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作者 Robertson, Stuart Paul, Jr
書名 Forces that shape alternative educational environments: A case study of a charter school
國際標準書號 9780549449355
book jacket
說明 162 p
附註 Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 69-01, Section: A, page: 0175
Adviser: Judith Davidson
Thesis (Ed.D.)--University of Massachusetts Lowell, 2008
The charter school movement is attempting to impact educational structure by creating new instructional settings. Supporters see chartering and charter schools as a vehicle to improve student achievement and a catalyst for increased innovation within the public school system. Available research from sociology, the creation process, and school reform movements contains important suggestions for undertaking such an endeavor. Much of the current charter school research focuses on the operation of existing charter schools or the academic achievement of their students. There is, however, a lack of available research on the initial creation and implication phases, which would assist in understanding the future success or failure of a charter school
The original question guiding the research was: What relationships exist between cultural beliefs and expectations and charter school founders' beliefs and expectations; and how are they reflected in the structure of the educational setting? There were three secondary research questions that were to be used to help clarify the major question: (1) To what extent does the new school represent a departure from existing cultural beliefs and existing school structures? (2) To what extent does the new school reproduce existing cultural beliefs and existing school structures? (3) To what extent do the founders serve as agents of cultural reproduction and agents of cultural transformation? As the study proceeded, lack of participation on the part of the founders forced the emphasis to shift more from the overarching question originally proposed to the subquestions
A literature review provides the theoretical underpinnings of the study. It contains an examination of four strands of literature: one focused on selected sociological theories, especially the concept of habitus put forth by Bourdieu; another on the creation of settings; a third reviewing historical aspects of school reform, and, finally, descriptions of the experiences of various charter schools. A discussion of emerging themes across the literature categories follows
This is a qualitative study employing the case study methodology. A charter school in its third year of operation was selected. Data collection methods included a demographic questionnaire, observations, interviews and a review of documents. Data were organized and analyzed using a computer-assisted qualitative data analysis software (CAQDAS) program called NVivo 7RTM. Other topics discussed include access, ethics, validity and trustworthiness, subjectivity, role of the researcher, and representation and presentation of the findings
Three major findings emerged from the analysis of the date. First, the charter school is not a vast departure from other public schools; it is more a variation on theme. Second, there are external forces bearing on the school that limit its ability to deviate from the cultural and societal definition of what a "real school" is. Third, as the school grows, people once attracted to the organization by the possibility of creating an alternative educational environment, begin to impose more traditional structures in response to growing complexity
The implications of these findings for practitioners, policy makers, and researchers are discussed. There are three important areas of concern that must be addressed if we are to make the most of the opportunities for meaningful educational reform offered by charter schools. These are: (1) to attend with depth and thoughtfulness to the process undergirding the development of the charter that guides the new school's mission and development; (2) to consider the full range of infrastructure issues that charter schools must attend to; and (3) to provide support and attention to the early stages of growth and development in the charter school, where founders' vision is supplemented by implementer's know-how
School code: 0111
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 69-01A
主題 Education, Sociology of
Education, History of
Education, Curriculum and Instruction
Alt Author University of Massachusetts Lowell
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