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The Richmond young writers’ project 1979-1984 Hunter, Jane 1993

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THE RICHMOND YOUNG WRITERS' PROJECT 1979-1984 bY C. JANE HUNTER B. Ed., The University of British Columbia, 1987 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS  in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Centre for the Study of Curriculum Sr Instruction) Faculty of Education We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA April 1993 © C. Jane Hunter, 1993  ^  In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission.  (Signature)  Department of Cafri2,At  CVALIvti 47A ,A.WC/11-61 t-Li -  The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada  Date„,  DE-6 (2/88)  9  -  ^  atiA^celAv-e  ii.  ABSTRACT Richmond School District successfully implemented in 1978-1984 an innovative approach to the teaching of writing--the writing process. This study sought to determine why teachers participated in developing a new writing curriculum in their schools, what characteristics of the setting promoted these curriculum development practices, and what curriculum leaders did to promote teacher participation in curriculum decision making. Historical evidence for this thesis included interviews with eleven participants in reform, including the curriculum leader with greatest responsibility for its implementation. In addition, various print and manuscript documents provided a basis for interpretation of pertinent events. As policy study this thesis described and analyzed the practices and experiences of the school district that embodied the implementers' values. A single teacher-leader in the district accounted for much of the change in teacher practice. A district-wide emphasis on writing process praxis was further supported by the school board and the district's senior staff. Specific social characteristics of the curriculum development setting, Richmond School District, help account for the adoption of the reform. The study argues for the importance of; (a) selecting the most appropriate innovation for implementation, (b) empowering participants in educational reform, and (c) an effective change agent to inspire participants. Implications for educators and recommendations for further research came from these insights.  TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract ^  ii  Table of Contents ^  iii  List of Tables^  vi  Acknowledgements ^  vii  CHAPTER ONE Overview of the Thesis ^  1  Administrative and Social Features of the Innovation ^3 The Role of the Teacher ^  3  Obstacles to Educational Change ^  5  Leadership Roles and Styles ^  6  Rationale and Methodology^ Sources^  10 10  Definition of Terms ^  13  Writing Process ^  13  Teacher Development^  14  Implementation^  14  Change Agents ^  15  Limitations of the Study ^  16  Overview of the Chapters ^  17  CHAPTER TWO The Setting ^  18  The Context^  20  The Timing^  24  Choosing the Writing Process ^  32  The Writing Process Explained ^  34  iv. CHAPTER THREE Implementation Procedures Begin^  42  Reform in Richmond in Light of Literature on Change ^ 43 Project Scope^ 46 Active Commitment of District Leadership^ 48 The Role of District Curriculum Coordinator^ 50 Intentional Emphasis on Teachers and Classrooms ^ 52 Local Staff Was Available for Classroom Assistance ^55 The Role of the School Curriculum Coordinator ^ 56 Teachers Had the Opportunity to Observe Similar Projects ^ 58 Conditions Necessary for Critical Thought^ 61 Regular Meetings Were Held ^ 63 Teachers Were Able to Participate in Reform Decisions ^64 Some Project Materials Were Locally Developed ^65 Principals Were Involved in Training ^ 65 Local Variability vs. Uniformity ^ 67 Belief in the Reform often Follows Practice ^ 67 External Consultants Were Used ^ 68 Characteristics of the Innovation^ 68 Expansion Commences^ 72 CHAPTER FOUR Reaching Beyond the District ^ The Richmond Writing Project^  73 74  The Young Writers' Project^  76 Summer Art &Writing Institutes ^ 78  1983 Teleconference^ Training Teachers^ Visiting "Experts" and Authors^ Workshops^  79 80 81 82  v. Parents' Role in Educational Change ^  83  The Momentum Falters ^  84  B.C.'s Political Education Climate 1981-1983 ^ 84 Richmond's Political Climate 1981-1984 ^  87  CHAPTER FIVE The Reform Experience Explained and Justified ^ 90 Reform Topic Choice--Who Chooses? ^  91  Changed Teachers--Selfless or Selfish? ^  93  The Essence of Leadership ^  96  Shifting the Power Base ^  99  Implications for Further Research ^  102  Notes ^  104  References^  106  Appendices A Interview Questions ^  116  B Personal Interviews ^  118  C Richmond Language Arts Reps Meeting Agenda #3 ^ 122 D Sample of Newsletter ^  124  E. Timeline of Significant Events ^  126  vi.  LIST OF TABLES TABLE 1: Richmond's Population by Sex, Showing Ethnic Origins ^  19  TABLE 2: Table of Organization-Proposed Model Richmond School District # 38 ^  100  vii.  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS  The writer wishes to express her thanks and deep gratitude to the senior supervisor of this study, Dr. William Bruneau, for his wisdom, patience, and valuable guidance given willingly throughout each stage of the writing of this paper. Appreciation is also extended to Dr. Kenneth Slade and Dr. Wendy Sutton for their thoughtful and sound advice on matters of curriculum and methodology. To the administrators and teachers of Richmond School District, I extend my thanks for their willing participation in this project. Lastly, a special thank you goes to my family for their unwavering patience and support of my involvement with this study.  1.  CHAPTER ONE The reform scene of today is a kaleidoscopic confusion of contending interests, of different assessments of need, of rhetorical panaceas and jarring hopelessness. David Tyack, The One Best System (1974, p. 289)  Overview of the Thesis In fall 1979, the senior staff of Richmond School District made a decision that would eventually change the pedagogical and social outlook and practices of the entire administrative unit. This decision led to the subsequent investment of substantial energy, money, and time in implementing a single, unifying elementary Language Arts curriculum--the "writing process"--in district classrooms. This thesis is a study of the professional, curricular, and administrative evolution of the district from 1978 to 1984, emphasizing the introduction of the writing process and thereby including two moments of significant administrative decision. In the first, Richmond's senior staff, following the advice of their director of instruction, chose Language Arts, in particular the adoption of the writing process, as their first and primary professional development goal for the years 19791984. In the second, also on the recommendation of its curriculum staff, senior officials chose to appoint a newcomer to the district--Linda Kaser--to the position of Curriculum Coordinator: Language Arts Elementary. These were crucial elements in a sequence of events I wish to describe and to explain. Their main consequence was a long-lasting pedagogical development whose overall impact in the district has yet to be fully understood. I shall argue for the causal force of the events in which I am interested, but more importantly, shall propose thematic explanations based on a study of developments then and since.  2. I begin with a picture of the school district of Richmond, its social and educational characteristics, and its "preparedness" (Fullan, 1991) for the innovation in question. In judging "preparedness," it will be useful to consider Richmond teachers' contributions to the development of various provincial curricula prior to 1979, the school district's links with the University of British Columbia, and the district's attractiveness as a "progressive" and pedagogically stimulating district. In this case,"progressive" means that Richmond's curricular, budgetary and accountability policies, particularly as described by a joint teacher/ administrator Task Force released in 1979, were explicitly supportive of critical and creative thinking in public schooling. These policies, and the various documents in which they were incorporated, both summarized and stimulated pedagogical discussion among teacher and administrative groups. In general, Richmond's development suggests that timely administrative action coupled with imaginative applications created the desired effect of durable educational reform. During these years district teachers and administrators became aware that they had yet to jettison their "sage on the stage" approach to schooling. They became publically more committed to a more child-centred, experienced based, learning-focused view. In this they expected to be supported by B.C.'s Ministry of Education. The Ministry was in a position to be supportive, as the mood in both provincial and international language education circles was broadly accepted to be one of progressive change, as described. This "change process" was highly complicated. As Richmond's case comes to light, the curricular implementation under examination may appear elaborate and complex. It is a major goal of this paper to describe straightforwardly the implementation plan developed and adapted by the various participants, keeping  3.  in mind certain key themes.  Administrative and Social Features of the Innovation In studying the writing process's origins, and in its subsequent growth to widespread popularity, I hope to show how, in any curriculum implementation, it is crucially important that a reform attract and hold the commitment of its intended beneficiaries. Fullan (1991) believes that if reforms are to be successful, individuals and groups must agree with what should change as well as with how it will change. In Richmond, over two-thirds of the elementary teaching force became involved at one time or another with the writing process innovation. In regard to the communication of innovations, a number of questions will be considered. How does an innovation, defined as a new idea, practice, or product, diffuse to the members of a social system? What attention should be paid to the attributes of an innovation before attempts at implementation? In Richmond, what were teachers' perceptions of the writing process and how far was successful implementation dependent on positive teacher perception? The Role of the Teacher Elementary school teachers must constantly deal with new ideas (whether or not they adopt them), teaching strategies, organizational patterns, and curricular directives coming from, district, Ministry of Education, or the wider world. The number and nature of these pressures, coupled with student diversity and the "multidimensionality, simultaneity, immediacy, unpredictability, publicness, and history" (Doyle, 1986, in Good and Brophy, 1987) of the workplace, make successful implementation of a curriculum reform more difficult than it might otherwise be.  4.  Rosenholtz (1989) likens a teacher's workplace to a "whirlwind panorama" where, because teachers hold varied understandings, expectations, and cognitions of school life, their behaviours follow suit. To reiterate a fundamentally important theme, Fullan and Hargreaves (1991) maintain that "teacher development" implies more than changing teachers' behaviour; they argue it also implies placing teachers and their development at the heart of educational change. They further contend that to neglect teachers' attitudes and belief systems in explaining the fate of a reform would be both misguided and eventually ineffective. In order to decide whether this particular curriculum reform involved teachers in this way, I propose to examine the meaning of teacher development mainly by describing teachers' participation in programme implementation, curriculum design, and teaching methodology and how their participation affected their reflective practice, career development, and even their lives. This does not mean that my argument need ignore the intentions and plans of administrators and other leaders, as indeed it does not. Fullan and Hargreaves (1991) state: Meaningful collaboration requires having substantial and ongoing things to collaborate about. This means that teachers and principals must be given more control over curriculum and instruction. Dumping curriculum packages on teachers, however sophisticated and worthwhile they might be, ultimately tends to make teachers deskilled and dependent. (p. 101) In this study, I describe how Richmond teachers assumed responsibility for the development, solidification, and subsequent expansion of the writing process strategies in classrooms around the province of British Columbia. They began moving into the province without pre-packaged materials and/or proposals for  5.  practice. The leading ideas of the writing process evolved with use and dialogue among users, as did the "package" that Richmond teachers proposed to the rest of the province.  Obstacles to Educational Change That substantial numbers of Richmond teachers adopted the writing process strategies as part of their teaching repertoire does invite explanation, particularily in light of obstacles to educational innovation. Recent and influential studies of teaching in the sociological and psychological traditions suggest a number of widely generalized impediments to change. First, teachers have habitual internalized images of what teachers do in classrooms, how they teach and organize children and tasks. These images may well be instilled early in a teacher's personal and professional life. To change the ways teachers function requires replacing old images with new and different ones. Second, teachers tend to become attached to familiar pedagogical routines. Familiar teaching repertoires allow economy of effort. Hence, innovations that require changes in content and practice are likely to be met with resistance by experienced teachers who have determined comfortable routines. Too often, educational innovations are considered "add-ons" to already overloaded curricula and teaching schedules. Third, the persistence of school norms and rigid school culture often thwart attempts at educational change. Lortie (1975), Simon (1988), Apple (1983), Giroux (1989) have considered ways pervasive norms of schooling shape attitudes, create inequities, and often reproduce the injustices of the larger society. My point is not so much to argue for the correctness of this body of work as to make it clear that in the  6.  adoption of an educational innovation, the routines and norms of schools, especially a reform like the writing process, which encourages open-ended inquiry, creativity, and imagination, attention must be paid to the educational priorities and cultural expectations already in place in schools. Although this thesis does not, then, add to the body of critical social studies of schools, it takes those studies into account. A fourth obstacle is teacher isolation. Most teachers spend much of their time alone in classrooms with children with little opportunity to communicate about teaching with colleagues. Attempts at educational reform that do not provide teachers with the time or the opportunity to come out of their rooms to discuss their own teaching as well as to learn about new techniques have a poor prognosis. Finally, from the point of view of this study, a fifth obstacle to educational change could be described as the distance between the subjects of the change, teachers and students, from the originators of the change, who are often central office personnel and other such politically powerful figures. Typically, teachers are on the receiving end of policy and have little hand in its formation. To assume responsibility for creating and refining policy means assuming responsibility for the consequences. I intend to show how Richmond teachers became sufficiently empowered to interpret and to mediate the writing process innovation, although not without help and support from building principals and district administration. Leadership Roles and Styles Writings on the role of administrative practices in promoting and sustaining systemic educational change are extensive. Evidence indicates that administrative action and teacher commitment, along with the other factors mentioned above, are instrumental in determining whether a programme becomes a durable part of the  7.  curriculum. Miles' (1983) work shows principals will or should become involved in implementation as pressure from teachers to belong to the "movement" rises. School administrators in Richmond who listened to the teachers and sensitively supported teachers' changing practice by providing time for discussion and money for resources, tended to be more successful in fostering long-term changes in teacher practice than administrators who did not. Leithwood (1989) describes feelings of inadequacy among many principals in fostering teacher development. These feelings, he has found, are a result of a principal's unclear image of teacher development and uncertainty about the most appropriate role to assume in it. Leithwood discusses how the multidimensional nature of teacher development confounds well-meaning administrators. Considerations such as professional, psychological, and career-cycle developments lead to different lines of inquiry about teacher development. What a principal should do to foster teacher development is described as finding her own way to approach every teacher in her own world, attempting to meet individual needs. It is unlikely that the commitment of Richmond administrators was as rigourous or as active as Leithwood would have preferred. Regardless, many Richmond administrators felt the compunction to take part in professional development activities alongside their teachers. They eventually became equal and important partners in implementation. Hersey and Blanchard (1988) echo Leithwood's findings. They describe effective leaders (principals) as people whose strengths lie in technical, conceptual, and humanistic areas. They argue for an emphasis to be placed on human skills because "we must recognize that the organizations in which most managers operate  8. are complex social systems" (p. 9). The authors emphasize the importance of seeing and sensing the "wholeness" of any organization. Another--and not a competing--explanation for the implied success of the writing process implementation in Richmond was the presence of a single teacher/ leader who helped solidify the reform and elevate it to a higher intellectual and professional level than it might otherwise have reached. I shall assess and explain this person's influence upon the teachers, parents and principals with whom she worked. Corbett and D'Amico (1986) reinforce the belief of many researchers that a kind of "hero" is necessary in educational improvement. Linda Kaser was in this sense a "hero," a hero who created other heroes. This phenomenon has precedent in historical analysis. Thomas Carlyle (1966) dramatically interpreted events in history in terms of great personalities. He quips, "the common herd must be drilled, led, and punished by their superiors." This opinion is not unlike that of Nietzsche, who proposed the notion of the superman--the Great Man--who embodies the spirit of the time and represents simultaneously the essence of the individual and the universal. I will argue for partial acceptance of this reworked, somewhat romantic "great person" theory to explain the power of Ms. Kaser's leadership, although I do not suggest any close analogy with Carlyle's and Nietzsche's superpersons. The difficulty with any such theory is that it plays down the crucial roles of participants other than the "hero." I intend, as my discussion of the literature shows, to consider the roles, reasoning, and activities of all participants insofar as evidence permits and as the logic of the research question allows. Parents from the outset of the reform in the late 1970's, spoke favourably of  9. the writing process initiatives. They were invited to participate in evening writing workshops at their children's schools where they heard about writing classrooms. During these sessions they also wrote about and discussed their reactions together. In 1984, political events in the province and hence in the district worked against the momentum of change and growth. The imposed provincial government's restraint programme and its accompanying moratorium on professional development days was an obvious impediment. Internally, a new superintendent made decisions with far-reaching negative consequences. Yet despite these forces, the writing process remained a central feature of instruction in Richmond classrooms into the late 1980s. The thesis therefore considers the durability of this innovation. An understanding of formal organizational structures and relationships among individuals in the district and in each school is a consideration. These structures and relations, I argue, resulted in improved teacher practice and successful curricular implementation. By "improved," I mean increased or increasing teacher awareness of children and mastery of knowledge, ideas and skills required in order to hold students' attention. By "successful," I mean a stable, widespread curricular implementation based largely on research-derived understandings of the priorities of teachers and students, and the consequent tailorings of the innovation. My study is intended to describe conditions in which Richmond teachers, instructional leaders, and students found themselves during the years of concentrated implementation of the writing process innovation. (See Timeline of Significant Events, Appendix E)  10. Rationale and Methodology This study is designed to yield a clear description of how control over the implementation of a curriculum innovation was shared by both the "above" and the "within" of the school district (Apple, 1983). As more teachers became involved, the movement grew and acquired the effective force to implement the writing process in many Richmond elementary school classrooms. Sources In order to gather points of view from persons having widely various experience of the writing process reform, I chose to interview eleven people who could offer a cross-section of memories and interpretations of the events of those years. These persons were of both genders, included both teachers and administrators, followers and leaders, participants all. Although most events took place more than ten years ago, two observations about viewpoints and memory require inclusion at this point. First, taking part in the writing process implementation in Richmond was a significant and formative event in these participants' lives by their own accounts, and also by the standards of significance that I shall here advance. Participants' memories of their involvement in implementation initiatives were clear, vivid, and positive. Second, perhaps because of this, there was congruence among the personal accounts of these events regardless of the individual's role or time of participation in the reform. All the teachers and building principals interviewed worked in Richmond elementary schools during those years. I chose not to include secondary school teachers and administrators in my sample as the implementation of the writing process designed for them was on a separate timeline and of a  11.  distinctly different pedagogical emphasis. The eleven subjects selected for this study variously experienced the writing process implementation as it took place in Richmond from 1979 to 1984. All subjects approached were willing and eager to contribute to the project and thus all were interviewed. For the purposes of this study, it was my intention to choose the most involved, energetic, and possibly most instrumental participants in the construction and implementation of the reform. It was also my intention to focus on people who had been positively affected by participating in the reform so that there would be minimal risk of misunderstandings in the nature of the data and its interpretation. First, Don Lintott and Jim McPherson, from Richmond's district office, played important roles in selecting and supporting the writing process initiatives during the early years. District office curriculum support personnel, at first Vivianne McLelland followed by Linda Kaser and Kit Grauer, acted as key motivators and creative consultants throughout those years. Principals Brian Eyjolfson and Alan Warburton led what then was termed "writing schools" and thus could be considered to hold firm opinions on how the writing process professional development activities affected their schools, teachers and students. Chris Mann, Betty Eades, Sheila Borman and Faye Brownlie, at the time were all elementary school teachers and in schools engaged in the writing process initiatives. These teachers have continued to be professionally interested in the evolution of the teaching and learning of writing. Interview subjects were encouraged to express their memories and thoughts informally, but all participants responded to questions dealing with key themes. These questions varied, but only in superficial respects, according to the experience  1 2.  