence
of Aspiring to Accommodate Learning-Modality Preference...218
4.58 Instructor Comparative-Cell RatingSuiwey Evidence
of Reporting about Accommodation of
Learning-Modality Preference..............................221
4.59 InstructorHow Often Does Your Routine Instruction
Accommodate Student-Learning Modality Preference?.........221
4.60 InstructorWhich of the Following Do You Routinely Use
to Address Student-Learning Style Differences?............222
4.61 Instructor Comparative-Cell RatingInterview Evidence of
Understanding Accommodation of Learning-Modality Preference... 223
4.62 Instructor Comparative-Cell RatingObservation Evidence of
Practicing Accommodation of Learning-Modality Preference..227
4.63 Instructor Comparative-Set RatingAccommodation of
Learning-Modality Preference.............................230
4.64 Instructor Comparative-Cell RatingDocumentary Evidence of
Aspiring to Timely Formative and Summative
Feedback about Performance................................231
4.65 Instructor Comparative-Cell RatingSurvey Evidence of
Reporting about Timely Formative and Summative
Feedback about Performance................................235
4.66 InstructorWhich of the Following Approaches Do You
Regularly Use to Provide Feedback to Students About
Their Academic Progress?..................................236
xvii


4.67 InstructorHow Do You Characterize Your Turnaround Time
for Providing Feedback to Students about Their Performance
on the Assignments You Give Them?.........................236
4.68 Instructor Comparative-Cell RatingInterview Evidence
of Understanding Timely Formative and Summative Feedback
about Performance.........................................237
4.69 Instructor Comparative-Cell RatingObservation Evidence
of Practicing Timely Formative and Summative Feedback
about Performance.........................................241
4.70 Instructor Comparative-Set RatingTimely Formative and
Summative Feedback about Performance......................245
4.71 Instructor Comparative-Cell RatingDocumentary Evidence of
Aspiring for Engagement of Parents in their Childs Learning.246
4.72 Instructor Comparative-Cell Rating Survey Evidence of
Reporting about Engagement of Parents in their Childs Learning.. 249
4.73 InstructorTo What Extent Do You Regularly Engage Parents
in Their Students Learning?..............................250
4.74 InstructorAbout Which of the Following Topics Do You Regularly,
Ask Parents for Feedback?.................................250
4.75 Instructor Comparative-Cell RatingInterview Evidence of
Understanding Engagement of Parents in their Childs Learning. ...251
4.76 Instructor Comparative-Cell Rating Observation Evidence of
Engagement of Parents in their Childs Learning...........255
4.77 Instructor Comparative-Set RatingEngagement of Parents in
their Childs Learning....................................257
4.78 Instructor Section RatingSummary..........................258
4.79 Instructor Comparative Section Ratings......................259
4.80 Site-leader and InstructorCell, Set, Section, and Paradigm
Commitment Rating Summary............................... 260
5.1 Schools 1, 2, 3, and 4Summary> of Results......................275
5.2 School 1Summary.............................................276
xviii


5.3 School 2Summary>..................................278
5.4 School 3Summary...................................279
5.5 School 4Summary..................................281
xix


CHAPTER 1
PROBLEM
Background of the Problem
Since the early 1900s, the modem paradigm guiding education in America
met, confirmed, and resolved most demands made of it (Bell, 1973; Galbraith,
1998). Many authors report that during the past 25 years, doubts about the
efficacy of that education paradigm have risen in part because of its inability to
resolve certain persistent demands (Freidman, 2005; Guthrie, 1985, 1987;
Mandel, 1996; Marshall & Tucker 1992; Reich, 1983, 1992; Smith 1995). The
longer such demands remain unresolved, the more likely that an alternate-
education paradigm will emerge and eventually replace the modem one.
Typically, a situation like the one described above receives an
asymptomatic review. Researchers investigate parts of the problem, but not the
whole problem (Angrist, 2004; Campbell & Stanley, 1963; Durrah, 2000; Scott,
2000; Stronach & MacLure, 1997; Wagner, 1993). A symptomatic review is
necessary to see the unresolved demands as signs of a larger, more pervasive
problem with the modem-education paradigm. In Structure of Scientific
Revolutions (1996), Thomas S. Kuhn puts forth a theory of paradigm change in
which a paradigm that can resolve demands replaces one that cannot (Andersen,
1


2001; Bird, 2000, 2004; Fuller, 2000, 2004; Ffoyningen-Huene, 1993; Von Dietze,
2001). Research settings rarely involve the paradigmatic view advanced by Kuhn.
When the paradigmatic view is used in education, it is usually used cursorily
(Finn & Ravitch, 1995; Lasley, 1998; Lather, 2006; Shulman, 1986; Simsek,
1997; Stellwagen, 1997; Wagschal, 1994) because there are so few established
ways to (a) define the modem-education paradigm, (b) describe its salient
elements, and (c) assess commitments to it. In short, few paradigmatic
interpretations, research approaches, and tools exist for use in educational
investigations.
This case study steps into that void and sets the stage for future research
(Lijphart, 1971; Wagner, 1993). It is an investigation of four schools and their
commitments to an alternate-education paradigm. It looks at constructs of practice
as indicators of their commitments. To understand the study, it is important to
understand five things (a) the current situation within the modem-education
paradigm, (b) the conceptual framework for this study, (c) the research questions
it seeks to answer, (d) the methodology the study employs, and (e) the
organization of this document.
Current Situation: Three Demands
The modem-education paradigm cannot resolve three demands (a)
silencing critics, (b) conducting normal practice, and (c) educating all the
populations it is supposed to educate. A number of authors report about the
demand for silencing persistent and growing criticism about the purpose, practice,
2


and organization of education in America (Leonardo, 2003; Marshall, 1991;
Palmer, 1992; Provenzo, 2006; Spring, 1993, 2005; Wolfe, 1996). Moreover a
number of authors report about the demand for resolving the persistent difficulties
education researchers experience in conducting normal investigations of
educational practices and schools (Argyris, 2004; Carr, 1998; Cook & Levi, 1990;
Davidson, 2004; Donmoyer, 1991, 1992, 1996, 2006; Roseneau, 1992).
Moreover, a number of authors report about the demand for resolving the
persistent (a) race (Johnson, Arumi, & Ott, 2006; Noguera & Wing, 2006;
Ohlemacher, 2006), (b) gender (Bailey, 1992, 1996; Suggs, 2005), (c) culture
(Banks & Banks, 2003; Honingsfeld & Dunn, 2003; Nieto, 2004; Reyes, Velez, &
Pena, 1993), and (d) disability (Finn, Rotherham, & Hokanson, 2001; Martin,
Martin, & Terman, 1996; Weintraub & Ramirez, 1985) issues in education. The
inability of the modem-education paradigm to resolve these three demands gives
credence to an alternate-education paradigm. A brief discussion of each follows.
Chapter 2 presents a deeper discussion of these demands.
Current Situation: Summary
Collectively, the unresolved demands for (a) silencing critics, (b)
conducting normal research, and (c) educating all populations who are supposed
to be educated represent a crisis state for the modem-education paradigm. A
number of authors report that the crisis is problematic because (a) children are not
being adequately educated (Partnership for 21st Century Skills, 2002), (b)
Americas economic strength is being undermined (Casner-Lotto, Barrington &
Wright-Brenner, 2006; Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce,
3


1990, 2006; Dede, Korte, Nelson, Valdez, & Ward, 2005), and (c) investments in
education are wasted (Acemoglu & Angrist, 1999; Psacharopoulos, 1994). I am
conducting this study to understand how four schools are responding to this
paradigmatic crisis and the commitment to an alternate-education paradigm that
each is making. The section below presents a framework for investigating their
commitments.
Conceptual Framework
Four concepts frame this study (a) paradigm change theory, (b) border
pedagogy, (c) border crossing, and (d) contextualized quadrants. A discussion of
each concept follows.
The first concept involves paradigms. In Structure of Scientific
Revolutions (1996), Thomas Kuhn presents a theory of paradigm change and
defines paradigm, paradigm crisis, and paradigm shift. According to Kuhn, a
paradigm is a constellation of assumptions, beliefs, concepts, constructs,
practices, tools, and values. The theory structure of a paradigm derives from that
constellation. The strength of a paradigm depends on how well its theory structure
meets demands and guides normal practices for its adherents. Resolved demands
and successful practice reinforce and expand a paradigm (Kuhn (1957, 1977a,
1977b, 1993, 1996). He posits that a paradigm is in crisis when it experiences
persistent (a) long-term critique, (b) inability to conduct normal research, and
(c) inability to address the needs of the populations it is supposed to serve. A
paradigm in crisis no longer predicts and resolves issues for its adherents.
4


Anomaly is the term Kuhn (1957, 1977a, 1977b, 1993, 1996) uses to describe the
persistent unresolved demands (Figure 1.1).
According to Kuhn (1957, 1977a, 1977b, 1993, 1996), paradigm shifts are
not smooth, cumulative processes. Rather, shifts result from crises, causing
adherents to abandon a paradigms body of practice and search for a new, more
workable one that meets their demands and advances their views. Kuhns (1996)
theory of paradigm change is central to this investigation. His theory makes it
possible to situate the persistent unmet demands in education, discussed above, as
symptoms of an education paradigm that is in crisis. Using the theory, unmet
demands that typically receive an asymptomatic review receive a symptomatic
review.
The second concept involves borders. The work by Aronowitz and
Giroux (1991) provides a way to think more deeply about Kuhns paradigmatic
concepts. Their border pedagogy metaphor describes struggles at the outer
edges of the modem-education paradigm that are conflicts across borders. In
5


those struggles, communities of practice lay claim to intellectual territory (Giroux,
1992).
The third concept involves border crossing. Romo and Chavez (2006)
postulate that changes in educational practice are measurable as border
crossings made by adherents. A teacher crosses a border by disengaging from the
practices of one paradigm and engaging in those of another. According to
Aronowitz and Giroux (1991), a teacher by using non-modem practices to educate
students crosses a border. Similarly, students, for whom learning via some
approaches are disempowering, decentering, and dehumanizing, cross borders by
dropping out of school, disengaging, or rebelling (Giroux, 1992).
The fourth concept is a contextualized quadrant framework developed by
Romo and Roseman (2004) to map cultural democracy in classrooms. This
framework was adapted for use in this study. It became the Modern-Alternate
Education Paradigm Pedagogy Map presented later in this chapter.
The combination of (a) Kuhns ((1957, 1977a, 1977b, 1993, 1996)
paradigm and paradigm crisis, (b) Aronowitz and Girouxs (1991) border
pedagogy, (c) Romo and Chavezs (2006) border crossing and (d) Romo and
Rose mans (2004) contextualized quadrant form the conceptual framework for
this study. According to Kuhns theory of paradigm change (1996), educators
crossing the border (Aronowitz & Giroux, 1991), going away from that paradigm
(Romo & Chavez, 2006) should indicate an alternative to the modem-education
paradigm. Moreover, using a contextualized quadrant heir crossing of the border
can be plotted (Romo & Roseman, 2004). Consistent with Kuhns (1996) theory,
6


if evidence is found indicating a schools commitment to the constructs of
practice then mapping is possible. Such evidence is available when stakeholders
at a school demonstrate their commitments to a paradigm through their
engagement with the constructs of practice that comprise that paradigms theory
structure. To ascertain whether such evidence is available this study seeks to
answer the following questions.
Research Questions
The following research questions guide the study:
1. Can schools be differentiated using expressions of five constructs
of practice (a) differentiated instruction, (b) ubiquitous information
access, (c) accommodation of student learning-modality
preference, (d) timely formative and summative performance
feedback, and (e) engagement of parents in their childs learning?
2. To what extent does a combination of four methods (a)
documentary, (b) survey, (c) interview, and (d) observation
produce convergence and divergence in the level and type of
engagement with the expressions of the five constructs of practice?
Convergence means that the data about engagement of
stakeholders with the constructs of practice would approach a
value or common point. Divergence means that the data about
engagement of the stakeholders with the constructs of practice
would go in different directions from a value or common point.
7


3. Does convergence and divergence in the level and type of
engagement with the expressions of the emerging paradigm as
indicated by the methods employed in this investigation indicate
the commitment to a paradigm by stakeholders?
4. Does the combined commitment to a paradigm by stakeholders as
indicated by the methods employed in this investigation confirm
the paradigm commitment of a school?
5. Does confirmation of the paradigm commitment of a school
contribute to an accurate assessment of the schools commitment
to that paradigm?
Methodology
The current education paradigm will be referred to as modern and the
response to that paradigm will be referred to as alternate for the purposes of this
study, in the material that follows. The terms posit the modem-education
paradigm as a product of the rational approaches associated with the
Enlightenment, objective science, and universal morality and law (Habermas,
1981; Himmelfarb, 2004).
Education involves many constructs of practice. Five of the more
identifiable and frequently discussed are instruction, information access,
learning-modality, performance feedback, and parents (Cubberley 1900, 1909,
1970; Lawton & Gordon, 2002; Miller, 1988; Muller, Ringer & Simon, 1987;
Palmer, Bresler & Cooper, 2003). The role played by each in the process of
educating children is generally unquestioned. All are widely accepted to have a
8


positive impact on learning. According to numerous authors, all are part of the
theory structure of the modem-education paradigm (Bloom, 1956, 1976; Bobbitt,
1915, 1918; Butts & Cremin, 1953; Chambliss, 1968; Reese, 1995; Spring, 2005).
If a stakeholder is committed to the modem-education paradigm and it
meets the stakeholders needs, then according to Kuhns (1996) theory the
practices of that stakeholder will reflect engagement with constructs of practice
that are congruent with that paradigms theory structure. If, however, the modem-
education paradigm were not meeting the needs of stakeholders, then it is possible
that some stakeholders would cross the border of the modem paradigm in search
of an alternate paradigm that better meets their needs. If that were occurring, then
the practices of the stakeholders who cross the border are likely to consist of
engagement with constructs of practice that are congruent with the theory
structure of the emerging paradigm (Doll, 1989). This means that engagement
with a construct of practice by a stakeholder should suggest commitment to a
particular paradigm. Engagement with multiple constructs by a stakeholder should
suggest depth and breadth of commitment to a paradigm. Depth and breadth of
engagement with multiple constructs of practice by multiple stakeholders suggests
a commitment to a paradigm by a school.
Methodological Commitments
The literature suggests that, in order to answer the five research questions
presented above, this study would benefit from making eight methodological
commitments regarding stakeholder engagement with the five constructs of
practice and the methods for gathering data about that engagement.
9


