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Title:Planning and Designing Illinois Public School Facilities: An Ethnographic Study of the Process
Author(s):Westbrook, Kathleen Cwik
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Ward, James G.
Department / Program:Education
Discipline:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):Education, Administration
Architecture
Abstract:The study investigates the factors influencing decision making in public school planning and design, and how those factors rank in importance. The study takes the approach that architects, superintendents, and principals view the role of facilities differentially based on individual professional orientation. It assumes that educational objectives of designers and managers differ, and as a result, educational settings may not properly serve the needs of users.
The study design takes a qualitative approach, using techniques of ethnographic investigation. Data is gathered from semi-structured interviews (N = 12), a self-report instrument (N = 29), and archival and trace materials. The study population included all superintendents, principals, and architects of Illinois public school districts receiving Capital Development Board capital program funds in fiscal years 1984, 1985, and 1986 (N = 20 buildings in 17 districts).
Three informant districts were iteratively selected based on willingness to fully participate by architects, superintendents, and principals for the interview portion. Analysis provided a database of cultural domains and linguistic idioms for an introductory taxonomy on facility decision making. Additional review of policy documents and professional guidelines on the aging of school structures, fiscal stress, and deferred maintenance added depth and triangulation of informant and self-report data.
The findings reveal informants did not substantially differ in their perspectives. Informants noted events leading to the planning and construction of Illinois facilities in informant sites were only loosely linked with the implementation of educational programs, but closely aligned with acquisition of fiscal resources. Decision strategies to acquire resources were designed to operate successfully within a tacit, assumptive policymaking world. This knowledge was used to circumvent an established, highly formalized system, and substitutes a more operative system for improved anticipation, planning, and provision of adequate elementary and secondary facilities. Implications were explained, and recommendations were made, for educational administration and design practice, and for Illinois policymaking.
Issue Date:1987
Type:Text
Description:231 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1987.
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/69171
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8803231
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1987


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