of the subject and are listed in the Appendix. The selection of evidence from interviews was based upon several criteria. Inclusion of subjects' various interpretations and expressions of opinion was decided not because these opinions supported a preconceived, preferred idea but rather because they fit categories according to their similarities with other responses. At no time were data discarded because of their discrepant nature. Each interview was read as a whole and considered within a wider context of what was popular and acceptable during those times. This procedure was intended to satisfy the requirements of internal criticism (Johnson, 1946). Difficult questions were not avoided and often certain shared information was cross-checked (Thompson, 1986). Details that could not be verified by at least one other source were not included in this study. A second major source of primary documentary evidence include the district's personnel records, teacher newsletters, memos, minutes of school board and curriculum planning meetings, newspaper articles, statements of educational theory and professional development goals, personal correspondence, and publicity materials. In-camera or regular school board minutes were not available for examination at this writing (School Act, sec. 19 (2) [1989]). As a participant in the reform I describe, I have a personal/ professional relationship with the interview subjects and a somewhat positive attitude toward the writing process innovation. I have, however, offered argument and evidence throughout this study that could be replicated and that will bear analytic and critical scrutiny. Since my neutrality cannot be assured, as can no investigator's (Nagel, 1986), I have, throughout, tried to shift the emphasis toward the data. In this study,  1 3.  the beliefs and assumptions I bring to the investigation have been and will continue to be stated. The contexts will be clearly described. Confirming the communicability of the findings rests with the clarity of interpretation.  The thesis should be considered a kind of hybrid, a mix of historical inquiry on the one hand and administrative/ sociological policy study on the other. As historical inquiry, this thesis describes and explains events 1979-1984. As policy analysis, it considers the values, opinions, plans and goals of sponsors, participants, and affected audiences. In considering the overlapping of these two methods of inquiry, a number of theories of educational change turned out to be helpful in prompting appropriate questions that I may not have asked before exploring these theories.  Definition of Terms Writing Process Although elementary school teachers always have been required to teach writing, pedagogy and methodology necessarily come into the question of how best to help them engage in professional development. The educational community began to take note in the late 1960s of a body of research about composing that suggested new pedagogies. These changes in the theory and practice of the teaching of writing in Language Arts classrooms deserve extended discussion (Britton, Burgess, Martin, McLeod, & Rosen, 1975; Graves, 1984; Hillocks, 1986; Myers, 1978; Moffett, 1976 & 1979; Smith, 1982; Wilkinson, 1986).  14.  Teacher Development For some teachers, the press to change their instructional practice results in stress. Grimmett (1991) describes this phenomenon as a "high pressure disturbance generating much anxiety, internal seething, and agitation together with a sense that an overwhelming muddle is busily at work dismantling the stability of their world" (p. 2). In the case of the writing process, the phenomenon of stress was no doubt present for some teachers, some of the time. It was not, however, a central or crucial factor in change. I have chosen to see change in terms of one kind of outcome: teacher development. Lieberman and Miller (1990) define teacher development thus: By teacher development, we mean continuous inquiry into practice.. .we see the teacher as a "reflective practitioner," someone who has a tacit knowledge base and who then builds on that knowledge base through ongoing inquiry and analysis, continually rethinking and reevaluating values and practices. Teacher development is not only the renewal of teaching, but also the renewal of schools. (p. 107) It is not an intention of this paper to substantiate a qualifiable change in teacher practice. Nonetheless, if teacher change were assumed and whether it could have resulted from a different way of thinking about the role of teachers in the acceptance or rejection of this particular educational reform is the, or rather, a question for study. Implementation A policy is selected. A goal is articulated and a plan is formulated. If words could become deeds, then one could say implementation has happened. But this means-end relationship is, in fact, too simple and ought not to be assumed. Taylor and Werner (1989) define implementation as "the actual use of a curriculum within  1 5.  classrooms; how school personnel interpret a new curriculum, and the things they do to put it into practice" (p. 8). For the purposes of my study, implementation can be described as a series of administrative reactions to a gradually evolving set of beliefs in the value of the writing process as pedagogical strategy.  Change Agents Typically, a change agent in education is a professional educator who has been engaged as a facilitator or special "assister" to act as a consultant during an educational reform or school improvement programme. This role seems crucial because "such school improvement programmes, taken seriously, require much time and care, are an effort to change the school as an organization, and usually have to compete with the ordinary demands of keeping the school running" (Miles, Saxl, & Lieberman, 1988, p. 160).  Limitations of the Study This study does not diagnose or detect the negative or positive effects of the writing process on student academic achievement. The implementation, in any case, was not formally evaluated at the district level. The study offers little quantitative analysis of student mastery of the writing process and the possible effects on related curricula, although it considers the results of the B.C. Ministry of Education's reading assessments in 1980 and 1984. As participation in the reform was voluntary, some teachers and entire school staffs chose not to participate. This is not a study, however, of how a reform failed, but rather a description of events that created an atmosphere conducive to successful reform implementation. The configuration of leadership roles, teachers'  1 6. and administrators' alike, combined to produce an apparently irresistible draw to teachers throughout the district and eventually the province. It is not my intent to prepare a complete and persuasive analysis of the multicultural and / or socio-economic make-up of the school district of Richmond and the influence this population mix may or may not have had on the implied success of the writing process implementation. I write, rather, from the points of view of the experiences of teachers and other personnel who participated. On the other hand, these points of view make sense only when placed in context. From 1979 to 1984 the issues of second-language or disadvantaged learners were not major school or district preoccupations.  Overview of the Charters  This introduction offers an overview of research questions and techniques for the historical case study of a "successful" curriculum implementation. The explanatory argument of the thesis considers both people's reasons for acting and characteristics of the setting that prompted teacher participation in curriculum reform. Chapter 2 describes the setting of the change. It details the curriculum innovation and introduces the school district organization, with special regard to curriculum coordination and to events leading to the decision in 1979 to begin implementation of an elementary Language Arts strategy—the writing process. Chapter 3 lays out the conception and the underlying theories and administration of an implementation plan. A description and analysis of the process of curriculum development in the early years, 1979-1982, follows, with special  1 7.  attention to communication strategies used by various curriculunt leaders. Chapter 4 describes the solidification and expansion of the reform and pays attention to teacher involvement and commitment and to internal and external political factors that interfered with the momentum of the initiative. Chapter 5 relates the conceptualization of the curriculum implementation experience to the findings of the study, concluding that the development of a district wide interest in improving teaching/learning in a single curriculum area produced a strong sense of achievement and satisfaction coupled with professional growth among the participants. This district orientation resulted partly from teachers' and administrators' attitudes and preparedness and partly from strategies deployed by a key reform leader.  18.  CHAPTER TWO I have come increasingly to recognize that most learning in most settings is a communal activity, a sharing of culture. It is not just that the child must make his knowledge his own, but that he must make it his own in a community of those who share his sense of belonging to a culture. Jerome Bruner, Actual Minds, Possible Worlds (1986, P. 27)  The Setting  Richmond School District No.38, is situated on the delta of the Fraser River south of Vancouver in southwestern British Columbia. This growing middle class municipality is a suburb of Vancouver, yet has an independent sub-economy supported by light industry and agriculture. The schools serve a diverse community which ranges from areas of moderate income to relative affluence. The distance between these two categories is often small. A number of nationalities are found in the growing population. As shown in Table 1, of non-English speaking immigrants, those from the Punjab and Hong Kong are most numerous, the British and European population having originally settled in Richmond to farm beginning in the mid-1800's.1  19.  Table 1. Population by Sex, Showing Ethnic Origins of Groups with 1,000 or more.* Ethnic Origin  Total  British Chinese Dutch German Indo-Pakistani Japanese Jewish Pacific Islands (Indo-Fijians) Scandinavian Ukranian  45,600 6,670 2,735 6,480 4,375 2490 1,385 1,875 2145 2275  Total Population  95, 835  Number Male 22,440 3,355 1,375 3,195 2180 1,250 770 935 1,030 1,070  47,445  Female 23,160 3,315 1,360 3,285 2,195 1,240 615 940 1,115 1,205  48,390  * 1981 Census for metropolitan areas of 50,000 population and over. (Statistics Canada, 1981).  This table does not, however, show that immigration had increased substantially over the preceding decade. In the 1971 census, 84% of respondents named English as their mother tongue, while in 1981, only 47% did so. The Richmond community might be classified as typical of middle-class Canada, with a cross-section of business and professional people, skilled and semiskilled workers. A portion of Richmond remains rural but the suburban and industrial sprawl is quickly eating into the farmland. The relative uniformity of living experience among its residents, and therefore its children, could be considered a significant condition in aiding the success of educational reform, although this supposition would be demonstrable only through exhaustive social research. During the 1960-1975 period, Richmond school district experienced rapid growth. Student population increased from 9,344 to 18,000. In 1979, the first year of the study, the student population reached 18,376 with a teaching staff of 960 (Ministry of Education Data Services). There were 46 schools in the district--three  20.  senior secondary, six junior secondary, and 31 elementary with six primary annexes. In January 1979, 10,544 students and 531.5 teachers attended elementary school in Richmond. Ten years previous, Richmond had hired 35% fewer teachers. In 1979, the average age of the elementary teacher was 32 and female elementary teachers outnumbered male elementary teachers six to one. Among administrators, however, elementary school principals were 92% male. The overall picture was one of a feminized work force experiencing rapid numerical growth.  The Context The Richmond school board in 1979 consisted of seven members, each elected for a two-year term. The senior educational administrative staff consisted of a superintendent of schools and three directors of instruction K-12. The directors were responsible for instructional programmes in the schools and also for one of the following: Personnel, Special Services, and Professional and Curriculum Development. The Director of Instruction (Professional and Curriculum Development) provided leadership for in-service education in the district. In addition to shared responsibilities with the other Directors, he was accountable for initiating, organizing, supervising, and evaluating in-service programmes for teachers, administrators, and trustees. These directors, supervisors, and coordinators were guided by a phrase from the Richmond School Board's Policy and Regulations Manual (1978): The Board believes that administrators, supervisors and head teachers play a vital role in determining the quality of learning in the district. The Board will select administrators and supervisors capable of providing leadership both in the implementation of the district's  21. philosophy and policies, and in the improvement of learning. In addition, the Board recognizes that the ability to work and communicate effectively with the community is a crucial ingredient of administrative competence. (p. 24) Working with this director of instruction were seven full-time supervisors overseeing Elementary Instruction, Early Childhood Instruction, Language Development K-12, Special Services, Physical Education, Music, and Art. These people were responsible for initiating and guiding professional development initiatives at the district level. Their contact with schools and teachers was minimal as they were supposed mainly to make connections with publishers, convene meetings in the board office to plan district in-service programmes, organize budgets for purchase of equipment and resources for schools, and use the telephone to communicate with school contacts. Normally, these people were rather distant from the "action" of schools and classrooms, reacting to teacher requests for resources or equipment instead of organizing in-service education or designing professional development activities. In addition, ten part-time school-based district curriculum coordinators dealt more specifically with practical pedagogical matters in: Mathematics K-12, Science K12, Field Studies K-12, French K-7, Modern Languages 8-12, Home Economics 8-12, Business Education 8-12, Industrial Education 8-12, On the Job Training 8-12, and a recently created full-time position, Elementary Language Arts. Richmond had recently undergone a significant shift in the organization of its district office. Before 1978, there was a split between Elementary and Secondary, both in personnel and in professional development delivery. With the hiring of a new director of instruction in January 1979, many new K-12 administrative configurations appeared. The in-service education programme, mainly district-initiated, showed the  22. effects of contemporary values and practices in education. Money from the Ministry of Education, through grants from the Implementation Services Branch, was available to support new Ministry programmes. This newly created Implementation Services Branch received submissions from B.C. school districts for special funding. Richmond was to receive such funding in the early eighties. District money was also plentiful and available to support centrally coordinated in-service activities. Richmond's Instructional Development Centre, a converted school building, distributed and held the current stock of textbooks, elementary science kits, and audiovisual materials and equipment. While it continued to provide these services, in 1979 the I.D.C. began to develop the features of a "teacher centre." A professional librarian, coordinator, media technician, science aide, and two technical assistants provided enhanced support service for teachers. Also, six meeting rooms were available for workshops and committee meetings. A case could be made for Richmond's developing responsibility in writing and implementing new curricula to be a reaction to the continuing decentralization of curriculum and professional development at the Ministry of Education level that began in the early 1970s. With this background of provincial and local support in mind, it is easier to see how Richmond school district gained a reputation as a leader in innovative and creative pedagogical practices. In 1978, a new provincial Elementary Language Arts curriculum had two Richmond teachers on its steering committee. Richmond teachers also served on the Ministry's Science, Mathematics, and Music Curriculum committees. Locally, Richmond's curriculum supervisors and coordinators mobilized the energy of teachers by providing many opportunities for discussion  2 3. and sharing of ideas. The strong central office continued to work to set the professional emphases, and guided the professional development experiences of its teachers. The schools looked to the office "downtown" for inspiration and assistance. One wonders if the district motto "The Focus is on the Learner"--coined in 1973--had any practical application. Participants claimed, however, that the events staged, the candor at meetings, reported playfulness among staff members, and an atmosphere of trust and acceptance apparently existed between teachers and students and between central office staff and school administration. These were thelat" years of the late seventies. Storage rooms bulged, professional development programmes requiring the hiring of substitute teachers for coverage were popular, and the mood of the teachers, however naïve, was (as they themselves claimed) positive and optimistic. Discussion in the 1990's among public school educators about improving or changing educational practice emphasizes almost exclusively the individual school as the locus for change. And within the individual school, the principal is assigned the role of instructional leader ( Hall, Rutherford, Hord, & Huling 1984; Leithwood, Sagor,, Mitchell & Tucker, 1992; Leithwood & Montgomery, 1982; Miles, 1983). In the search for factors that influence school effectiveness, the role of the elementary school principal emerged as crucial. According to this view, it is the principal who creates the conditions for teachers to become better at what they do and it is the principal who sets the stage and nurtures the changing professional culture of the school. It is difficult to argue against the proposition that the power of the principal in the 1970's, or the influence of the person in that position, was anything but  24.  strong. That person certainly influenced the environment of teaching and learning in his  ^school. However, in Richmond in 1979, it was the district office which  initiated, transformed, and sustained a remarkable professional teacher culture change. In fact, the central office staff could be considered catalysts in this reform, linking external factors--information and resources--with building-level administrators and teachers. Cox (1983) states: We found that the more time local facilitators spent training or arranging for training and the more time they put into working with administrators, presumably to get their commitment to the practice and help develop building-level support systems for its use, the more sophisticated, skillful and "tuned-in" to students were the teachers.. .in short, central office personnel can perform critical functions that make school improvement really work. (p. 10) The Timing  As previously mentioned, conditions in the early eighties for the adoption of the writing process in Richmond district classrooms could be considered welcoming, and this on a number of theories and definitions of change. Fullan (1991) advises that we consider two critical questions in beginning change: who could benefit from the proposed change, and how sound or feasible is the innovation itself? Although the impetus for adopting the writing process came from a committed district curriculum supervisor, Vivianne McLelland, with the full support of the school board and senior staff, the significance of either question was never formally discussed. Ms. McLelland quotes; "I came away from the experience [a week-long U.B.C. composition workshop in 1977] absolutely frothing at the mouth about the magic of writing. I just knew I had to do everything I could to persuade others to agree with me" (McLelland, 1991). Ms. McLelland would have declared in the mid-  25. 1970s that she--and her colleagues--would benefit from change. Her beliefs and persuasions fell on receptive ears. The Director of Instruction, Mr. Don Lintott, remembers writing as being "a fashionable topic at that time." The Ministry supported the provincial implementation of its new Language Arts curriculum with millions of dollars and offered to sponsor related initiatives undertaken by school districts. The initiating events in Richmond were designed to involve a number of interested educators who could serve as motivators for other teachers in the district. A district writing committee was formed in the spring of 1978, with the mandate to investigate the writing process research and to create a publication to explain the features of the writing process as teaching strategy. The Language Education department at U.B.C. was invited, by Ms. McLelland, to hold another week-long composition workshop--just for Richmond teachers and administrators--many of them members of the previously mentioned writing committee. Could it be predicted, at this point, that Ms. McLelland's dream of having "as many people as possible" begin using the writing process in Richmond classrooms would become a success? No formal implementation plan existed. Teachers had not been polled for their reactions to this scheme. Many other curriculum development reforms were already in place, thereby competing for attention, and the impetus for this change came from the "top." Surely this was a formula for predictable failure.  In November 1979, in order to legitimize the decision, the directors of education and the superintendent of schools established a Task Force on in-service education and asked it to:  26. 1. Identify the concerns of and needs for in-service education in the district; and 2. Suggest ways of improving the situation (Task Force Document, p. 10). The Task Force examined the changes required to make in-service education more responsive to the needs of the district, schools, and individual teachers. This initiative assisted the district in short- and long-term planning and in identifying future budget needs for professional development. The Task Force examined the inservice practices of other school districts and consulted the literature on the subject. It also was asked to "use a grassroots approach to identify the in-service education concerns of Richmond teachers."  