1. The demonstrated capacity of a sample comes from actual
engagement with a construct of practice (Coffey & Atkinson, 1996;
Cook & Campbell, 1979; Ellis & Fouts, 1993).
2. Gathering evidence about types of engagement with a construct of
practice requires multiple data-gathering methods (Creswell &
Plano-Clark, 2007; Dede, 2005; Lofland, 1971).
3. Each method must be able to gather evidence about levels (e.g.,
amount) and types (e.g., goal setting versus practicing) of
engagement (Creswell & Plano-Clark, 2007; Merriam, 1988, 1998).
4. Evidence of engagement with a construct of practice across multiple
methods by a sample indicates depth of engagement (Creswell &
Plano-Clark, 2007; Feldman, 1995).
5. Evidence of engagement with multiple constructs of practice across
multiple methods by a sample indicates breadth of engagement
(Creswell & Plano-Clark, 2007; Feldman, 1995).
6. Evidence of engagement with multiple constructs of practice across
multiple methods by a sample indicates depth and breadth of
engagement (Creswell & Plano-Clark, 2007; Feldman, 1995).
7. Evidence of depth and breadth of engagement indicates a
commitment to a paradigm by a sample at a school (Horwich, 1993;
Hoyningen-Huene, 1993; Kuhn, 1957, 1977a, 1977b, 1993, 1996;
Margolis, 1993; Von Dietze, 2001).
10


8. Evidence of commitment to a paradigm by two samples at a school
indicates commitment to a paradigm by the school (Horwich, 1993;
Hoyningen-Huene, 1993; Kuhn, 1957, 1977a, 1977b, 1993, 1996;
Margolis, 1993; Von Dietze, 2001).
Methodological Devices
Building on the commitments presented above, the methodology presented
below and in Chapter 3 should confirm the commitment of a school to an
alternate-education paradigm. Doing so requires development of six devices.
Developing the devices involves six steps that establish (a) a unit of engagement,
(b) ways for gathering data about different types of engagement, (c) a way for
representing engagement across units and methods, (d) a way for rating level of
engagement across units and methods, (e) a way for representing the commitment
of a school to an alternate-education paradigm, and (f) tools for gathering and
analyzing data. I developed each device presented below.
Step 1 is to think about a construct of practice as a center point on a
continuum. The expressions of the construct of practice are the end-points on the
continuum. For the study, modern and alternate are the endpoints. Therefore, if
instruction is the center point on a construct of practice continuum, and group
instruction is the modem endpoint or expression that represents prevailing
practice on that continuum, then the endpoint for the opposite expression is
differentiated instruction. The resulting Construct of Practice Continuum (Table
1.1) makes it possible to (a) locate an expression within a construct of practice,
11


and (b) compare expressions that are part of the same construct but different
paradigms.
Table 1.1
Construct of Practice Continuum
Modern Expression Construct of Practice Emerging Expression
Group, not differentiated Instruction Differentiated
Classroom only Information Access Real time, ubiquitous
Single (text) Modality Multiple, accommodated
Delayed, summative Performance Feedback Immediate, formative
Not engaged Parents Engaged,
Step 2 has three parts. The first is selection of four data-gathering
methods: documentary, survey, interview, and observation. Each addresses the
need for a specific type of data. The documentary method uses written documents
and artifacts from a case site. The survey method involves having a sample at the
site respond in writing to written questions. The interview method engages people
face to face at the site and the observation method involves watching a sample of
the site participants.
The second part involves defining four types of engagement: aspiring,
reporting, understanding, and practicing. Each type of engagement reflects a
differing degree of commitment to a construct of practice. Aspiring means that a
sample has established a goal, objective, or priority associated with the construct
of practice. Reporting means the sample has provided a written answerto a
question from the researcherabout engagement with a construct of practice.
Understanding means that a sample gives a verbal response to a verbal question
provided by the researcherabout engagement with a construct of practice.
12


Practicing means that a sample takes a specific action that is observable and that
involves a construct of practice.
The third part involves matching each method with an appropriate
engagement type. The matches are documentary method with aspiring, survey
method with reporting, interview method with understanding, and observation
method with practicing. The combination of the data-gathering methods and the
engagement types makes the Method and Engagement Category Field (Table
1.2).
Table 1.2
Method and Engagement Category Field
Documentary Survey Interview Observation
Aspiring Reporting Understanding Practicing
The multiple methods, multiple engagement-type approach is an essential
part of the design for answering the research questions that guides this study. If
the Method and Engagement Category Field produces the types of data this study
seeks, then it will provide a deeper view of engagement with the constructs of
practice by the stakeholders.
Step 3 involves combining elements of the Constructs of Practice
Continuum (Table 1.1) with the Method and Engagement Category Field (Table
1.2) to form a Method, Engagement Type, and Alternate Paradigm Expression
Matrix. The matrix represents the intersection of the expressions of the five
constructs of practice for an alternate-education paradigm and the four data-
gathering methods and engagement types (Table 1.3). Each point of intersection
13


Table 1.3
Method, Engagement Type, and Construct Expression Matrix
Data gathering method Documentary Survey Interview Observation
Engagement type Aspiring Reporting Understanding Practicing
Construct Expression Differentiated instruction
Ubiquitous access to information
Accommodation learning- modality preference
Feedback about performance
Engagement of parents
forms a cell. For instance, the upper-center part of the matrix has a cell that
contains the documentary evidence of a stakeholder aspiring to differentiate
instruction. Individually and collectively, cells provide a deeper view of
stakeholder engagement with the expressions of the five constructs of practice.
The matrix and its cells make the clusters of data (Feldman, 1995) more apparent
and loosens the boundaries between them.
Step 4 involves developing the Engagement with Construct Expression Rating
Scale (Table 1.4). The scale is the combination of the Construct of Practice
Continuum (Table 1.1), the Method and Engagement Category Field (Table 1.2),
and the Method, Engagement Type, and Alternate Paradigm Expression Matrix.
The scale contains 80 cells, 20 sets, and 4 sections. A cell is the smallest unit on
the scale for a sample group. A set is the sum of the cells in a row for a sample
group. A section is the sum of the sets for a sample group. Chapter 3 contains
descriptions of each cell, set, and section rating protocol. The ratings quantify the
14


Table 1.4
Engagement with Construct Expression Rating Scale
Data Gathering Method and Engagement Category
Data gathering method Documentary Survey Interview Observation
Hnganement type Aspiring Reporting Understanding Practicing Set Section
School, school-sample, and alternate expression of five constructs of practice Sample I Differentiated Instruction 1-5 1-5 1-5 1-5 4-20 20-100
Ubiquitous Access to Info 1-5 1-5 1-5 1-5 4-20
Accommodate learning-modality preference 1-5 1-5 1-5 1-5 4-20
Timely formative and summative performance feedback 1-5 1-5 1-5 1-5 4-20
Engagement of parents in childs learning 1-5 1-5 1-5 1-5 4-20
Sample 2 Differentiated Instruction 1-5 1-5 1-5 1-5 4-20 20-100
Ubiquitous Access to Info 1-5 1-5 1-5 1-5 4-20
Accommodate learning-modality preference 1-5 1-5 1-5 1-5 4-20
Timely formative and summative performance feedback 1-5 1-5 1-5 1-5 4-20
Engagement of parents in childs learning 1-5 1-5 1-5 1-5 4-20
Sample 3 Differentiated Instruction 1-5 1-5 1-5 1-5 4-20 20-100
Ubiquitous Access to Info 1-5 1-5 1-5 1-5 4-20
Accommodate learning-modality preference 1-5 1-5 1-5 1-5 4-20
Timely formative and summative performance feedback 1-5 1-5 1-5 1-5 4-20
Engagement of parents in childs learning 1-5 1-5 1-5 1-5 4-20
Sample 4 Differentiated Instruction 1-5 1-5 1-5 1-5 4-20 20-100
Ubiquitous Access to Info 1-5 1-5 1-5 1-5 4-20
Accommodate learning-modality preference 1-5 1-5 1-5 1-5 4-20
Timely formative and summative performance feedback 1-5 1-5 1-5 1-5 4-20
Engagement of parents in childs learning 1-5 1-5 1-5 1-5 4-20
15


level and type of engagement with an expression of the five constructs of practice
by the sample. A higher rating means more engagement.
Step 5 involves developing the School Paradigm Commitment Rating
(Table 1.5). The commitment rating is the average of the section ratings for each
sample-group as presented on the Engagement with Construct Expression Rating
Scale (Table 1.4). The level and type of engagement with the construct
expressions indicates commitment. A commitment rating ranges from 20 through
100. It quantifies level and type of engagement with the expressions of the five
constructs of practice for an alternate-education paradigm. A higher rating
indicates a greater commitment to an alternate-education paradigm.
Table 1.5
School Paradigm Commitment Rating
Section Paradigm Commitment
School 1 Site leader sample 1 20-100 20-100
Instructor sample 1 20-100
School 2 Site leader sample 2 20-100 20-100
Instructor sample 2 20-100
School 3 Site leader sample 3 20-100 20-100
Instructor sample 3 20-100
School 4 Site leader sample 4 20-100 20-100
Instructor sample 4 20-100
Step 6 involves the Border Pedagogy Map developed by Romo and
Roseman (2004) for mapping cultural democracy in classrooms. 1 adapted their
map to make a Modern-Alternate Education Paradigm Pedagogy Map (Figure
1.2). The quadrants on the adapted map represent different levels of commitment
to an alternate-education paradigm. The quadrants are (a) modem-education
paradigm, (b) idiosyncratic activity, (c) school of thought and practice, and (d)
alternate-education paradigm. The modern-education paradigm quadrant
16


represents a commitment to the modem-education paradigm made by a school as
indicated by the engagement of its sample with the modem
Quadrant 4 Quadrant 3
Alternate-Education Paradigm School of thought and practice
School of thought and practice replicated Pervasive engagement alternate expressions
Instruction = differentiated Instruction = differentiated
Information = ubiquitous access 1 Information = ubiquitous access
Modality = pref. accommodated OJ ~o Modality = pref. accommodated
Feedback = timely formative, summative O CQ Feedback = timely formative, summative
Parents = engagement in childs learning Parents = engagement in childs learning
Commitment rating 80-100 Commitment rating 60-79
Border
Quadrantl Quadrant 2
Modern-Education Paradigm Idiosyncratic Activity
No engagement with alternate expressions Disparate engagement with alternate expressions
Instruction = mixed differentiated
Instruction = not differentiated Information = mixed ubiquitous access
Information = classroom, school-based o Modality = mixed pref. accommodated
Modality = not accommodated tw o Feedback = mixed formative, summative
Feedback = summative Parents = mixed engagement
Parents = no engagement
Commitment rating 20-39 Commitment rating 40-59
Figure 1.2 Modern-Alternate Education Paradigm Pedagogy Map
expressions of the five constructs of practice. The idiosyncratic activity quadrant
represents a disparate commitment to the alternate-education paradigm made by a
school as indicated by the disjointed engagement of its sample with the
expressions of the five constmcts of practice for an alternate-education paradigm.
The school of thought and practice quadrant represents a pervasive commitment
to the alternate-education paradigm made by a school as indicated by the
extensive engagement of its sample with the expressions of the five constmcts of
17


practice for an alternate-education paradigm. The alternate-education paradigm
quadrant represents a replicated commitment to the alternate-education paradigm
as indicated by replication of an identical school of thought and practice at
multiple sites.
Step 7 involves developing four sets data gathering instruments:
Document checklists (Appendix A and B), stakeholder surveys (Appendix C and
D), interview guides (Appendix E and F), and observation checklists (Appendix G
and H). Each set has two variations, one for site-leaders, and one for instructors.
According to Merriam (1988, 1998), documentary checklists can aid in the
gathering of data in the form of physical evidence. In this study, the documentary
data sought are about aspiration for engagement with an expression of the five
constructs of practice for an alternate paradigm. Examples include Annual
Reports, curriculum guides, homework assignment, mission statement, quiz,
rubrics, stakeholder job descriptions, and strategic plans (Feldman, 1995;
Merriam, 1988, 1988). Data gathered via the sample survey instruments consist of
written reporting to written questions asked of the sample (Atkinson, Coffey &
Delamont, 2003; Bogdan & Biklen, 1992). The survey questions are about their
engagement with an expression of the five constructs of practice for an emerging
paradigm. Data gathered via interview instruments are verbal responses to verbal
questions and prompts (Coffey & Atkinson, 1996). The design of the interview
questions and prompts get the sample to demonstrate their understanding of their
engagement with an expression of the five constructs of practice for an emerging
paradigm. Data gathered via observation are reports of observed incidents
18


