The excellence reform movement: Sixteen years later. Teacher perspectives from an Arizona school district
AuthorWyman, Gregory Alan
AdvisorHendricks, J. Robert
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe latest educational reform movement to sweep across the American educational landscape was called the excellence reform movement (Berube, 1994). This reform movement received extensive media and political coverage and has impacted the education system for past 16 years. This movement has been characterized by waves of reforms, each with a specific focus. The end result was a series of reform initiatives that touched all segments of the educational system. There was a question as to the impact of the reform movement in the classroom. This study sought to gather the perspectives of teachers, from an Arizona school district, on the impact of reform initiatives emanating from the excellence reform movement. The study, framed by the theoretical context of educational change and Etzioni's compliance theory, utilized questionnaire and interview methodologies to collect teacher perspectives. Specifically, the study focused on the impact of reform initiatives on teaching practices in the classroom and factors that influenced teacher decision-making regarding implementation of reform initiatives. Using a multi-method study, an analysis of the data revealed a limited impact of the reform initiatives from the excellence reform movement in the classrooms in this particular district. Teachers indicated it did not matter whether the impetus for a reform initiative came from the state, locally or external to the system the impact was minimal on their practices. The role of teacher compliance with mandated educational reform was discussed utilizing Etzioni's compliance theory (1975). The study revealed that teachers' as lower-level participants in the educational organization complied with mandates from various levels within the educational organization. The analysis suggested this study supported previous studies regarding factors that influence teacher acceptance of reform initiatives (Huberman, 1989/1993; Murphy, Evertson, and Radnofsky, 1991). Specifically, teacher ownership in the reform, rewards and sanctions, and the role of the principal were three factors that impacted teacher decision-making regarding the implementation of reforms.
Degree ProgramGraduate College