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Participation in school-level program decision-making : a case study Hoen, Robert Randolph 1974

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PARTICIPATION IN SCHOOL-LEVEL PROGRAM DECISION-MAKING. A CASE STUDY  by ROBERT RANDOLPH HOEN B . A . , Hamilton C o l l e g e , I965 M. E d . , University of B r i t i s h Columbia,  1971  A DISSERTATION SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF EDUCATION  i n the Department of Educational  Administration  We accept this d i s s e r t a t i o n as conforming to the xequlred  standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA December,  197^  In  presenting  this  an a d v a n c e d d e g r e e the I  Library  further  for  agree  scholarly  by h i s of  shall  this  written  thesis  in p a r t i a l  fulfilment  of  at  University  of  Columbia,  the  make  it  that permission  p u r p o s e s may  representatives. thesis  for  for  by  the  is understood  financial  gain  for  extensive  be g r a n t e d  It  shall  not  / % R ^  A* ,  Columbia  lllf  reference  Head o f  I  agree  and  copying or  for that  study.  this  thesis  my D e p a r t m e n t  be a l l o w e d  1  requirements  copying of  that  <^^C^"Z£^TI*/? ^ ^ w * ? / ? ^  The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h V a n c o u v e r 8, Canada  r  available  permission.  Department o f  Date  freely  British  the  or  publication  without  my  11  ABSTRACT This study describes and analyzes a case through which It PSLPD. making.  i s possible to explore and evaluate the idea of P a r t i c i p a t i o n In School-level Program DecisionPSLPD was selected f o r study because i t  repre-  sented the convergence of three trends In recent educational thought J the c a l l for wider p a r t i c i p a t i o n In decision-making; the emphasis on the Individual school as a decision-making unit; and the advocacy of r a t i o n a l program development. The case studied was one In which a major attempt was made to Institute p a r t i c i p a t i o n by teachers, students, and parents In s c h o o l - l e v e l program decision-making, as one goal of an experimental secondary school. The study was I n i t i a t e d with two conceptual frameworks In mind, based on surveys of related l i t e r a t u r e .  A concep-  t i o n of program development was formulated In which the process was v i s u a l i z e d as one of ends, means, and evaluation decision-making.  A conception of the decision-making process  was formulated based on the notion of problem-solving; and p a r t i c i p a t i o n in decision-making was defined as Involvement In one or more stages of that process. The case study method enabled the researcher to c o l l e c t and analyze data concerning several broad questions within the topic of Interest!  Ill  Guiding Questions Organizational  Innovations  What were the o r i g i n s , nature, and effects on PSLPD of (a)  the new staff group;  (b)  the advisory council?  Decision-making Processes What processes of decision-making occurred In the case? Werether$ i d e n t i f i a b l e  stages In the decision-making process?  P a r t i c i p a t i o n In Decision-making What form did p a r t i c i p a t i o n In decision-making take? What did p a r t i c i p a t i o n in decision-making mean? Program Decision-making at the School Level Was the program development process at the school l e v e l a c y c l i c a l process of decision-making involving decisions about ends, means, and evaluation? Was there an i d e n t i f i a b l e area of decision-making at the school l e v e l concerned with curriculum, Instruction, and program evaluation? If s o , how Important was program decision-making at the school l e v e l in r e l a t i o n to other areas of decision-making? What were the types of problems requiring decisions at the l e v e l of the school as a unit? A detailed case history was prepared, including a l l available information relevant.to  the topic of PSLPD.  The  i n i t i a l conceptual frameworks were then applied to the analysis of PSLPD In the case.  F i n a l l y , the value of the  iv  i n i t i a l conceptions themselves was considered by studying the case history In l i g h t of the questions posed at the outset of the research.  Tteoagh t h i s conceptual analysis  of the case, i t was demonstrated that changes were c a l l e d for in the conceptualization of both program development and decision-making processes at the school l e v e l .  The concept  of p a r t i c i p a t i o n In decision-making as involvement in one or more stages of the decision-making process was found to have some major weaknesses in i t s capacity for among degrees of p a r t i c i p a t i o n .  differentiating  At the same time,  however,  It was found that the breakdown of categories of participants In decision-making In terms of basic roles In education ( t r u s t e e , administrator, teacher, student, parent) was u s e f u l . This study found numerous obstacles to the broadening of p a r t i c i p a t i o n in decision-making.  Although the Innovations  In  the case studied were found to r e s u l t in s i g n i f i c a n t p a r t i c i pation by the teaching staff  In some types of decision-making,  the structure of authority and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y in the school system was found fundamentally to constrain a l l categories of p a r t i c i p a n t s . In the course of the a n a l y s i s , an alternative conceptual approach was formulated to f i l l the need for a way of des c r i b i n g and explaining events In the case.  This conceptuali-  zation was c a l l e d "school development" because It to emphasize the Interrelationship  attempted  of program development and  organizational development In any r e a l i s t i c e f f o r t at educat i o n a l change.  V  TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER 1.  PAGE 9  INTRODUCTION THE CASE HISTORY  2. THE STAGE IS SET .  25  3. THE INITIATION OF INNOVATION  33  4. PREPARATIONS FOR PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT  43  5. PROGRAM PLANNING PRIOR TO YEAR ONE: THE JUNE MEETINGS  51  6. PROGRAM PLANNING PRIOR TO YEAR ONE* 65  THE AUGUST MEETINGS 7. INTO YEAR ONE  73  8. STUDENT GOVERNMENT, COMMUNITY CRITICISM, AND ORGANIZATIONAL DETAIL  82  9. THE ACTIVATION OF PROGRAM EVALUATION  91  10. THE ADVISORY COUNCIL'S IDENTITY CRISIS . . . .  101  11. ATTEMPTS TO REASSURE THE COMMUNITY  112  12. CATCHING UP ON STAFF COMMUNICATIONS  124  13. PLANNING FOR THE LAST PART OF YEAR ONE . . . .  142  14. MORE PARENTAL QUESTIONING AND MORE ASSURANCES.  163  15. THE STAFF'S PLANNING WEEK IN APRIL  179  16. THE PROBLEM OF NON-PERFORMING" STUDENTS* A CRISIS IN STAFF PHILOSOPHY 17. THE END OF YEAR ONEt RESEARCH AND  210  w  223  EVALUATION DOCUMENTS, 18.  234  INTO YEAR TWO  19. THE DEATH OF THE CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEE  . . .  20. ANOTHER ATTEMPT AT ORGANIZATIONAL INNOVATION .  249 263  vl  CHAPTER  PAGE  21. A STUDENT NEWSPAPER  277  22. SOME VIEWS ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF STUDENT RESPONSIBILITY, INDIVIDUALIZATION OF INSTRUCTION, AND THE CONTRACT APPROACH . . .  283  23. SOME VIEWS ON THE CHARACTER OF THE U. TOWN PROGRAM  297  24. THE CASE HISTORY IN REVIEW  302  ANALYSES OF THE CASE 25. ANALYSIS OF PARTICIPATION IN SCHOOL-LEVEL PROGRAM DECISIONS 26. CONCEPTUAL ANALYSIS OF THE CASE  319 332  27. SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY BIBLIOGRAPHY  405 414  APPENDICES A. INTERVIEW INSTRUMENTS B. PARTICIPANTS* OPINIONS OF HOW SCHOOL-LEVEL PROGRAM DECISIONS SHOULD BE MADE . . . . . . C. REFLECTIONS ON METHODOLOGY  «#*<****  4l6 426 i+36  vii  LIST OP FIGURES FIGURE  PAGE  1. Conceptual Framework for Describing P a r t i c i p a t i o n in Decision-Making  18  2. Program Development . .  19  3. P a r t i c i p a t i o n In SLPD #1  322  4. P a r t i c i p a t i o n in SLPD #2  323  5. P a r t i c i p a t i o n In SLPD #3  325  6. P a r t i c i p a t i o n In SLPD #4  326  7. P a r t i c i p a t i o n in SLPDs #1 through 4  327  8. Facsimile of Card Used i n Interviews  . . . .  kX8  viii  ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I take pleasure in acknowledging with sincere thanks the guidance of the members of my d i s s e r t a t i o n committee: Dr. J . Blaney; Dr. W. Hartrlck; Dr. J . H i l l s ; Dr. J . Wlens; and e s p e c i a l l y Dr. I.  Housego, without whose sustained  support this study would never have been completed. I also wish to acknowledge the high degree of  interest,  help, and commitment to research which I found among the many persons in the school, school d i s t r i c t , and community I studied.  Their desire to promote knowledge for the benefit  of a l l , and their willingness to expose themselves toward that end, were remarkable and praiseworthy. L a s t , but not l e a s t , I wish to thank family and friends for consistently giving me emotional support during d i f f i c u l t phases of this study without ever making that support contingent upon the study*s suocessful completion. experience, I learned much.  «#***#*  Prom that  9  CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Wider p a r t i c i p a t i o n in decision-making has been advocated by several educational thinkers in recent years.  In  p a r t i c u l a r , there has been a c a l l for involvement of teachers, students, and parents in the development of the programs of individual schools.  Emphasis has been placed on  the d e s i r a b i l i t y of locating more authority and responsib i l i t y at the l e v e l of the school as a decision-making unit. The i n d i v i d u a l school Is thought to be a natural unit f o r decision-making, because It  i s considered neither too small  to control a variety of resources nor too large to respond f l e x i b l y to the educational needs of p a r t i c u l a r communities (Bowers et a l . , 1970; Housego, 1971).  