(Bogdan & Biklen, 1992; Feldman, 1995). In this study, the observations sought
incidents in which the sample practicing engagement with an expression of the
five constructs of practice for an alternate paradigm.
Data Analysis
Analysis of the data determines whether there is accurate, replicable, and
internally valid evidence of (a) engagement with the alternate expressions of five
constructs of practice by the sample, and (b) the paradigm commitment made by
the sample. Analysis of the data involves six steps.
In step 1, the raw data collected via each method are processed.
Processing of the documentary, interview, and observation data involves creating
a thread. Creating a thread is a technique for synthesizing raw data. Relevant
excerpts, passages, quotes, and citations are included in a thread. Having the data
in a thread makes it more manageable and an analyzable. For the survey data,
processing creates tabulations. For example, a documentary thread could contain
key data about the aspirations of a sample group to differentiate instruction.
Step 2 involves rating the threads and tabulations. Rating involves use of
the protocols presented in Chapter 3. A rating indicates level and type
engagement. Each rating becomes a cell entry on the Engagement with Construct
Expression Rating Scale. The rating for each cell ranges from 1 through 5. For
example, a cell representing the documentary data about a samples aspiration to
engage parents in their childs learning would have a rating of 2 if the data was
disparate, weak, and inexplicit.
19


Step 3 involves creating a set by adding the cell ratings in a row. The
rating for each set ranges from 5 through 20. For example, a set representing
accommodation of learning-modality preference would have a rating of 8 if every
cell had a rating of 2 indicating that the data was disparate, weak, and inexplicit.
Step 4 involves summing the sets for a sample group to create a section.
The ratings for each section ranges from 20 through 100. For example, a section
representing would have a rating of 64 if every cell had a rating of 16 indicating
that the data had multiplicity, strength, and explicitness.
Step 5 involves averaging the section rating for the two groups at each
school to create a paradigm commitment rating. The paradigm commitment rating
ranges from 20 through 100. For example, the paradigm commitment rating for a
school would be 66 if its site-leader sample had a section rating of 68 and its
instructor sample a rating of 64. The paradigm commitment rating is used to plot
a school on the Modern-Alternate Education Paradigm Pedagogy Map.
Findings
This study, by answering the five research questions presented earlier in
this section, has the potential to make five contributions to the field of education.
One, it provides a deeper assessment of four schools (Feagin, Orum & Sjoberg,
1991; Lijphart, 1971; Wagner, 1993). Two, the study presents and tests a
methodological approach for making such assessments (Cizek, 1995). Three, the
development of new tools of inquiry represent a new form of knowledge (Eisner
& Peshkin, 1990). Four, applying a valid and reliable methodological approach to
four schools generates new knowledge about the schools and their stakeholders.
20


Last, the study recommends areas for further investigation by the field (Lijphart,
1971; Wagner, 1993). All contributions are classic purposes for qualitative
research (Lancy, 1993; Merriam, 1988, 1998).
Organization of the Study
This dissertation has five sections. Chapter 1 has described the problem. It
provided (a) an overview of the study, (b) introduced the problem, (c) described
the purpose of this study, (d) explained key concepts, (e) explained the data-
gathering and analysis methods, and (f) summarized the organization of this
dissertation.
Chapter 2 is a literature review. It presents literature that supports the
study. The review (a) positions the current condition of education within a
paradigm context, (b) builds a case for the modem-education paradigm being in a
crisis state, and (c) presents five constructs of practice expressing an alternate
paradigm response to that crisis.
Chapter 3 focuses on methods. It presents a multi-method approach for
gathering and analyzing data about the phenomenon. It has eleven sections: (a)
theoretical background for qualitative and case study methods, (b) school
selection, (c) school descriptions, (d) school samples, (e) data-gathering
instruments, (f) data gathering support, (g) data gathering management, (h) data
gathering sequence and schedule, (i) data analysis methods, (j) researcher bias,
and (k) chapter summary.
21


Chapter 4 presents the findings and recommendations. It presents (a) data-
response evidence, (b) site-leader sample evidence, (c) instructor-sample
evidence, and (d) recommendations about the results.
Chapter 5 is the summary, conclusions, and recommendations for future
research. It has five sections: (a) summary of the methodology employed in the
investigation, (b) a summary results about the paradigm commitments of the four
schools as indicated by their engagements with the expressions of the five
constructs of practice for an alternate-education paradigm, (c) conclusions drawn
from the results of the investigation, (d) lessons learned, (e) limitations, and (f)
recommendations for future research.
22


CHAPTER TWO
LITERATURE REVIEW
Chapter 2 presents a review of the literature that (a) positions the current
condition of education within a paradigm context, (b) builds a case for the
modem-education paradigm being in a crisis state, and (c) presents five constructs
of practice expressing an emerging paradigm response to that crisis. The study is a
case study investigation (Anderson, 1989; Bogdan & Biklen, 1992) of the
commitments made by four schools to an alternate-education paradigm.
Engagement with the expressions of five constructs of practice for an emerging
paradigm by the sample indicates the level of commitment to that paradigm made
by their school.
Thomas Kuhns (1996) theory of paradigm change and related works
(1957, 1977a, 1977b, 1983, 1992, 1993, 1996) are central to this investigation.
According to Kuhn, paradigm development involves seven stages (a) disparate
activity and idiosyncratic approaches, (b) schools of thought, (c) paradigm
emergence and refinement, (d) paradigm crisis, (e) alternative paradigms, and (f)
paradigm change. Consistent with Kuhns (1996) theory, this chapter has eight
sections (a) disparate education activities at the nations founding and the
idiosyncratic approaches they fostered, (b) schools of thought, (c) modem-
23


education paradigm and its theory structure, (d) refinement of the modem-
education paradigm, (e) recent demands made of the modem-education paradigm
that are anomalies, (f) efforts to address those anomalies, (g) an alternative to the
modem-education paradigm in the form, and (h) summary and discussion.
Thomas Kuhn: Paradigm Change
In order to understand the study and the literature that supports it, it is
important to understand Kuhns theory. According to Kuhn (1996), a paradigm is
a constellation of assumptions, beliefs, concepts, constructs, practices, tools, and
values used by a group to view reality or by an intellectual discipline to view its
field. The elements comprising that constellation contribute to a paradigms
theory structure. The theory structure for a paradigm provides adherents with
models, examples, and rules that guide their normal work and practice. The
capacity of a paradigm to explain phenomena, align theory, prescribe practice,
and solve problems comes from its theory structure. Successful practices reinforce
and expand a paradigms dominance. When demands cannot be resolved and
phenomena explained by the theory structure, then the paradigm weakens and
anomalies exist. If anomalies persist then a paradigm goes into a crisis state. At
that point, alternative paradigms may be considered. If one proves to be
successful then it might become dominate, with its practices replicated throughout
a discipline (Kuhn 1957, 1977a, 1977b, 1983, 1992, 1993, 1996).
The impetus for paradigm change resides in the robustness of the habits of
mind of its adherents (Margolis, 1993). Resolving an anomaly involves
destructuring, the breaking down a paradigm and its theory structure to see what
24


parts work (Barker, 1998; Barker, Andersen & Chen, 2005). Destructuring is a
prerequisite for restructuring, the putting together of a new theory structure
(Gutting, 1980; Hoyningen-Hune, 1993; Von Dietze, 2001). Restructuring is the
source of most resistance to paradigm change. If resistance to restructuring is
resolved, then paradigm change is likely (Brown & Jones, 2001; Margolis, 1993).
Some adherents of a paradigm reside on its borders (Aronowitz & Giroux,
1991; Giroux, 1992; Giroux & McLaren, 1994). The borders are a paradigms
outer limits, where its ability to help adherents resolve issues, guide practice, and
obtain results is less predictable because the boundaries expand and contract as
the paradigm strengthens or weakens. The adherents residing on the paradigms
border push its limits through the questions they ask, the work they do, and the
results they obtain (Kuhn, 1977b). During a paradigm crisis, some adherents on
the border may cross it in search of another paradigm that better meets their
demands. As Kuhn describes in The Copernican Revolution (1957) those early
border crossers typically do not find a ready-made paradigm. They often have to
wait until an alternate paradigm emerges. The emergence of an alternate paradigm
involves four phases (a) disparate approaches and idiosyncratic activities, (b)
schools of thought, (c) paradigm, and (d) paradigm development, sometimes
called clean up work (1977a, 1996). An application of Kuhns theory to education
in America follows.
Disparate Activities and Idiosyncratic Approaches
At the time of the American Revolution, becoming educated occurred in
disparate ways. The most prevalent ways included education through home
25


schooling, petty or dame schools, charity schools, private academies, and self-
instruction (Commager, 1976; Kliebard, 1985). A number of authors report that,
after the revolution the aspirations engendered in the Declaration of
Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution of the United
States (e.g., All men are created equal) increased the perceived value of
Americans becoming more educated (Countryman, 1999; Ellis, 1999; Kaestle,
1973; Kallen, 2001; Ostrander, 1970; Tyack, 1967). The value of being educated
subsequently increased amidst fears that the new nation, if its citizens were not
well educated, would descend into anarchy similar to what happened in France
during its revolution and reign of terror (Burke, 2002). The founders believed
Americans had to be well educated in order to make wise political choices and
avoid the type of chaos experienced by the French (Adams, 1840; Adams &
Carey, 2000; Adams, Jefferson, Adams & Cappon, 1988).
The limitations of the disparate activities for educating Americans became
apparent as the nation grew (Berube, 1994; Conant, 1962). As the limitations
became apparent, a few of the more scalable educational approaches became more
prevalent (Berube, 1991). Although those approaches became more frequent, they
nonetheless remained idiosyncratic due to their inconsistent nature and disjointed
relationships with each other. One of these idiosyncratic approaches was the
private academy. Sizer (1964) has reported on the rapid growth of academies in
America during the mid-1800s.
During Americas early years, the industrial and scientific revolutions
spurred increased interest in curricula beyond the classics (Wilentz, 1992, 2005).
26


From the time of the Civil War until the last decade of the nineteenth century, the
high school curriculum grew like topsy (Butts & Cremin, 1953). With no
precedents to follow, the academies and other schooling approaches simply
retained old subjects and added new ones as demand and interest arose. Although
the need for education was widely accepted throughout America, the educational
approaches used to meet that need remained idiosyncratic (Cremin, 1970).
During the 1850s, Americans, after nearly 70 years of democracy, became
interested in a new, universal, and more egalitarian approach for educating
children (Commager, 1976). In the spirit of E Pluribus Unum (Cremin, 1988)
Americans sought an alternative to elitist and tutorial approaches of the academies
that had epitomized education during Americas early years. A common schooling
promised to meet that need. The common schooling approach sought to educate
children in community schools funded through special local taxes. With education
provided at no cost to students, advocates hoped that many more students would
attend school (Cremin, 1951; Kaestle & Foner, 1983). Most children did in fact go
to school. By 1890, 95% of children between the ages of five and thirteen had
enrolled in a common school for at least a few months of the year. Less than five
percent of adolescents went to high school; even fewer entered college (Ravitch,
1974). Not surprisingly, interest in secondary schooling soon grew too (Sizer,
1976).
While common schools provided a tax-supported place for education,
Americans did not agree about what constituted an education (Kaestle, 1991;
Ravitch, 2000). As common schools and high schools became widespread, so did
27


questions about teaching and learning (Cremin 1951, 1961, 1988). What subjects
should students study? What was the best way to teach these subjects? Should all
students learn the same things (Bobbitt 1915, 1918; Cubberley, 1900, 1909;
Kliebard, 2002)?
Educational Schools of Thought
Public opinion about the best answers to these questions eventually
coalesced around four schools of thought, each with theorists, practices,
constructs, tools, and critics (Kliebard, 1985, 2002, 2004; Tyack, 1967). One
school of thought promoted a classical curriculum (National Education
Association, 1893, 1894, 1895, 1918; Nietzsche, 2004). A second promoted
career preparation (Kliebard, 1999). A third promoted human development
(Montessori & Gutek, 2004; Piaget, 1997). A fourth promoted social amelioration
(Beyer & Liston, 1996; Counts, 1932; Dewey, 1916, 1929, 1960). The debate
about the relative merits of each school of thought continued into the 1900s
(Cremin, 1961, 1988; Cuban, 1984; Ravitch, 1974; Tyack, 1967).
None of the four schools of thought proved strong enough to dominate the
others (Berube, 1994; Kliebard, 2002). Instead, in the wake of reports by the
Committee of Ten (NEA 1893, 1894), Committee of Fifteen (NEA 1895a, 1895b),
and the Commission on the Reorganization of Secondary Education (NEA, 1918)
28


the four schools of thought were consolidated into a modem-education paradigm
(Figure2.1).
Target
Educate some students--------------------------------------Educate all students-
School of thought Social amelioration Americanize--------------
Developmentaldifferent education rates, styles
Utilitarian educate for work, college----------------
Classical educate for knowledge-------------------------------------------
National focus for education Equalization
Socialization-----------------
Industrialization-------------------------------
Democratization---------------------------------------------------
*
1780....1800....1820....1840....1860....1880....1900....1920....1940....I960....1980....2000....
Figure 2.1 Development of the modem-education paradigm 1780 to present
Modem-Education Paradigm
Consistent with Kuhns (1996) theory, adherents to the modem-education
paradigm committed themselves to a constellation of educational assumptions,
beliefs, constructs, concepts, practices, tools, and values. By doing so, the
modem-education paradigm and its theory structure reconciled differences
between the four schools of thought. At the center of that reconciliation,
consistent with Americas democratic aspirations, was an understanding that
education, going forward, would emphasize the modem expressions of certain
constructs of practice. For the instruction, they committed to group and
undifferentiated instruction (Cremin, 1961, 1988; Cremin & Borrowman, 1956;
Cuban 1984). For access to information, they committed to classrooms and
29


schools being the primary access point for information (Conant, 1959a, 1959b;
Counts, 1932; Kaestle, 1991; Sizer, 1976). For modality of information
presentation, they committed not to accommodate learning-modality preference
(Muller, Ringer & Simon, 1987; Spring, 2005). For feedback about performance,
they committed to infrequent, summative assessments (Berube, 1994; Cremin,
1980, 1988, 1990; Cuban, 1986; Cubberley, 1900, 1905, 1970). For parents, they
committed to not engaging parents in their childs learning (Fenske, 1997). The
resulting theory structure for the modem-education paradigm, for the first time,
gave Americans agreement about educational structures, constructs, processes,
and practices.
Refinement of the Modem-Education Paradigm
The theory structure (Kuhn, 1996) of the modem-education paradigm
gained clarity, support, and strength each time adherents agreed about a core
belief, a concept, a construct, an essential practice, a tool, or a process. As
agreements accumulated, the modem-education paradigm became stronger and
more complete. As it did, education became more consistent throughout America.
Prior to the emergence of the modem-education paradigm, teachers handled
everything associated with educating students except their own hiring and firing
(Cuban, 1984; Sizer, 1976). With the theory structure of the modem paradigm in
place, schooling became more standardized and business-like (Tyack & Cuban,
1995). Schooling occurred in factory-like edifices (Conant 1959a; 1959b).
Students, teachers, parents, community members, and administrators each had
well-defined assembly-line-like roles (Charters, 1913; Sizer, 1976).
30


