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Title:The relations between the formal structure of educational governance and classroom practice
Author(s):Hsu, Chao-Sheng
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Westbury, Ian
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Mathematics
Education, Administration
Education, Curriculum and Instruction
Abstract:It is a pervasive belief among those concerned with school governance that policy makers can and do steer school practice through such instruments as external tests and examinations, teacher evaluation systems, teacher certification codes, mandated curricula, and the like (Cohen, 1990; Cohen and Spillane, 1992). It seems that there are systematic relations between curriculum policy and classroom practice.
Stevenson and Baker (1991) explored the relationships between using the SIMS Population A data. They found that in educational systems with tight national control over curriculum, classroom teachers are more likely to teach the same mathematics curriculum than those in systems with provincial or local control over curriculum. Their findings were however derived from an analysis in which data were aggregated across courses and curriculum topics within systems.
In this study, we examined the relations between governance structures and classroom practice using the SIMS Population A and Population B data. We used the variation of content coverage within individual courses in each system to examine our research question and the SIMS topical areas as criteria. The study found that there are no systematic associations between patterns of coverage variation and level of control of curriculum. It seems that coverage variation is not associated with the formal structure but with curriculum itself, a framework which determines patterns of content coverage and creates the context for the classroom teaching practices.
Finally, we used Meyer's "institutional theory" to interpret the findings. The resource of authority and control within schooling does not derive from its "skeleton" or internal framework (i.e., its organization) but from an "exoskeleton" of shared social understandings held in common in a culture or social system (i.e., its institutional framework).
Issue Date:1993
Rights Information:Copyright 1993 Hsu, Chao-Sheng
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9411654
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9411654

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