Toward Democracy: A Case Study of High Involvement in One Elementary School
Edwards, Jeanne Denise
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The need for giving all stakeholders a greater voice in schools is well documented in the school reform and change literature of the eighties and nineties. Many schools across the United States have attempted to implement numerous plans to increase involvement with varying degrees of success. This case study describes how involvement has developed for administrators, teachers, staff, families, students, and community members in one high involvement elementary school. A list of characteristics of high involvement was developed from the current literature to aid in the identification and selection of a high involvement school site for the study. Potential sites were nominated by the Virginia Department of Education Field Representative serving Southwest Virginia. Directors of instruction or elementary supervisors in the nominated districts were contacted and asked to name high involvement schools in their divisions. Three schools were selected for site visits based on the convergence of the nominations. The school having the highest number of characteristics observed or mentioned during the site visits was selected for the study. Interviews were conducted with administrators, teachers, parents, students, and community members to gain an understanding of how involvement developed at the school. One week was spent interviewing, observing involvement activities, and studying available documents on site. Data from the study were used to describe how involvement developed at the school. Ten themes relevant to the development of high involvement at the school are identified and discussed. Findings are examined in relation to school culture, leadership, and schools as organizations. Implications for practice and further research are suggested.
- Doctoral Dissertations