Standardization included agreements about a primary-secondary configuration for
schools, a minimum number of school days per year, and mandated student
attendance (Cremin. 1961, 1988). It was agreed that town, county, and state
departments of education would administer and govern schools (Fenske, 1997).
Laws codified the primacy of education in American society. Some laws, for
instance, prohibited children from working prior to age sixteen (Brawley, 2007;
Berube, 1994; Calcott, 1931; Coleman, 1936; Kingsbury, 1971; National Child
Labor Committee; 1928; Sullivan, 1907).
The modem-education paradigm continued to develop as adherents made
additional commitments to assumptions, beliefs, concepts, constructs, practices,
tools, and values Adherents agreed that the modem-education paradigm was
about (a) achieving greater order within education, and (b) greater equality among
students. Instruction and learning became reason-based, had predictable stages,
with subject matter and teaching methods specified for each stage (Kliebard,
2004). Schooling became highly structured, with educational stages clearly
defined for groups (Conant, 1959a, 1959b; Sizer, 1976). Age became the standard
measure of readiness. Grade specific, gender-neutral classrooms and subject
specific curricula became educational standards (Kaestle, 1991). Each age
groupings and grade level had instructional stages and materials (Kliebard, 2004;
Sizer, 1976). Instruction focused on groups not individuals, subject knowledge
not competency. Teacher talk in the form of lecture pedagogy became the
instructional standard (Ravitch, 2000). Students came to school to gain access to
knowledge. Homework, drill and practice, and silent reading became the
31


standard means for students to become educated and obtain knowledge (Ravitch,
2000). Schooling did not involve parents (Fenske, 1997; Sizer, 1976). Differences
in learning styles and unique characteristics among students received little
attention (Alsup & Sprigler, 2003). Teachers applied specific tools to their trade
and students to their tasks. Initially their tools included books, chalk, chalkboards,
paper, and pencils (Cuban, 1986). Over time, the array of teacher tools expanded.
Their repertoire expanded in the 1930s to include standardized tests. Visual aids
came in the 1940s and 1950s (Kliebard, 1999, 2002, 2004), television in the
1960s, personal computers in the 1980s (Fisher, Dwyer & Yocam, 1996), the
Internet and World Wide Web in the 1990s (Becker, 2001; Dwyer, 2000), and
portals and interactive white boards in 2000s.
Demands
With the modem-education paradigm and its theory structure in place, the
question became could they resolve the demands that would be made of it? A
discussion of two early and three more recent demands follows.
Early Demands
The first demand occurred in the early 1900s. A new economy had
replaced the agrarian, natural resource based economy that characterized America
for the previous three centuries. Business, retail, and service sectors drove the
new economy. Growth of each sector depended on new science, academic
disciplines, and inventions. In order to keep the economy growing each sector had
to have scientists, engineers, and other skilled and educated workers. Opportunity
32


existed for all Americans as long as the economy grew. In order for the economy
to grow, the modem-education paradigm had to meet the demands (Goldin, 1998).
A second demand made of the modem-education paradigm during its early
years occurred when the pool of persons seeking to join the nations skilled
workforce expanded dramatically between 1900 and 1915. Over 13 million
immigrants came to America during that period (Geospatial & Statistical Data
Center, 2007; Janeway, 1972). Educating the new, as well as the existing,
Americans placed a new demand on the modem-education paradigm. Could it
Americanize the new arrivals from foreign lands and make them productive and
valued contributors to Americas growth (Carlson, 1975: Carlson & Carlson,
1987; Tyack, 2003)? Initially, the education that children of immigrants received
was neither easy nor desirable. According to the theory structure of the modem-
education paradigm, children destined to become low-wage laborers had to learn
basic skills and work habits suitable for factory positions. Schools utilized
repetitive drills and harsh discipline for teaching such skills and habits. The
practices alienated many poor children (Tyack, 1974). A 1913 survey of
immigrant children in Chicago revealed that, if given the opportunity, most would
prefer the long hours and hard work of sweatshops to the conditions they faced in
school (Kliebard, 1985). John Dewey (1916a, 1916b, 1916c, 1929, 1938) and
George Counts (1932) pushed progressive approaches for remedying the situation.
The paradigm accommodated their demands for progressivism. The schooling
experience was improved for most children while still fueling the economy and
33


strengthening the democracy (Berube, 2004). Two demands had been made of the
modem-education paradigm, and both were resolved.
By the 1950s, the playing field was level for most Americans. Thanks to
the modem-education paradigm Americans were: (a) participating in their
democracy, (b) contributing to business and industry, (c) melding into a unique
American culture, and (d) generating innovations and knowledge. The egalitarian,
non-elitist, group-above-individual nature of the modem-education paradigm had
reduced class distinctions, enabled economic and geographic mobility, and
contributed to the leveling of economic advantages (Goldin, 1998; Goldin &
Katz, 2000). An industrialized workplace, with an agrarian backstop, provided
opportunities to all graduates of the modem educational system and absorbed its
failures. In 1910, about the time the modem-education paradigm began, only nine
percent of older American youths earned high school diplomas. By 1940 with the
paradigm in place, 50% earned high school diplomas (Goldin, 1998). Secondary-
school enrollment and graduation rates, in most northern and western states,
increased so rapidly that by the mid-1930s the rate was as high as it would be in
the 1960s (Goldin & Katz, 2001). During that period, economic relationships
expanded from commerce within a community to national and international
commerce (Hays, 1995). By the mid-twentieth century, most Americans had
escaped poverty, the unavoidable fate of previous generations (Galbraith, 1998).
Americas transformation reinforced the value of education for Americans and
gave additional credence to the modem-education paradigm.
34


Recent Demands
In recent years, three additional demands have been made of the modem-
education paradigm (a) silencing critique, (b) conducting normal research, and (c)
educating all students (Figure 2.2). A discussion of each demand follows.
Race Gender Disability Ethnicity Critique Normal practice

Demands
Modem-Education Paradigm
Instruction group, one size fits all
Information access in classrooms and schools
Modality no accommodation, single, text
Feedback summative, periodic, high stakes
Parents no engagement
1910
-L
i
1930
1950
(----1-1------}
1970 1990

Figure 2.2 Modem-education paradigm and demands
Recent DemandSilencing Critics
A legion of critics, voicing wide-ranging concerns about nearly every
4
aspect of education, characterizes present day critique of American education.
The legion can be viewed as consisting of three camps (a) critics of education
overall, (b) critics of certain aspects within education, and (c) critics of efforts to
fix education.
Critics Camp 1: Critics in this camp oppose education in its current form.
They believe either that (a) the longstanding promise that American schooling
35


would provide equal educational opportunity for all students has failed, or (b)
education is not doing the right things. In the first belief, education as a panacea
for Americas many problems remains unmatched by the rate of improvement in
educational performance (Tyack & Cuban, 1995). This unmet expectation
contributes to waning support (Loveless, 1997; Toch, 1991). Poll after poll
reveals that overall support for education is fragile (Elam & Gallup, 1995; Public
Agenda Foundation, 1995-2006; Rose & Gallup, 2001, 2002, 2003). Even
educators voice considerable concern about the state of affairs in their discipline
(Harris, 1995; Hughes, 1998). The status quo in education is a well-guarded
system with the capacity to resist systemic change (Crouch & Healey, 1996;
Dixon, 1994). Moreover, the people in charge of education use subtle ways to
prevent students from getting the education they need and deserve (Hickok, 2006;
Lieberman, 1997; Loveless, 2000; Weatherly & Lipsky, 1977) and have
succeeded in defining equality as meeting individual educational needs (Angus
& Mirel, 1999). In short, the first belief of the critics in this camp is that education
in America is a failure.
According to a second belief of critics in Camp 1, American education is
not doing the right things (Finn & Ravitch 1995). It is enabling an assault on
Americas intellectual (Berman, 2000; Bloom, 1987; Hirsch, Kett & Trefil, 1987,
2002) and moral underpinnings (Bennett, 1988, 1992, 1999; Wolfe, 2005). A
number of authors from this camp claim that the educational establishment
comprised of professional educators, academicians, and researchers is driving the
wrong agenda for improving education (Brimelow, 2003; Brimelow & Spencer,
36


1993; NCPA, 1983; Pogrow, 1996). Education is constrained by the assumptions
underlying their agenda (Astuto, 1994; Becker, 1995). Moreover, according to
Raths the goals of their agenda are illegitimate (1994). Support for charter
schools, standards, standardized tests, and vouchers are a litmus test used by the
critics in Camp 1. They believe such approaches gauge school performance and
shift power away from the educational establishment to parents, students, and
communities where it belongs (Heise & Ryan, 2002; Kahlenberg, 2001, 2003;
Wolfe, 2003). In short, the mission of the critics in this camp is to get education in
America back on track.
Critics Camp 2: Critics in this camp support education overall but
condemn certain aspects of it, especially inconsistencies, inequities, and injustices
(Bracey 1996, 2002a, 2002b; Payzant, 1992). Critics in this camp say education
could solve Americas problems if resources were distributed equitably
(Augenblick, 1991, 2001; Biddle & Berliner, 2002; Jennings, 1993; Moser &
Rubenstein,, 2002; Odden & Augenblick, 1981; Odden & Busch, 1998; Odden &
Picus, 2000; Payne & Biddle, 1999; Petrovich & Wells, 2005; Wong, 1999). They
point to the failure of urban schools to educate most students (Banfield, 1974;
Cuban, 2003; Harris, 1996; Hill, Campbell & Harvey, 2000; Katz, 1995), arguing
that in inner city and less affluent schools, children from poor families receive a
less adequate education than do their counterparts in more affluent and suburban
locations (Kozol, 1991,2006). Some in this camp claim that efforts to improve
education actually harm certain groups of students (Czubaj, 1995; Noguera &
Wing, 2006; Pogrow 1996). In short, critics in this camp call for education to get
37


more, more, more and until education does expectations about its improvement
should be stifled (Bain, 2007).
Critics Camp 3: Critics in this camp support education overall, but
disapprove of specific efforts to fix education. They say that the failure of
reforms to improve education is attributable to inconsistency, lack of a unified
purpose, and emphasis on low-level skills (Fuhrman, 1993, 1994; Fuhrman, Clune
& Elmore, 1991; Fuhrman & ODay, 1996; House, 1996; Smith & ODay, 1991).
A number of authors say reforms fail because of inherent weaknesses in the
specific innovations (Bain, 2004, 2007; Comer, 1999; Marzano, Waters &
McNulty, 2004; Marzano, Zaffron, Zraik, Robbins & Yoon, 1995; Ravitch, 2000;
Slavin, 1995, 1996, 1999, 2002, 2004). A case in point is the excellence
movement of the 1980s that pushed for increased college admissions
requirements and nationally administered standardized tests. It is a target for this
type of criticism (Willie, 1985). According to Finn, the movement was simply
American education playing at reforming itself without making any
fundamental changes (1991). Another case is outcome-based education (OBE).
OBE is an extension of the Total Quality Management approach used by
businesses (Neuroth, 1992; Siegel & Byrne, 1994). With OBE, schools determine
where they want to be then plan backwards. Critics raised questions about who
should choose the outcomes and how to hold schools accountable for their
attainment (ECS, 1995; Manno, 1995). Similarly, critics of increasing use of
standards and assessments in education argued that those changes alone would not
raise student performance (O'Day, Goertz & Floden, 1995, 1996). Likewise,
38


getting students to achieve at higher levels would not happen simply because of
because of increases in educational funding (Orlich, 2000). In short, critics in
camp three disapproved of specific reform efforts to fix education, they however,
did not present alternatives.
Collectively critics from the three camps, who earlier had focused solely
on education, began criticizing each other (Ravitch, 1991). Responses to the
current crisis in education took on familiar overtones. The same questions
were being asked and getting the same answers (Cuban, 1990; Kirst & Meister,
1985). If one listened to all the critics described above, fifteen years after a
nationwide call for dramatically improving American education (NCEE, 1983)
the nation is still at risk (Bennett, Fair, Finn, Flake, Hirsch, Marshall, et ah, 1998;
Cuban & Usdan, 2003; Gordon & Graham, 2003; Guthrie & Springer, 2004;
Peterson & Chubb, 2003). What one also hears is that the critics are not going
away they are getting louder.
Recent Demand TwoNormal Research
The loud, multifaceted critique of education in America contributes to a
second demand made of the modem-education paradigm. The demand comes
from the experiences of educational researchers who, spurred by the criticisms
above, seek to measure the impact of certain constructs in teaching and learning.
According to Morris (1996), the dominant model for research in education and
other disciplines has been, and remains, the rational model, that underpins the
modem-education paradigm. The model seeks teleologicaltelos means end or
purposerelationships between inputs, outputs, and outcomes (Bimbaum-More,
39