Emphasis has also  been placed on the d e s i r a b i l i t y of r a t i o n a l i z i n g the programs of schools through conscious evaluation of objectives and methods (Goodlad et a l . , 1970). Taken together, these three trends in educational thought—the c a l l for wider p a r t i c i p a t i o n In decision-making, the emphasis on the individual school as a decisionmaking u n i t , and the advocacy of r a t i o n a l program developmentdefine the topic with which t h i s study Is concernedi " P a r t i c i p a t i o n in School-level Program Decision-making" (PSLPD).  10  Two of the most Important aspects of any educational organization are i t s curriculum and i t s i n s t r u c t i o n .  The  importance of curriculum and i n s t r u c t i o n in education i s p a r a l l e l to the importance of objectives and the means to t h e i r attainment i n any organization.  Every facet of an  organization has something to do with the attainment of i t s objectives, but some functions are more d i r e c t l y r e lated to achievement of objectives than others.  In educa-  t i o n , such functions as f i n a n c i n g , provision of  facilities  and equipment, or recruitment of personnel, can be usefully distinguished from curriculum and i n s t r u c t i o n . The process of developing curriculum and Instruction has been conceptualized fundamentally as an ends-means decision process ever since the publication of T y l e r s Baslo P r i n c i p l e s 1  of Curriculum and Instruction (1950).  Tyler offered the per-  suasive rationale that decisions about learning experiences should be based on p r i o r decisions as to the objectives of Instruction,  and that teaching and learning programs should  be evaluated according to c r i t e r i a defined by objectives. Curriculum thinkers have debated the exact place in the curriculum development process of such considerations as the p h y s i c a l , emotional, and I n t e l l e c t u a l needs of students; the expectations of s o c i e t y ; the structure of subject matter; and psychologies and philosophies of education (Taba, 1962; Goodlad, I969).  There has also been debate over what  "curriculum," " I n s t r u c t i o n , " refer to.  "program," and other basic terms  Maurltz Johnson (1967) has argued that "curriculum"  11  could most usefully be defined as a structured series of intended learning outcomes, and "Instruction" as the methods for achieving intended learning outcomes.  T. Aokl (1970)  has distinguished between the planning and implementation phases of Instruction: the former he c a l l s " i n s t r u c t i o n a l planning," the l a t t e r " i n s t r u c t i o n . "  Housego (1972),  b u i l d i n g upon the concepts of Johnson and Aokl, has suggested that the term "program development" be used to mark out a c y c l i c a l process of change in curriculum and Instruction based on evaluation; but no single approach to the problem of d e f i n i t i o n s has been accepted by the f i e l d of curriculum study. The s o c i a l structure of decision-making in the area of curriculum and instruction has been analyzed by Goodlad and Richter  (I969) through  the concept of hierarchies.  Hierarchy  can be seen in the substance of program decisions as well as In the s o c i a l structure of education.  For example, the  intended learning outcome "To communicate e f f e c t i v e l y in a group" implies other c u r r i c u l a r d e c i s i o n s : at a more s p e c i f i c level it  implies intended learnings such as "To follow the  course of a d i s c u s s i o n , " "To speak c l e a r l y , " I'To consider the viewpoints of others"; at a more general l e v e l , "To be a contributing member of s o c i e t y . "  It  seems reasonable to  suppose, therefore, that there Is some correspondence between the levels of generality in the substance of program decisions and the l e v e l s in the hierarchy of s o c i a l organization in  12  education.  In the view of Goodlad and B i c h t e r , there are  three main l e v e l s in both hierarchiest the s o c i e t a l , the i n s t i t u t i o n a l , and the i n s t r u c t i o n a l .  At the s o c i e t a l  l e v e l , c o n t r o l l i n g agencies and their sanctioning bodies (such as school boards and those who elect or appoint boards) select educational aims, or broad purposes f o r educational systems.  At the i n s t i t u t i o n a l l e v e l , pro-  f e s s i o n a l s t a f f s select general educational objectives and learning opportunities, which give the instructor more guidance than he could obtain from educational aims and at the same time assure the c o n t r o l l i n g agency that  Instruc-  t i o n a l l e v e l choices are consistent with broad purposes. At the i n s t r u c t i o n a l l e v e l , teachers of p a r t i c u l a r students select s p e c i f i c educational objectives and  Instructional  methods. G r i f f i n (1970) tested the Goodlad-Richter conceptual system.  Through a questionnaire using decision items keyed  to l e v e l s of decision-making, G r i f f i n found t h a t , while s o c i e t a l and i n s t r u c t i o n a l l e v e l decisions were made by the expected persons, i n s t i t u t i o n a l l e v e l decisions were either not made c l e a r l y at any l e v e l of the organization or were made at the i n s t r u c t i o n a l l e v e l .  McBeath (I969) surveyed  perceptions of levels of program decision-making in Saskatchewan.  He found that school personnel of a l l types  perceived most program decisions to be made at the provinc i a l and d i s t r i c t l e v e l s but preferred most program decisions to be made at the school and classroom l e v e l s .  13  Decentralization of decision-making to the school l e v e l has been advocated in recent educational l i t e r a t u r e .  Goodlad,  Klein and Associates (1970) urged such a move as a means to the "reconstruction of schoolings" C l e a r l y , such a charge c a l l s for decentral i z i n g much authority f o r educational d e c i s i o n making to the l o c a l school under the leadership of p r i n c i p a l and teachers In collaboration with children and parents. In e f f e c t , we are saying that the same principles of i n d i v i d u a l i z a t i o n which should guide instruction in the classroom must guide reconstruction of the l o o a l school. Each school must be granted freedom far in excess of what prevails now to pursue i t s destiny i n the l i g h t of l o c a l needs and s i g n i f i c a n t data— these data being primarily the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the students end t h e i r conditions of d a i l y l i f e . (107)  Housego (1972) has c a l l e d for "school-level program development" through decentralization of decision-making and r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n of the program development process.  Housego's  proposal defined program development as a four-phase process of decision-making and sought d e f i n i t i o n s of the roles of administrators and teachers in each phase. Research s p e c i f i c a l l y concerned with the structure of r o l e s In s c h o o l - l e v e l program decision-making is l a c k i n g . Some research has been done on c l o s e l y related t o p i c s .  Much  of the l i t e r a t u r e Is in the form of a r t i c l e s rather than research. MIklos (1970) has reviewed existing research on teachers' perceived and preferred degrees of p a r t i c i p a t i o n .  Ryan and  Hickox ('1972) have found both teachers and administrators to  14  favor high teacher Involvement  In decision-making, with  teachers p a r t i c u l a r l y In favor of Involvement  In those  decisions which affect what goes on In the classroom. Wilson (1972) has done "A Participant Observational Study of an Attempt to Institute Student P a r t i c i p a t i o n Decision-making In an Experimental High School." work was one Important contribution to a U.S.  In  Wilson's  National  Conference on Decision-making in Alternative Secondary Schools held at the Center f o r New Schools (1972).  The  conference brought together representatives from more than a dozen alternative  high schools to discuss common problems  In the broadening of p a r t i c i p a t i o n in s c h o o l - l e v e l d e c i s i o n making.  Student and staff attitudes about decision-making  were seen as important Ingredients  of the problems.  Students  were often concerned primarily with gaining freedom In  their  personal l i v e s rather than in the curriculum; students generally did not want to participate  In developing programs,  only in identifying problems f o r s t a f f attention;  students  were suspicious of a l l formal governing structures.  Teachers,  meanwhile, were often so concerned about avoiding authoritarianism that they f a i l e d to use the competence and authority which they derived from experience; teachers tended to i n crease their power Informally and unconsciously, because of t h e i r reluctance to l i v e with the authority implications of their r o l e .  The most general conclusion coming out of the  conference was that alternative  schools had made the f a l s e  15  assumption that desired changes would occur through "natural organic growth" when old structures were removed. Parent and student p a r t i c i p a t i o n in s c h o o l - l e v e l decision-making has been addressed by the l i t e r a t u r e of l o c a l control of education.  Bowers, Housego and Dyke (1970)  brought together a number of scholars for a symposium on the subject.  In the symposium, Llpset argued that a new consensus  was forming In favor of l o c a l control because l i b e r a l s , who have usually favored central control In the interests of equal opportunity, have become d i s i l l u s i o n e d with central governments and Joined conservatives in c r i t i c i z i n g bureaucracy. Courtney replied that there Is a c o n f l i c t of Ideas within l i b e r a l i s m : freedom and i n d i v i d u a l i t y versus standards of quality in education.  