2  This emphasis on teachers and schools as the potential designers, presenters, and evaluators of in-service programmes was a departure for the district. During the literature review undertaken by the Task Force, it became evident that the school was the appropriate "unit of change" and that the traditional top-down district approach should be replaced by school-initiated endeavours. The Task Force paid particular attention to three then-current references and especially the Rand Corporation's Change Agent Study, written under the the sponsorship of the United States Office of Education (McLaughlin & Marsh, 1980; Fullan, 1979; Hutson, 1979). The Task Force report stated: in-service education or staff development should be an integral part of an on-going problem-solving and improvement process within the school. Good in-service education programmes are a continual programme building process that are dependent upon the organizational climate, needs and leadership of the school and district. This view of in-service education carries with it a set of expectations about the role of teachers and their professional abilities. (p. 24)  27. After polling its constituents, the task force released the results of its needsassessment instrument. It reported three areas requiring attention: time and funding to support professional development activities for teachers, and support personnel to enhance and assist these endeavours. Repeatedly teachers expressed concern over the insufficiency of these three if professional development in the district was truly to be enhanced. These findings correspond with Patterson, Purkey and Jackson's (1986) views in Productive School Systems for a Nonrational World, which support the notion of the interconnectedness of organizational structures as necessary for reaching selected goals of any organization. Three strategies, as they see it, that create such an integrated structure are managing the organizational culture, strategic planning, and empowerment. The basis for power, they argue, rests with three commodities: information (data, technical knowledge, expertise), resources (money, human services, material goods, space, and time), and support (endorsement, backing, legitimacy). Acquisition of these commodities should not be ascribed to a person in a position of authority, but rather should be available to anyone within an effective organization. To make them available in Richmond, the administration planned extensive in-service for teachers. In-service activities normally were conducted on "non-instructional" days or at meetings held after school hours. But teachers complained that there was not sufficient time to accomplish the expected components of their job such as planning, preparation, and evaluation as well as professional development. Now, for the first time, elementary schools were to receive district funds to assist in implementing recommendations from this self-evaluation. It was time, if one accepted the wisdom of the change theorists, to move from a competitive hierarchical staff development  28. model to one of cooperation and intuition. Robertson (1991) and Sarason (1990) make a case for altering and shifting power relationships and thereby giving the teacher--who in this case was ready and willing--more voice and respect. The Richmond school board, encouraged by the director of instruction, Mr. Don Lintott, supported the Task Force's recommendation that time be given to teachers during the day for professional development. This was the first time teachers "had been paid for not working,"3 a radical notion at the time. Richmond teachers were "ready" for the challenge of change. According to district records, the majority of Richmond's elementary teaching staff were women in their first ten years of teaching. The latter fact (the teachers being in the early stages of their careers) was a contributing condition of change. Huberman (1991) recounts stages or phases in teachers' careers. At the time of career entry, he proposes themes of "survival" and "discovery." The succeeding phase of "stabilization," which according to Huberman occurs sometime after the fourth or fifth year of teaching, is often marked by "a spontaneity, a pleasure and humour, even a touch of headiness, in the ability to seize the moment, instructionally speaking" (p. 21). What follows in Huberman's study, is the stage of "experimentation." Teachers attempt to increase their impact either by experimenting with pedagogical and practical strategies or by attempting to change perceived or real flaws in the school or school district. It is possible, indeed likely, that Richmond teachers' enthusiasm and commitment helped sustain the momentum of reform. Five years of networking with similarily stimulated teachers resulted in elevated career paths for many of the  29. teachers who chose to become involved. Five are now school administrators, two work at the university level, and five work successfully as educational consultants. Although it is not possible to trace the paths of every teacher involved in working with the writing process implementation in those years, these data are noteworthy. It is beyond the scope of this paper to consider whether the experience of those years was a cause of these teachers' professional development and administrative advancements or whether their professional commitment and ambition was instrumental in driving the reform beyond where it otherwise might have gone. Hochschild and Schneider (1988) recorded career teachers' responses to questions about which factors made them stay in the teaching profession. These were: opportunities for self-determination, chances to share ideas and materials with colleagues, a sense of belonging to the school community and recognition of achievement. In Richmond, during the years of this study, these conditions were met and exceeded by combining them with a culture of local and provincial political stability, easy accessibility to funds at the school level, and a conscious effort by the teacher-leader to shift power from the male-dominated principals' group and district office personnel to the female-dominated teaching force. In her book, The West Beyond the West (1991), Jean Barman describes the condition of British Columbia's economy as it entered the 1980's as "more prosperous and more vulnerable than any other provincial or regional economy in Canada" (p. 58). It was not until the provincial election in 1983 and the announcement of massive restraint measures that money for school districts dried up. As an example, Richmond school district's total 1980 allotment for its curriculum development department was $112,000 (of which $60,000 was allocated  30.  for Elementary Language Arts). In 1984, this budget had dwindled to $30,000 ($5,000 for Elementary Language Arts). Politically, the district seemed secure. The same superintendent had served the district for ten years and had created a supportive staff around him. His style was to encourage and promote those who agreed with his androcentric organizational view. Regardless, "Cory's boys," as the group of principals was often referred to, in a competitive circumstance sought to do what they thought was "right." The "right" thing to do in 1979, according to the impetus for educational change coming from teacher groups, was to support a Language Arts initiative. Over the previous decade, Language Arts curricula had been receiving much more attention provincially and nationally than usual. British Columbia teachers and Ministry of Education officials undertook to write a revision and the new Language Arts curriculum guides were released to schools in 1973. The goals of that curriculum as regards writing were: Goal 17- The Language Arts program should develop the student's interest in writing. Goal 18- The Language Arts program should expand the student's writing vocabulary. Goal 19- The Language Arts program should enable the student to develop the technical skills of writing. Goal 20- The Language Arts program should enable the student to apply the skills of written expression to communicate information, ideas and feelings. Goal 21- The Language Arts program should provide opportunities to experience different forms of writing. (B.C. Language Arts Curriculum Guide, 1973, p. 44) Certainly, with these justifications, including the accompanying monetary support from the Ministry's Implementation Branch, the time was right to begin considering Language Arts in general, and Writing in particular, as subjects for a  31 . reform. At the same time, the Ministry held a competition to choose a new mandated elementary Language Arts Basal Reader series. The Ginn Publishing Company from the U.S. and its "720" series soon found its way into every elementary school in the province. Looking back at the practice of teaching reading from basal readers, Ken Goodman (1986) described basal readers thus: Most ironically, the current basals require more time for reading instruction while they provide less time for students actually reading. By defining reading as mastery of arbitrary skill sequences as measured by performance on multiple-choice tests, they misrepresent actual reading development. Pupils who read widely and with good comprehension may be undervalued, while pupils who perform well on isolated skill tests who can't or who don't care to read are lulled into complacency. Each of these trends in current basals directly contradicts what has been learned about optimal reading instruction. (p. 358) It is true that more attention than usual was being paid to literacy instruction both nationally and internationally. Willinsky (1990, p.12) offers a "rough" list of "assorted measures to give some indication of how well these programs [holistic reading and writing approaches] have taken in the schools." Additionally, a joint committee of educators from the International Reading Association and the National Council of Teachers of English published a list of recommendations for teachers wishing to change their instructional practice in the Language Arts classroom.4 Several concepts relevant to their findings and to this thesis are: • language, including reading and writing, is learned most easily when it is whole, functional, and meaningful; • children develop functions and purposes for using language before they develop the forms. Form outside functional use becomes abstraction;  32. • teaching doesn't make language learning happen, it supports its development; • teachers help pupils build their strategies for making sense of written language.  Choosing the Writing Process  Fullan (1991) devotes a chapter of The New Meaning of Educational Change to "sources" of educational change. He makes a case for the wisdom of choosing the "right" innovation for the "right" reasons at the "right" time. His main piece of advice is caveat implementer. For a school district to embark on educational implementation for solely politically motivated reasons without considering appropriate educational motives, according to Fullan, could lead to overload, unrealistic demands, simplistic solutions and unrealistic time-lines (among others). I would add uncommitted teachers to Fullan's list. An uncommitted teacher could become a prior condition of unimplemented curriculum. Sarason (1990) asks, "For whom do schools exist?" In answering "the students," we run the risk of forgetting "the teachers." Sarason says: If, as I have asserted, it is virtually impossible to create and sustain over time conditions for productive learning for students when they do not exist for teachers, the benefits sought by educational reform stand little chance of being realized. (p. 145) The writing process forgot neither, and this was a major aspect of its attractiveness to Richmond teachers and students. In fall 1977, the Ministry of Education undertook a province-wide assessment  33. of student writing. All British Columbian schoolchildren in grades 4, 7, and 10 were asked to produce two pieces of writing--a narrative paragraph and an opinion statement. At the time, assessing students' writing prowess on a provincial scale was managed in this way. The evaluators focused on easy-to-catch "surface feature" errors and made competency judgements based upon these criteria. After analysis by a provincial committee, Richmond's results, like those of many other districts, indicated a need for instructional attention to grammar, vocabulary, and spelling. District committees, formed by the supervisor of instruction, Ms. V. McLelland, to analyze these Writing Assessment results, concurred with the provincial recommendations. After attending the previously mentioned U.B.C. Faculty of Education conference on composition in the spring of 1978, Ms. McLelland, whose responsibility it was to make appropriate recommendations for Language Arts/ English curriculum development focuses, recommended attention be paid to writing--specifically the writing process. She remembers: Even as we met as a provincial curriculum revision committee, we knew our traditional view of teaching reading and writing was out. We read what the N.C.T.E. and the I.R.A. were saying on the subject and began to experiment in our classrooms. I knew we had to get people fired up about all of this... and we, at the district office, had to follow through. But, really, once the teachers experienced the excitement of writing, they were hard to hold down. Things were changing so fast--it was absolutely phenomenal. (McLelland, 1991) This Supervisor had substantial influence on her colleagues at the Board and on the teachers in the schools. She was the senior member of the curriculum and administrative staff, and expressed strong opinions. She determined that the district should learn more about writing instruction and that was almost that.  34. Thus, the main elements for a decision were in place. Research in the language arts had accelerated at a phenomenal pace in the previous decades of the sixties and seventies. Consider that in reading, in the U.S., approximately 4,000 studies were conducted prior to 1960 (Russell & Fea, 1963). Between 1960 and 1985, however, 11,000 studies were reported (Weintraub et al., 1986). In 1973, the National Writing Project had just begun to tell teachers about the writing process model and by 1986, it had 172 affiliates around the U.S. and Canada (Hillocks, 1986, p. xvii). In Great Britain, in 1967, the Writing Research Unit at the University of London Institute of Education was formed and headed by James Britton. His purpose was to study the development of writing abilities in students throughout their secondary schooling. This brief listing of projects and statistics suggests a movement of major proportion and influence. Individuals at every level of educational endeavour, in many international sites, were paying close attention to the teaching and learning of the Language Arts--particularly writing.  The Writing Process Explained  At this point it would be useful to describe, by way of brief summary, a history and an interpretation of the writing process methodology, particularily as interpreted by Richmond teachers and administrators. Until the mid-fifties very little research had been carried out on writing in educational studies. This is remarkable in light of the way the century opened, particularly considering the work of two researchers, J.M. Rice, an American, and P.J. Hartog, an Englishman.6 Both men sought to understand American and British schoolchildren's incompetencies as writers. Rice (1903) made an extensive study  35.  suggesting that training in formal grammar had no beneficial effect on children's written work--a finding that has remained largely ignored. The story of Hartog's (1907) work is less discouraging. Hartog acquired two insights about teaching writing from his study of the French system of writing instruction: their training methods in systematic writing, and their analysis of the classics as models of style. Hartog saw writing as a means of developing thought. He spoke of the three aims of writing as being to enable writers to record their own observations and thoughts, to explore and elaborate these thoughts, and to develop their own powers of thinking--then to convey to others the results of their thinking as clearly and completely as possible. He used the term "mental accommodation" to describe "the power of changing one's mental focus, of seeing a thing first as a whole, in plan, and then in detail" (p. 35). He saw this as not exercised in any other school discipline. This was a revolutionary idea in 1907 and remains so in 1992, as I intend to show. Hartog wrote: The pupil will be saying something that he himself has thought out, not telling you something that you already know. Your [the teacher's] task is to see that he earnestly tries to fulfil his own aim. The guidance that you give, inestimably helped by the public opinion of your class, must be of the gentlest and most tactful kind. It is the training of the plant that is your business, not the hammering of a piece of metal with a sledge hammer. (p. 37) Many researchers since 1950 (Britton et al, 1975; Emig, 1971; Heath, 1962; Moffett, 1968; Pym, 1956) concerned themselves with teaching writing to older children and young adults. It is useful for this study, though, to describe the work of a group of American researchers headed by Donald Graves who, in his doctoral  36. dissertation in 1973, followed the writing process experiences of very young school children in New Hampshire. Grave's work became Richmond's inspiration, and a guide to Richmond's teachers' thinking on the subject. A simplistic analysis of Graves' view might be that he found writing to be more a process of discovery and less a series of intentional pre-planned steps. About "process", Graves (1983) states: The writing process in this study was defined as a series of operations leading to the solution to a problem. The process begins when the writer consciously or unconsciously starts a topic and is finished when the written piece is published. Many professionals would argue that the process continues to throb even after publication. (p. 7) A series of Graves' articles in a widely-read journal--the National Council of Teachers of English's, Language Arts--attracted much attention. The Canadian affiliate of the N.C.T.E., the C.C.T.E., invited Graves and his colleagues Donald Murray and Lucy McCormick Calkins to a major Canadian conference in the late 1970's. Their message was clear. Give the students more "ownership" over what and how they wrote. That is, create educational circumstances that will cause young writers to begin their own work, to carry it through from conceptualization to revision to completion, and to see it as their project--not someone's imposition. As John Willinsky (1990) describes it: This New Literacy consists of those strategies in the teaching of reading and writing which attempt to shift the control of literacy from the teacher to the student; literacy is promoted in such programmes as a social process with language that from the very beginning extends the students' range of meaning and connection. (p.14) Graves observed what young children were up to when they wrote things down. He honoured their tentative beginnings with print conventions and gave  37. them opportunities to choose their own writing topics. He gave new meaning to what it meant to be a teacher. He provided an alternative to having to be the owner of all decisions--to becoming the consultant and encourager. Often, the child makes unexpected cognitive and affective discoveries through the process of invention out loud or on paper when left somewhat alone during this time in the process. Willinsky (1990) uses this metaphor to express the point: The student is offered a new model to write by, but then so is the teacher; the teacher can trade in the role of lab coated psychologist administering the proper sequence of learning activities in favour of the impressario assisting the artist wrestling with the soul of writing. (p. 48) Approaching writing in this way provides opportunities for teacher and student, as well as student and student, to develop relationships as co-learners. Writers and thinkers, at all levels of development, are respected for what they are able to do, not for the many tactics still to be learned. At one of Richmond's many writing workshops for teachers, this time in 1983, the guest speaker, an experienced and respected columnist quoted, "The first million words we write are just warmup." This was a tremendously freeing statistic--even if it were only half right. The writing process is less a series of steps to be followed and more a way of life--an attitude espousing freedom of thinking. In no way is the rigour of scholastic endeavour diminished; rather, being conventionally and grammatically correct becomes more important to the writer when it involves a text to which some personal commitment is made. Richmond School District adopted a number of new terms and descriptions of typically recursive stages that may or may not be followed in order, or even every  38. time a new piece of writing is begun. These terms became the vocabulary of Richmond's Young Writer's Project. (This Project was a document produced by and for Richmond teachers to help clarify the concept of writing process.) Prewriting The most important writing usually takes place before there is writing. Writers plan before they write. Donald Murray (1985) describes prewriting thus: Writing is a skill, and students need to mess around with paints before they learn to paint, plunk at a piano before they are taught scales, fool around with a basketball, getting the feel of it, before they are put through a formal practice. Writing, unlike art, music or sports, has not been a matter of play for our students—at least not since the earliest grades of school. Prewriting is the time for the writer perhaps to have questions asked and answered; What will I write about? Why am I writing this? Who will my readers be? What genre is most appropriate? Do I have all the information I need, or am I clear on the details of my experience? If not, do I know how to retrieve this information? What are my limits? What are the best dimensions for the piece? Do I have or can I get all the language I will need? How should I begin? How should I end? How should I organize myself? How should I organize the piece? [and in school] How will my piece be evaluated? (p. 83)  In the spirit of writing, students are not required to march lock-step through a drill to answer these questions, but rather to consider them during negotiation and reflection.  Drafting The moment of truth. A quiet time for writer and silent audience to communicate. For the elementary student, it is freedom to get ideas down on the paper as quickly as possible without fear of correction. For beginning student writers,  39. though, this part of the process can cause angst. "If I write this quickly, not paying attention to my spelling or handwriting, I'll have to write this all over again!" The power of discovering as you write often comes with practice--or with using a word processor--and the student comes to treasure the opportunity to draft.  Editing As a Richmond teacher once cautioned her students, "Now the pain begins." Editing, according to R.D.Walshe (1981), "is the main technique of every author who wishes to write well"(p. 37). It is also the hardest strategy for teachers to handle--used, as they may be, to traditional 'one-shot' assigned pieces of their schooling. The mandate of an editor is to assist the author in making the piece of writing better than if it were left alone. But how can this happen in a classroom with 30 students? Understanding what good writing is and being able to articulate it is a good beginning. Reading her work to a trusted editor who responds with positive specific feedback helps the young author believe in herself as a competant communicator.  Proof-reading Here is the chance for the writer to pay attention to the 'surface features' of her piece. As adult, sometimes more experienced writers, we are able to draft, edit, and proof-read simultaneously. Young writers feel more comfortable when their stories are listened to and reacted positively to, than if their handwriting, spelling, usage, punctuation, and overall neatness are criticized first. To clarify: we edit what we can hear and we proof-read what we can see.  40.  