Rossini & Baldwin, 1990). A number of authors indicate that the rational methods
employed by researchers too often prove to be problematic (Argyris, 2004; Carr,
1998; Cook & Levi, 1990; Davidson, 2004; Elster, 1990; Nola, 2003; Roseneau,
1992). Relationships linking industrial and technical developments to human
progress and betterment are now untenable as environmental degradation places
industrial and technological growth in conflict with human and environmental
welfare (Elkind, 1991). Moreover, according to Donmoyer (2006), the modem
model does not fare well in education. School environments do not readily
conform to the its assumptions and application, in part because efforts to improve
education are so complicated and intertwined with societal issues that constructs
are not identifiable, much less quantifiable (Cooper, 1994; Donmoyer, 1991,
1992, 1996). Cuban suggests that the reoccurring nature of specific efforts to
reform education indicates an inability of the rational model to remove the
problems it seeks to solve (1990). Such difficulty and repetitive failure in
conducting normal research in education indicates the inability of the modem-
education paradigm to resolve that demand (Aronowitz & Giroux, 1991). The
literature suggests that challenges to the rational research model continue to grow.
As the challenges increase, the strength of interpretations based on that model
diminishes, as does the veracity of the modem-education paradigm that it
supports.
Recent Demand ThreeEducating All Students
In the 1950s, Americas commitment to educating some children shifted to
educating all children (Ravitch, 1983, 1984). With that shift came demands of the
40


modem-education paradigm for equal education regardless of a childs (a) race,
(b) gender, (c) handicap or disability, and (d) cultural background. Unprecedented
efforts characterize the response to achieve that goal during the past sixty years
(Boler, 2004; Kidder, 1994; Spring, 1993; Wilentz, 2002). A brief discussion
follows.
Race. Racial equality is a theme that began at the nations founding,
escalated with the Civil War struggle over slavery, and remains today (Banks,
1995; Brown, 2000; Eze, 1997). Black codes, passed during Reconstruction,
limited the opportunities of black Americans. Moreover, the Plessey decision
(1892) of the U.S. Supreme Court established that separate facilities for blacks
and whites were constitutional as long as the facilities were equal. The doctrine
subsequently expanded to cover many areas of public life (Anderson & Byrne,
2004). During the 1940s and 1950s, many Americans began challenging these
injustices. School segregation, with its separate but equal approach, became a key
target (Anderson, 1994; Anderson & Byme, 2004; Branch, 1989; Gray, 1995).
The U.S. Supreme Court in Brown vs. the Board of Education (1954) overturned
Plessey, making segregated schools unconstitutional (Kluger, 1976). Fifty-two
years later many authors report that despite many gains, widespread disparities
remain (Brown, 2004; Lieberman, 1993; Noguera & Wing, 2006; Ohlenmacher,
2006; Trotter, 2006; Willie 2004).
Gender. Equality of education across gender is another key theme in
American history (Butler, 1993; Gallup, 1988; Knott & Taylor, 2005). Until the
1950s, schools in America restricted the full participation of females. Colleges
41


and professional schools had quotas limiting female attendance. Female athletic
programs at the secondary and post-secondary levels were typically limited to
cheerleading. Only historically black colleges and universities consistently
offered athletic programs and scholarships to women (Bailey, 1992). Secondary
schools prohibited boys from taking courses such as home economics and girls
from taking courses such as auto mechanics and mechanical drafting. School
officials often forced female teachers to leave their jobs when they married or
became pregnant. Officials also forced pregnant and parenting students to drop
out of school (Bailey, 1992, 1996). In the 1960s, demand for full participation of
females in education led to passage of several laws, particularly Title IX (Ware,
2006), providing women with access to courses, benefits, employment, programs,
scholarships, and much more. The practices described above were supposed to
end with passage of Title IX of the Education Amendments (Ware, 2006). A
number of authors report that, although gender access has increased and many
educational practices have changed in education, much gender inequality remains
(Bailey, 1992, 1996; Ebert, 1996; Suggs, 2005).
Disability. American schools historically were inhospitable places for
children with physical and mental disabilities. Laws in most states permitted
school systems to refuse enrollment of uneducable students, a term left to local
school officials to define. When children with disabilities did enroll, most ended
up in regular classrooms and received no special services. The non-enrolled
disabled children went into special programs, most often without adequate
support services (Martin, Martin & Terman, 1996). These practices became illegal
42


with enactment of the Education for All Handicapped Act (US House, 1975; US
Senate, 1976). Various authors report that despite laws to the contrary the quality
of education that children with special needs receive, when compared to that of
their counterparts, remains unequal (Donlevy, 2000; Finn, Rotherham &
Hokanson, 2001; Rylance, 2000; USDOE, 2005; Wientraub & Ramirez, 1985).
Culture. The multicultural education movement began in the 1960s and
gained momentum in the 1980s (Banks & Banks, 2003; Spivak, 1993; Wells &
Serna, 1996). Social change was the movements underlying goal. Its pathway for
attaining that goal was through transformation of the self, schools, schooling, and
society. Such transformations required education equity and social justice (Banks,
2001, 2002; Romo & Roseman, 2004). Cracking the oppressiveness and general
failure of education required a new language of unrealized possibilities
(Aronowitz & Giroux, 1991). Such a language would emphasize student-centered
learning and give focus to differences and disorderliness (Davis, 2006; Dunn,
Beasley & Buhanan, 1994; Eisler, 2000; Freire, 1976, 1998, 2000). The
movement was counter to the orderly, rational, and reason based practices of the
modem-education paradigm that gave great value to testing, standards, rankings,
and orderliness. Advocates for multicultural education championed attention to
diverse learning styles in classrooms (Nieto, 2004). Detractors claimed it diluted
pedagogy, lowered standards, and corrupted the ideal of objective truth (Bloom,
1987). Twenty years later a number of authors report that the attention given
difference and disorderliness has not produced many changes (Brimelow,
43


1996) for the students who are different (Banks 2001, 2002; McLaren, 1997;
Nieto, 1999, 2004).
Anomalies
The four demands discussed above, given their persistence, are anomalies
(Kuhn, 1996) of the modem-education paradigm. An anomaly is a demand made
of a paradigm that is irresolvable within a paradigm. When anomalies persist,
adherents to a paradigm seek another paradigm that can resolve the anomalies
(Bird, 2004; Hoyningen-Huene, 1993; Von Dietze, 2001). The collective
persistence of the anomalies discussed above, indicate that the modem-education
paradigm is in crisis and a paradigm shift may be underway (Gutting, 1980;
Horwich, 1993; Margolis, 1993; Weinberg, 1998). Applying Kuhns (1996)
theory of paradigm change, Aronowitz and Girouxs (1991) concept of border-
pedagogy, and Romo and Chavezs (2006) concept of border-crossing, the
persistent, unmet demands made of the modem-education paradigm form a
dichotomy with two distinct groups, modernists and postmodernists. One group of
adherents seek to support their modem-education paradigm, the others seek an
alternative. The significance of the term alternate resides in the epistemological
limits of modernism and the boundaries of its dissonant histories and voices
(Bhabha, 1994). As such, modem educationists work to defend their paradigm,
while persons seeking to replace it championed alternatives (Bauman, 1992;
Postman, 1999). Based on the success of the modem-education paradigm, the first
half of the twentieth century appears to belong to the modem educationists
(Berube, 1991). What has happened since then?
44


Response to Anomalies
During the 1980s, Americans and their leaders became acutely aware of
the link between the countrys economic wellbeing and the education of all its
students (Berube, 1991). The growing economic strength of Japan spurred some
to claim that America was losing the brain race (Kearns & Doyle, 1988). Any
doubts about the linkage between education and the economy vanished when the
U.S. Commission on Excellence in Education released A Nation at Risk (1983,
1984). The report stated that a rising tide of mediocrity (1983, p.5) was eroding
the educational foundations of American society, threatening the future of
America and its people. If America intended to maintain its competitive
advantage, all its schools and all students had to perform better. Americans heard
the alarm. Education in America came under unprecedented scrutiny. Reforming
education became a top concern of all state legislatures (Pipho, 1992, 1993a,
1993b; Weston & Walker, 1988). Policy makers in nearly every state enacted
laws intended to make schools more accountable for educational results (Elmore
& Fuhrman, 2001; Hill & Bonan, 1991), bolster certification requirements,
funding, length and number of school days, standards for particular subjects
(Biemesderfer, 2001; Mosle, 1996; Riley, 2002; Tucker & Codding, 1998), and
increase requirements for matriculation (Pipho, 1993a, 1993b).
Americans applied pressure on policymakers at every level of the
government to improve education. Pressure came from: (a) advocacy and research
groups (American Educational Research Association, 1984), (b) special interest
groups (American Federation of Teachers, 1995a, 1995b), (c) private businesses
45


(Barlow & Robertson, 1996; Committee for Economic Development, 1985; Davis
& Botkin, 1994; Mumane & Levy, 1996) and (d) communities (Hill, Campbell &
Harvey, 2000).
The new policies and practices they proposed included: (a) incentives
(Fuhrman & ODay, 1996; Odden, 1995), (b) multiculturalism (Giroux &
Robbins, 2006; McCallum, 1996; McLaren, 1997), (c) privatization (Friedman &
Friedman, 1980; Hill 1995; Solomon 2003), (d) redesign (Kearns 1988; Keams &
Anderson 1996), (e) restructuring (Darling-Hammond 1996), (f) standards (AFT
1995a, 1995b), and (g) assessment and testing (Baker & Mayer, 1999; Fuhrman &
Elmore 2004; Hillocks, 2002; US GAO, 1993).
With so much interest in education from so many quarters making so
many proposals, Kunin (1995) concluded that the increased scrutiny and interest
had created a situation where education, once Americas greatest common
denominator, had become a divider. The nationwide conversation about educating
all students to higher levels reached a point where the words reform and crisis
almost ceased to have meaning (Hardaway, 1995).
Amidst this milieu, the nations governors and president held a summit in
Charlottesville, VA, in 1989. They put forth a plan-of-action, with specific
measurable goals, for improving public education by the year 2000. They formed
the National Education Goals Panel (NEGP) to monitor and report about
Americas progress against those goals (US NEGP, 1991).
Nearly every report, blue ribbon committee, policy, and investment
concerning education issued after A Nation at Risk and the summit echoed a belief
46


that America could not maintain its economic superiority if its students performed
worse in school than their counterparts in other countries. As foreign competition
to American businesses increased, the echoes became louder, more frequent and
far ranging.
Efforts to improve education escalated throughout the 1990s to the
present. Americas governors and president convened another summit in 1996.
This time, they invited the CEOs of Americas largest companies to join them.
They convened still another summit in 1999. In the aftermath of the 911 attacks,
the United States Commission on National Security 21st Century (1999, 2001)
called for recapitalizing education as part of an overall security strategy for
America. The Partnership for 21s1 Century Skills (2002), comprised of technology
industry leaders, pushed for state education policies that linked high school
reforms, school redesign, and real-world skills. Fifteen of the nations most
prominent business organizations, including the Business Roundtable, the
National Association of Manufacturers, and the Software and Information
Industry Association forged an alliance committed to doubling the number of
science, technology, engineering, and mathematics graduates by the year 2015
(Business Roundtable, 2005).
Despite the alarms, echoes, reports, and polices described above, nearly
30% of all American students and nearly 50% of some minorities were not
graduating from high school (USNCES, 2004). Moreover, the income gap that
had narrowed among Americans from 1900 through 1950 widened from 1970
onward (Goldin & Katz, 2001). Notwithstanding five decades of attention, policy
47


change, intervention, and increased funding, America and its modem-education
paradigm appeared incapable of meeting the needs of the nation and its
businesses. Its critics were getting louder, normal research getting more
complicated, and the populations of students who were supposed to be well
educated were not. A number of authors concluded that despite unprecedented
efforts, America was still at risk (Bennett, Fair, Finn, Flake, Hirsch, Marshall, et
al., 1998; Gordon & Graham, 2003; Guthrie & Springer, 2004; Hayes, 2004;
Peterson & Chubb, 2003; Vinovskis, 2003).
Technology and Education
Not all hope, however, was lost. From 1983 to the present, the one common
element of all recommendations for improving education in America was the
extensive and effective utilization of personal computers (Shaw, 1998). The
recommendations reflect awareness that technology, especially personal
computers and the Internet (Berners-Lee & Fischetti, 1999), was a distinct
advantage for America and its businesses. Since both had transformed Americas
offices, factories, and retail establishments, many American leaders thought they
might transform education too (Shaw, 1998).
The hi-tech transformation of Americas businesses attracted much attention
from non-business sectors (Hoffman, 1994). Education was not one (Loveless,
1996). The typical American classroom circa 1985 did not have computers,
Internet access, or a teacher that wanted either (Fisher, Dwyer, & Yocam, 1996).
Research evidence about the educational use of computers and the Internet was
unconvincing and uninspiring. Researchers mostly considered whether there was
48


even a role for technology in schools (Dede, Zodhiates, & Thompson 1985; Van
Horn, 1991). They documented differences in computer usage by gender (Culley,
1988), grade-level (Rocheleau, 1995), and race (Wenglinsky, 1998).
Seymour Papert (1993a) viewed the issues differently. He believed that
technology might serve as a lever for changing education and society. He
identified two enduring themes for technology and education (a) children could
learn to use computers in masterful ways, and (b) mastery would change the way
they learned everything else (1993b). Van Horn (1996) postulated that a
dichotomy would soon exist between schools that embraced technology and those
that did not. In retrospect, Papert (1993a, 1993b) and Van Horn (1996) appear
prescient.
By the early 1990s, educators warmed to using educational technology.
Many hoped computers would make it possible for them to reach more students.
By the mid-1990s, the annual expenditure for educational technology in America
was $3 billion. Student-to-computer ratios became a proxy for educational quality
(CEO Forum, 1997, 1999, 2000). Where one computer for every 125 students had
been the norm in 1983 by 1995 one computer was in place for every nine students
(Dwyer, 2000). The World Wide Web became one of the most frequently used
technologies in schools (Becker, 1999). Teacher education programs began
offering courses about incorporating computers and the Internet into classroom
instruction (Breivik & Gee, 2006). Personal computers and the Internet, while
more prevalent, were still not widely used in instruction (Loveless, 1996).
Examples of school-wide use of computers and the Internet were comparatively
49


rare and isolated (Dwyer, 2000; Glennam & Melmad, 1996). One five-stage
framework describing beliefs and practices concerning integrating technology into
classrooms became a standard way to gauge integration and use of technology in
schools (Fisher, Dwyer & Yocam, 1996). The transition of educators from
nonusers to users of technology became a topic of study (Christensen, 2002;
Jonassen, Peck & Wilson, 1999; Mackenzie, 1998).
As computer and Internet usage became more commonplace and
investments in technology increased, attention shifted from usage to whether
investments in educational technology were paying educational dividends (Cuban,
2001; McKensie, 1999). The situation researchers encountered was not promising.
The frequency and type of use of computers in instruction appeared related to a
teachers (a) technical expertise and professional experience, (b) number of
computers in his/her classroom, and (c) involvement in her/his profession, both
within the school building and beyond (Becker, 2001). Researchers found that
teachers used new technologies far less in the classroom than they did at home,
and those who did use computers for instruction did so infrequently and
unimaginatively (Cuban, 2001). Moreover, the effective use of technology and
professional community was mutually supportive. Improved professionalism
created conditions for more effective use of technology (Dexter, Seashore &
Anderson, 2002).
By the early twenty-first century, the increased usage of computing devices,
Internet, hi-speed networks, and software in schools fueled a new hope that
computers and the Internet would improve the learning of all students (Gordon,
50


