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A school improvement program and the process of teacher change: An ethnographic study

Judith Ann Obert, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The purpose of this study was to explore the nature of attempted curricular change as part of a school improvement program through the experiences of five selected teachers living the process. The researcher was a co-teacher with the selected teachers and was also involved in the attempted change. Because of these factors, the researcher chose the ethnographic qualitative research model for research. Data for the study were collected through the use of a research journal; observations of meetings, training sessions and the selected teachers; artifacts collected during the course of the study; and interviews done with the selected teachers. ^ Analysis of the data led to the following conclusions: (1) School improvement plans that do not include teacher input from the conception of the program create barriers to teacher acceptance that inhibit the acceptance of any curricular change. (2) The administrative leaders of the school improvement plan must have a clear vision of the goals and implementation of the program. Flexibility must be part of the school improvement plan to take into account the social structure of the educational institution and the human nature of the shareholders of the plan. Without a clear vision from the leaders of the program, the teachers will experience confusion that will lead to non-acceptance of the attempted change. (3) School improvement plans in the high school setting must consider the various perspectives and unique curricular needs of the diverse content area teachers who are part of the high school environment. Construction of a plan without considering these unique needs will create intense resistance and non-compliance in some content areas. ^

Subject Area

Anthropology, Cultural|Education, Administration|Education, Curriculum and Instruction

Recommended Citation

Obert, Judith Ann, "A school improvement program and the process of teacher change: An ethnographic study" (2006). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3208127.