Publishing and Presenting Formally sharing finished pieces with appreciative audiences is the intent of these phases. It is here that everything comes together for the intended audience. The student is committed to this opportunity, as she has "owned" the piece from the beginning.  The writing process, as Graves saw it and as Richmond interpreted it, rooted itself in mutual respect, support, and caring for the thinking and craftsmanship of all participants. Nancie Atwell (1987) quotes an American poet, X.J. Kennedy, as saying, "Good writing occurs because a writer passionately desires to say something. Students do not need more abstract advice on how to write. They need somehow to have their feelings kindled" (cited in Atwell, p. 148). Beliefs about writing such as these prescribe certain pedagogical changes. Teachers had been teaching writing much the same way they had been taught; assign a topic, a genre, and a (short) time limit, and then collect the papers and determine a grade based on spelling, grammar, and handwriting dysfunction. This cycle might be repeated once each week if time and the teacher's energy allowed. The writing classrooms suggested by Graves' and others' research would look and function very differently. Time is a necessary factor in the process: students would have time every day to write and teachers would have time to work with individual students, especially during the editing and proof-reading stages. Students would be shown how to respond to each other's first efforts gently and appropriately. The classroom's  41. atmosphere would be conducive to the honest sharing of ideas without fear of ridicule from peer or teacher. Integration of writing with other academic disciplines, new ways of evaluating and assessing the progress of young writers and communicating these changes in teaching and learning practice with parents, all would all conspire to challenge the most confident teacher. But it was this challenge that caught teachers' imaginations. The challenge-and freedom--of making personal meaning of this new approach to teaching writing, in an atmosphere of conspiratorial joy and safety, excited all who became involved.  42.  CHAPTER THREE As you write, moving deeper and deeper into the text, you realize that you are changing the vision of the whole, but that vision remains intact, a sort of tent of meaning that buldges here and there and then reorganizes itself into new and unexpected shapes. Donald Murray, Expecting the Unexpected. (1989, p. 134) Implementation Procedures Begin  As mentioned, the writing committee struck in 1978 considered the district results of the 1978 Assessment of Written English. The committee members, chosen by the supervisor of instruction, Ms. McLelland, attended a week-long writing workshop at U.B.C. and returned with a commitment to communicate what they had learned to other Richmond teachers. Among the members of this team was Ms. Linda Kaser, who had joined the district as an intermediate teacher in September 1978. In February, 1979 Ms. Kaser was appointed to a school-based position as District Resource Teacher. The Curriculum Update (1980) document described the position thus:  The role of resource teacher is new to Richmond School District. Ms. Kaser is a classroom teacher whose responsibilities for the 1980/81 school year involve assisting Richmond elementary teachers with their language development concerns. Within this broad area, a focus of her work will be on helping schools develop K-7 writing programmes. Individual teachers, small groups, and school staffs should feel free to request any of the following services from Ms. Kaser: Workshops:  School-based sessions on the writing process; -orientation: celebrating with information -getting started with student editing -children as young authors and illustrators (in conjunction with  43. the art supervisor [K. Grauer]) Consultation:  -discussion of individual concerns -team planning and problem-solving -staff planning for student and parent programmes -linking teachers with similar interests and concerns -assistance with developing curriculum units -assistance with the development of print and videotape materials to be used as part of a Richmond writing in-service package -classroom delivery of materials -celebration of teacher, student, and school successes -small student group team teaching sessions -editing and illustrating for publishing of a classroom session with the art supervisor [K. Grauer] -sharing big book ideas. (p. 18)  As each school staff was required by district policy to develop a school-based programme of in-service training, implementation of new programmes, and appropriate curriculum development, Ms. Kaser's services attracted principals and their school professional development committees.  Reform in Richmond in Light of Literature on Change  Research on describing educational change processes and their related factors indicates much diversity of experience because of differences in setting, personnel, timing, context, topic, and style. To create a list of definitive factors would be at best narrow-minded and presumptuous. Fullan (1991, pp. 47-93) provides extensive background to this topic of variability of context. It also will be useful here to discuss research about effective "change agents"— meaning policymakers, practitioners, researchers, consultants, and facilitators--and their roles and responsibilities, and then make comparisons with the role Ms. Kaser played.  44.  The Rand Change Agent study (a study on which the district relied heavily in planning this reform and which was mentioned earlier in this paper), undertaken from 1973 to 1978, indicated a significant shift in the ways people thought about effecting planned changes in education. The Rand Study, and others, found that effective and successful reforms are characterized by mutual adaptation and that various local factors dominated reform outcomes. By mutual adaption, I mean that, both the teachers and the district administrators worked at adapting the content and context of the implementation to meet all participants' needs. Using McLaughlin's 1990 discussion of the Rand study's findings and then by combining her additions with results from the early years of the Richmond experience, I attempt now to draw parallels, mindful of the interaction between and variability among implementation factors. I re-emphasize here that I have used these educational change theories in an attempt to shed a certain light of interpretation on Richmond's writing process implementation experience. Rand found a number of strategies to be particularily effective in promoting the adaption of a reform in an institutional setting. To examine these strategies here will enhance our understanding of their importance in terms of the Richmond writing programme implementation experience. In addition, these strategies influenced the preliminary decisions of both the original planners in the district, namely the authors of the previously mentioned Task Force Report (May 1980), and subsequently, Linda Kaser, coordinator of the implementation project. The following strategies are from the original Rand study and are meant to be considered as sociological generalizations--descriptive ones at that--not explanatory and therefore they merely help in deciding which questions to ask.  45. *project scope: ambitious efforts are more likely to stimulate teacher change than are narrow, modest reforms; *the active commitment of district leadership is essential to longterm reform success; *intentionally focusing on teachers and classrooms; *making local staff available for classroom assistance; *having the opportunity for teachers to observe similar projects in other classrooms, schools or districts; *holding regular meetings to discuss practical issues; *encouraging teachers to participate in reform decisions; *developing some project materials locally;  *involving principals in training. McLaughlin (1990) adds the following conditions after assessing ten subsequent years of experience and policy setting:  *recognizing that local variability is the rule, with uniformity the exception [regarded originally as an anathema and plague to reform efforts and latterly as a sign of a "healthy" district]; *understanding that belief in the reform may follow practice; *using external consultants as stimulating and supportive additions to the reform effort; *recognizing that reform is steady work. (p. 15) Finally, from the Richmond experience, I presume to add the following condition, which I believe is necessary, in combination with others, for successful change:  46.  *focusing attention on the subject of the reform--the nature of the innovation itself--to ensure the embodiment of meaningful substance and not the superficial, 'catchy', content-free, easily ignored recommendations of many previous reform efforts. This condition is also supported by the DESSI 7 study (see Crandall, 1982). It is on this powerful notion of choosing the RIGHT subject for any innovation effort--and the Richmond one in particular--that I base my argument. I make a case for this condition in Chapter Five.  How did writing project developers in Richmond modify and adapt the findings from the strategies mentioned above? I will take each condition and explain its pertinence to Richmond's experience. Project Scope Reform in Richmond began at the time of increasing knowledge about the effect of change in pedagogical practices. Publication of the Rand Change Agent study, the DESSI study, Michael Fullan's work, and similar studies related to writing being published in the States and Britain in the late seventies and early eighties, caught the attention of educational decision-makers. Previously, professional development for teachers in schools was mostly "ad hoc" often dependent on the knowledge and commitment of the school principal. Occasionally, teachers managed to attend major conferences where, as one teacher who was interviewed  remembers, "I got to go to a big fancy hotel where I was impressed by the cutlery and  47. promptly forgot the ideas."  The first Richmond-based Summer Art and Writing Institute was held in 1979 for Richmond teachers only. This event was supported and funded by the continuing education branch of the district. Twenty-five teachers attended to learn about connections between art strategies and writing strategies. The organizers of this institute--Linda Kaser and a group of teachers she had asked to help her-recognized the work already done by the art supervisor in changing teachers' attitudes about pupils' evolving artistic creations. The similarities between the disciplines of art and writing were obvious to the organizers--and apparently obvious to the teachers as well. The art supervisor, Kit Grauer, remembers the events that followed this Summer Institute: It was wonderful. We had the best time together talking about linking the two processes. At that point, I wanted to push visualization in art and stay away from technique. Teachers really wanted more information about art and writing connections. That fall, Linda and I started doing in-service together.. .everywhere. We went absolutely everywhere together, inside the district and outside. Again, it was the feeling that, if we were credible outside the district, we would be credible inside the district. We worked flat out! It was absolutely magic. We spent hours basically trust building with teachers. It was like massage because it was all built on ways to enjoy yourself in the classroom and in your life with your kids.. .teachers had never been asked to do that before. (Grauer, 1992) The momentum had begun to gather. The following summer another Institute was held, spurred by the apparent success of the first one and this time funded by the Implementation Branch of the Ministry of Education. All school districts in British Columbia were invited to send two elementary teachers  48. interested in learning about teaching writing and willing to go back to their districts to spread the news and share the information. One teacher who attended remembers: In a casual conversation with a superintendent, he told me of a Richmond teacher he admired. I was impressed by his enthusiasm and surprised when I received a note from him attached to samples of written work this teacher's students had produced. Not long afterward, I received a memo describing a summer writing institute to be held in Richmond. I signed up hoping to meet this special teacher [Linda Kaser]. I did, and many others of like quality, in an enriching professional in-service. A number of us were asked to be on the organizing committee for the following summer's institute.. .forty-five teachers from around the province attended this one.., and the week of time allowed us to cover things that we had been thinking about all year.^(Program Implementation Experiences, 1983, p. 21)  This reform movement began and, five years later, ended by having a province-wide impact.  Active Commitment of District Leadership  In Richmond, during this particular educational reform effort, support and commitment from the central office came from two levels--the superintendent and his senior support staff, and the middle-management curriculum coordinators. Early on, Richmond's superintendent of schools and his director of instruction gave evidence of commitment to supporting and championing this initiative. They did this by creating a new and large budget item for the implementation of the writing process as will be described. Further, they relied on feedback from teachers as transmitted by building principals and other central office staff. As Cox (1983) states:  51. them that this was nothing revolutionary, this was just good teaching, and when she talked about it people listened. People moved along very comfortably. They said, "Hey, it's not much different from what I've been doing. It's got a few more elements than I've been using, but I can do it." It wasn't a totally new idea, rather a reordering of ideas. Linda's initiative and local enthusiasm was then fed by the Ministry grant and then came all the branching out. (Lintott, 1991) A principal reflects on the style Ms. Kaser brought to her role as district curriculum coordinator for elementary Language Arts: Linda was very, very instrumental in embedding the writing process into our classrooms. And she went about it in her own quiet way. She didn't trumpet away about what she was doing. She got out there and worked incredibly hard! The hours she used to put in, the many evenings with the parents--all the tough things that had to go into making it successful. She went from school to school to school, dealing with some staffs that were resistant and somehow it all came together. She understood the processes of writing and implementation very well so she was able to make adjustments as she went along. (Warburton, 1992) When teachers were asked to share their memories of Ms. Kaser during the early eighties, they remembered her thus: Along comes Linda putting on workshops at my school, talking about a new way to teach writing. I was a relatively new teacher and this captured my imagination. She never put herself over as the "expert" with a suit from the board office. (Mann, 1992) Miles, Saxl and Lieberman (1988) outlined the key skills needed and key strategies used by educational change agents as: Interpersonal ease, group functioning, training, doing workshops, master teacher, knows educational content, administrative/ organizational, initiative taking, builds trust/rapport, provided support, confrontation skills, conflict mediation, collaborative skills, builds confidence, able to diagnose individuals, able to diagnose organizations, management/ controlling skills, resource-bringing, and demonstration ability. (pp. 185-187)  52.  Ms. Kaser understood the skills necessary to be a successful change agent. She remembers: I had been doing some reading about change when I knew what my job entailed. All the evidence seemed to indicate that we had to have both. The grassroots had to feel that they owned the change while at the same time there needed to be support from the top. It didn't really matter how the change came, as long as people didn't feel it came from the top alone. The other thing I read about that impressed me was the real way to get grassroots support. That was by going the networking route. In a networking system, all of the people along the way have to, in some way, represent what they are talking about. So, I looked for people who were highly literate and bright. People who would be linkers and networkers who thought that learning was collaborative. People who recognized that a true network was relatively flat, not hierarchical. I think that people were hungry for this sort of thing. It was a new sense of an organization where no one person had all the power. We were a great team. (1991) Corbett and D'Amico (1986) confirm, "Our reading of the change literature and our direct experiences in working with successful school improvement programmes convince us that the majority of staff participants must become heroes" (p. 71). The participants I interviewed felt sufficiently empowered by their experiences to have become participants in reform, as subsequent excerpts from the transcriptions will indicate.  Intentional Emphasis on Teachers and Classrooms From the first moments of this reform, teachers stood at the centre of all implementation activity. From daily work with students in classrooms, to schoolbased in-service and sharing sessions, to the many district-organized events, teachers co-opted each other into taking more and more of the responsibility.  53. A principal who worked with Ms. Kaser at his school remembers: Linda had a talent to be able to inspire the grassroots so that the leadership never really appeared to be coming from her although everyone knew her. The inspiration seemed to be coming from the classroom teacher. The credit went to the teachers for doing all this wonderful work with their kids. They would work for hours together after school, talking, planning, putting displays up all over the walls! (Warburton, 1992) Fullan and Hargreaves (1991) agree with the power of teachers' cooperative endeavour: Collaborative cultures, defined in terms of these values (individuals made to feel welcome, ideas and contributions valued, various purposes respected, and interdependence of group members encouraged), make it more not less likely that diversity will be appreciated and accessible, while at the same time fostering interdependence as people learn from each other, identify common concerns, and work jointly on solving problems. (p. 50) Fullan and Hargreaves might have been writing about Richmond. In fact, many teachers outside of Richmond received opportunities to learn about the writing process. The Richmond Summer Art and Writing Institutes, held in 1979, 1980, and 1981, intentionally brought teachers together from all over the province to share classroom experience and to develop new writing strategies. For those teachers not involved in the Summer Institutes, Ms. Kaser made herself available to work in classrooms or conduct workshops at the school level in Richmond and, as will be described, through video tapes and Knowledge Network productions to work with the rest of the province's teachers. Beginning in February 1980, several schools in Richmond committed themselves to begin a five-year plan to become "writing schools." The teachers and administrators in these schools understood a writing school to be a place where most staff members agreed to use a common writing vocabulary and to spend time  54.  (during Language Arts and other subject areas) on developing a "writers' workshop" approach (based on Donald Graves' model, where individual students choose their own writing topics and then proceed through the various stages or phases of the writing process as appropriate). Staff also agreed to "model" writing themselves and to view all members of their K-7 student population as young writers. In these schools, an in-service plan for implementation was established by the principal with endorsement from the whole staff as a priority project for a minimum of two years. As example, one school planned their first year's experience: A school-based in-service budget provided by the school district was sufficient to provide five 1/2 days of substitute time during the first year. In the second year, school-based budgets were significantly reduced, but teachers agreed to transfer $300 of $480 individual professional development money to schoolbased efforts. The board provided an extra grant so that five 1/2 days of substitute time were maintained in the second year. (Programme Implementation Experiences, 1983, p.36) At another school: Prior to the 1981-1982 school term, the writing process was a familiar process to some as several teachers from our school attended an art and writing institute in the summer of 1981. Other staff members got involved in the process as a result of staffroom, noon hour and staff meeting discussions. A major point to make is that this informal verbalizing and sharing of ideas contributed a great deal to the initial implementation. A school-based curriculum gives the teachers satisfaction in knowing of their contributions. It is also our intent to meet as a group tp re-evaluate the curriculum, to discuss how it was used, to share strategies, to analyze strengths and weaknesses, and to instigate further changes. (Programme Implementation Experiences, 1983, p. 36)  It is hard to find time for teachers to engage in professional dialogue during the school year. Richmond's budgets and use of informal meeting times provided opportunities for teachers to talk.  55.  Local Staff Was Available for Classroom Assistance Hord, Hall, and Stiegelbauer (1983) suggest that change "facilitators" may be  crucial in bringing about change especially those facilitators considered to be "secondin-command"--often district-level consultants, assistant principals, and resource teachers. Hord et al (1983) named this role "consigliere." They described primary contact with teachers coming from principals or senior officials as "simple, briefer and less involved substantively" (p. 158). By contrast, they quote: The Second Change Facilitator interventions are more frequently of a sustained interactive, complex and involved nature with the target. In some cases, the Second CF did the day-to-day individualized coaching. Another promising additional finding, is that there appears to be a teacher representative acting as a Third CF and member of a facilitation "team." This person is sometimes appointed by the principal and is at times the "obvious choice." The role and importance of this teacher representative is yet to be fully developed, but it appears to be an important one as a middle man/ woman, interpreter, and model for other teachers. (p. 160) Mortimore, Sammons, Stoll, Lewis, and Ecob (1988) found the deputy head of an "effective" school to have a key role both in management and professional development. This conclusion supports the utility for change of a "middle-person." To make the principal solely responsible for bringing about school improvement could result in undue pressure on one individual. Hord et al's paper describing the role of "Third CF" interested Ms. Kaser, whether she would have called it by that name of not, and in the second year of her mandate, she recommended that the district create elementary school curriculum coordinators. Her recommendation was accepted, itself a piece of evidence in support of the proposition that she had by now gained administrators' confidence and yet maintained close identification with her teacher clients. The significance of this decision, the people who assumed these positions, and the part they played in  56. the reform movement are discussed in the next section. The Role of School Curriculum Coordinator In June 1981, the board of school trustees adopted policy 2222, creating elementary school curriculum coordinators. The general terms of reference for these coordinators stated: 1. An Elementary School Curriculum Coordinator is a teacher appointed annually to a position of special responsibility in order to promote excellence of instruction and service within the specific subject area. 2. The Elementary School Curriculum Coordinator is under the direction of the principal. At the same meeting, seven items in Regulation 2222 outlined specific duties and responsibilities of the school curriculum coordinator: 1. To assist the principal in matters pertaining to the specific subject area(s), such as: a. Development and/or selection of educational objectives b. Development of effective teaching/ learning situations c. Implementation and evaluation of curriculum d. Coordination and evaluation of current practices e. Development of staff commitment and expertise f. Ability to advise students and teachers about developments in the subject area outside the curriculum parameters g. Organization and allocation of workload h. Assistance to new teachers i. Ordering of supplies and resources j. Ordering, maintenance and control of equipment 2. To coordinate the work in the subject area and assume an influential role in directing the development of effective teaching/ learning situations through consultation and meetings as required. 