2000). The growing usage of computers contributed to new expectations about
their impact on teaching and learning (Valdez, 2000). Some expectations involved
students of low socioeconomic status for whom technology-enriched classrooms
appeared to have a positive effect on their learning (Page, 2002). Computers,
some believed, were the basis for a new literacy that would change how people
think and learn (DiSessa, 2000). Advocates argued that technological literacy was
not only important to childrens schooling but also to their economic future and
that of their nation (Roberts, 2000). Although the importance of such literacy was
established, the challenges associated with developing higher levels of technology
literacy and skills among teachers and other populations remained expansive
(Pittman, 2002). Positive educational outcomes were more likely when
technologies were "tools in the service of richer curricula, enhanced pedagogies,
more effective organizational structures, and stronger links between schools and
society (Kozma, 2003). After reviewing many studies, Marshall (2002) concluded
that regardless of the technological meanstelevision, computers, streaming
video when content presentation had purpose then students experienced that
content and attached new information to what they already knew.
A major barrier to the use of computers in schools remained getting access
to them whenever and wherever needed (Adelman, Donnelly, Dove, Tiffany-
Morales et al., 2002). In short, technological proliferation had reshaped but not
reduced the digital divide (USNT1A, 1999). High poverty school systems still
were more likely to require federal funds for technology than other school
systems (Ginsburg & Goodin, 2003).
51


Not surprisingly, computer deployment strategies changed after the mid-
1990s (Becker, 1999; Becker & Riel, 1999). The strategies ranged from having
(a) a computer in every classroom, (b) computers in labs, and (c) one computer
for every student and teacher (Figure 2.3).
One-to-one computing became a catch phrase for putting a computer in the
hands of every student and teacher. Rockman, Walker, Cross, Campbell, Dunn,
and Hughes (1997) and Rockman (1998) studied 800 schools that were part of the
Anytime, Anywhere Learning Program (Microsoft, 2007), through which every
student had access to laptop computers. They concluded that schools used
different deployment strategies and that overall there were positive changes in
student attitudes, motivation, and behaviors.
Not everyone viewed these educational technology developments positively.
For example, Bianchi (2004) questioned whether having computers in schools
was an expensive experiment. Vascellaro (2006) raised questions about the
proven benefits. Oppenheimer (1997) opined whether educational technology
52


would supplant art, music, and other programs. Bell and Rameriz (1997) reported
that students who are already at risk of educational failure often attend schools
providing the fewest opportunities for meaningful learning. These schools
typically provide less access to technology than do others. Leuven, Lindahl,
Oosterbeek, and Webbink (2004) evaluated the effects of two subsidies targeted at
disadvantaged youth in the Netherlands. They concluded that for the computer
subsidy there were negative effects. An investigation by Angrist and Lavy (2002)
concluded that computer-aided instruction did not have educational benefits that
translated into higher test scores.
Despite its detractors, a number of authors indicate that infusing technology
in schools, whether one-to-one computing or wide-area networks, appears to be
an accepted part of education in America (Bonifaz & Zucker, 2004; Lei & Zhao,
2006; Zucker, 2004). Many innovative technology initiatives are underway in (a)
schools (Bain 1993, 1996, 2004 and 2007; Bain & Huss, 2000; Bain & Smith,
2000), (b) school systems (Edwards 2004, Stallard & Cocker, 2001; Kerr, Pane, &
Barney, 2003), and (c) states (Bonifaz & Zucker, 2004; Mann, Shakeshaft,
Becker, & Kottcamp, 1999; Silvemail & Harris, 2003, 2004). Evaluations of these
efforts, while promising, remain inconclusive. Inconclusive is not good, because
as the cumulative costs of investing in educational technology increases
(Fitzgerald, 2003), educators and policymakers are more intent on making
decisions using scientifically based evidence (Barrow & Rouse, 2005). As the
literature about education and technology above indicates, fifteen years after the
technology revolution arrived on the doorsteps of Americas schools the evidence
53


suggests that although the revolution has not yet hit full stride it does have
potential for contributing to improved education for all students.
Alternate-Education Paradigm
Five constructs of practice are common throughout education. They are
instruction, access to information, modality, feedback about performance, and
parents (Bassey, 1999; Browning, 1979; Lawton & Gordon, 2002). Every
approach to educating childrenyesterday, today and tomorrowmakes a
commitment, in one form or another, to each of the constructs. The expressions of
the constructs of practice are what vary from activity to activity, approach to
approach, and paradigm to paradigm. The theory structure of the modem-
education paradigm contains commitments to specific expressions of the five
constructs of practice. The modem expressions are (a) group instruction, (b)
classroom and school time based access to information, (c) single learning
modality, (d) infrequent summative high stakes feedback about performance, and
(e) no engagement with parents.
As described earlier in this document, the modem paradigm has of late,
been unable to resolve three demands made of it. It is not (a) silencing its critics
(Averitt, 1994; Kunin, 1995; Leonardo, 2003; Provenzo, 2006; Spring, 1993,
2005; Tyack, 2003; Wallis & Steptoe 2006; Wolfe, 1996), (b) resolving issues in
normal research (Argyris, 2004; Carr, 1998; Davidson, 2004; Donmoyer, 1991,
1992, 1996, 2006; Elster, 1990), and (c) educating all students regardless of their
race, gender, disability, and cultural background (Bailey, 1992, 1996; Banks &
Banks, 2003; Holzman, 2006; Nieto, 2004). The persistent inability of the
54


modem-education paradigm to resolve these three demands indicates it is in a
state of crisis.
In such a crisis, some adherents seek an alternative to their paradigm that
can resolve their demands, explain phenomena, and guide their practice (Gutting,
1980; Horwich, 1993; Margolis, 1993; Weinberg, 1998). A central tenet of this
work is that the theory structure of an alternate-education paradigm contains the
same five constructs of practice as its modem counterpart, but its commitments of
each are expressed differently. This means that an alternate paradigm is
committed to an alternate set of expressions (a) differentiated instruction, b)
ubiquitous access to information, (c) accommodation of learning-modality
preferences, (d) timely formative and summative feedback about performance,
and (e) engagement of parents in their childs learning. A discussion of the
literature concerning each alternate expression follows.
Differentiated Instruction
According to Heacox (2002), differentiated instruction represents an
informative and practical approach to teaching that is student oriented. It is a
recognition that students vary in their needs, interests, abilities, and prior
knowledge (Tomlinson, 2004). When instruction is differentiated students work
toward the same ends but use different content, processes, and practices to get
there (King-Shaver & Hunter, 2003). According to Slavin (1995, 1996) all
students achieve at higher levels if they are grouped by ability, in heterogeneous
classrooms where teachers adapt the level and pace of their instruction.
Teachers often perceive an inherent conflict between differentiated
55


instruction which emphasizes variance among students and the grading system
that indicates rigidity and standardization and assumes a normal curve. The
perceived incompatibility stems from misunderstanding the essential principles of
differentiation and grading, and from entrenched classroom habits (Tomlinson,
2005). Collecting performance data from students is a key to resolving these
pedagogical conflicts and in shaping differentiated instruction (Brimijoin,
Marquissee & Tomlinson, 2003). Differentiating instruction involves three steps
(a) pre-assessing what children know and how they prefer to leam, (b) using that
information to modify lessons and units, and (c) implementing continuous
progress plans for the children (Roberts & Inman, 2007). As the emphasis on
scientifically based research to support instructional methods increases, so will
the need for teachers to have access to this type of information (Gregory, 2005).
While most instructors have no training to differentiate their instruction, most
have training about taxonomy of cognitive objectives (Bloom, 1956). When it
comes to assessment and grading in differentiated classrooms, teachers must
decide whether (a) grades and assessment reflect effort, (b) homework is graded,
and (c) report cards reflect distinctions (Wormeli, 2006). At a time when the one-
size-fits-all approach to instruction of the modem-education paradigm is having
difficulty meeting the goal of educating all students, the literature indicates that
differentiated instruction, the alternative, has potential to help meet that goal.
Ubiquitous Access to Information
Numerous authors report that ubiquitous access to information represents a
means to enhance the subject matter learned and the instruction and learning
56


processes at the same time (Barak, 2005; Means, Penuel, & Padilla, 2001; Valdez,
2000). Computers are the basis for a new literacy that is changing how students
think and learn (DiSessa, 2000; McNabb, 1997). Word processing, the Internet,
and email are the most valuable of technologies available to teachers and students
(Becker, 1999). While teachers and students find the Internet useful, its current
applications barely scratch the surface of what is possible (Berners-Lee &
Fischetti, 1999; Fisher, Dwyer, & Yocam, 1996; Gura & Percy, 2005).
The goals for providing ubiquitous access to information include (a)
reducing inequities among students, (b) raising student achievement, (c)
improving classroom culture, (d) making it easier to differentiate instruction, (e)
increasing student, and (f) parent engagement (Bonifaz & Zucker, 2004; Edwards
2004). The greatest inequities do not lie in how often computers and the Internet
are used but how they are used (Wenglinsky, 1998). Technology and teaching
methods when used together promote interaction among students and help them
achieve class goals (Zhu & Baylen, 2005). Electronic games help students of
varying abilities build hypotheses and design and conduct experiments (Fuller,
1986).
Application of various technologies is occurring across various curricula
(Hubbard & Feaster, 1995). Learning style and formative assessment are
significant factors affecting student achievement in a web-based learning
environment (Wang, Wang, Wang, & Huang, 2006). The use of computerized
assessment can be a valid, cost-effective replacement for the paper-and-pencil
version (Davis, Canney, & Kmitta, 2004; Hargeaves, Shorrocks-Taylor,
57


Swinnerton, Tait, & Threlfall, 2004). Improvements in teachers use of
technology depend heavily on the quantity and quality of the efforts to meet their
learning needs for integrating technology into their instruction (Adelman,
Donnelly, Dove, Tiffany-Morales, Wayne et al., 2002). In our zeal to embrace the
wonders of the electronic age, skeptics remind us to consider whether we are
sacrificing our culture in the process (Birkerts, 1994). At a time when the go to
school to gain access to information approach of the modem-education paradigm
is having difficulty meeting the goal of educating all students, the literature
indicates that ubiquitous access to information, the alternative to the modem
expression, has potential to meet that goal. Moreover, although large-scale studies
appear equivocal, small-scale efforts show new paradigm promise. Bain (2007)
for instance makes a strong case for self-organizing schools using real-time
feedback about the performance of all stakeholders.
Accommodation of Learning-Modality Preference
According to Jewitt, Kress, Ogbom, and Charalampos (2001)
accommodation of learning-modality preference involves method and media in
instruction and learning. Learning is a process of selection, adaptation, and
transformation across communication systems. The human brain, insofar as
scientists understand it, receives and processes various inputs, including visual
and aural, differently (Levitin, 2006). The multitude of definitions, models, and
instruments associated with learning-modality preference are often daunting to
educators (Desmedt & Valcke, 2004). Modality across different media produces
learning benefits (Dunn, Giannitti, Murray, Rossi, Geisert et al., 1990; Firstz,
58


