THE UNCHANGING NATURE OF HIGH SCHOOLS: AN ACTION RESEARCH
Murphy, Patrick Comerford
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This purpose of this action research study was to improve communication pathways and feedback loops used by one school district in its attempt to create a common use of time in high schools to maximize resources and improve student learning. Part of this study's intent was to solicit and protect the voices of institutional entrepreneurs in their efforts to challenge the traditional modes of doing business. In doing so, it was anticipated that our high schools would be better situated to respond to the adaptive challenges with which they are faced today. A major outcome of the study was a better understanding of the necessity for inclusion of stakeholders on the frontend of a change initiative. Resistance, while substantial during the first change attempt, was much more muted the second go around. Secondly, this study confirmed that being part of the same financial system tied to the state plays a role in the isomorphic nature of organizations as evidenced by the eventual directive by the superintendent for one school to change to become more like other schools in the district.