3. To be aware of workshops, courses or conferences that might benefit teachers in their area and to notify and facilitate attendance of teachers at these functions. 4. To serve as a channel of information by circulating copies of references to periodicals, materials or books that might benefit teachers. 5. To be aware of particular needs in the subject area so that District  57. Coordinators can be made aware of these needs. 6. To encourage teachers to exchange expertise, materials or information for the improvement of instruction. 7. To assume other duties as assigned by the principal. (p. 28) The appointed school coordinators understood that their first responsibility lay in assisting with professional and curriculum development. As no release time was provided, teachers chosen for the role had to be, by implication, sufficiently committed to spend a great deal of non-teaching time in fulfilling responsibilities to the staff and the principal. The guidelines for appointing these coordinators allowed one coordinator to elementary schools with 200 students or less, two to schools with 200-499 students, and three coordinators to schools with 500 or more students. Most schools fell into the middle category. Each coordinator received an annual allowance, in lieu of time, calculated at 3% of the maximum salary on the P.A. (Master's) scale. In 1981-1982, the dollar amount of this allowance was $1250. Appointment of the coordinator was at the discretion of the principal but the staff member's name and subject area of responsibility were to be submitted to the Board Office by September of each year. Of the 61 coordinators named in September 1981, 48 listed Language Arts-Writing as the curriculum area they would be supporting. Although this position lasted only until 1984, when it was lost to budget cutbacks, it provided Ms. Kaser with necessary legitimate contact at the school level. Ms. Kaser remembers: I remember thinking that for the principals this could be a tough job. They will wonder who to give this job to. They could do the easy, typical thing. They could give the job to a guy who is highly organized and good at basketball. So I raced around really fast, to some key communicators, as many as I could get to and tried to get them to think hard about this position, thus alerting them to this issue. It just wouldn't have worked. Women teachers  58. networking with men teachers doing P.E. being paid as curriculum coordinators--it wouldn't have worked. We would have been at cross purposes. It needed a person with savvy: you know, in the birthing process, it isn't the midwife who is important, it's the baby. My job was to facilitate the growth and I needed to work fast then. (1991)  As indicated, Ms. Kaser was successful in getting teachers who acted as her advocates to serve as school curriculum coordinators. For her to have an "inner circle" of support would appear to have helped solidify the establishment of the writing process innovation in almost 80% of Richmond elementary schools. As members of this—some would consider "elite"--club, some teachers for the first time participated in a wider sphere of education, assisting in decisions about curriculum implementation, and felt sufficiently empowered to lead staff meetings on the topic of writing. All of this helps to show that in historical fact, change in Richmond was abetted by a number of consigliere. Certainly Ms Kaser was one among a number of such consigliere.  Teachers Had the Opportunity to Observe Similar Projects  Teachers and schools planned public events to explain and clarify changes in classroom practice. Students and teachers organized during-the-day "presenting assemblies" at which readings and displays of student work took centre stage. These assemblies became part of many schools' monthly or weekly schedules and some schools even held an occasional assembly in the evening for parents who worked during the day. Students at all stages and of all ages read and proudly presented their work to an appreciative audience. Ms. Kaser arranged to have small podiums, or  59. "presenting stands," constructed by a volunteer parent in the district, and soon every school had one or two. Teachers described the stimulation of hearing the writing ideas from many classrooms from within their own school. They became more aware than before of the range of abilities of students of all ages. In addition to assemblies, schools began to hold large writing displays. Hallway and classroom walls were covered with samples of student writing. One teacher remembers: This display was very important. We had been to other schools to see theirs and got all fired up about how we could organize to really reflect what we were doing. We put a lot of work into that. We wanted to cross-grade the display and choose a theme where everyone who had something that fit into that theme could put it onto the bulletin board and put the age of the author under it. In working like that in something for the parents I learned a tremendous amount. We had presentation rooms where the children introduced each other, we had the stands, the children were different ages. My thinking began to change about process teaching. I began to make personal connections. As teachers, we realized we could learn from each other, an intermediate from a primary and so on. (Harpe, 1992) At the district level, the annual displays held at the teacher resource centre were large by the standard of previous such displays. Because of their singular curricular inter-connections, these events became officially known as Art and Writing Displays. Teachers were invited to contribute samples of student work, mounted and labelled, to be displayed on the walls and in the rooms of the elementary school Richmond teachers used for meetings and workshops. Volunteer teachers and administrators collected these pieces, sometimes in the form of three-dimensional artifacts, sometimes ten metre long murals, and sometimes pages from student-authored novels--all interpretations of the art and writing connections across various curriculum areas. As all elementary schools were  60.  encouraged to contribute, it was not uncommon for there to be hundreds of pieces of student work, all at the published stage. More volunteer teachers put up the displays and prepared for a week-long event to which the public as well as the teachers of surrounding districts had been invited. U.B.C. education professors brought their students, high school English classes arrived on buses, Delta elementary teachers arranged to have a "professional development" day that week, and Richmond teachers and students poured through with cameras and note pads. One teacher remembers her experience at these displays: Those Art and Writing displays were incredible. Everyone felt validated by having your kids' work there. I mean, you put your piece of work up and you got praise for it, your name was on it, your school. People got to know who you were, you got to know who others were. (Mann, 1992) By providing apparently appreciative and critical audiences for student (and teacher) work, these displays served a number of purposes. From a student writer or artist's point of view, there was now a practical reason for writing and drawing. The adult viewers at these displays were encouraged to write comments about what they saw and read thereby giving feedback to the students in classrooms. From Richmond teachers' perspectives, pressure to "show off" what their students could produce encouraged teachers to polish their reading and writing instructional practices. Schools were put under pressure to send contributions to these annual displays. School curriculum coordinators, Ms. Kaser's contacts, provided this pressure in many instances. For the teachers who had been attending the curriculum meetings with Ms. Kaser, to contribute was not so difficult. For the teachers who had chosen not to become involved to this point, it was now more problematic to avoid participation in change.  61.  The teachers who contributed display material also wrote a single-page description of their idea that became part of the subsequent Art and Writing Classroom Ideas book. In 1981, the foreword of this document read:  This collection of ideas is a tribute to the visual and verbal imaginativeness of Richmond elementary teachers. Each page represents a classroom experience which has already worked--and will work again--in helping young authors and illustrators develop their giftedness in using language and images to express their ideas and feelings. It is a pleasure to be able to publish these thoughtful teaching approaches. (Kaser & Grauer, 1981) In May 1981, teachers orally and visually presented art and writing ideas to each other in a four-hour after-school session. Ms. Kaser received such positive feedback from teachers that she organized at least three more such Idea Shares over the next three years. Instead of viewing a static wall or table display, teachers listened to the stories behind the visuals and compared strategies. Each year more than 40 teachers presented a short teaching idea to groups of the 400 colleagues who attended. Conditions Necessary for Critical Thought Why did Richmond teachers become as involved as they did? To understand the impetus behind teacher commitment, I use the following analysis. Frank Smith (1990) uses John McPeck's 1981 work to make connections between thought and language. To paraphrase, both authors believe at least three conditions necessary for critical thought and thence language development: 1. The Importance of Prior Knowledge 2. Having a Disposition to Learn 3. Having Control or Ownership  62. The Importance of Prior Knowledge Without experience or knowledge of a subject, organised thought and language is difficult. Before teachers saw and heard what the writing process was, they could make little usable sense of it. Most teachers' previous experiences with writing occurred in classrooms where teachers routinely instructed students to "write on this topic." Writing process classrooms offer what Judith Newman (1987) calls "interpretive" teaching or "leading [the learner] from behind." Teachers agreed to consider implications for their classrooms only after many demonstrations and viewings of the process in action.  Having a Disposition to Learn The disposition to think about a subject, or the tendency to behave in certain ways at certain times, is a critical component of a learning attitude. What teachers already believed about writing determined their readiness to learn another way of teaching it. This was the easy part. Most teachers' personal memories of classroom writing experiences were of ordeals. Few teachers in Richmond resisted the continual invitations to join the "journey."  Having Control or Ownership The third condition can be termed authority, ownership, or control over the learning situation. A learner who feels none of these is unlikely to risk grappling with new ideas. If Ms. Kaser chose to pre-package "the right way" to teach writing to Richmond's young people (as did some districts), thereby providing no opportunities for Richmond teachers to invent strategies as they went, I suspect the  63. results would have been different. On the contrary, on the surface at least, Ms. Kaser let teachers do the creating, the controlling, the owning.  At this point, I would add another condition, taking liberties once again with the work of Frank Smith and others, particularily the Cooperative Learning researchers (Clarke, Wideman, Eadie, 1990; Fogarty, 1990; Johnson & Johnson, 1975, 1984; Myers, 1983, 1986; Sharan et al; 1980; Slavin, 1983, 1985). These theorists maintain that social cooperation can be a powerful teaching medium. To become involved in a cooperative learning enterprise involves listening to others, sharing ideas, and learning from others. It can be a dynamic and challenging experience. A predominant tenet of much of Smith's writing, as of the others, is his assumption that learning is highly social. His analogy of "joining a club" to describe the phenomenon of like-minded learners who learn from each other applies here. Richmond elementary school teachers came together, however vicariously, to learn about the writing process. What resulted, among other pedagogical and professional outcomes, was personal "membership" in the "club" of writing teachers. According to the evidence presented, it became the club to join in Richmond at that time. Therefore, I would call the fourth condition necessary for learning, "Being accepted into the club." The sociological claim here again, matches well enough with the historical evidence to meet the explanatory standard I laid out earlier.  Regular Meetings Were Held Art "contacts" from each school had met monthly after school to talk about  64.  art issues since 1977. Ms. Kaser also recognized the value of giving teachers opportunities to talk to one another and she recommended that similar monthly Language Arts curriculum discussion meetings be held during the day. The Board supported this plan, and two teachers from each school, usually chosen by the principal, or recommended to the principal by Ms. Kaser, were invited to attend the monthly half-day workshops. Usually, the school curriculum coordinator attended these sessions with a different teacher from the school each time. As another teacher remembers: Being my school's Language Arts' "Rep," as we called it, meant I got to go to these meetings; they were in school time, I could meet with other people who were doing similar sorts of things. Now meetings like this are commonplace, but then those were a new and radical thing. Being released from your class to go off to work with other teachers and talk about what was going well and what wasn't. The process was built on success. (Mann, 1992) An example of a Rep's meeting agenda is found in Appendix C.  Teachers Were Able to Participate in Reform Decisions  As there was no package of prescriptive material for teachers to follow, it was easier for teachers to "invent" the timing and the interpretation of the so-called writing process in their schools and in "their" district. Strategies and tactics for teaching and learning differed somewhat across classrooms. During reps' meetings, teachers discussed their successes and their wishes with their colleagues and with Ms. Kaser. Barth (1990) refers to what he terms a "community of learners": Communities of learners seem to be committed above all to discovering  65. conditions that elicit and support human learning and to providing these conditions. Whereas many attempts to improve schools dwell on monitoring adult behavior, on controlling students, on the assurance of student achievement, and on the visible attainment of prescribed skills, the central question for a community of learners is not, what should principals, teachers and students know and do, and how do we get them to do it? Instead the underlying question is, under what conditions will principals, teachers and students become committed, serious, lifelong, cooperative learners? (p. 45) Richmond teachers had the time and "permission" to experience these conditions. On one reading of the evidence, their collective voice was valued. On another, their behaviour was being shaped by a clever and politically astute leader.  Some Project Materials Were Locally Developed The resources available to teachers in the early years of the writing process experience were mainly research articles and educational journals' accounts of teachers' experiences. Richmond teachers had access to much of this professional literature. The bulk of Richmond-produced support materials were created after 1983.  Principals were Involved in Training Fullan (1991 ) claims: Principals within the same system operating in almost identical circumstances will work with change or avoid it, depending on their conception of their role. Just as the teachers' sense of efficacy is important in bringing about school improvement, so is the principal's, perhaps more significant, because it effects the whole organization. We could also speculate that many principals are diffident about their change leadership role because they do not feel prepared or clear about how to carry it out. Opportunities for interaction and professional development about the role of the principal in change are very much needed, and only recently are being established. (p. 167)  66. During the first days and months of Ms. Kaser's mandate, she contacted and visited every elementary school principal. The principals decided for themselves, initially, the extent to which they and their schools would get involved. Often, though, it became important for them to please their teachers when the teachers returned from Language Arts reps' meetings wanting more time to talk and to plan. A few principals attended these meetings, but not consistently. Two principals remember: The staff and I agreed that we wanted to become a 'writing school.' We weren't sure what that meant or even if we'd know it if and when we got there. So we had a professional day to talk about what writing is all about. At the end, three teachers wanted to jump right in. At that point, once you get the commitment, the principal ends up as a kind of a cheerleader. In our interviews for new teachers we said we were interested in hiring them only if they were interested in getting better. We worked extra hard those years. People developed a work ethic that I've never seen before. (Eyjolfson, 1992) Linda worked with schools that showed some promise but she really based her work on the teachers rather than necessarily on us principals. However, there soon were enough of us who got very enthused by everything that was going on. We saw how excited our teachers were and we signed on to become "writing schools." To be known as a writing school was important for us. There were lots of rewards for us then: recognition, time, notoriety, visits, travel around across the district. It became the thing to do, the thing to support. (Warburton, 1992) From these partial accounts, a tentative conclusion can be drawn about the role of principal as facilitator. At best one might guess that some may have been driven by political-administrative ambition, or by taste, or perhaps by ignorance of alternatives. Those principals who became committed to learning and supporting the writing process work in classrooms may have understood the importance of creating an unobstructed flow of information and experience throughout their organization. They may have recognized the power of communicating clear goals  67. and values to their teachers and to the community. They may have known of the two qualities essential to effective leadership for binding all their skills into a believable whole--consistency and integrity. All of these remain for a detailed sociological investigation.  Local Variability vs. Uniformity The DESSI study found the issue of local variability one of the most significant blocks to educational change. Huberman (1983) concluded, in his study of twelve sites undergoing educational change: "If schools within a setting tend to be more loosely than tightly linked, then the prospects for facilitating widespread change seem dim" (p. 102). As described earlier, Richmond's demography and the social and economic status of its constituents reveal a distinct uniformity. Richmond change agents were not victims of uneven response to the objectives of the reform because of serious differences in district sites. McLaughlin (1990) describes variability as "an anathema to policy-makers and the plague to reform schools because it signaled uneven local responses to policy objectives" (p.13). However it is interpreted, the uniformity in Richmond may have helped delivery of the writing process messages to the students.  Belief in the Reform Often Follows Practice Don Lintott recalls the momentum building as time passed: Local enthusiasm grew and grew. Everyone knew that we all supported their work and, in fact, it grew so fast it was hard to manage the process. Everyone  68. wanted on the bandwagon. It was hard to keep up with the demand for time and the demand for dollars. Also, we were in a better time. (1991) Teachers who heard about the events, who read the monthly newsletters (Appendix D), and who listened to their colleagues in staffrooms and in the pub on Friday afternoons (a ritual for many staffs), could not avoid hearing about the writing process news. In the beginning, before visitors came from all over the province and elsewhere, before authors visited schools, before camera crews set up in hallways and classrooms of the district, it was the classroom-by-classroom creation of the culture that helped teachers (according to their own testimony) make sense of the writing process.  External Consultants Were Used For the first two years of discovery, Ms. Kaser worked quietly with individual schools, teachers, and students. District meetings began in the second year, 1980-81. The decision to go public, both by sharing and by inviting international experts into the district, began in earnest in what I consider the second phase of the reform.  Characteristics of the Innovation Many interview subjects had firm, indeed stubborn opinions on writing. Ms. Kaser remarks: On the surface, writing as an innovation was simple. But writing forces you to keep the student in centre focus at the same time there is personal pay-off for you as an adult; rather like teaching fitness or some other sport, it makes your life easier. You got to be more powerful while teaching kids to read and write more effectively. You came to write better letters to the editor, read with more enjoyment, think about these things more clearly. It's the only innovation that I can think of that has done that. It appealed to many people with different styles. (1991)  69. And a principal remembers: The idea wasn't hard to sell. Teachers knew they could do it because they already were teaching writing. They just had to fine tune their beliefs about how students learned to read and write. They didn't feel inadequate. (Warburton, 1992) From the teachers' point of view, the writing process pedagogies, once mastered, occasionally became the basis of all teaching and learning interactions in the classroom. The teachers interviewed came to consider the writing process theories and their practical applications a panacea that could have relevance across curricular disciplines and with all students. These teachers reported that the writing process transformed their classrooms into collaborative and communicative workplaces which found teachers and students thinking about language and learning in ways they may not have done before. For the first time in the experience of many of these Richmond teachers, they could teach the way they wish they had been taught, the way of their rebellious 1960's, a real, personal, socially responsible, unsettling, way. We had so far to go, there was so much to it. I think we believed in it so strongly that there was always something more we wanted to do with the kids. We tackled new ideas, we tried things we never would have tried before. It was part of the whole day and there wasn't a day that went by that we weren't doing some kind of writing. (Mann, 1992) Writing is a social art. It is social in that it involves the interaction of people in a specific encounter encompassing language, time, emotion and creation. It allows individuals in a group to share experimentally their attitudes, values, and opinions. Writing is metamorphic and allows for interpretation by all participants, teachers and students alike. Writing about personal experience can be an attractive draw, an active engagement of thoughts and feelings. Perhaps these are some of the  70.  