1996; Moreno, 2006). All ethnic groups indicate major and minor preferences for
kinesthetic/tactile and visual learning styles (Burke & Dunn, 2002; Park, 2002).
The same is true for gender groups (Honigsfeld & Dunn, 2003). A study of
elementary-school student-preferred learning-styles found visual modality was the
most preferred and auditory' modality the least (Wallace, 1995). Five dimensions
for categorizing most learning styles are global-analytical, verbal-imaginal,
concrete-abstract, trial/error/feedback-reflective, and modality (More, 1993).
Teachers must first define their lesson then decide the best way to present it to
students. Lesson presentations are either passive or active (Huffman, Moseley, &
Peyton, 2002). It is best to expose students required to master new and difficult
academic material through their primary perceptual strength (Dunn & Dunn,
2005). A study of the impact of presentation graphics suggests that their use
enhances organization and clarity, entertainment and interest, and instructor
likeability (Apperson, Laws, & Scepansky, 2006). Several studies of
underachieving gifted students point to a connection between student learning
styles and classroom performance (Rayneri, Gerber, & Wiley, 2006). This
literature review indicates a relationship between modality and learning in (a)
English (Gage, 1995; Kim 2004) (b) chemistry (Goodwin & Smith, 2003), (c) life
science (Aegerter-Wilmsen, Kettenis, Sessink, Hartog, Bisseling et al., 2006;
Plourde & Klemm, 2004), (d) music (Miller, 2002), (e) social studies (Negron &
Ricklin, 1996), (f) sociology (Benson, Haney, Ore, Persell, Schulte, Steele, &
Winfield, 2002), and (g) special education (Mechling, 2005). A last point, the
strong modality effect must be weighed against the additional cost of developing
59


modality accommodating approaches (Ginns, 2005). At a time when the Ill
present the information and you learn it approach of the modem-education
paradigm is having difficulty meeting the goal of educating all students, the
literature indicates that accommodation of student learning modality preference,
the alternative, has potential to help meet that goal.
Timely Formative and Summative Feedback about Performance
Timely formative and summative feedback about performance is essential to
the learning process. In that process, feedback is the focus learning the goal
(Gardner, 2006). Feedback more complex construct than is oftentimes
acknowledged (Carless, 2006; Hattie, 1977; Hattie & Marsh, 1996, 2004).
Debates about the bi-polarity of formative and summative assessment have served
as surrogates for discussions about the role of instruction in advancing learning
(Roos & Hamilton, 2005). Formative and summative feedback both are valuable
ways of indicating student performance (Smith & Gorard, 2005; Wiggins 1998).
Although there is no best grading system (Guskey, 1994, 2002; Marzano, 2000,
2001; Marzano, Marzano, & Pickering, 2003), quizzes, tests, writing assignments,
and other such feedback processes help students leam (Guskey, 2003). Formative
assessments provide a snapshot of what a student knows and is able to do (Ayala,
2005). Formative feedback ranges from get it or dont to theory enhanced
formative assessment (Otero, 2006). Improving level and type of formative
feedback contribute to increases in student achievement (Black, Harrison, Lee,
Marshall, & William, 2004; Black & William, 1998). Strategic use of computers
(Mishra, 2006) and teacher-student email are valuable feedback tools (Hassini,
60


2006). Strategies that help students to monitor their own performance are
teachable (Donovan, Bansford, & Pelligino, 1999). When students voluntarily use
non-graded on-line study questions they score higher on course examinations
(Grimstad & Grabe, 2004). Combining direct explicit written and person-to-
person conference feedback to students increases student performance as
measured by error (Bitchener, Young, & Cameron, 2005). Multiple try feedback
is better than single try feedback in producing higher order learning outcomes
through computer based instruction (Clariana & Koul, 2005). Evaluations of
electronic voting systems show them to have formative and summative feedback
valuable to students and teachers (Draper & Brown, 2004). The literature review
indicates a relationship between providing feedback and learning in (a) biology
(Orsmond, Merry, & Reiling, 2005), (b) English (Krucli, 2004; Postholm, 2006),
(c) mathematics (Cavanagh, 2006), (d) music (Welch, Howard, Himonides, &
Brereton, 2005), (e) peer-tutoring (Anderson, Corbett, Koedinger, & Pelletier,
1995; Davis 2006), (f) science (Childers & Lowry, 1997), and (g) writing (Kim,
2004; Knipper & Duggan, 2006; Mabry, 1999). At a time when the summative
and high stakes assessment approach of the modem-education paradigm is having
difficulty meeting the goal of educating all students, the literature indicates that a
combination of timely formative and summative feedback about performance, the
alternative, has potential to help meet that goal.
Engagement of Parents in Their Childs Learning
According to Revenaugh (1992), parent engagement is an essential aspect
of child development and education. Engagement of parents in the education of
61


children, once a given is nowadays requires intentionality (Elkind, 1991, 1997,
1998). Intentional engagement involves collaboration between parents, school,
and community in ways that contribute to an integrated, social context in which
children can develop and learn (Chrispeel & Coleman, 1996; Epstein, 1995;
Hertz, 1988). Engagement involves three broad categories (a) parent-child
relationship within context of the family, (b) relationships between parent and
school, and (c) relationship between parent, school, and community (Henderson,
1987; Henderson & Mapp, 2002). A variety of activities indicates the relationship
between a parent and a school (Kroeger, 2005). A high level of parent
engagement does not necessarily indicate positive relationships between parents
and educators (Philipsen, 1998; Williamson & McElrath, 2003). A feeling of
ownership over the school is one of the decisive factors for parent engagement
(Philipsen, 1996). Schooling rarely actively engages parents (Sarason, 1995;
Schank, 2000).
Parent engagement is essential for the school success of a student (Comer
& Edmonds, 1989). Parent engagement effects a childs motivation to learn
(Ames, 1993), attitude about school, behavior in school, and academic
performance (Furger, 2006; Wherry, 2004). Engagement includes not only what
happens during the school day, but also how children spend their time away from
school (Cosden, Morrison, Guiterrez, & Brown, 2004). At the elementary school
level, high achievement in reading and mathematics is associated with more time
spent doing homework, more minutes of parent involvement, and more requests
from teachers for parent engagement (Epstein, 1988). At the middle school level,
62


parental involvement in their childrens homework contributed to higher
achievement test scores (Keith, 1992). A study of immigrant children found that
the most significant correlate for their success in school is a strong emphasis on
education shared by the child, parents, and peers (Fuligni, 1997).
School type (e.g., magnet school) is a factor in understanding parent
involvement in a school. Religion, income, and ethnicity contribute to the type of
school a parent chooses for a child (Bauch & Goldring, 1995). From a parents
perspective, knowing what to look for in a good school, how to talk to educators,
and how to push for changes are key to their successful engagement (Bennett,
Finn, & Cribb, 1999). Parents tend to favor engagement programs that stress
cooperation between school and home (Epstein, 1986).
Overall, the evidence indicates that although parents have rather
traditional views about education and teaching parents emphatically believe
improving schools is a top priority (Business Roundtable, 2000). Improved
engagement of parents in the education of their child involves some elements of
pressure and support that take into consideration parents schedules and needs
(McLaughlin & Shields, 1987). Under the No Child left Behind Act (Imber & van
Geel, 2004) parents with children in failing schools have the option of transferring
their children to other, non-failing schools. Parents must be engaged in their
childrens school in order to understand what causes a school to fail (Popham,
2005). Not surprisingly, the number of parent advocacy organizations is growing
dramatically (Yoest, 1996). At a time when the leave the instruction to us
approach of the modem-education paradigm is having difficulty meeting the goal
63


of educating all students, the literature indicates that active and intentional
engagement of parents in their childs learning, the alternative, has potential to
help meet that goal.
Chapter Summary and Discussion
The literature review confirms an interesting intersection of four concepts
(Figure 2.4) (a) paradigm change theory (Kuhn, 1996), (b) technology (Bain,
2004, 2007; Gura & Percy, 2005; McKensie, 1999), (c) education constructs of
practice (Bloom, 1956, 1976), and (d) expressions of those five constructs of
practice for an alternate-education paradigm (Marzano 2001; Marzano, Zaffron,
Zraik, Robbins, & Yoon, 1995).
Methods
Engagement Type
Question: To
which paradigm
is the school
committed?
Figure 2.4 Intersection of concepts
The intersection of these concepts is at the heart of this investigation of
commitments to an alternate-education paradigm made by four schools. The
literature supports (a) the modem-education paradigm being in crisis, (b) the
potential for a new paradigm whose theory structure contains the expressions of
the five constructs of practice for an alternate-education paradigm, and (c) an
64


investigation of those commitments using qualitative methods. A summary
follows.
Kuhns (1996) theory provides a paradigm context for the current
condition of education in America. According to the literature, in that context the
modem-education paradigm emerged in the early 1900 after education in America
went through (a) disparate (Commager, 1976; Kliebard, 1985), (b) idiosyncratic
(Berube, 1991, 1994; Conant, 1962; Sizer, 1964; Wilentz, 1992, 2005), and (c)
school of thought (Kliebard, 1985, 2002, 2004; Tyack, 1967) stages. The theory
structure of the modem-education paradigm contains commitments to five
constructs of practice. They are expressed as (a) group instruction (Cremin, 1961,
1988; Cremin & Barrowman, 1956; Cuban, 1984), (b) classroom and school as
primary access point for information (Conant, 1959a, 1959b; Counts, 1932;
Kaestle 1991; Sizer, 1976), (c) single modality (Muller, Ringer & Simon, 1987;
Spring, 2005), (d) infrequent, summative feedback about performance (Cremin,
1980, 1988, 1990; Cubberley, 1900, 1905, 1970), and (e) non-engagement of
parents in their childs learning (Fenske, 1997).
The literature indicates that the modem-education paradigm is having
difficulty (a) silencing its critics (Leonardo, 2003; Provenzo, 2006; Ravitch 2000;
Spring, 1993;Tyack, 2003), (b) supporting normal research (Argyris, 2004; Carr,
1998; Cook & Levi, 1990; Davidson, 2004; Donmoyer, 1991, 1992, 1996, 2006;
Elster, 1990), and (c) assuring equality of education across student populations
(Banks, 1995, 2001, 2002; Honingsfeld & Dunn, 2003; Kleinfeld, 1998).
65


Kuhns (1996) theory posits that, if a paradigm experiences the type of
persistent difficulties described above (1957), then it is in crisis and another
paradigm that can resolve the difficulties may ascend (1977b). The ascendancy
will be evident in changes in the constellation of assumptions, beliefs, concepts,
constructs, practices, tools, and values that comprise the theory structure of a
paradigm (1977a).
Since the theory structure of the modem-education paradigm contains
commitments to specific expressions of the five constructs of practice, support for
an alternate-education paradigm is demonstrable by engagement with the
expressions of the five constructs to which the alternate-education paradigm is
committed. The expressions are identifiable (Bloom, 1956). A number of authors
indicate the veracity of each (a) differentiated instruction (Brimijoin, Marquissee,
& Tomlinson, 2003; Heacox, 2002; Tomlinson, 2004, 2005), (b) ubiquitous
access to information (Davis, Canney, & Kamitta, 2004; Means, Peneual, &
Padilla, 2001), (c) accommodation of learning modality preference, (Jewitt, Kress,
Ogbom, & Charalampos, 2001; Kim 2004; Miller, 2002; Moreno, 2006) (d)
timely formative and summative feedback about performance (Guskey, 1994,
2002, 2003; Hattie & Marsh, 1997, 2004; Knipper & Duggan, 2006; Mishra,
2006; Orsmond, Merry, & Reiling, 2005), and (e) engagement of parents in their
childs learning (Henderson & Mapp, 2002; Kroeger, 2005; Schank, 2000).
In sum, the literature presented in Chapter 2 supports the basic tenet of this
study, that engagement with an individual-construct expression of an alternate
paradigm by an educational stakeholder indicates the stakeholder is crossing the
66


border from the modem-education paradigm. Engagement in aggregate is
evidence of an alternate-education paradigm. Chapter 3 presents the methodology
for investigating the phenomenon under study.
67


CHAPTER THREE
METHODS
This case study investigates the commitments to an alternate-education
paradigm made by four schools as measured by the engagement of their
stakeholders with the expressions of five constructs of practice. Chapter 3
presents a multiple-method strategy for gathering and analyzing data about the
phenomenon. It has eleven sections: (a) theoretical background for case study
methods, (b) school selection, (c) school descriptions, (d) school samples, (e)
data-gathering instruments, (f) data gathering support, (g) data gathering
management, (h) data gathering sequence and schedule, (i) data analysis methods,
(j) researcher bias, and (k) chapter summary.
Theoretical Background for Case Study Methods
The nature and role of research in the social sciences are evolving
(Angrist, 2004; Atkisson, Coffey, & Delamont, 2003; Bogdan & Biklen, 1992;
Lofland, 1971; Oldfather & West, 1994). For many educational researchers
working in the 1970s and 1980s, the growing acceptance of qualitative research
represented more than a just new methodological option. It was a sign that the
field had undergone a revolution (Donmoyer, 2006). From this revolution,
qualitative research emerged as an umbrella concept covering five forms of
inquiry. The forms of inquiry are (a) naturalistic, emphasizing the explicatory
68


power of context, (b) descriptive, emphasizing the observation of detail (c)
heuristic, emphasizing social processes, (d) inductive emphasizing nature, and (e)
participant observation, emphasizing interpreting meaning from the participants
perspective (Bogdan & Biklen, 1992; Creswell, 1998).
Each form of inquiry helps researchers interpret social phenomena with as
little disruption of the natural setting as possible (Merriam, 1988, 1998). The
forms utilize procedures that (a) complement conventional quantitative methods,
and (b) emphasize the negotiation of multiple socially constructed realities,
interdependence of facts and values, and emergence of evaluation processes
(Guba, 1979, 1987). Using these practical, credible, and reliable procedures,
researchers can draw valid meaning from qualitative data (Miles & Huberman,
1994).
Qualitative research, by its nature, provides contextually bound findings
about phenomena within research settings (Merriam, 1988, 1998; Oldfather &
West, 1994). Acts, activities, meanings, participation, relationships, and settings
are among the phenomena that researchers interpret qualitatively (Lofland, 1971).
These interpretations foster a professional expectation among researchers that
qualitative research will add to, or replace, quantitative descriptions of the
situation, characters, and contextual concerns in research (Cizek, 1995). As the
expectations for qualitative research grow, so does a secondary literature
(Huberman & Miles, 2002). The emerging literature represents a range of
approaches available to qualitative researchers for collecting and analyzing data
69