Andrews argued that c e n t r a l i z a t i o n and  decentralization are means to larger ends rather than ideologies in themselves, and that the choice of one or the other form of educational control depends primarily: upon the circumstances a f f e c t i n g a country's achievement of Its goals. One type of organizational structure for community part i c i p a t i o n In school decision-making has been proposed by MacKinnon ( i 9 6 0 ) : the creation of governing units consisting of one large school or a set of small schools, each unit with Its  own board of trustees.  community advisory c o u n c i l .  Another type of structure is the Advisory committees are commonly  required In the United States In a g r i c u l t u r a l and technical education ( D i l l o n , 1970; Howard, 1970; Swalec, 1972).  16  BTumenberg (1971) has described the advisory council as a f a l s e miracle drug used in education as a substitute for s t r u c t u r a l change; a mechanism which can, however, Improve community r e l a t i o n s i f the inherent l i m i t s of i t s function are not misunderstood. The study presented here i s an Investigation in which a major attempt was made to i n s t i t u t e  of a case  participation  by teachers, students, and parents in s c h o o l - l e v e l program decision-making, as one goal of an experimental secondary school.  There were four basic problem areas with which the  study was concerned.  It was hoped that study of the case  would contribute somewhat to answering questions In each of the four areas. Organizational Innovations:  The primary mechanisms of  the attempt to broaden p a r t i c i p a t i o n in s c h o o l - l e v e l program decision-making (PSLPD) in the case were (a)  the appointment  of a new teaching staff with a shared educational philosophy and a charge to innovate, and (b) the creation of a community advisory c o u n c i l .  I sought to discover the o r i g i n , nature,  and effect on PSLPD of these two structural innovations. At the same time, I sought to define the concept of teacher-student-parent p a r t i c i p a t i o n in s c h o o l - l e v e l program decision-making.  To accomplish the l a t t e r purpose, I was  attentive to three problem areas a r i s i n g out of the concept of PSLPD.  17  Decision-making Processes; making occurred In the case?  Were there Identifiable stages  in the decision-making process? through one p a r t i c u l a r  What processes of d e c i s i o n -  I t r i e d looking at the case  conceptual analysis of the d e c i s i o n -  making process based on the notion of problem-solving: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.  Generation of alternative problems; Consideration of r e l a t i v e importance of problems; Selection of problem; Generation of alternative solutions; Consideration of r e l a t i v e merits of s o l u t i o n s ; Selection of s o l u t i o n ; Implementation of s o l u t i o n .  A decision outcome can be thought of as a solution to a problem.  The process of decision-making can be viewed as that  of selecting a problem to address, selecting a solution to the problem, and Implementing the s o l u t i o n .  Each selection Is  preceded by the generation of a l t e r n a t i v e s . generation of alternatives  and the selection from among them,  the r e l a t i v e merits of proposed alternatives If  Between the  are considered.  more than one person i s Involved in the process, the con-  sideration of alternatives  may Include attempts by some  parties to Influence others. Participation  In Decision-making:  cipation In decision-making take?  What form did p a r t i -  What did p a r t i c i p a t i o n  in  decision-making mean?  I approached the study with one way of  defining participation  in decision-making—as involvement  one or more stages of the decision-making process. Fig. 1).  By using the grid defined by categories of  (See  in  18  participants  and stages of decision-making, I set out to  study the structure of roles i n decision-making in the case.  1 Gen. of Alter. Problems  DECISION-MAKING PROCESS 6 k 2 7 3 5 Cons. Selec. Gen. Cons, Selec. Imp. of of of of of Soluof R e l . Pro- A l t e r . Rel. tion Merits SoluImp. blem S o l ' n s . of S o l . t i o n of Prob.  Trustees Administrators Teachers Students Parents Others  Figure 1.  Conceptual Framework for Describing Participation In Decision-making.  19  Program Decision-making at the School Level:  Was the  program development process at the school l e v e l a c y c l i c a l process of decision-making Involving decisions about ends, means, and evaluation?  Was there an i d e n t i f i a b l e area of  decision-making at the school l e v e l concerned with curriculum, Instruction,  and program evaluation?  If  so, how important was  program decision-making at the school l e v e l in r e l a t i o n other areas of decision-making?  to  What were the types of pro-  blems requiring decisions at the l e v e l of the school as a unit?  I i n i t i a t e d the study using a conceptual analysis of  program decision-making as a developmental process embracing ends, means, and evaluation, consistent with the mainstream of c u r r i c u l a r l i t e r a t u r e .  I t r i e d to apply the recent  d e f i n i t i o n s of curriculum and instruction deployed by Johnson and Aokl, and the d e f i n i t i o n of program development b u i l t by Housego.  (See F i g . 2 ) .  INSTRUCTIONAL  CURRICULUM -  PLAN  \  \  PROGRAM  INSTRUCTION  EVALUATION  Figure 2.  f  Program Development  20  The case study method made i t possible for me to c o l l e c t and analyze data concerning the several broad questions included i n the topic of i n t e r e s t .  Case studies have been  u t i l i z e d p r o f i t a b l y in s o c i o l o g i c a l and educational inquiry when bslsic concepts and assumptions have been ln?.need of empirical examination.  The case study approach provides  descriptive material on the basis of which concepts existing in the l i t e r a t u r e can be evaluated.  A case study makes con-  ceptual development possible because i t places the researcher In contact with the complexities of a concrete example.  The  method, of course, has the b u i l t - i n l i m i t a t i o n that i t s findings must be further tested in other cases and through other research methods before they can be generally accepted. In the present study, data were collected in several ways—through observation, interviews, and documents.  I was  a non-partlclpant observer In the case for a period of @fbj9<uj|? one year.  During that time, one of my major activities^TW&s  observation of s t a f f and advisory council meetings and r e cording of pertinent discussions and events.  At the same  time, I interviewed participants both formally and informally. The documents which I gathered included school board records, l e t t e r s , agendae and minutes of meetings, newsletters, participants  1  notes, e t c .  I found i t  useful to organize my materials chronolo-  g i c a l l y , as I worked to piece together a consistent picture of the case within the area of i n t e r e s t .  Eventually,  I  21  discovered that a useful way of presenting the descriptive findings was as a chronological narrative, rather  than  breaking the case into t o p i c a l p a r t s , because so many of the Important threads were interwoven.  The r e s u l t i n g descriptive  case history constitutes the bulk of the d i s s e r t a t i o n (Chapters 2 through 24).  Equally important, however, are  the analyses of the case following the descriptive material. The analyses are presented in two parts.  In Chapter 25,  the  conceptual frameworks described in this introduction are applied to the case, demonstrating the ways in which those frameworks could be used.  In Chapter 21$, evaluation of the  I n i t i a l conceptions of the study and development of a l t e r native conceptions are undertaken.  The conceptual conclusions  of the study are presented In the context of a summary of the d i s s e r t a t i o n In Chapter 27.  THE CASE HISTORY  LIST OF CHARACTERS In alphabetical order (Identities  fictitious)  Dr. Allworth. an assistant superintendent in the S a l l c r e s t school d i s t r i c t Mrs. Anderson, a teacher of home economics at U. Town Secondary School Mr. Berends. d i r e c t o r of communications for the S a l l c r e s t school d i s t r i c t Mrs. Brougham, a parent and unsuccessful candidate for the U. Town advisory council Mr. Chlba. a teacher of Industrial education at U. Town Secondary School Mr.  Crema, a former U. Town Secondary School teacher  M * Cyprus. p r i n c i p a l of U. Town Elementary School r  Mrs. Danter, secretary at U. Town Secondary School Miss Peering, a teacher of humanities at U. Town Secondary School Miss Dlllman. a student teacher at U.  