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Title:Local initiatives as a response to external mandates: A case study of the ability to develop and sustain local response
Author(s):Patterson, Paul Mack
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Prestine, Nona A.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Administration
Abstract:This case study focused on local initiatives developed in four arts areas: music, drama, dance, and visual arts. These initiatives were developed for grades K-6 in response to an external mandate, the 1985 Illinois Education Reform Legislation. Four questions were examined in this study within the framework of what is known from research about the process of change. First, the forces that shaped and formed the development of these initiatives were identified. Second, the current status of these initiatives were examined. Third, an understanding was developed of the ways the external mandate was adapted to local circumstances. Finally, the border issues associated with sustaining local response were identified and discussed.
The focus of this study, referred to fictionally as Fairview School District, received two Comprehensive Arts Planning Grants of the Illinois State Board of Education. Initiatives were developed in all four arts areas and each initiative was adapted to fit local circumstances. Findings reveal that Fairview made opportunistic use of these grant funds primarily to further two local priorities; the establishment of a comprehensive curriculum and assessment for elementary music, and the development of a proposal to reinstate the elementary art program that had been eliminated in the mid-1970s. Both initiatives are currently in use. Interest in drama initiative continues because it supports a district initiative in the use of whole language. The dance initiative has not developed broad usage.
Dance and drama initiatives were developed as add-ons, while the music and art initiatives embodied the total instructional approach. Findings reveal that reform efforts might be better served if they focus on the core of instruction rather than add-ons. Key factors in the ability of Fairview to sustain these initiatives include the importance of a high personal stake in the reform effort and an informed leadership. The finding of this study is that a high personal stake is an essential factor that can lead to sustained support for reform initiatives.
Issue Date:1994
Rights Information:Copyright 1994 Patterson, Paul Mack
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9503292
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9503292

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