(Coffey & Atkinson, 1996) and some approaches involve mixed-methods research
(Creswell & Plano-Clark, 2007).
In education, qualitative research represents a way of thinking about
knowing and knowledge and a conceptualization of generalization, validity,
and reliability (Eisner & Peshkin, 1990). Case study is a qualitative approach.
Early literature contained many references to case studies but little agreement
about what constituted a case study (Lincoln & Guba, 1985; Merriam, 1988).
Eventually agreement about the approach emerged. According to Yin (2004), case
study has at least four different applications (a) explaining the casual links in real-
life settings that are too complex for experimental strategies, (b) describing the
real-life context in which phenomenon occur, (c) illustrating the phenomenon
itself, and (d) exploring situations in which the phenomenon studied has no clear,
single set of outcomes.
Case study procedures help researchers interpret situations in their
uniqueness as a part of a particular context and the interactions therein (Patton,
1980, 1987, 1990). Specifically, the procedures enable collection and analysis of
non-quantitative data reflecting stakeholders viewpoints and practices. The
accumulation of data from case studies and other qualitative approaches informs
and guides future research (Barrow & Milbum, 1990; Lijphart, 1971; Wagner,
1993). For example, the late 1970s and early 1980s saw qualitative methods
combined with conventional quantitative methods in the study of teacher
effectiveness (Brooks, 1985; Brooks & Rogers, 1981; Brooks & Wilson, 1978).
Results from these studies influenced research methods on teacher effectiveness
I
70


toward qualitative methods. It became clear that qualitative methods had an
important place in the research on teaching, schools, and educational reform, in
part because the rich observational and interview records would often
complement and support less descriptive but statistically important quantitative
data (Berliner, 1986).
Case study is now a widely accepted methodology for qualitative research
in education. Its epistemological and methodological issues are well-documented
(Anderson, 1989; Stake, 1995). The quintessential characteristic of case study is
its emphasis on obtaining a holistic understanding of cultural systems of action
(Feagin, Orum & Sjoberg, 1991). Not surprising, the approach is preferred when
educational research questions concern events over which the investigator has
little or no control. For example, Brooks (1999) combined online teacher survey
data, stakeholder interview data, and direct observation data to confirm the
systemic and cultural advances thought to be achieved by stakeholders at a middle
school that had received a full complement of intranet and internet technology
resources. According to Brooks, the combination of qualitative methods made it
possible to assess whether the status/power relationships in the school had
flattened due to the presence of technology resources. Brooks also concluded that
Internet access had dramatically reshaped instructional lesson planning in the
direction of using resources available on the internet to shape and present lessons.
The combination of survey, interview, and observation data increased the
confidence of these conclusions. Further, a case study approach uncovers the
interaction of significant factors characteristic of the phenomenon within a real-
71


life context when the boundaries between phenomenon and context are not
evident and multiple sources of evidence are available (Yin, 2004).
Like other qualitative research approaches, case study has four key
elements: particularistic, descriptive, heuristic, and inductive, (Bogdan & Biklen,
1992). These four elements can contribute to the discovery of new relationships,
concepts, and understanding as well as the verification of predetermined
hypotheses (Feagin, Orum, & Sjoberg, 1991). Of the four elements, this study
involves three. This study is particularistic because it investigates a particular
program or entity (i.e., technology-rich schools). This study is descriptive because
it gathers enough data to make it possible to report about multiple constructs (e.g.,
differentiated instruction). This study is inductive because it is generalizable to
theoretical propositions (i.e., paradigm shifts) and not to specific populations or
universes (Merriam, 1988, 1998). Moreover, the interpretation of those data
involves emergent designs and negotiated outcomes of naturalistic research
(Guba, 1979).
In education, case study methodology is especially useful in presenting
basic information about areas with little research. Innovative programs and
practices in education are often the focus of descriptive case studies because such
investigations form a database for future comparison and theory building
(Lijphart, 1971; Wagner, 1993).
Numerous strategies exist for analyzing case study data and ensuring its
validity (Merriam, 1988, 1998). Ethnologic or semiotic are two strategies for
interpreting meaning within phenomenon. The ethnologic strategies analyze the
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meaning of processes and the outcomes that those processes produce among
stakeholders. Semiotic strategies analyze surface phenomena as an expression of
deep structure. The semiotic approach, like its ethnologic counterpart, tends to
seek stability of meaning (Feldman, 1995). In education, this means that even
when a surface expression (e.g., differentiated instruction) changes, the deep
structure (e.g., construct of practice) remains unaffected so the underlying
meaning remains unchanged.
Two specific approaches are the interview (Merriam, 1988, 1998; Mishler,
1986) and participant observation (Spradley, 1980). This study involves both. The
interview is a qualitative data-generating tactic often used by educational
researchers. One strategy views the interview as a type of discourse that is a joint
product, shaped and organized by the asking and answering of questions (Mishler,
1986). Participant observation is another frequently employed method in
education for gaining a deeper understanding of phenomena than could be
obtained through interviews and questionnaires (Spradley, 1980).
As the number of case study investigations in education increases (Eisner
& Peshkin, 1990), those inquiries become deeper, more complex, and more
problematic. In an attempt to create order among the increasingly complex
qualitative methods, goals were established (Krathwohl, 1993). This and other
order-creating efforts assume investigators have a basic sense about what
constitutes good research (Krathwohl). The increased application, clarity, and
orderliness makes qualitative research a valuable educational research option.
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Case study is now a well-established approach for answering how or why research
questions and interpreting uncontrollable events in education (Yin, 2004).
Despite its popularity, case study methodology has several inherent
limitations. Those limitations surface as internal and external threats to extended
inference (Yin, 2004). Data reliability and predictably are the most common
internal threats. One limitation is that clusters of data tend to stick together
(Feldman, 1995). Clustering depends both on the researcher gathering the data
and the members of the study sample from which the data is gathered (p. 2).
Another limitation involves respondent accuracy and cross-validation of
respondent records and remembrances (Campbell & Stanley, 1963). That is why
single-explanation methodologies so often are unreliable (Campbell, 1975).
External threats to validity typically involve sampling limitations. The first
reason is because authority and influence are widely distributed across the
education system, and neither is easily analyzed (Koemer, 1968). When a person
with power avoids investigation, such limitations are exacerbated (Kipnis, 1976).
The second reason involves objectivity. One does not have to read widely in the
contemporary methodological and theoretical literature for education to encounter
questions about objectivity in qualitative, especially case study, research (Eisner
& Peshkin, 1990; Phillips, 1990; Rorty, 1991; Scheffler, 1967).
Regardless of the limitations discussed above, educational researchers
continue to employ case study methods (Merriam, 1988, 1998). When carefully
constructed, case studies of real-life situations, issues, and problems contribute
much knowledge about education. This study adds to that tradition by
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investigating four contemporary schools. At the schools, boundaries between
phenomenon and context are unclear (Yin, 2004) and multiple sources of
evidence exist. The phenomenon that I am investigating is the commitment of
schools and their stakeholders to an alternate-education paradigm as indicated by
their engagement with the expressions of five constructs of practice for that
alternate paradigm. Each school is a naturalistic (Guba, 1979) context that
reflects heuristic meaning on multiple levels. Each is a complex system of
assumptions, beliefs, interactions, practices, and traditions. The nature of that
theory structure reflects their commitments to an education paradigm. As such,
the four schools in the study represent a unique opportunity for gaining a deeper
interpretation and better understanding of the paradigm commitment phenomenon
through inductive (e.g., reasoning) and participatory (e.g., on-site) methods. The
case study approach is an ideal approach for investigating that phenomenon at
each school.
School Selection
Because the study is an early stage investigation of paradigm change in
education, one of its implicit purposes is guiding future investigations. In this
regard, this study, as such, presents and applies a methodology for assessing
school commitment to an alternate-education paradigm (Lijphart, 1971; Wagner,
1993). Rather than study schools with similar locations, composition, philosophy,
and organization, I decided to investigate schools representing a cross-section of
the contemporary American educational establishment. The schools in the sample
represent (a) public and private education; (b) elementary, middle, and secondary
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levels; (c) charter, pilot, and conventional governance relationships; (d)
technology availability; (e) diverse student populations; and (f) rural, urban, and
suburban locations. Rather than investigate any schools in these categories, 1
opted to investigate schools with a demonstrable record of educational innovation.
Rather than investigate a variety of innovations, I opted to investigate schools
with a common innovation. Each school is a leader in the innovative use of
technology in the education. Although the application of technology varies across
the schools, they nonetheless share a commitment to using technology
innovatively. The cross-section of schools each with a commitment to the
innovative use of technology provides a robust sample for investigating
commitment to an alternate-education paradigm. A description of the four schools
follows.
School Descriptions
This section presents descriptions of the four schools investigated in the
study. All meet the criteria discussed above.
School 1
School 1 is a private residential secondary school located in rural New
England. Three hundred sixty tuition-paying students attend grades nine through
12 and represent a cross section of aptitude, race, gender, and disability. Student
population is 13% Asian, 5% black, 1% Hispanic, and 83% Caucasian. In 1993,
the board of directors committed the school to a robust, learner-centered,
research-based curriculum based upon a school design model (Bain, 1993, 1996,
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1999). The approach involves comprehensive school restructuring including
restructuring curriculum and instruction, human resource management, and
feedback and evaluation (Bain, 2004; Bain & Huss, 2000; Bain & Smith, 2000)
based upon a theory of self-organizing schools (Bain, 2007). By making the
commitments, School 1 became the first part of a comprehensive school reform
model and one of the first educational institutions in the world to require students
and staff to use laptop computers. The curriculum design drew heavily from
research about learning organizations (Resnick & Hall, 1998), system thinking
(Senge, 1994, 1999, 2000), curriculum design (Bain 1993, 1996, 1999), individual
mastery (Bloom, 1976), collaborative decision-making (Bain, 2007), and high
expectations for student performance (Slavin, 1996, 1999, 2002, 2004).
School 2
School 2 is part of a large urban school system located in the northeastern
part of the United States. The system is one of the oldest in the America. School 2
opened as a pilot high school in September 2002. Seventy-five students, selected
via random lottery, enroll annually. Four-year enrollment is three hundred
students. Student population is six percent Asian, 53% black, 28% Hispanic, and
13% Caucasian. Eighty-five percent of students are eligible for free-and-reduced
meals. The school is an exception to the examination system employed
throughout the school system. In that examination system, students typically take
a high school entrance exam in the 6th grade to earn seats in the three exam high
schools. Students who do not do well on the exam go to traditional high schools.
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In 1994, the school system established a network of pilot schools to meet
the needs of students who were underserved. School 2 is part of the pilot network.
It provides students a challenging technology-based, interdisciplinary curriculum.
Its motto is Engaging All Students through Technology. School 2 is the first pilot
requesting accreditation from the New England Association of Secondary
Schools.
School 3
School 3 is part of the fourth largest county school system in a large
southeastern state. The school system serves an expansive urban area, has over
80,000 students, and uses the Balanced Scorecard. The scorecard, used by many
schools in the state, is a popular strategic management tool intended to drive
performance. The approach drives implementation of strategy using financial,
customer, business process, learning, and growth perspectives (Kaplan & Norton,
1992, 1993, 1996). School 3 opened as an elementary school in fall 2000, earning
charter status in January 2005. Seven-hundred and twenty-two students age five to
twelve attend grades pre-kindergarten through five. Sixty-four percent are non-
English speaking language proficient. Twenty-one percent of the students are
Caucasian, 79% minority, with 48% of the overall student population African
American. The schools charter calls for (a) using talented and gifted strategies
with every child, (b) requiring involvement of all parents, (c) using urban studies
and hands-on environmental programs, (d) using talented and gifted, and
enhanced language arts pull out programs, and (g) requiring parental oversight
through a school advisory council. The school is the first Designated Professional
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Development Focus School (DPDFS) in the state. In that role, it collaborates with
the college of education at a nearby state university and serves as a laboratory
school for developing best teaching practices later shared with teachers
throughout the state. The Southern Association of Schools and Colleges accredits
the school.
School 4
School 4 is part of the sixth largest county school system in a large
southeastern state ((Department of Education, 2005). The educational roots of the
system trace to 1850. The county is the sixth fastest growing in the United States.
School 4 opened as middle school in August 2000. Approximately 1,660 students
attend grades six through eight. Fifty percent of the students are Caucasian. 39%
African American, 5% Hispanic, 3% Asian, and 3% interracial. Thirty-two
percent of the overall student population is eligible free-and-reduced meals, 17%
participate in early intervention programs, and 12% are in special education
(Department of Education, 2005). As part of the schools continuous
improvement effort, it implemented the Balanced Scorecard (Kaplan & Norton,
1992, 1993, 1996) approach, using the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) to
guide strategic planning. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
accredits the school.
Study Coordinator
The head of each school (e.g., principal) assigned a person to be the study
coordinator for their school. The four study coordinators were essential to this
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investigation. That person (a) provided information about their school, (b)
supported securing approval to study the school, (c) helped in selecting site leader
and instructor group samples, (d) obtained written consent from the samples, (e)
collected school documents, (f) distributed and collected surveys, and (g)
arranged for interviews and observations.
Sample
The sample (Krejcie & Morgan, 1970) for the study comes from the four
schools described above. At each school, I worked with the head of school and the
study coordinator to review and select the sample participants. I asked to them to
identify a representative sample of their school leaders and instructors. The head
of school and study coordinator proposed a list that we in turn discussed. In one
instance, we made adjustments so that the sample became a more representative
cross section of courses offered at the school. In another instance, we made
adjustments so that the sample became more representative of grade levels at the
school. All participants were competent, professional adults whose participation
was voluntary. The stakeholder sample consisted of a site leader and an instructor
group at each school. The site leaders do not provide instruction to children, the
instructors do. Each participant knew that he or she could withdraw at any point
during the study. The total sample for the study was 58 participants: 18 site
leaders and 40 instructors.
The study sample at School 1 consisted of 15 participants. The school had
99 fulltime staff, 41 non-instructional and 58 instructional. Ten participants were
instructors and five site leaders. The instructor group represented a cross section
80