Effectiveness of interdisciplinary team organizational pattern of one-half of a seventh-grade class compared with traditional departmentalized pattern of the other half of the seventh-grade of a selected American middle school in Europe.
AuthorHall, Linda Karen.
Committee ChairConley, Sharon C.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis study was designed to address the core characteristic of middle school education, that of interdisciplinary team organization. During the 1991-92 school year the seventh grade class in an American middle school in Europe was divided into two organizational structures. Half of the students were assigned to the interdisciplinary team organizational structure which became the experimental group. The other half were assigned to the traditional departmentalized organizational structure, which became the comparison group. Three research questions were asked in an attempt to measure student outcomes from exposure to the different organizational structures. Those questions were: (1) Will the academic achievement of students in the interdisciplinary team organization differ from students in the traditional departmentalized organization? (2) Will the behavior of middle school students in an interdisciplinary team organization differ from that of middle school students in a traditional departmentalized organization? (3) Will the attendance of middle school students in an interdisciplinary team organization differ from that of middle school students in a traditional departmentalized organization? Data was collected on five different measures to compare these three student outcomes of academic achievement, behavior and attendance. For the first question of academic achievement, test scores from the Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills and students' semester Grade Point Averages were used to compare the differences between the students in the experimental and comparison groups. For the second question of behavior, quarterly administrative discipline referrals and students' conduct grades were used to compare the differences. For the third question of attendance, quarterly attendance figures were used to compare the differences. By using multiple regression analysis, two of the five measures of student outcomes were found to be statistically significant, one in favor of the interdisciplinary team organization and one in favor of the traditional departmentalized organization. The measure of academic achievement using the Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills was found significantly in favor of the experimental group and the attendance data was found significantly in favor of the comparison group. For the three other measures, there were no significant differences found between the students exposed to the interdisciplinary team organization and those exposed to the traditional departmentalized organization.
Degree ProgramEducational Administration