Town Secondary School  Mr. E l v l n . an evaluation o f f i c i a l of the S a l l c r e s t school district Mrs. Fayter, a teacher of business education at U. Town Secondary School Mr. F r l b e r g . a former U. Town Secondary School teacher Mrs. Furness. a teacher of humanities at U, Town Secondary School M r G r a y , an architect for the S a l l c r e s t school d i s t r i c t Mrs. G r i f f i t h s , a teacher of physical education at U. Town Secondary School Dr. Gruner. a trustee of the S a l l c r e s t school d i s t r i c t  23  Mr. Hafftier, a teacher of humanities and physical education at U. Town Secondary School Mrs. Hagen, a parent and member of the U. Town advisory council Mr. Happt a teacher of math at U. Town Secondary School Mr. Hardy, a teacher of humanities at U. Town Secondary School Mr. Hurlburt. a former U. Town Secondary School teacher Jack, a student and president of the student council at U. Town Secondary School James, a student and editor of the student newspaper Dr. R o l l e r , former chairman of the U. Town school board Mr. Laurldsen. a teacher of science at U. Town Secondary School Mrs. L i g h t , a trustee of the S a i l e r e s t school d i s t r i c t and l i a i s o n to the U. Town advisory council Mr. McDonald. a parent and f i r s t chairman of the U. Town advisory council Margaret, a student and member of the U. Town advisory council Mrs. Marlon, a teacher of humanities at U. Town Secondary School Mark, a student and member of the U. Town advisory council Mr. Mattson, a teacher of humanities at U. Town Secondary School Mr. Mayall. a s p e c i a l education consultant for the S a i l e r e s t school d i s t r i c t Dr. Meyer, a director of Instruction In the S a i l e r e s t school district M r  «  0 * Donerty. a parent and member of the U. Town advisory, council  Mrs. Pearson, a research assistant for the S a i l e r e s t school d i s t r i c t evaluation department Mrs. Rackham. a parent  24  Bay» a student and member of the U.  T6wn advisory  council  Robert, a student and member of the U. Town advisory council Mr. Samuelson. finance o f f i c i a l of the Sailerest school district Mr. Sander, p r i n c i p a l of U. Town Secondary School Mr. Schwennlng. a special education consultant for the S a i l crest school d i s t r i c t Mr. S c o t t , a teacher of French and other second languages at U. Town Secondary School Mr. Shelton, a teacher of science at U. Town Secondary School Dr. Wilkinson, superintendent of the S a i l e r e s t school d i s t r i c t Dr. W o r r e l l , a parent and second chairman of the U. Town advisory council  CHAPTER 2 THE STAGE IS SET A half century ago, a university was established by the province of Westmont and endowed with a tract of land at the edge of a major c i t y , S a l l c r e s t .  On these endowment lands,  there grew, In conjunction with the new u n i v e r s i t y , a v i l l a g e known as University Town.  It was, for many years, quite  separated from the c i t y of S a l l c r e s t . As the university and the c i t y expanded, the separate character of U. Town was only partly affected.  There remained  a wide b a r r i e r of undeveloped endowment land protecting U. Town from the c i t y which grew up to i t s gates.  However, even  the parts of S a l l c r e s t adjoining the endowment lands were l i k e U. Town in their s o c i a l composition.  The area was a prized  r e s i d e n t i a l s e c t i o n , the inhabitants of which included many wealthy academics and business executives. U. Town had i t s own school d i s t r i c t for many years, and the residents of the d i s t r i c t were very proud of their control over t h e i r schools.  The former chairman of the U. Town school  board, Dr. R o l l e r , described the school d i s t r i c t s governance t h i s wayi There was an Independent school board at that time, operating Just the two schools. We had the same J u r i s d i c t i o n over the schools as other boards in the province had. . . . The school board,was elected at an annual general meeting. U. Town was an unincorporated t e r r i t o r y (endowment lands). The school board was the only l e g a l l y constituted body in the  endowment lands. At the annual meeting of the school community, nominations were made by a nominating committee and from the f l o o r , and board members elected on the spot by the electors. The beauty of the system was that the board was close to the community and had the f i s c a l means to translate community wishes into a c t i o n s . The schools of the U. Town d i s t r i c t were academic i n s t i tutions which prepared their young people for university. The program evidently did not change much over the years. Mr. Happ, a teacher at the secondary school for many years, told met . . .There was no general program in the school. There was no provision for slow learners. Quite a number l e f t for private schools with lower standards. This was s t r i c t l y an academic school, with a very r i g i d curriculum. Dr. K o l l e r also spoke to this point* . . .At some time p r i o r to I965 (before I was involved), the school board decided in this d i s t r i c t to provide only the academic stream in the high school. Having made that d e c i s i o n , the school board had to evolve a mechanism for providing for non-academic students, so they paid S a i l e r e s t to enrol them; but due to the u n i v e r s i t y - f a c u l t y and business-executive composition of the community, there were very few students who took this option. Mrs. Eackham, a l i f e l o n g resident of the U. Town area, saidi The program was carried on as It had been when I was at the s c h o o l ; t h i r t y years ago. The school offered the same curriculum for years. A few good teachers were able to innovate because the conditions for It were good. Parents with bright youngsters were very s a t i s f i e d with the school.  27  Ray, a student who attended the secondary school before the Innovations were I n i t i a t e d , said* A l l the teachers had been there at least ten years. The chemistry teacher, Mr. Hurlburt, was In an amazing r u t . You could take his notes from 1948 and use them In 1970. The U. Town d i s t r i c t provided very good working conditions f o r teachers, and many of Its teachers became entrenched. Dr. K o l l e r : This d i s t r i c t , because It had only two schools, had the means for keeping the classes small by providing additional teachers' salaries on Its own. Teachers found this one of the most a t t r a c tive features of the d i s t r i c t . So we were able to attract a rather competent s t a f f . They weren't a l l competent. We had the problem of not being able to get r i d of the incompetent ones because of the small size of the d i s t r i c t ; we couldn't move them around to get them to r e s i g n . Mr. P r l b e r g , a former secondary school teacher, gave this des c r i p t i o n of teaching conditions: I was the l i b r a r i a n and head of the English department of the school. . . .The U. Town school board worked hard to ensure an excellent p u p i l teacher r a t i o and good f a c i l i t i e s . In the f i r s t f i v e years I was there, the pupil-teacher r a t i o went down each year. At the time of amalgamation the enrolment was about 250. I taught two L i t e r a ture 12 classes averaging 15 or 16 pupils per c l a s s , so I could teach In seminar fashion. I had two-thirds to three-quarters time in the l i b r a r y . Mr. Crema, another former s t a f f member, s a i d : U. Town was an academic school. One could do very s a t i s f y i n g work with the students. There was a very low pupil-teacher r a t i o , and an excellent salary s c a l e . Teachers in the high school apparently went their own ways.  There was l i t t l e Interference from administration in  28  the classroom, and at the same time v i r t u a l l y no schoollevel  1  program.  Some s c h o o l - l e v e l program decisions were  made by the board, with the advice of the p r i n c i p a l s and a teacher-board l i a i s o n committee.  Dr. Rollers  In my time, examples of s c h o o l - l e v e l program decisions would be those concerning arts options, counselling options, second-language options, l i b r a r y options, and band. Since the number of teachers in the d i s t r i c t was s t r i c t l y l i m i t e d , there was a continuing need f o r program p o l i c y decisions. These decisions were made by the board. The mechanisms of decision-making were threefold* (1) school-board i n i t i a t e d ; (2) recommendations from s t a f f , through the p r i n c i p a l s and superintendent; (3) petitions from the community. There was no dialogue between the school board and students about curriculum; students were only concerned about things l i k e parking f a c i l i t i e s . . . .The teaching staff had a considerable r o l e in decision-making. They met with the p r i n c i p a l s , and the p r i n c i p a l s with us. The board also created a teacher-board l i a i s o n committee so that teachers could influence board decisions d i r e c t l y ; examples of teacher-board topics would be Sabbatical opport u n i t i e s and l i b r a r y f a c i l i t i e s . Mrs. Marion, a teacher who, l i k e Mr. Happ, was on the s t a f f before the introduction of innovation and remains at the school now, described pre-innovatlon program decision-making as followss Decisions were made by the l o c a l board; the secretary-treasurer had his o f f i c e In the secondary school. There was a l i a i s o n committee of s t a f f and trustees, which discussed general policies. . . . Curriculum content was entirely decided by the department of education ( p r o v i n c i a l ) . There was a good deal of room for experimentation within that, In my areas, s o c i a l studies and English. I individualized i n s t r u c t i o n myself as much as I  Remember that by "school l e v e l " I refer to the individual school as a whole. 