How Does a Seventh-Grade Language Arts Teacher Adjust Instructionl Practices when Introduced to a Scheduling Change, Namely Block Scheduling

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Virginia Tech

The influences of school reform on the instructional practices of a seventh-grade language arts teacher was the focus of this study. This study was conducted in three phases: an ethnographic study, a pilot study, and a case study. The ethnography focused on the restructuring committee's proceedings, yielding information relating to the origin of reform efforts. The pilot study, stemming from the ethnography study, explored the instructional practices within a block scheduling format. Finally, the case study, investigated the viewpoints of the restructuring efforts as perceived by the participants. Data sources consisted of observations, formal interviews, previous and current classroom assignments, school reports, student surveys, and field notes. The data were analyzed, noting changes in curriculum intent, instructional approaches, assessment, and classroom management. The results of this study suggest that this teachers' success occurred as a results of the school division's posture toward restructuring and the teacher's level of readiness and intense personal desire for change. The implications for this study suggest that success in reform depends greatly on the approaches used in decision making, the level of teacher preparation and ownership, and the perspectives of all individuals involved.

time and learning, language arts, school reform, block scheduling