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Restructuring Schools: Fourteen Elementary and Secondary Teachers' Perspectives on Reform

Joseph Murphy, Carolyn M. Evertson and Mary L. Radnofsky
The Elementary School Journal
Vol. 92, No. 2 (Nov., 1991), pp. 135-148
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1001812
Page Count: 14
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Restructuring Schools: Fourteen Elementary and Secondary Teachers' Perspectives on Reform
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Abstract

In the mid-1980s, the reform movement sweeping America's schools was redirected from repairing schooling to restructuring the entire educational enterprise. Since that time, a good deal of attention has been devoted to chronicling the opinions of educational experts and policymakers on the topic of school reform. Yet few efforts have been made to include classroom teachers' voices in discussions on restructuring. In this article, we report on one exploratory study that begins to address this oversight. We interviewed 14 teachers with diverse roles in their schools about their views on the restructuring movement in general. We wanted to hear what they thought of the concept and to determine what effects they anticipated in restructuring schools. We also elicited their perceptions about what changes they would make in both the schools and classrooms if they were thrust into a school undergoing restructuring. We found that, although in some ways the views of these teachers were consistent with prevailing perspectives in the restructuring movement, in other cases, their preferences were at odds with the literature on restructuring. We concluded that, although these teachers are optimistic about the possibilities of fundamental school reform, they remain skeptical about their ability to change the current educational system.

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