1  29  wanted. The teachers very much went their own ways; i t was a very noticeable feature of the school. Even within the department, we never met, never changed subjects, never helped each other. There was the odd e f f o r t to get together for p a r t i c u l a r problems, but they usually f a i l e d . Staff meetings were characterized by a communication problem; people d i d n ' t say what they were thinking. Mr. Happ saw i t this way* In the Individual s u b j e c t s , . . .we had carte blanche—those of us senior In the hierarchy. In 1968 to I969, for example, I I n i t i a t e d an individualized pacing program; and I used d i f f e rent math books for certain k i d s . The decisions that were made came from the front o f f i c e — d i s c i p l i n e , b e l l s , timetable, and so on. Most of the s t a f f were not Interested In p a r t i c i p a t i n g In decisions; they were only Interested In t h e i r own academic f i e l d s . The decisions made at s t a f f meetings were t r i v i a . . . . Most of us had very l i t t l e effect on the program of the school as a whole. Some teachers l e f t because of that. Mr. P r l b e r g , one of the former teachers interviewed,  said*  One of the things I l i k e d about the school was that there was very l i t t l e paternalism on the part of the administration. The p r i n c i p a l sometimes made decisions we d i d n ' t l i k e , but usually we got along w e l l . Any experimentation you wanted to do was s t r i c t l y up to you, the teacher. Most program decisions were made within subjects. We d i d n ' t meet as a staff very often, p a r t l y because It was a small school and we saw each other frequently In the s t a f f room. Staff meetings were c a l l e d by the p r i n c i p a l every one to three months. Mr. Crema, another former teacher Interviewed,  gave this  description* There was no s c h o o l - l e v e l program d e c i s i o n making; we were pretty autonomous as subject teachers. Decisions about the program were t o t a l l y at the classroom l e v e l . I can't think  30  of a single example of a s c h o o l - l e v e l d e c i s i o n , except concerning things other than curriculum; but then, I can't think of any need for schooll e v e l program decisions e i t h e r . . . .There were notpps^iiems at a l l in securing supplies for teaching, for example. As far as inter-subject harmony, there was never any problem. It was such a small s t a f f ; you saw everyone a l l the time. The program, of course, was limited because of the size of the school. The p r i n c i p a l , Mr. Sander, s a i d ; Myself and the v i c e - p r i n c i p a l had a larger say than now; but the s t a f f had a say. We discussed proposals with s t a f f and students. For example, independent study was brought t© the s t a f f , as a way of making up for the lack of alternatives in the program; and the s t a f f was involved in deciding upon i t and implementing It. . . .The program was pretty well l a i d down by the department of education, though. The teacher's time was almost a l l booked up. . . . U. Town, then, was a rather autonomous school d i s t r i c t in a university community, with a stable academic program and an I n d i v i d u a l i s t i c s t a f f .  Two d r a s t i c changes have been  imposed on this picture in recent years. In 1969, the p r o v i n c i a l government decided to reorganize the U. Town school d i s t r i c t - b y amalgamating i t with Sailerest.  Dr. Roller1  • . .As more and more university housing was b u i l t , the d i s t r i c t ' s taxpayers had to pay more and more to maintain i t s educational standards. It f i n a l l y got to the point where the children in the schools who were from tax base were only f i f t y per cent of the enrolment. The university was tax exempt, and refused to contribute. The d i s t r i c t got funds from the province for the university c h i l d r e n , according to the regular formula, but the d i s t r i c t taxpayers had to support the extra s t a f f i n g costs for the whole system— those that were above the p r o v i n c i a l a l l o c a t i o n . So when the university children became f i f t y per cent of the enrolment, the d i s t r i c t taxpayers  31  were paying double for the same standard they had t r a d i t i o n a l l y provided. We probably would have had to amalgamate volunt a r i l y , but i t would have been better than the way It was done. As i t was, the two giants—the u n i v e r s i t y and the p r o v i n c i a l government—virtually "shafted" us, a few months a f t e r the p r o v i n c i a l election of JlAugust, 1969. . . . In December, I969, the U. Town d i s t r i c t was forced to amalgamate with S a l l c r e s t by a p r o v i n c i a l o r d e r - i n - c o u n c l l , after the d i s t r i c t had been assured by the minister of education e a r l i e r that this would not happen. My connection with the schools ended on December 31$ 1969 when the amalgamation took e f f e c t . They asked us to work through the Christmas holidays to ease the t r a n s i t i o n , which we refused to do; we resigned Immediately. They wouldn't even wait u n t i l the end of the school year to effect the change In d i s t r i c t organization. 1  Mrs. Rackham: There was no parent r o l e In the amalgamation decision. It was made behind the scenes in the department of education. . . .The residents in the area had no choice. The school system with which U. Town was amalgamated was quite d i f f e r e n t  from the s m a l l , university d i s t r i c t .  U. Town  Secondary School became the smallest among eighteen high schools In a d i s t r i c t serving the entire c i t y of S a l l c r e s t ; In e f f e c t , an academic prep school In a diverse urban system. The S a l l c r e s t school trustees tended to encourage Innovation on the part of t h e i r administrators and teachers.  The source  of the Innovations to come at U. Town Secondary, l i k e other innovations In the S a l l c r e s t d i s t r i c t , was traced for me by Mr. Berends, the S a l l c r e s t board's communications d i r e c t o r , to the e a r l i e r election of a majority of liberal-minded trustees by the S a l l c r e s t voters.  Innovative p o l i c i e s were  being developed at the board l e v e l In S a l l c r e s t at the time that the U. Town d i s t r i c t was amalgamated with It*  policies  32  f a v o r i n g , among other things, Individualization  of  Instruc-  t i o n , professional freedom and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for teachers, curricular f l e x i b i l i t y ,  alternative  programs, development of  statements of school objectives, and greater  decentralization  of decision-making to the school l e v e l . Chapter Summary U n t i l December 31, 19^9» the U. Town community exercised control over i t s schools through Its  own school board.  There  appears, however, to have been l i t t l e or no development of the program of the secondary school as a whole, and thus l i t t l e opportunity for p a r t i c i p a t i o n in s c h o o l - l e v e l program d e c i s i o n making.  The s c h o o l - l e v e l program decisions that did occur were  usually made by the l o c a l board, with some influence by adminiv  s t r a t o r s , teachers, and parents.  The program was defined by  p r o v i n c i a l requirements, although there was some f l e x i b i l i t y . Experimentation did occur in some classrooms; individualized pacing and alternative some teachers.  curriculum materials were employed by  Staff meetings were apparently  infrequent.  School-level organizational decisions were made by the p r i n c i p a l . It was against such a background that U. Town amalgamated with the Sailerest school d i s t r i c t by order of the p r o v i n c i a l government.  The amalgamation placed U. Town within the control  of a change-oriented administration; several s p e c i f i c innovative p o l i c i e s which were to affect U. Town Secondary could be seen "in the wind" when U. Town Joined the larger  *******  district.  CHAPTER 3 THE INITIATION OF INNOVATION During the school year 1969 to 1970, at the same time that the U, Town d i s t r i c t was amalgamated with S a l l c r e s t , a study of d i f f e r e n t i a t e d  staffing  2  concepts was undertaken at  the l e v e l of the S a l l c r e s t school board o f f i c e .  Out of that  study came a report and proposal to the S a l l c r e s t t r u s t e e s education committee on September 17, 1970.  1  Dr. Allworth,  assistant superintendent, reported that Dr. Meyer, a director of Instruction, and representatives from the secondary teachers' and administrators' associations "had been studying a variety of projects with.a view to changing the organizat i o n a l structure In secondary schools." workshops dn d i f f e r e n t i a t e d  staffing.  They had attended Dr. Meyer t o l d the  education committee that . . .they preferred to c a l l t h i s program "change of Instructional pattern" which Involved teachers looking at their Instructional r o l e In a d i f f e r e n t way; making them more professional and capable of using other personnel, s t a f f resources and various types of equipment; Involving them in d e c i s i o n making. Dr. Meyer said that they proposed to create a project  In  "modified Instructional patterns" in some S a l l c r e s t secondary school, s t a r t i n g In September, 1971.  They wanted to select a  ^•Differentiated s t a f f i n g " refers to any of a number of ways of redefining teaching roles such that d i f f e r e n t teachers have d i f f e r e n t degrees of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , e . g . , master teacher, teacher, teaching a s s i s t a n t , e t c .  3^  school by December so that there would be time f o r "necessary s t a f f adjustments."  They proposed to "hold a three-week  workshop next summer for a l l staff who w i l l be involved in the project.  . . . "  This proposal was approved by the committee. Between September, 1970,  and January, 1971, the idea of  designating University Town Secondary as the school for this project was formed and developed. specific  On January 22, 1971» a  proposal to t h i s effect was made in the form of a  memo from Dr. Allworth to Dr. Wilkinson, superintendent.  