A case study of lower secondary school reform, renewal and culture
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The case study examines the outcomes of a process of re-structuring, renewal and cultural change in a school undergoing transformation from a senior high school to a middle school. The research investigates the impact of school improvement initiatives on the school and classroom culture and learning environment after 12 to 18 months of reform implementation.The research approach is a developmental mixed method investigation utilising quantitative and qualitative data collection procedures. The study proceeded through two stages: Quantitative surveying of students and parents prior to the implementation of school improvement initiatives; and quantitative and qualitative surveying of students and parents after 12 and 18 months, respectively, of reform implementation and application of the treatment.Evidence of change in the college and classroom culture and learning environment was evident after twelve months. The case study identified that students and parents identified changes in a number of elements of the classroom culture and learning environment. These included improvements in home-school communications, involvement in classroom planning and organization, relationships between teachers and students, school culture and evidence of pedagogical change. The research also identified that change had not occurred in the attainment of student learning outcomes, educational values and parent confidence to assist students in their learning.It became apparent that change in the organisational culture had occurred within the first 12 to 18 months. However, change to the deeper cultural dimensions of educational values and student learning outcomes were less in evidence.
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