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Author Spies, Paul Christopher
Title The dynamics of implementing and sustaining interdisciplinary teams in departmentalized high schools: A comparative case study of challenges and supports
book jacket
Descript 464 p
Note Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 60-06, Section: A, page: 1894
Supervisor: Alan Lockwood
Thesis (Ph.D.)--The University of Wisconsin - Madison, 1999
The research reported in this dissertation is the result of a comparative, qualitative case study of two high schools which have implemented and sustained numerous interdisciplinary teams for the past several years. The central question of interest which guided this study related to the nature of challenges and supports encountered with this reform which can be a threat to the century-long traditions of high school education; namely, the separate-subjects, factory model approach to curriculum, instruction, and scheduling. Through interviewing dozens of teachers and administrators at both school settings from May 1998 to October 1998, examining program documents and making observations of team activities, a conceptual framework of support related to implementing and sustaining interdisciplinary teams was developed. The initial conceptual framework included several possible forms of support as well as a support continuum ranging from tolerance to advocacy based on the researcher's understanding of the innovation as a former team teacher and consultant in various high schools
After synthesizing the findings from both schools in this study, four dimensions of support were found to be essential to team sustenance along with numerous supports found to be either important or welcomed, but not as critical as the four deemed essential. These four interdependent and not singularly sufficient forms of essential support are conceptualized as Participatory Support, Structural Support, Leadership Support, and Environmental Support. Essential Participatory Supports included teacher willingness, student and parent choice, and team teacher compatibility. Essential Structural Supports included common planning time for team teachers, common groups of students, and smaller-than-average class sizes. As for Leadership Support, advocacy from teacher and administrative leaders in terms of administrative duties as well as interpersonal, philosophical, and political support related to teams was also found essential to program sustenance at each school. Finally, essential Environmental Supports for the teams were found to include district and state learning standards as well as collaborative and risk-taking school cultures. The most important yet not essential form of support for sustaining interdisciplinary teams at each school was teaming-specific professional development experiences
School code: 0262
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 60-06A
Subject Education, Curriculum and Instruction
Education, Secondary
Education, Administration
Alt Author The University of Wisconsin - Madison
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