By  t h i s time, the plan included many more innovationss an emphas i s on i n d i v i d u a l i z a t i o n of Instruction and student responsib i l i t y for learning; curriculum enrichment; u t i l i z a t i o n of community resources in the program; f l e x i b l e scheduling; a. parent-student advisory committee; and educational workshops or seminars for parents and students. The choice of U. Town f o r this project was explained on the basis of the "conducive s e t t i n g " It mentation—the availability  offered for experi-  small size of the. school and s t a f f ,  the  of excellent resources in the community and  u n i v e r s i t y , the students' "orientation to study and scholars h i p , " and the parents' "high Interest and support f o r the school."  The p r i n c i p a l was reported to be e n t h u s i a s t i c a l l y  interested in the proposal. Three days p r i o r to the Allworth-Milkinson memo, meetings had been held with the s t a f f of U. Town Secondary  35  and with the community, Dr. Allworth reported. been t o l d of the plan, the reasons for i t , about transfer status,  The s t a f f had  and given assurances  §he community had given support to the  proposal by "general consensus." On January 27, the proposed reorganization of U. Town Secondary was approved by the board's education committee. On February 8, the recommendation of the education com- , mlttee was approved by the board as a whole. On February 12, the decision was described to the U. Town parents In a l e t t e r from the p r i n c i p a l . The purpose Is to provide broader learning opportunities and to Involve teachers, parents and students in deciding what these opportunities should be and how best to achieve them. It Is our Intention to enrich the curriculum; Increase the use of the excellent resources of talent and f a c i l i t i e s available in our community; and Individualize Instruction In ways that w i l l help students develop s e l f - d i r e c t i o n and assume r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for t h e i r own learning. . . . Parents were told that "the r o l e of the teacher w i l l be quite different."  Plans for r e s t a f f i n g and for summer planning  meetings were described.  F i n a l l y , parents were informed that  "we plan to hold a seminar for parents and students to discuss t h e i r involvement In the making of decisions regarding the program." The February 12 l e t t e r to parents assured them that the changes would not "detract from the excellent academic t r a d i tion that has been established at University Town School through the years" and that "these are established practices elsewhere and hence In no way are the changes experimental."  36  Looking back on the decision to reorganize U. Town Secondary, a number of participants gave me descriptions of the way in which the decision was made. Dr. Oruner, a S a i l e r e s t trustee! As I understand It, there had been pressure from various trustees to loosen up the high school a b i t . We had.taken over this small, over-staffed (by our budgetary standards) school. It was looked on by the senior o f f i c i a l s as a good place to experiment. They came up with the idea, brought i t to the trustees, who were enthus i a s t i c enough about i t to go along. Then they went to the teachers* F i n a l l y , the community was involved. . , .The i n i t i a t i v e for the change was from the board o f f i c i a l s , but of course they wouldn't have come to us with i t i f we had not encouraged this type of thing. . . .(The emphasis on student r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and i n d i v i d u a l i z a t i o n of instruction) was the type of innovation the trustees wanted. We c e r t a i n l y wouldn't have been in favor of any innovation, regardless of i t s nature. . . .I'm not aware of any p a r t i c i p a t i o n by community members in the i n i t i a t i o n of the change. Dr. Allworth described i t this way* We inherited that small school d i s t r i c t through a "shotgun marriage * imposed by the province. We had this t i g h t unit of limited enrolment. After one year with i t , i t seemed an ideal place to try an experiment because of the small size and p r o x i mity fc& the university. It was a senior administrative d e c i s i o n ; but i t was consistent with the emphasis on decentralization of decision-making, because i t was simply an extension of things we'd been trying to do elsewhere in the system. A forerunner of the U. Town innovation was the " S e l f programming (at two other schools); i t emphasized the same things on a smaller s c a l e . In making this decision we brought i t to the education study group—whloh includes representatives from the secondary teachers' association and administrators—and got their support f o r doing it. It started from here. The community r e s i s t e d i t almost unequivocally from the beginning. We spent a l o t of time making pitches out there; we 1  M  37  had to convince the community. The teachers were given the choice of moving to another school in the system with equivalent rank and s a l a r y , or applying for the new U. Town s t a f f ; there were only three besides the p r i n c i p a l who applied to stay, and we took a l l three of them on In the new organization. We weren't opposed to.the t r a d i t i o n a l approaches of the previous U. Town f a c u l t y ; this was a misunderstanding that some teachers and l o c a l c i t i z e n s had. In f a c t , we have several schools which run along similar l i n e s . The U. Town school s i z e , Its proximity to r i c h physical and human resources were the prime factors in attempt i n g a new program emphasis at t h i s school. Dr. Meyer s a i d i I n i t i a l l y , the notion,took form down here around Christmas, 1970. : In the year prior to that we did a study ,of differentiated s t a f f i n g ; there was a joint committee, we came up with a proposal on d i f f e r e n t i a t e d s t a f f i n g . The f e e l i n g of the committee was that we shouldn't i n i t i a t e d i f f e r e n t i a t e d s t a f f i n g without changing a whole school program. We threw out the Idea to a l l of the secondary schools, but there were no -takers, only a few interested. We wanted high consensus on a school s t a f f . So by Christmas, 1970, we had decided we'd need to change the complexion of a school completely. U. Town seemed the most l o g i c a l school. There was discussion among the directors with Dr. Allworth, and I was given the task of thinking more about the U. Town p o s s i b i l i t y and drawing up schema for that p a r t i c u l a r s i t u a t i o n . . . . 1 , myself, only entered the U. Town picture when the innovations were i n i t i a t e d , and I was asked to be the connection between U. Town and the board o f f i c e . A year after the reorganization d e c i s i o n , in an address to school administrators in another d i s t r i c t , Dr. Meyer saldj The change in the school was conceived by the central o f f i c e as a complete program reorganizat i o n . The idea was to establish a school program that could Incorporate as many of the new notions  38  about school organization, s t a f f u t i l i z a t i o n , and teachlng/learnlng as was possible--the "black box"3 area. Mr. Friberg and Mr. Crema, the former U. Town teachers whom I interviewed, also gave descriptions of the reorganization d e c i s i o n .  Mr. F r l b e r g i  After amalgamation, I had two extra c l a s s e s , and my time in the l i b r a r y was sharply reduced. I talked to Mr. Sander about i t , and got the intimation that the school would be reorganized In the spring. We (the teachers) inferred that U. Town would become,an academic school with an experimental tone. At that time I sat on the p r o v i n c i a l English curriculum committee, and I expected that courses such as the ones we were developing would be implemented at U. Town. In late January, we were called into a s t a f f meeting with Allworth and Meyer. • . .Allworth explained that the school would become an experiment in different kinds of s t a f f i n g . He l i s t e d some a l t e r n a t i v e s , and one member of staff asked i f this meant d i f f e r e n t i a t e d s t a f f i n g . Allworth said not necessarily. They were going to c a l l for teaching applications from persons Interested in "exciting experiments in education," and the applicants were to state what kinds of experiments they were interested i n . Then he went on to explain that the present s t a f f members could apply on equal terms with other applicants, or transfer to positions of approximately equivalent type elsewhere in the system. I asked If this was established board p o l i c y ; Allworth said yes. I asked what consultation with the parents was planned; Allworth said there would be meetings to explain the new program, but the decision had already been made. It s t i l l wasn't clear what the new pattern would be. At the parents' meeting, the question of academic standards was r a i s e d . The answer was not d i r e c t or definitive. Some parents were quite unhappy; they asked i f they were going to have any say. Allworth  ^Dr. Meyer apparently was using this term in a general way to connote experimentation.  