reasons for the appeal of the writing process. Rogers and Shoemaker (1971) argue for attention to the beneficiary of the innovation and his or her "perceptions of the attributes of innovations, not the attributes as classified by experts or change agents, which affect the rate of adoption" ( p. 138). What were Richmond teachers' perceptions of writing, notably during the formative months of the writing process implementation? I propose to explain partially the success of the writing process implementation using Rogers and Shoemaker's list of characteristics that mark an innovation as "adoptable." I chose this list because it provides a list of criteria with which to assess Richmond's context at the time of change. 1. Relative Advantage is the degree to which an innovation is perceived as  being better than the idea or practice it replaces. For some teachers, the writing process strategies were a welcome substitute for the Language Arts teaching methodology they currently used. One incentive to adopting the writing process was teachers' perceptions that learners became more engaged during a writing workshop than in a traditional skill-directed language learning experience. Engagement can mean increased learning. As one teacher remembers; My teaching of writing became much more structured and much more successful. When I think back to the mid-70s and how I taught writing then, when I would tell the children to write a story using a topic I had chosen, we might read it together if we were lucky, but usually nothing was done about it.. .writing was a forty minute chore. During the writing process years, children had no qualms about sitting down and writing. (Harpe, 1992) 2.Compatibility is the degree to which an innovation is perceived as  consistent with the existing values, previous experiences, and needs of the receivers. Rogers and Shoemaker contend that sociocultural preferences interact with proposed innovations making the innovations more or less acceptable. The  71. beneficiaries of the innovation (the writing process), were a group of Richmond teachers, mainly homogeneous in background, age, and experience, to whom the tenets and values of the writing process appealed. World-wide tendencies were moving away from overly structured, systematic, pedagogical practices to ones valuing process and dialogue among learners (Elbow, 1973). From their comments, Richmond teachers knew this and were therefore more receptive to the writing process messages. 3. Complexity is the degree to which an innovation is found difficult to  understand and to use. Teachers found little difficulty using the writing process strategies with their students. One teacher remembers: It was a very clear and easy strategy to understand, seeing how the whole process could be divided into the five stages. People understood what it meant fairly easily. It was something you could do if you were writing in any curriculum area; art, math, science, socials--with kids of any age. The ideas we talked about were so varied, so accessible, anyone could begin along the way. (Mann, 1992) 4.Trialability is the degree to which an innovation is perceived as being  divisible or experimental. According to Rogers and Shoemaker, innovations which are able to be "broken up" or learned in small pieces, are more attractive than innovations which are only accessible in a whole. The extent to which the writing process could be learned in stages was an undeniable attraction for many teachers. Time and attention were given to each "stage" of the process. For example, in the first year of implementation, each Language Arts reps' meeting examined one of the stages in the writing process and each subsequent meeting built upon shared classroom experiences as each stage was practiced. 5. Observability is the degree to which the results of an innovation are visible  72. and communicable to others. Richmond teachers had opportunities to share what they and their students were doing in their classrooms with a variety of appreciative audiences. Taken on the basis of these criteria alone, the innovation of the writing process incorporated features that contributed to its successful implementation and that proved to be a draw which sustained and expanded Richmond teachers' interests.  Expansion Commences  As Richmond moved into the second, more public phase of the writing process experience, Ms. Kaser published her priorities for the 1982-83 school year: 1. Continue the development of school K-7 writing programmes. 2. Continue the development of Language Arts programmes for parents. 3. Provide in-service opportunities for writing and reading in Science and Math. 4. Develop K-7 school spelling programmes. 5. Develop connections between elementary and secondary Language Arts programmes. 6. Provide differentiated strategies for less able and enriched Language Arts students. 7. Coordinate the Editor for an Hour and Writers in the Schools Programmes. 8. Develop evaluation strategies for elementary writing. 9. Assist with Language Arts applications for microcomputers. 10. Coordinate the use of Language Arts resources. (Curriculum Update Document, 1982, p. 15) On the cusp of going public with what was happening in Richmond classrooms, teachers and administrators began to understand at a deeper level the consequences of the effort they daily expended in their schools.  73.  CHAPTER FOUR Good ideas and good intentions are not enough, and replication and imitation are not the same. How many other Deweys are there? How often do the conditions favourable to either creation or change occur? The answer to the first question is none, and the answer to the second is very seldom. Seymour B. Sarason, The Predictable Failure of Educational Reform (1990, p. 132-133)  Reaching Beyond the District From a classroom teacher's point of view, a call from Ms. Kaser usually meant being asked to become more heavily involved in the writing project. Other districts and schools from around the province, anxious to hear Richmond's writing stories, regularly asked for assistance in beginning their own writing reforms. Ms. Kaser had to find ways of translating Richmond's experience for interested schools. As Ms. Kaser still enjoyed the largest budget of any curriculum department in the school district, it was possible for her to plan and implement a variety of projects. The outreach formats Ms. Kaser chose were: • Publication of the Richmond Writing Project in 1981. • Creation of a series of videotapes and accompanying reference handbooks called the Young Writers' Project (released in 1983). • Participation in a series of Knowledge Network television programmes in 1983. • Training a core of expert teachers beginning in 1982.  74.  Richmond Writing Project  Confidence in one's own views of a topic is a prerequisite to persuading a new audience of them. To this end, a volunteer group of Richmond elementary and secondary teachers, administrators, and district consultants co-authored a 86-page widely-circulated document called The Richmond Writing Project published in 1981. This document was one of the few systematic explanations of the writing process methodology and contained pertinent education journal articles on writing as well as a synthesis of current teaching strategies and other practical matters. Ms. Kaser and Ms. McLelland, who at this time were the curriculum coordinators for elementary Language Arts and secondary English respectively, reported that they saw this as an important strategy to involve teachers and administrators in synthesizing the theories and practices of the writing process. Membership on this committee was open to anyone who wished to become involved and meeting times were mostly after school with occasional during-the-day sessions. Many of the committee members may have gone on to influence writing instruction in the schools in which they subsequently taught, although I do not intend to use either this document or its authors to make assertions about the roles and responsibilities of change agents. This group spent much of their time finding out about the teaching of writing from a variety of sources. Using standards developed by the National Council of Teachers of English, the Richmond team wrote the following as position statements for the teaching and learning of writing:  75. Basic Skills Programme in Writing Re: Teaching and Learning 1. The development of the writing programme has been based upon knowledge of current theory and research in writing. 2. Writing instruction is a substantial and clearly identified part of integrated English! Language Arts Curriculum from Kindergarten to Grade 12. 3. Writing is encouraged in other subject matters across the curriculum. 4. The subject matter of the student's writing has its richest source in his personal, social, and academic interests and experiences. 5. Students write in a variety of forms, such as essays, notes, summaries, poems, letters, stories, reports, scripts, journals, dialogues, and dramas. 6.Students write for a variety of audiences (for example, the self, classmates, community, the teacher) in order to vary approaches. 7.Students write for a wide range of purposes (for example, to inform, to persuade, to express themselves, to explore and clarify thinking). 8.Sufficient class time is devoted to each aspect of the writing process: generating ideas, drafting, revising, editing, publishing and presenting. 9.All students receive instruction in developing and expressing ideas and in using the conventions of edited Canadian English. 10.Control of the conventions of edited written English (supporting skills such as spelling, handwriting, punctuation and grammatical usage) is developed primarily during the writing process and secondarily through related exercises. 11.Students receive constructive responses--from the teachers and from others--at various stages of the writing process. 12.Evaluation of individual writing growth is based on complete pieces of writing and reflective of informed judgements, first, about clarity and content and then about conventions of spelling, mechanics and usage. Assessment also includes regular responses to individual pieces of student writing as well as periodic assessment measuring growth over a period of time. (p. 10)  76. That the committee of teachers who assembled this document were able to collect, define and articulate a process approach to writing must be considered remarkable. Writing process work was in its infancy in North America at the time and many writers and researchers published various interpretations of its most salient features. (It took the committee eighteen months to publish The Richmond Writing Project.) Furthermore, the committee took a significant risk in espousing  these statements on effective writing in school. Many teachers could have had difficulty accepting the twelve points. They contradicted what many teachers had learned was the correct and only way to help youngsters to become literate. Elementary Language Arts instruction had long been modelled in the teacher's guides of skill-based basal reading series. "Creative writing" did not find a place in the school timetable until the 1950's and even then it often was relegated to a 40minute expendable period at the end of the week. Moving writing to a more central location in the timetable and in the minds of teachers would take some energy which, in Richmond, was begun with the creation of The Richmond Writing Project.  The Young Writers' Project In summer 1980, Ms. Kaser and two colleagues met to discuss how a "writers' workshop approach" 8 might be demonstrated on videotape. One of her colleagues represented the Provincial Educational Media Centre, the provincially funded production and distribution centre for educational media materials. The other headed the Ministry of Education's Programme Implementation Services Branch.  77.  The job, as they defined it, called for depicting on videotape "a slice of life" of a class engaged in the writing process work. The planners of this series thought "this approach would allow viewers to add to their own experience of working with young writers by providing a framework for observation and for discussion of an actual classroom situation" (The Young Writers' Project: Workshop Leader's Handbook, 1983, p. 53).  A series of six videotapes showing students and teachers in elementary writing classrooms resulted from the efforts of many people--sixteen classrooms were videotaped. The producers captured moments that helped answer viewers' potential questions. A set of videotapes was sent to every school district resource office in British Columbia. These videotapes were soon accompanied by Workshop Leaders' and Participants' Handbooks which helped teachers around the province become more effective when leading or attending writing workshops. Inthe Richmond school district, teachers traditionally played a passive role in implementation planning or functioning. The co-production (with the Ministry of Education) of these videotapes brought Richmond teachers into the limelight as never before or since. The producers tried to include a cross-section of elementary teachers, schools, and variously-aged students. Most teachers not directly involved in the project at the time were proud that their district had assumed a leadership role in the province. To broaden the tapes' impact and in the spirit of maximizing local teacher involvement, all Richmond schools were invited to preview these tapes before production and to provide feedback to the producers. Follow-up included the 1985 re-editing of the original videotapes, augmented by a new series of classroom shots from around the province. (This project was accomplished after Ms.  78.  Kaser moved in 1984 to the Ministry of Education to work in the Programme Effectiveness Branch-- her position until 1987.) It could be observed that, in making these videos, it became more difficult for Richmond to water down or back away from their "reform." Summer Art and Writing Institutes I have already mentioned the utility in reform of professional collaboration. Fullan and Hargreaves (1991), Fullan (1991), Rosenholtz (1989), Little (1987), and others all make the case for fostering a collaborative work culture to sustain "learning-enriched" school environments. In a truly supportive, communicative environment, teachers are more likely to undertake risky teaching practices. Working in isolation, teachers may further enforce habitual "stuck" tendencies (Rosenholtz, 1989). Once again, social and educational theory invites new questions of the evidence, and we return, now, to consider that evidence. The Summer Art and Writing Institutes of 1979, 1980, and 1981, followed by a feedback session in February 1982, allowed teachers from more than 30 B.C. school districts to come to Richmond to learn, discuss, write, and think about writing instruction in elementary school. During one of these week-long institutes (1981), which was directed by a staff of six Richmond teachers, the following questions were posed and used to guide the work of the Institute: 1. How do we help students write to learn as well as to publish? 2. How can we develop an approach to the teaching of writing that fits our own teaching styles and teaching strengths? 3. How can we use subject areas as starting points for writing? 4. What can we contribute to the research findings related to writing by  79.  looking at discoveries in our own classrooms? (the Young Writers' Project, 1983, p. 55) Provocative queries such as these may have contributed to this reform's success. Beyond this, I have no direct evidence of the impact of the Institutes. Their probable importance may nonetheless be inferred from their continuing popularity, and from the whole pattern of events of which they were a part. 1983 Teleconference As enthusiasm for and curiosity about Richmond's version of the writing process instruction grew, Ms. Kaser considered other ways to maximize contact with teachers from around the province. It is difficult to resist the inference that Ms. Kaser had by this time acquired a taste for pure administration, for public exposure, and for a certain kind of power. The Distance Education Office of the Faculty of Education at U.B.C. planned visual and audio links with Special Education students around the province. Ms. Kaser and Dr. Ron Neufeld of Distance Education discussed doing the same with writing teachers, parents and district staff from twelve to fourteen sites in B.C. Very soon, the Program Implementation Branch, headed by Ms. Beverly Buchanan from the Ministry, became involved. In spring 1983, after months of planning and with help from U.B.C's Media Services and the Knowledge Network (who provided satellite hook-up and network broadcast time), and using studios at B.C.I.T., a full day teleconference took place. A central panel in Burnaby interacted with panels at fourteen provincial sites who had two-way audio and one-way visual communication. The six Young Writers' videotapes were shown thus generating teacher questions, although a pre-set agenda  80. ensured topical and creative conversation. From a technological point of view, Dr. Neufeld (1992) considered this experience "ground-breaking" for many future long-distance exchanges. Training Teachers Ms. Kaser provided opportunities for teachers to meet to discuss progress of schools and individuals toward understanding the writing process "praxis."  9 For  the first time in many cases, participants questioned their teaching practice in light of their theoretical beliefs. The questions they asked were often difficult and unsettling. As participants in these sessions, many teachers experienced personal metamorphoses. For the first time in the careers of the interviewed teachers, they questioned and discussed the whys, whats, and the hows of teaching which could have led to them designing workshops for teachers in Richmond and elsewhere. District money was available to provide release time for teachers to attend monthly workshops and meetings, regular after-school voluntary sessions attracted teachers and administrators, and Ms. Kaser acted as facilitator and leader for schoolbased professional development sessions. In the previously described publication The Richmond Writing Project, a statement of commitment to teacher education was worded thus: Re: Support  1. Teachers with major responsibilities for writing instruction receive continuing education reflecting current knowledge about the teaching of writing. 2. Teachers of other subjects receive information and training in ways to make use of and respond to writing in their classes. 3. Parent and community groups are informed about the writing programme  81.  and about ways to support it. 4. School and class schedules provide sufficient time to ensure that the writing process is thoroughly pursued. 5. Teachers and students have access to and make regular use of a wide range of resources (for example, library services, media, teaching materials, duplicating facilities, supplies) for support of the writing programme. (p. 14) The message was explicit: the writing process work was to be valued and the pressure to belong to the group of schools and teachers embracing the writing process ideologies increased. Visiting "Experts" and Authors Ms. Kaser was, of course, not alone in seeking to attract and to inspire participants. In the early eighties, Ms. Kaser invited numerous Language Arts and writing "experts" to Richmond. James Britton, Donald Graves (who visited the district on two occasions and who mentioned Richmond as inspiration when releasing his own series of writing videotapes), Don Holdaway, Donald Murray, Yetta Goodman, and Frank Smith, as well as other less-known luminaries spoke to Richmond teachers. These visiting "authorities" legitimized the work of teachers in classrooms in the district, although their impact cannot be measured with precision. It has been said that humans are attracted to ideas through people, that we link our old learning to new learning by connecting with like-minded people. If this is true, then these educators and theorists served as mentor-teachers. Funding also was available to purchase professional reading materials. Each participating teacher received copies of books and articles by all the above-named authors, plus numerous titles by other Australian, British, American, and Canadian writing researchers. One teacher remembers receiving, reading, and discussing these works as being the highlight of those years. She claims it was the first time she felt  82. valued as a professional with opinions and intelligence. Authors of children's books visited schools and classrooms around the district. For example, in 1982, Eric Wilson spent a full week in Richmond elementary schools reading from his books and talking to the students about writing. Wilson was only one of more than thirty authors and illustrators whom Richmond students met and interviewed during the time covered by this study. To enhance the visiting author experience, Ms. Kaser called for volunteers to form a committee of teachers and teacher-librarians in order to publish a document eventually called Author Visits Handbook: How to have an effective author visit--a compilation of practical ideas (1982). (This handbook was subsequently distributed to every district resource centre in the province.) The district became known for its writing process and professional development work. The attraction of a knowledgeable, appreciative audience, organized publicity, and generous stipends convinced authors and researchers to accept invitations to speak to Richmond audiences. Cross-curricular connections came later in the implementation, after teachers began to think about relationships between the writing process work and other curricula. From the beginning, the art and writing bond received constant attention, but reading and writing, drama and writing, science and writing, social studies and writing, math and writing, computers and writing, and even P.E. and writing, all captured the spotlight. These diverse foci attracted teachers of disciplines who otherwise might not have become involved. Workshops A cadre of approximately 15 Richmond teachers were trained by Ms. Kaser to  83. give "writing workshops" to interested districts and schools around the province and later, the Pacific Northwest and the western provinces. Becoming part of this "missionary" movement, reportedly changed the professional, and in some cases personal, lives of these teachers.  Parents' Role in Educational Change  During the five years of this study, more than 3,000 Richmond parents attended evening writing workshops and writing displays at their children's schools. These workshops, designed and run by teachers, often under the guidance of Ms. Kaser, were designed to open parents' eyes to educational and pedagogical change since the years of their own elementary schooling. The effects of this largescale parent education programme, if formally measured, would possibly concur with Epstein's (1991) outcomes of effective parent/ school communication forms. Among other benefits, Epstein found that parents' understanding of school programmes and of teachers' jobs increased as they had opportunities to interact comfortably with teachers. After participating in school-based workshops, parents also felt more confident in responding to policies affecting their children's education as reported by various of the teachers interviewed. For Richmond teachers, these evening sessions provided an opportunity to synthesize what they understood about the writing process and had experienced with their students, and then to communicate this to a critically important audience--parent-ratepayers. For many teachers this was their first such "going public" experience. Typically, parents were invited to a short presentation in the school gym and  84. then encouraged to participate in a writing activity similar to one their children might encounter during the day. At each stage of instruction, teachers would offer explanation and answer questions. As reported by those teachers and administrators interviewed for this study, and from my personal experience, it was not uncommon for some parents to become more active around the school, contributing their time as editors, proof-readers, or listeners and encouragers, after participating in these evening sessions. The children, the teachers, and the parents benefited.  