Title

Conditions that facilitate implementation of a career development program to promote gender equity in middle and junior high schools

Date of Award

1995

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Instructional Design, Development and Evaluation

Advisor(s)

Donald Ely

Keywords

middle schools, Curricula, Teaching, School administration

Subject Categories

Educational Administration and Supervision

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which Ely's (1990) eight conditions that facilitate implementation of an educational innovation (dissatisfaction with the status quo, knowledge and skills, participation, resources, commitment, leadership, rewards and incentives, and time) were present in New York state junior and middle schools using an innovation to promote career development and gender equity.

Four schools were studied, two of which initially appeared to be farther along in achieving their implementation goals than the other two. The vehicles for data collection included surveys, interviews, and site visits. These were used to gather perceptions of the accomplishment of school implementation plans, and conditions in the schools.

Faculty and staff users of the innovation, identified by school project coordinators, were subjects for the study. Perceptions of the conditions were determined from responses to survey statements. Open-ended comments related to the conditions were also gathered from the survey and interviews. Site observations were a also conducted at the schools.

Approaches for assessing school implementation plans included an adaptation of Rosenblum and Louis' (1981) "scope of use" concept. This was used to examine extent and pervasiveness of the innovation in the schools. Kirkpatrick's model (1975; 1979) was used to examine types of student assessments resulting from use of the innovation. Fullan's (1991) standards were employed to investigate areas of the schools affected by innovation-related activities.

The results indicated that Ely's (1990) conditions were present in all of the schools. The two schools which were initially perceived to be farther along appeared to have achieved their implementation goals, albeit not to the depth initially expected in one of the schools. The two schools that initially reported problems continued to have problems in meeting their goals. However, one possible explanation for the presence of the conditions at all sites is that all the schools demonstrated that change occurred, and the changes were at least partially comparable to the formal description of what was intended.

The results indicate that Ely's (1990) conditions are an appropriate tool for examining factors in schools which affect implementation of innovations. They also suggest the importance of teachers having the knowledge and skills about the content of an innovation, and knowledge of how to manage the change process. The importance of school leadership also emerged as an important factor to teacher morale and commitment to use of the innovation.

The findings seem to indicate that the combination of Ely's conditions with other approaches (Roseblum and Louis, 1981; Kirkpatrick, 1975, 1979; Fullan, 1991) may provide further researchers with a useful scheme for examining school implementation efforts.

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