39  said no, the decision had already been made, and the parents would have to l i v e with i t . The s t a f f was given a fixed date by which to re-apply f o r their jobs. > I deoided to leave. I went on educational leave, but i f I hadn't gone on leave I s t i l l would have l e f t U. Town because I did not consider the changes being introduced to be educationally d e s i r a b l e . In retrospect, I can see that It may have been necessary to change the school once the d i s t r i c t was amalgamated, but the manner in which i t was changed was questionable. I r o n i c a l l y , the staff and community were shunted aside in i n s t i t u t i n g the innovations. I, and I suspect many of the s t a f f , have come to f e e l (In retrospect) that a change was necessary and that although the methods of change and outcomes did not, and may not s t i l l , impress us as being sound, yet they probably evolved out of a sense of the necessity of change. Mr. Crema told me t h i s * Even though I was staff chairman at the time, I knew nothing about the decision to reorganize the school. There was a meeting c a l l e d at which Dr. Allworth said things,would be changed and we, the teachers, could re-apply for our positions i f we wished. Every s t a f f member was extremely upset. It was done In a very Inconsiderate manner. I went to them at the behest of the s t a f f . We d i d n ' t know much about the planned program change, but we objected to the way i t was being Introduced. A l e t t e r was also sent to the school board by the S a l l c r e s t secondary teachers' a s s o c i a t i o n , admonishing them; the great fear was what they could do to other schools If they could do this to U. Town. The p r i n c i p a l of the school was in an untenable p o s i t i o n . We requested a meeting with the trustees . . .and everybody on s t a f f expressed t h e i r remorse. One got the f e e l i n g that even the trustees were r e g r e t f u l ; they were very sympathetic to us; but It seemed that the decision had been made—fait accompli. At the time of the d i s t r i c t amalgamation, the same board o f f i c i a l s had said there would be no change In the school f o r at l e a s t f i v e years', to reassure the community. Hfs. Marlon, one of the teachers who stayed on at the school, described the reaction to the reorganization d e c i s i o n :  40  . . .Allworth and Meyer announced to the s t a f f that they would be replaced or could re-apply f o r appointment. It came l i k e a bombshell. Many of the older s t a f f were very r e s e n t f u l , and many in the community thought the teachers were being r a i l roaded. There was a movement opposing i t . . . .The manner of f o r c i n g the change d i d n ' t bother me p a r t i c u l a r l y , because there was such a need for change, and i t was probably better to make i t sudden. Dr. W o r r a l l , a parent who l a t e r became a member of the U. Town advisory c o u n c i l , related this viewt At the time the o r i g i n a l decision was made to change the school, the parents began to hear rumors of a "free s c h o o l . " They were very concerned that there might be a complete lack of organizational structure. Sander (the p r i n c i p a l ) balled a couple of meetings to discuss i t . Allworth. . .and several other o f f i c i a l s came and raised the question of'there being some kind of body for l i a i s o n with the parents and students; out of that came the advisory c o u n c i l ; but we were never r e a l l y told who made the d e c i s i o n s , Just that i t was going to be a great advantage to U. Town to be a testing ground for educational innovat i o n s . They stressed i n d i v i d u a l i z a t i o n of the rates of l e a r n i n g , and enrichment of the curriculum. However, the parents were s t i l l concerned about the slow learners—would they be c l o s e l y observed? I r e member Sander saying some students couldn't cope with the new system and might prefer to move to another school. It was l e f t , t h a t way. The parents d i d n ' t , understand i t . It would have been better to get the parents involved much more in the beginning. . . . Mrs. Rackham was one of the parents who expressed support f o r the reorganization when i t was  initiatedt  There was some discussion In the form of meetings held to discuss the projected change with parents. The school board had already made up Its mind. . . • I had talked to Dr. Allworth and expressed Interest in change, p r i o r to t h i s . . . .There ensued a f i g h t between l i b e r a l and conservative factions i n U. Town. I was taken aback by the amount of opposition among my neighbors to the Idea of change, and I retreated a bit. Many of the opponents were professors who held t r a d i t i o n a l views about education; but as far as I know there was r e a l l y no p a r t i c i p a t i o n of the community in the decision to reorganize the high school.  41  A student saids The decision was made by the Sailerest school board. The students fend even the teachers d i d n ' t have a say i n i t . It was Just thrust on us and we had to adapt to i t . In a separated community l i k e U. Town, that's maybe the way i t has to be. It surely i s n ' t going to come from within. Chapter Summary The decision to reorganize U. Town Secondary was the outcome of a process In which study of change p o s s i b i l i t i e s in one area of school organization—differentiated  staffing-  was gradually transformed Into a global innovation plan.  The  locus of this development was the board and d i s t r i c t adminis t r a t i o n l e v e l , with Involvement of s c h o o l - l e v e l personnel only through d i s t r i c t professional association representatives.  The study of d i f f e r e n t i a t e d  s t a f f i n g concepts led to  the idea of "modified i n s t r u c t i o n a l patterns''  (including  teacher involvement in decision-making), without reference to a p a r t i c u l a r school.  S p e c i f i c plans were proposed to  "adjust" teaching personnel assignments and to hold s t a f f planning sessions in the summer, p r i o r to the opening of such a school.  After the relevant board committee approved that  i d e a , a search was conducted f o r a school to f i t  It.  Simul-  taneously, the change plan.was expanded to Include an emphasis on student r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for l e a r n i n g , i n d i v i d u a l i z a t i o n of i n s t r u c t i o n , curriculum enrichment, use of community reources in the program, and f l e x i b l e scheduling.  In this l a s t stage  of reorganization planning, the idea of creating a community advisory council was Included, and last-minute meetings were  42  held with the U. Town parents, students, and teachers.  The  reorganization decision was made f i n a l by the Sailerest board of trustees.  In describing the decision to the old  U; Town s t a f f , the o f f i c i a l s apparently downplayed the extant of p r i o r program decision-making included in the basic reorganization decision by presenting i t as rather l e s s cons t r a i n i n g than It  r e a l l y was..  The history and character of the U. Town school d i s t r i c t had a d i r e c t bearing on the selection of U. Town Secondary as a s i t e for innovation—not through the p a r t i c i p a t i o n of l o c a l people in the reorganization d e c i s i o n , but through the r e a soning processes of the central administrators.  In p a r t i c u l a r ,  the decision to create a community advisory council at U. Town was l i k e l y the reault of the o f f i c i a l s ' desire to placate a community recently angered over the forced amalgamation of i t s school d i s t r i c t with a much larger one.  In a d d i t i o n , the  o f f i c i a l s perceived the small size of the U. Town Secondary School and i t s setting in a university community as "conducive" to experimentation—particularly to the type of innovation in which students are given unusual degrees of freedom and r e sponsibility.  Related to this consideration was the view, held  by a l i b e r a l segment of the U. Town community, that the secondary school was too outdated and r i g i d In i t s program to prepare students e f f e c t i v e l y for u n i v e r s i t y .  CHAPTER 4 PREPARATIONS FOR PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT The Appointment of the New Staff The notice distributed by the S a i l e r e s t school board o f f i c e c a l l i n g for applications f o r teaching positions at. U. Town Secondary described the school as a "project school" designed to "bring together many of the newly established practices in education."  Prospective teachers were advised  that there would be p a r t i c i p a t i o n of teachers, parents, and students in decisions about the program; that the teacher's r o l e would be tjulte d i f f e r e n t ; "  that the school would provide  i n d i v i d u a l i z a t i o n of instruction and "help students develop s e l f - d i r e c t i o n and assume greater r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for own l e a r n i n g . "  their  Further, the notice Informed Interested  teachers that there would be "enrichment of the curriculum through subject Integration and use of the excellent resource of talent and f a c i l i t i e s available in the community."  It was  noted that applicants would have to be w i l l i n g to do some planning and In-service work during out-of-school time, including a three-week summer workshop. Recalling the s t a f f s e l e c t i o n process, Dr. Meyer s a i d ! The c r i t e r i a given the new s t a f f were just that they be f l e x i b l e , use their imaginations. They were selected for their a b i l i t y to project Into a s i t u a t i o n of that k i n d .  44  Mr. Happ, one of the teachers who r e - a p p l i e d , r e c a l l e d that! . . .The administrators said they had no preconception of the new program. I asked them about that s p e c i f i c a l l y at the time, and they said they had no idea, they were just going to hire the most talented people. Mrs. Marion, another teacher who r e - a p p l i e d , s a i d ! The new s t a f f appointments were announced late in the school year, around Easter or a f t e r , which minimized the period of intense i l l - f e e l i n g in the staff. I d i d n ' t even know u n t i l the appointments were announced who else from the old staff was interested in staying. The "Curriculum Workshops'* for the Community Two "curriculum workshops" were held In February to March, 1971.  The l e t t e r of Invitation and programme f o r the  second workshop indicate that there were presentations by professionals followed by group discussions.  The topic of  t h i s second workshop was . "Patterns of Organization to meet needs of the Curriculum" ("semesterlng," "modular scheduling," "self-programme i n a semester system").  