The Momentum Falters B.C.'s Politics of Education 1981-1983 "FROM CIVILITY TO WARFARE--in just sixteen years." So reads Ken Aitchison's editorial headline in the January/February 1984 issue of the B.C. Teacher Magazine. Aitchison described the relationship between the B.C. provincial government and the British Columbia Teachers' Federation over the previous sixteen years as adversarial--the ultimate culmination being a three-day teachers' strike in November 1983. The government and the B.C.T.F. collided over many issues during these years, differences and suspicions with roots not only in educational philosophy but also in "partisan" political action. For the purposes of this paper it will serve to outline briefly only the most problematic of these issues in order to support the argument that provincial (and district) politics distracted Richmond teachers' and administrators' attention from the writing process implementation. Larry Kuehn, president of the B.C.T.F. from 1981 to 1984, made a list (which I here paraphrase) of the steps leading to the strike in 1983. His socialist bias is well  85. known and his first-hand knowledge of these times make his analysis useful to helping to set the scene. 'the roots of B.C.'s "school wars"--as education writer Crawford Kilian termed the ongoing confrontation in a book of that title in 1985--were in teachers' efforts to have control over class size and to establish collective bargaining; • the public and government reacted negatively to a 17% wage increase for teachers negotiated with the provincial government in 1981 (which deflected teachers' attention from the issue of collective bargaining); • the government set wage controls for all public-sector employees in 1982; *the government directed school boards to make significant budget cuts regardless of existing contractual agreements--also in 1982; • Hon. Bill Vander Zalm was Minister of Education. For many educators in B.C. in the early eighties, listening to Mr. Vander Zalm express his opinions on education meant embarrassment and public humiliation for anyone involved in the public education system. Kuehn concluded that: "The first year of the 'school wars' produced a slow haemorrhage of resources and a severe psychological battering of everyone in the system" (1989, p. 84). As mentioned, Crawford Kilian was another self-described left-wing British  Columbian educator! author who wrote a book in reaction to the political events as they affected education. In his 1985 publication School Wars, Kilian echoed Kuehn: In plain English, the ministry of education has broken legally binding contracts, degraded local government, acted without authority of legislation,  86. and compounded our economic problems while pretending to solve them. (p.63) Admittedly, neither source quoted could be considered politically neutral or even completely balanced in their accounts of the events of those years. Regardless, they both argue persuasively for the reader to symphathize with their careful analysis of the situation. Following the 1983 provincial election, which saw the Social Credit party reelected, changes in education budgets and working conditions for teachers were announced. The government enacted legislation which included wage controls and significant social services cutbacks. As a result, over 3,000 B.C. teachers lost their jobs, class sizes increased to pre-1976 levels, and school boards lost their autonomy as control over school district budgeting was centralized in Victoria. B.C.T.F. reaction was swift and irrevocable. Operation Solidarity was formed, allegiances were established with the B.C. Federation of Labour, and plans were made to join in a general strike. With a 60% strike support vote, teachers were asked to walk out of their classrooms on Tuesday, November 8, 1983. By Monday of the next week teachers had returned to work, confused and in some degree disoriented by their collective experience. Politically, some would say, nothing was gained by this strike. Professionally, some would say, everything was lost. It is not difficult to believe these events could distract even the most committed teacher from professional development activities.  87. Richmond's Political Climate 1982-1986 Ironically, Richmond school district's political scene was also in turmoil at this time. In May 1982, a new superintendent was appointed in Richmond. This individual replaced a highly popular, if opinionated, superintendent who had finally developed a controversial relationship with the school board over policy decisions and administrator selection. Possibly to get a respite from the turbulence of the previous superintendency, the new superintendent was deemed "controllable" as recalled by a member of the selection committee and his three-year appointment made official. A member of the school board of the time confided that they were tired of all the confrontation and were looking forward to a few years of peace and quiet before the next election. No one could have predicted the degree to which that statement would be wrong. Almost immediately, the new superintendent introduced controversial changes. Two years later, after an in-camera meeting of the Richmond Association of School Administrators, a document was produced for subsequent private release to the school board. The opening paragraphs of this document said: Over the past two years, significant changes have been made in the Richmond School District that have directly affected the effectiveness of those who are working to increase learning for Richmond students. These changes have been implemented rapidly, causing adjustment to be difficult. It is recognized that restraint has been a factor during this time period. However, a secure, cohesive organization should be able to cope with the difficulties of restraint if it determines not to compromise its basic philosophy and beliefs. A unified organization can still move ahead and set a positive direction and course for itself within the context of restraint. We have become increasingly concerned at the lack of opportunity for serious, prior consultation. ..this is the fundamental reason for the R.A.S.A. formulating a paper to share its concerns. (p. 1)  88.  The paper, a thinly veiled vilification of the new superintendent's actions, goes on to list the main areas of concern as seen by district administrators. The most significant of these bear recounting. First, there was a lack of clearly defined, district-articulated beliefs or visions on which to base decisions of policy and action. The main ramifications of this deficiency were that district office personnel were reassigned, school curriculum coordinators abandoned, school vice-principals cut, school custodial staff reduced, and previously struck ad hoc committees cancelled. It could be said that provincial restraint measures were in part responsible for such violent cuts and slashes. But to make such wide-ranging changes without consultation resulted in a lack of confidence in the superintendent's true motives by all affected. Second, staff morale both at district and school levels, became increasingly poor. The superintendent made "surprise" decisions, then changed his mind; he increased rules and regulations without sufficient dialogue; he remained hidden in his office; and he created powerful groups and committees of his "friends," once again without due process. Third, there was limited communication and consultation with teachers and administrators. Many more in-camera meetings were held than previously. Important and pertinent information, particularly regarding Ministry budgets, was not disclosed to teachers and administrators. This was especially difficult during years of restraint when money matters were of widespread concern. For the district curriculum coordinators, Ms. Kaser included, these transition years under the new Superintendent became increasingly difficult. Their mandates and roles declined in importance to this superintendent by contrast with the  89.  previous superintendent, who had supported and encouraged them. Their budgets were halved, their school contacts gone, and according to the subjects interviewed, teachers' morale reached a new low. These several events and circumstances were polar opposites of a number of conditions that led in the first place to reform.  Richmond teachers in the mid-eighties grew tired and disenchanted as did Ms. Kaser. In June 1984, she accepted a position with the Ministry of Education to form and run its new Program Effectiveness Branch. Although the writing process implementation faltered in its heady forward movement at the district level, Richmond writing teachers had been changed. In the next chapter, I explain and justify this assertion.  90.  CHAPTER FIVE  True scholars are so full of the spirit of inquiry, so sensitive to every sign of its presence and absence, that no matter what they do, nor how they do it, they succeed in awakening and inspiring like alert and intense mental activity in those with whom they come in contact. John Dewey, The School and Society, 1900. (cited in Hendley, 1986, p. 15)  The Reform Experience Explained and Justified  The purpose of this study was to describe and to interpret, from historical and policy analysis perspectives, district level and school-based efforts to implement an innovative aspect of the Language Arts curriculum, the "writing process." In this final chapter, I abandon the historical perspective and emphasize possible influences upon administrative/ sociological policy-making while using evidence and results of both lines of inquiry.  In the past two decades, studies of teaching and teacher change have highlighted that no single set of guidelines is useful for any particular implementation or change effort. Therefore, I do not propose to present a list of conditions that can easily be transferred into similar settings and situations with the assurance of similarly successful outcomes. Instead, drawing on the assumptions presented earlier in the paper, and by re-examining questions that have emerged following study of educational change theories, I offer analysis, by no means exhaustive, of change in Richmond during 1978-1984.  91.  Reform Topic Choice--Who Chooses?  Is it realistic to expect busy, "guilty," subservient teachers to embrace enthusiastically any and all educational changes or curricular innovations that are presented at staff meetings? Hardly. Fullan (1991) lists twelve major obstacles to successful implementation as identified by a 1989 study of four staff-developmentbased change projects. The obstacles included: school districts' tendencies toward faddism and "quick-fix" solutions, too many competing demands or overload, failure to take into account differences among schools, underfunding projects or trying too much with too little, faulty or overly abstract theories not related or relatable to practice, and failure to consider the relationship between the proposed innovation and the purposes of schools. It seems reform can become an end in itself without regard for the people directly involved. The Richmond Young Writer's Project, as the reform movement was often termed, did not suffer grievously, or even notiecably from any of these hindering circumstances. • No one could label the writing process instruction as "faddish or "quickfix." • During the five years under study, writing was acknowledged by the Ministry of Education, Richmond's district office, and the schools as the primary focus for professional development. • As the writing 'curriculum' evolved with each teacher's use, it could not be criticized for being inflexible or unrealistic in terms of a school's needs or culture. • Until the government-initiated restraint programme curtailed even the  92. most basic of school operations, money made available on a demand/ "need" basis supported writing reform at district, school, and classroom levels. •Writing process theories adapted themselves readily to classroom practice, with teachers working together to make appropriate connections. •Although it would be impossible to discover what all Richmond teachers in 1979 may have thought were the purposes of schooling, I claim that the majority may have thought the school's job was to produce willing, curious, confident, and positive learners, regardless of background or ability. It would be highly naive to claim writing process instruction did all these things. Nevertheless, it is at least conceivable, that is, conceptually possible, that the writing process classrooms moved closer to that goal than did traditional writing classrooms. Teachers typically respond well to an innovation clearly defined yet flexible enough to allow for decisions related to practical application. This innovation was valued because it described a process that enabled teachers and their students to develop at their own rates and levels of understanding. The subsequent experiences led to deeper commitment as time passed. Willinsky (1990) strongly supports the application of the New Literacy10 in our classrooms. He says: [the ramifications] need to be explored so that teachers can confidently face difficult choices about the nature of the work and the form of life they would have in the classroom. The promise of education in a democracy is one of extending opportunities, of participation in processes of development, expression and power. The New Literacy would seem to have taken a piece of this promise as its mandate and needs to be encouraged in running with it. (p. 24)  93. To reiterate, the attraction of working with students writing out and thinking through new ideas and feelings was undeniable for many Richmond teachers. They experienced a power of literacy they had been missing and were led to re-cast the important structures in their professional and personal lives. In fact, it was almost as if the writing process had chosen the teachers--not the other way around.  Changed Teachers--Selfless or Selfish? Change is a highly personal experience--each and every one of the teachers who will be affected by change must have the opportunity to work through this experience in a way in which the rewards at least equal the cost (Fullan, 1991, p. 127). First, what price did teachers pay during the five years of intense reform efforts? Second, what were their rewards? My answer to both questions is the same. Teachers gave up traditional teacher-directed methodology of teaching children to read and write and claimed freedom to create memorable literate moments side by side with their students. Taking the risk of changing one's teaching style is serious and difficult business. By definition, risk-takers must initiate, take a stand, face the possible loss of security and comfort (however ill-conceived), work hard, and assume responsibility for decisions. If, however, what is risked will not be missed--or at least is not tied to the individual's persona--then the deciding to change is easier. The method for teaching reading and writing to elementary students, at least for Richmond teachers prior to the writing process movement (there is some difference of opinion about the "success" secondary teachers had with the writing process),  94. showed a "publisher's" perspective. Skills, or pieces of language, were pursued sequentially, eventually, to put them all together in a writing or reading assignment given by the teacher. Whereas choice, preference, and enjoyment in reading and writing existed outside the classroom, what typically flourished inside the classroom were basal readers and skill worksheets. B.C. and Richmond teachers had come to think that their classroom practice lacked reality, lacked intelligence. But they had been taught that way, had been taught to teach that way, and knew nothing else. Andy Hargreaves and Elizabeth Tucker (1991) describe stages of guilt and frustration many teachers experience throughout their careers. They conclude: "Many of the reasons for teachers' apparently poor or perverse choices of teaching techniques are to be found in two key domains: the context of teaching and the if of the teacher" (p. 492). They describe conditions which often confound attempts to improve the quality of teaching by those who would try. These conditions, they say, fall under the rubric of symbolic interactionism. Here, teacher action, teacher self, and the context of teaching combine to explain why teachers do what they do. If teachers felt guilty, the cause was the interaction between what they knew they should be doing and what, in fact, they were doing. Northrop Frye (1988) expressed his opinion on why elementary education "has led to adjustment, to docility and to obedience" (p. 143). He recognized that education must, in some form, be composed of "creative continuity and incessant practice," but describes how this intent gets mixed up with a less legitimate form of continuity: I call it the anxiety of continuity in society, the desire to keep going with the same things as far as possible without change. It is, I think, largely because of  95. the anxiety of continuity that education acquired, for so many centuries, that curiously penal quality which sometimes made it a positive hell on earth for young people. Education that...goes with the authority of seniors, the primitive notion of wisdom in which the wise man is the man who does what society has found to be the right thing, and in which the fool is the man with the new idea. (p. 144) I argue that the writing process methodology was a way out of this teacher anxiety. For the first time in their experience, teachers had "permission" to get out of the way of children's thinking and expression. It became legitimate to spend time listening to children, to respect their differing styles and voices. Legitimacy was also given to diverse teaching approaches. As no teacher's guide for THE way to teach writing existed, the methodology anticipated that every teacher would become author and creator in her own classroom. At an early (1980) Language Arts reps meeting, teachers interviewed one another and published the interviews and circulated them amongst the members. From a total of 48 teachers, representing 32 elementary schools--teachers chosen for their communicative and leadership abilities--only four were men. The pool from which these teachers were chosen was overwhelmingly female; still, the stage was set for women to co-create an educational environment. Women's style and how it may differ from men's style, occupy increasingly more space in journal articles and books on education. That there are differences and that they should be discussed and therefore respected are in themselves problematic. It is not my intention to raise unresolvable issues at this point but rather to make the case that Richmond's unique experience was connected to women's ways of "doing things." In any case, I would argue for the legitimacy of this as a subject of future research. Robertson (1991) argues for:  96.  An education which is consciously connectivist, which engages multiple ways of knowing, and which respects intuitive as well as scientific knowledge. An education which takes exception to masculine assertion and voice of authority, and acknowledges the uncertainties and tentativeness implicit in an approach which values the personal. (p. 72)  Teachers in Richmond formed "reference groups' (Nias, 1984), either within their schools or with colleagues from schools across the district. The formation of these groups was spontaneous and responded to a teachers' need to garner support for the risks being taken. As Nias states: " Such reference groups are crucial in establishing and maintaining shared values among groups of teachers and thus in enabling mutual understanding to develop on the basis of consensual norms" (p. 52). Although most of these "network" groups formally dissolved after 1984, friendships formed during those years still exist today. This focus on positive interdependence in an environment conducive to non. judgmental dialogue helped Richmond teachers, I believe, fulfill an image of themselves as creative, confident, and valuable educators. Whether this could be construed as self-indulgent is questionable. I would argue that to develop a deeper understanding of one's self as teacher, thereby empowering children to find and be comfortable with their own literate "selves," was the greatest reward.  The Essence of Leadership  It was not enough that the writing process was the focus of innovation efforts. Delivering the message and arranging for the money, resources, and time was a teacher-leader of great significance as I have already described.  97. Peter Senge's (1990) book, The Fifth Discipline: the Art and Practice of the Learning Organization, describes, among characteristics of "learning organizations," qualities of exemplary, effective leaders within such organizations. As I maintain the importance and significance of Linda Kaser and her role as leader of the reform, it will help to draw comparison with Senge's view of "inspiring" leaders. Senge sees leaders of learning organizations as designers, stewards, and teachers who foster creative tension. He continues, "These leaders are responsible for building organizations where people continually expand their capabilities to understand complexity, clarify vision, and improve shared mental models, that is, they are responsible for learning" (p. 340). Leader as Designer To use Senge's metaphor of a sailing ship, the leader is the designer of the ship, not the "captain" or the "navigator." The designer is the one with the creative vision, the one who predicts problems or special demands in practice and changes the design accordingly. The designer understands the values of the "client," the purposes of the "craft." And, the designer is content to hand over the completed ship to the sailors with a hearty "bon voyage." Leader as Steward A steward, according to the Oxford dictionary, is a person who takes care of property, usually a large estate, for someone else. The steward's job is to protect, tend, and sustain the property as his own until the owner shall claim it. A good steward is responsible without being possessive. Leader as Teacher If one assumes that to teach is synonymous with to empower, then a leader's  98. role in this context becomes clear. A teacher also encourages, understands, and explains vision, predicts and manages change, and, in the spirit of the designer and steward, knows when to hand over power. Leaders as Creators of Creative Tension Senge states: The leader's creative tension is not anxiety: that is psychological tension. A leader's story, sense of purpose, values and vision establish the direction and the target...Leaders generate and manage this creative tension, not only in themselves but in their entire organization. This is how they energize an organization. (p. 357)  The "great" leader is one under whose leadership people say, "We did it ourselves." Although much of this discussion of leadership sounds prescriptive or "topdown," it must be noted that Ms. Kaser's power lay in persuading her "followers" that hers was a "leading from behind" style. She made teachers feel like leaders, students like leaders, parents like leaders and even the principals interviewed felt in control of the reform. Many people felt they found a previously dormant voice and therefore vigorously worked to defend and use it. Conveniently, for literary aspirants, teachers or students, there was also the reassuring fact that the real world, usually not thought about in public school classrooms, still hungered for skilful writers. A good leader would recognize this and Ms. Kaser did, as has been described. She says: Our goals were to be more powerful teachers and help kids learn to write. But to do that we had to engineer support from the top and convince teachers that all of this was for their kids. Teachers want to do things for kids. It really was easy once they saw how powerful writing made their kids, and the bonus was it made them more powerful, too, as readers and writers. (1991)  99. It would be irresponsible of me to neglect an alternative interpretation of the power exerted by such an effective change agent. It could be assumed that to "transform" teachers and therefore teaching, meant convincing teachers to give up alternative practices. Some teachers may have taken exception and considered themselves manipulated, while others may have been content to be led. The teachers and administrators interviewed displayed strong affective responses to the leadership style of Ms. Kaser. She is perceived as "self-confident" and even "amazing." They claim to have been challenged, to have had choices, and to have been able to create and imagine new and interesting ways to work with each other; and they appreciated the element of tension and surprise. For a small number of teachers the emotional response may have been negative, perhaps due to fear of exposure in front of peers. Further research on this neglected aspect (and consequence) of reform, deserves to be undertaken. In summary, it is of value to see that views of leadership differ with the subject and object of the scrutiny. That Ms. Kaser's leadership style caused strong reaction, mostly positive, is evident. That her style directly influenced teacher commitment and subsequent change is also evident. That the resultant change in teacher practice in the Language Arts was good for teachers and students is instinctively supportable but probably requires more stringent proof.  