An Elementary School Speaks Out: Their Decision To Initiate An Innovation
Vartenisian, John Paul
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(ABSTRACT) This study is a retrospective examination of elements that influenced one elementary school staff to initiate and implement a school-wide innovation in their reading program in 1990-91. This school served 315 preschool children through grade three in small town set in the rural countryside. Case study methodology was used to discover how the change was initiated; why the particular program elements were chosen; the role of the staff, the principal, and the parents played in initiating the innovation; and what lessons this schoolâ s experience may have for school reform. As the school community planned for the initiation of their new reading program, the â whole languageâ approach to reading was gaining momentum. The notion of â early interventionâ was popularly used to describe a variety of methods educators were using to deal with evidence of reading failure in young children. Their stories describe the challenges this school staff felt as they attempted a year-long initiative to merge phonics and whole language into a holistic approach to reading for grades one through three. Findings were reported around seven central themes emerging from the data collection, including: 1) empowerment, 2) academic improvement, 3) shared vision/beliefs, 4) collaboration, 5) focus on childrenâ s needs, 6) site-based decision making, 7) participatory leadership.
- Doctoral Dissertations