Shifting the Power Base  100. Table 2: Table of Organization-Proposed Model, Richmond School District No.38 May, 1984 Board  I  Superintendent I Assistant Superintendents School Zones Schools  Secretary Treasurer Special Programs  Personnel  Curriculum  I Continuing I Planning & I Education^Development  I include the widely released document portraying the power structure of Richmond School Dictrict, May 1984 as evidence to support the claim that traditional power relationships in school districts are usually hierarchical in configuration. They were in Richmond in 1984. Why should this be significant to reform efforts? What is the role of hierarchy in managing and supervising educational change? Where are the teachers and the students in this diagram? Does their absence indicate their lack of power--lack of value? The evidence of reform I have presented suggests that the above flow chart stands in need of flattening. Rather, a web or network is required (Helgesen, 1990). The redefining of educational leadership in terms of networking appears to have advantages over traditional top-down systems. Placed in equal positions along and throughout the network, each participant is seen as important. Communication  1 01 .  among participants moves along various connecting lines and is candid and open. Movement along these lines is fluid and possible. Decisions are taken in a cooperative, consensual manner. If this sounds familiar, it is because the experience of participants in the writing process reform movement in Richmond matched the open, empowering, roughly egalitarian system I describe above. All the players--parents, principals, students, teachers and district coordinators--perceived themselves to be on equal footing at each step of the implementation. Decisions involved as many people as possible. All meetings were open and participants made to feel welcome. Although the senior staff at the board office, and the school board itself, were ultimately responsible for major decisions involving large budgetary expenditures, day-to-day and month-to-month activities progressed with limited intervention. Perhaps the most remarkable power shift occurred in the classroom. For teachers raised in the 1950's and 1960's as many participating teachers were, the opportunity to dispense with what they saw as autocratic authoritarian teaching techniques truly stimulated their imaginations. Children became the centre of attention and their enjoyment of reading and writing became the goal and fulfilment of all the effort. To infer that shifting power structures were only marginally important to the success of the writing process implementation would be wrong. There were opportunities for acquiring power. These deserve thorough recognition. I draw upon Sarason and his description of the inverse situation to clarify and solidify my case.  102.  The sense of powerlessness frequently breeds reduced interest and motivation, at best a kind of passionless conformity and at worst a rejection of learning. When one has no stake in the way things are, when one's needs or opinions are provided no forum, when one sees oneself as the object of unilateral actions, it takes no particular wisdom to suggest that one would rather be elsewhere. (p. 83) By contrast, I assert that teachers and students did not want to be elsewhere except in Richmond classrooms during 1979-1984.  Implications for Further Research  This paper has been about those implementation and educational practices that show common assumptions about the nature of teaching, literacy, and interpersonal relationships. I have grouped them together under the rubric of successful educational reform to suggest how, taken together in a particular context, they make new work out of changing educational practice and teaching writing. I recommend a follow-up study on the children and the teachers directly influenced by the events recounted. One aim would be to consider whether significant improvement in student reading and writing could be demonstrated according to standards set by the Language Arts and Reading research communities. In this regard, it would be interesting to note if there were any long-lasting change in writing attitudes and fluencies in the students most directly affected. The questions left unanswered by programmes such as the writing process, form a large and intriguing part of its critical future: Will a good number of the writing process students go on to be writers? Will they write vociferous letters to editors? Might they create and distribute self-published, political newsletters on the streets? Or to turn to reading, will they choose to read books more often and more critically? Will they spend evenings talking about what they have read with their family and  103.  friends? In summary, programmes such as the writing process, whole language, constructivist learning in the sciences, math problem-solving, and in general, any similar child-centred approach to teaching practice, face an uncertain, if not bleak future, without such strict and systemic analysis. Another aim would be to note any sociologically significant changes among teachers, parents and administrators. Because of the trend toward a more open and communicative relationship among those groups, changes in the number and kind of interventions may be observed, for example: amounts of and kinds of new communication among bureaucratic players, new strategies for bureaucratic advancement, changes in teaching and working patterns, and differences in parentschool relationships. To maintain a position of gender neutrality in assessing the results of this study would be missing the point. That there are gender-related differences in communication styles and behaviour is well documented. Did these differences directly influence the design and indeed the success of this reform? Further study is required to collect what is already known about gender and education and to incorporate this knowledge into future planning for educational change. Finally, a comprehensive analysis comparing the negative and positive effects powerful teachers and administrative leaders can exert on the education system and the people within it could be mounted. A study such as this could help to determine relationships ideal for affecting change in the education system.  104. Notes  1 In 1927, Thomas Kidd was persuaded by the premier of the day, Mr. John Oliver, to write a History of Richmond Municipality (to 1898). Refer to this account for a thorough outline of Richmond's earliest settlers. 2 For a complete report, refer to the Summary Report of the Task Force on inservice Education submitted to the Director of Instruction and Superintendent of Schools--School District No. 38 in May 1980. 3 This is the phrase Don Lintott remembers the chairman of the school board using during discussions to decide whether to allocate money for the use of substitutes. 4 N.C.T.E. / I.R.A. made recommendations for a movement toward 'Whole Language' instruction through the Becoming a Nation of Readers document. (Anderson et al., 1985.) 5 In the early eighties, Richmond school district, like many others, operated on a centralized decision-making model. For the years he was responsible for professional and curriculum development, 1979-1984, Don Lintott published an annual document outlining "the major objectives and areas of emphasis for each supervisor and curriculum coordinator in a specialty area." 6 Andrew Wilkinson's The Quality of Writing (1986) analyzes the work of the early writing researchers. 7 Study of Dissemination Efforts Supporting School Improvement, David P. Crandall and associates, People, Policies, and Practices: Examining the Chain of School Improvement (1982). Andover, MA. The NETWORK Inc. 8 The writing workshop approach to classroom organization was made popular by Donald Graves and described in his book Writing: Teachers and Children at Work Exeter, NH: Heinemann Educational Books, 1983. 9 Patti Lather, in her 1986 Harvard Educational Review article, "Research as Praxis," contributes these two references to the term "praxis:" - "Fifty years ago the Italian Neo-Marxist, Gramsci, urged intellectuals to adhere to a 'praxis of the present' by aiding 'developing progressive groups' to become increasingly conscious about their own actions and situations in the world:"  105. and  - "Praxis is, of course, a word with a history. I use the term to mean the dialectical tension, the interactive, a reciprocal shaping of theory and practice which I see at the center of an emancipatory social science." 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Unpublished manuscript, University of British Columbia: Centre for Curriculum Studies. Werner, W., Frankcombe, B., Grieve, T., & Watson, R. (1983). Program implementation experiences: Cases from British Columbia. Victoria: B.C. Ministry of Education.  What works: Research about teaching and learning. (1986). Washington DC: United States Department of Education.  Wilkinson, Andrew. (1986). The quality of writing. London: Open University Press. Willinsky, John. (1990). The New Literacy. New York: Routledge.  The young writers project: Workshop leader's handbook. (1983). Victoria, British Columbia: Ministry of Education.  The young writers project: Workshop participant's handbook. (1983). Victoria, British Columbia: Ministry of Education.  116.  Appendix A Interview Questions  1. Tell me of your professional background prior to 1979. 2. How, when, and why did you become involved with the writing process? 3. What about the writing process attracted/ did not attract you? 4. Why do you think the writing process was chosen as the main focus of implementation? 5. Was there a specific "moment" when you became committed? 6. Do you remember any crises or awkward moments at any point in your experience? 7. Can you identify specific events or activities which stand out in your mind as helping to solidify your ideas about the writing process? 8. What role did school-based decision-making play in your experience? 9. In your opinion, what role did the district play in the implementation plan? 10. What changes, if any, did you notice in the work of students who were encouraged to write in this way? 11. Do you think the teachers in Richmond could have the same experience again--with the same results? With the same curriculum area? With a different one? 12. Other districts created their own implementation plans toward the adoption of the writing process. In your opinion, did these districts experience the same results as Richmond?  117.  13. Do you consider the implementation to have been a success? 14. In your experience, do you remember another teacher development endeavour that could be considered as successful? 15. Why do you think teachers' attention in the district shifted from writing process activities to something else? 16. Has your involvement with the writing process changed your life in any way?  118. Appendix B Personal Interviews  • Ms. Sheila Borman: Ms. Borman was hired as an elementary school teacher in  1971. Proir to 1979, she worked on a number of curriculum development endeavours both in the district and with the Ministry of Education. In 1983, she was hired as District Curriculum Coordinator- Social Studies. Currently, Ms. Borman is principal of Lakeview Elementary School in Burnaby.  • Ms. Faye Brownlie: Ms. Brownlie was a special education teacher with experience  at both the elementary and secondary levels. She came to Richmond in 1975 from a teaching position in Manitoba. Ms. Brownlie was a member of the committee that organized the first Richmond Summer Writing Institute in 1980. Presently, she is on leave from Richmond working as a freelance educational consultant around B.C. and North America.  • Ms. Betty Eades: Ms. Eades was a teacher-librarian in 1979 when she became  involved with the writing process implementation at its beginning, as a member of ad hoc and other curricular committees. She is now principal of Grauer Elementary school in Richmond.  • Mr. Brian Eyjolfson: From 1979 to 1984, Mr. Eyjolfson was principal of Kingswood  Elementary School in Richmond, considered to be the lead school in the implementation process. Mr. Eyjolfson currently works as a Disrtict Principal in  1 19. Richmond.  • Ms. Kit Grauer: As a Richmond's Curriculum Supervisor of Art from 1979 to 1984,  Ms. Grauer was active in developing the implementation of the writing process using Art as starting point and inspiration. She worked together with Linda Kaser to get into elementary school classrooms. Ms. Grauer works at the University of British Columbia in the Teacher Education Department.  • Ms. Sabina Harpe: Ms. Harpe came to Richmond from a position as Faculty  Advisor at Simon Fraser University. Before that she had been a District Curriculum Coordinator of French Language Instruction in Prince George. At the time of the study, she was responsible for a Grade 5 class. Ms. Harpe worked as a member of the Learning Services Team in Richmond and is presently Vice-Principal at Bridge Elementary also in Richmond.  • Ms. Linda Kaser : Ms. Kaser was hired by Richmond as a Grade 5 teacher in  September 1978. In February 1979, she was appointed District Curriculum Coordinator: Elementary Language Arts. The year before she came to Richmond, Ms. Kaser worked as a consultant for the Vancouver School Board, writing a Field Studies document for teachers. Before that she had been a Faculty Associate at Simon Fraser University for four years, had taught English and History at Eric Hamber Secondary School inVancouver for five years and had taught for two years in a primary classroom in London, England. Ms. Kaser is now the principal of Hillside Elementary School in Mission, B.C.  120. • Mr. Don Lintott  : Mr. Lintott came to Richmond from a high school principalship  in Surrey in September 1979. At that time he was hired as Supervisor of Curriculum. Although he had spent many years as a school administrator,Mr. Lintott's roots had been in an English classroom. Mr. Lintott is still in Richmond as an Assistant Superintendent.  • Ms. Vivianne McLelland: Ms. McLelland had been a Curriculum Supervisor in  Richmond's district office since 1973. In that role, she was responsible for carrying out the implementation of any new curricula as written or mandated by the Ministry of Education. Ms. McLelland was instrumental in bringing information about writing and with it enthusiastic commitment to teachers and district staff in Richmond during the formative years. She moved out of this position in 1984 and retired as a secondary school teacher in 1987.  • Mr. Jim McPherson: In 1979, Mr. McPherson's position was Assistant Superintendent: Personnel. In the six years he held this position, he hired more than 350 teachers. Mr. McPherson is currently principal of Tomakichi Homma Elementary School in Richmond.  • Ms. Chris Mann: Ms. Mann taught in intermediate classrooms from 1979 to 1984.  She was a member of many working Language Arts committees, and she hosted curious visitors from all over the province in her classroom during those years. Ms. Mann is currently principal of Kilgour and Jessie Wowk Elementary schools in  1 2 1.  Richmond.  • Mr. Alan Warburton: Mr. Warburton received his first appointment as principal in the fall of 1980. The school to which he was assigned adopted the writing process as its professional development emphasis for the next four years. Mr. Warburton is now the principal of Whiteside Elementary School in Richmond.  122. Appendix C  Source: Linda Kaser, Outline of proposed agenda. Richmond Language Arts Representatives. Richmond, B.C. From Ms. Kaser's personal files. Richmond Language Arts Representatives Meeting #3: January 13, 1982. Telling our own stories  1. Writing stories in our classrooms: -how did it work? -does asking prediction questions about stories help students write more effectively? -can story mapping ideas be useful at the beginning and editing stages of story writing? 2. Storywriting with a class of not-yet-able writers: Edie's video tape. 3. Showing our stories: Art and Writing Display at the I.D.C. Look and Learn: Drop-in Reception: February 3, 1982.  3:30-5:30  *collection: by Language Arts Reps, delivery: to I.D.C. Room 5 after school on Wednesday and Thursday,  January 27th or 28th.  pick-up: Language Arts Reps meeting Wednesday, February 10th. Sharing our Students:  Teachers from 27 small B.C. school districts will be observing in Richmond classrooms on Wednesday afternoon, February 3rd. Please make them feel welcome. 4. Story Writer at your School: FREE  Ann Blades, Canadian Author/Illustrator, would like to do 10 free readings in Richmond schools the week of April 26th to 30th: National Book Festival Week.  123.  To arrange for her visit, you must call the National Book Festival Regional Representative TODAY or TOMORROW. Call: Linda Turnbull B-5 4255 Arbutus Street. Office: 734-5171 Home: 684-1872 Then call Ann Blades: 531-4992 5. Interviews: Stories about teachers 6. Resources: -pattern books -spelling books -If You Want to Teach Your Kids to Write What is the most effective way of sharing these resources with other teachers? 7. Guests: Donna Gilchrist, Elementary Art Coordinator Westwind School 274-8522 8. Classroom Applications: trying interview in our schools January 14th -February 10th, 1982. 9. Reminder of Future Meeting Dates: February 10th, 1982: Editing March 10th, 1982:^Proofreading April 28th, 1982:^Presenting and Publishing  Linda Kaser Elementary Language Arts Coordinator  Your Notes:  124. Appendix D Source: Linda Kaser, Newsletter [to all Richmond teachers] May 9, 1983. Published monthly from 1980-1984. May 9, 1983 Dear^  I  Rather than meeting, I thought I would try to get in touch with you by mail.  DISPLAYS: Many schools have planned displays, parent evenings, workshops, and events. A visit on one of these occasions is a great way to get more ideas, so if you have a chance, try to drop by: Kingswood May 18th^Writing Night Display Errington^May 24th-27th^Author visit: Ann Blades, Display, Parent Workshop, Assemblies. Dixon^May 25th^Parent Workshop Rideau^June 22nd^Kite (and Writing) Display Mitchell and Garden City are also organizing June displays, and I will forward information about dates as I receive them. Sidaway, Bridge, McKinney,Lee and Byng have many of their displays still up in their hallways. Give a teacher friend a boost with a visit. GRADE ONE WRITING: Wondering about the grade one reading/ writing connections? Think it might be interesting to chat to two experienced Richmopnd primary teachers about what they have discovered works for them? Well, here's your chance if there is interest, Esther Rabinovitch and Colleen Kennedy have agreed to host a session in their classrooms at Mckinney early in June. Further information will be sent to those who might like to attend. EXTENDED PROTECTS FOR INTERMEDIATE STUDENTS: Bored with short pieces of writing? Wondering what you can do to really challenge the writers in your class or enrichment group? Interested in developing a quality finished product? Bring an example of an idea you have done to the classroom of Russ McMath at McKay after school on Tune 1st. Russ will explain how he developed his Anthology project, and then we'll share other ideas.  125.  ROLE DRAMA: Carole Tarlington is booked until the end of June. I'd be interested in obtaining the names of interested schools and teachers for next year.  PUBLISHING: Ask you teacher-librarian to show you the new Canadian children's newspaper, the Sunrise Express. Marilyn Stusiak, editor of the Starting Points page of the Sun was very impressed with the writing of Richmond students.  AUTHOR VISITS: Do you have any copies of Eric Wilson's books in your school library? He has been suggested as a good resource for our 1983/1984 Canadian Authors in the Schools programme. I'd welcome any additional suggestions.  PUBLICATIONS: Now availabel for those who are very interested in school writing programmes, ie. reps, ex-reps: Science and Writing Classroom ideas Art and Writing ideas 1983 Young Writers' Project: Workshop Leader's Handbook Young Writers' Project: Workshop Participant's Handbook  EVALUATION: Sharon Jeroski is a very experienced evaluator of writing programmes. She has agreed to work with interested Richmond teachers and administrators on the design of excellent school-based evaluation strategies. If you would be interested in helping design these strategies, please let me know as soon as possible, as I'd like to form a task group to work on what I think will be a very interesting project.  INFORMAL MEETING: Several people have suggested that they would like to get together before the end of June in order to talk informally about the happenings of the year. If there is interest in this idea I would be pleased to arrange a time and place.  RETURN MAIL: It would be most helpful to find out those who are interested in the things mentioned in this letter. Please try to return the information requested by Monday, May 18th. Thanks for your help!  Linda Kaser  126.  Appendix E  Timeline of Significant Events  Richmond, B.C. 1978-1984  • Spring 1978- Ms. McLelland attended Composition workshop at U.B.C. • Fall 1978- Linda Kaser hired as an elementary teacher. • Spring 1978- District writing committee formed by Ms. McLelland . • Feb. 1979- Ms. Kaser hired as district "resource teacher." • Summer 1979- First Art and Writing Institute held. • Sept. 1979- Ms. Kaser became District Curriculum Coordinator. • Nov. 1979- Task Force on Inservice Education was formed. • Jan. 1980- First Language Arts Reps. meeting held after school. • Feb. 1980- Several elementary school committed to a five-year writing process focus. • May 1980- First Writing Idea Share held at teachers' centre. • Sept. 1980- Regular monthly half-day Language Arts reps meetings established to be held during school hours. • Jan.-Mar 1981- Video taping began in 14 elementary classrooms. • June 1981- The Board created school curriculum coordinators. • Sept. 1981- The writing committee published the Richmond Writing Project. • Fall 1981- First author visit. • Spring 1982- Richmond teachers trained to present writing workshops • Sept. 1983- The Richmond Young Writers' Project--video tapes and handbooks--were released. • Spring 1983- Province-wide teleconference on writing was held.  • June 1984- Ms. Kaser accepts a position with the Ministry of Education.  

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