Dr. Meyer explained  to me that department heads from S a i l e r e s t secondary schools were used as resource people for these meetings, and he showed me some overhead projection materials used; he said that "department heads from the d i s t r i c t suggested i n d i v i dualization and subject integration as themes f o r presentations to parents."  Trustee Gruner r e c a l l e d i t this way!  The community was involved In a series of v-\ meetings, which went f a i r l y w e l l , although there was some opposition. Community members turned out in f u l l f o r c e , asked Important questions, and seemed supportive of the idea as a whole.  ^5  Mr. McDonald, a parent who subsequently became a member of the advisory body, saidt We were given a framework in a series of concept meetings, .where the school explained the new ideas. It was a gentle form of indoctrination. The Formation of the Advisory Gouncll On March 25t  the day following the second community  workshop, an i n v i t a t i o n was Issued to the parents "to attend a meeting for the purpose of discussing the organization of an advisory council to be made up of parents, teachers, and students.  The Invitation stated that "the advisory council  w  w i l l have an Important role to play In the school organization next year."  At the meeting, held on March 30, a l i s t of  suggestions was distributed concerning the "areas in which an advisory council could serve" and the composition of the council.  The areas suggested were. "Inventory of resources  of the community to enrich the curriculum" (volunteer a i d e s , t u t o r i n g , organization of f i e l d t r i p s , speakers); "assessment of the t o t a l school programme" as "feedback" to the s t a f f ; " I n i t i a t i o n and organizing of e x t r a - c u r r i c u l a r programmes outside of regular school hours;" and "information channel between the parents, students and the school board."  The,  .  suggested composition of the council was " x * number" from ,  each of three groups—staff, students, and parents—plus the p r i n c i p a l and a l i a i s o n trustee of the S a l l c r e s t school •board.  46  Mrs. Rackham told me l a t e r : Meetings were held with parents in the spring of 1971 to discuss the idea of the advisory c o u n c i l , as a means of involving the parents. The o f f i c i a l s said they d i d n ' t know how the group would function; i t was' up to the parents, teachers, and students to set g o a l s , procedures, and so on. . . • The minutes of the meeting indicate that the parents decided to c a l l for nominations and volunteers, publish "thumbnail sketches" of candidates, and elect four parents by mail b a l l o t , for a one-year term.  It was also decided  that the advisory council would be composed of four representatives each from the parent, student, and teacher groups, and the p r i n c i p a l and l i a i s o n trustee.  Mr. O'Doherty (who  was to become a member of the council) and Dr. Roller  (the  former chairman of the l o c a l board) spoke unsuccessfully for the r e a c t i v a t i o n of a parents* schools a s s o c i a t i o n , organizat i o n a l l y independent from the professionals. On March 31» Mr. Sander reported to the parents, by l e t t e r , on the outcomes of the previous evening*s meeting, and asked for the names of volunteers or nominees by A p r i l 8. He noted that the s t a f f and student representatives would be selected by their own constituencies. The b a l l o t s and sketches,of nominees distributed A p r i l offered a choice of s i x parents.  in  The four who were  subsequently elected were Dr. W o r r a l l , Mr. O'Doherty, Mr. McDonald, and Mrs. Hagen.  Dr. Worrell's position as  stated in the sketches emphasized the need f o r i  47  . . .an ongoing assessment and evaluation at a l l l e v e l s , both by those responsible for formulation of the curriculum and by those providing a d i r e c t read-out of i t s o v e r a l l effectiveness, the parents and students. . . . The advisory council as projected can and should, in addition to i t s other terms of reference, allow such a mechanism provided that we maintain free and open communication amongst a l l c o n c e r n e d communication i s a two-way street and i s the essence of constructive change. Mr. O'Doherty emphasized his "long standing Interest and continuing l o y a l t y to the school" and "commitment to make any contribution I am able;"  he pointed to his experience as a  professional architect in the design of school b u i l d i n g s , and his interest in the r e l a t i o n between architecture and "emerging techniques in the f i e l d of education."  Mr. McDonald  l i s t e d his experience as a transportation executive, member of a royal commission, and chairman of the National Harbours Board; he stated that* The school programme, as outlined at the various workshop sessions, offers an opportunity of widening the horizon of a small school such as University Town by reacting beyond the staff resources a v a i l able. Using the resources of the community at large should make i t possible to give the students the f e e l i n g that t h e i r school environment i s v i t a l and relevant. Mrs. Hagen emphasized her i n t e r e s t i n p a r t i c i p a t i n g in the solution of the "complex problems which face t h i s d i s t r i c t the development of a programme f o r the secondary school." She c a l l e d for "broad educational opportunities. .  .greater  freedom of choice in studies. . .a new rapport between teacher and student, and. . . i n the student a greater sense of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r his own education."  in  48 %  The two who were not elected were Mrs. Rackham (who was interviewed in this study) and Mrs. Brougham. The parents were asked to return their b a l l o t s to the school by A p r i l 30.  On May 3, a l e t t e r to the advisory  council nominees announced the r e s u l t s .  A 40.5 per cent  b a l l o t return was reported. During the month of May, the new staff decided, in the course of their f i r s t meetings, to rotate their  participation  in the advisory c o u n c i l ; and four students, one from each of the grades 8 to 11, were selected as council members. learned l a t e r teering.  I  that these students were selected through volun-  On May 31, a l e t t e r from the p r i n c i p a l informed the  community of the c o u n c i l ' s membership, and invited community members to "meet with the advisory council and school staff f o r an informal gathering and coffee" on June 16. Contact with the Westmont University Faculty of Education On May 18, 1971, a meeting was held with department heads of the Westmont University faculty of education. According to Mr. Sander's report, possible contributions to the U. Town program were i d e n t i f i e d in the areas of c u r r i culum, i n d u s t r i a l education, physical education, modern languages, reading, a u d i o - v i s u a l , a r t , administration, and s o c i a l studies.  Several department heads who were not present  at the meeting promised to meet with the U. Town staff  later.  49  I n i t i a l Meetings of the New Staff The new s t a f f met as a group for the f i r s t  time In May.  Plans for the f i r s t meetings c a l l e d for f i v e seminars* (1) interpersonal relations t r a i n i n g ,  including r o l e percep-  t i o n , small group processes, decision-making, and problems o l v i n g ; (2) evaluation, including setting goals and object i v e s ; (3) modifying learners* behavior; (4) u t i l i z a t i o n and evaluation of s t a f f ; and (5) coordinating resources with learners* needs.  The training program was;  . . .designed to increase teacher competence i n program development and a n a l y s i s , refinement of Instructional procedures, assessment of students' academic and s o c i a l s k i l l s , recording students* performance and behaviour, and a p p l i c a tion of reinforcement p r i n c i p l e s for motivating student performance. D i s t r i b u t i o n of Individual Staff and Student Proposals Following the I n i t i a l staff  sessions, each s t a f f member  wrote up his/her Ideas about the new program, and sent them to the school to be duplicated.  These materials were subse-  quently distributed at the program planning session in June. A l l students at U. Town Secondary were given the to communicate t h e i r  opportunity  ideas in the same manner.  Chapter Summary In the period between the reorganization decision and the f i r s t program planning meetings, the new staff was appointed, "ourriculum workshops" were held for the community, the advisory council was formed, the university*s faculty of education was contacted about s p e c i f i c l i n k s , the members of  50  the new s t a f f were brought together for the f i r s t time to become acquainted and to experience training in interpersonal r e l a t i o n s and program development, and program proposals from i n d i v i d u a l s t a f f members and students were gathered.  It  would  appear that these preparations f o r program development were carried out in a manner consistent with the goals of the p r o j e c t , ,once those goals had been decided upon by the school board.  In applying for p o s i t i o n s , new staff members were ,  advised of the global character of the innovations; the emphases on student r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for learning, curriculum enrichment, and use of community resources; the summer planning sessions and the goal of teacher-student-parent in decision-making.  participation  Integration of subject f i e l d s was iden-  t i f i e d for the f i r s t time as an expectation for the new program.  The teacher's role.was described as "quite  different,"  Just as i t had been i n the l e t t e r to parents announcing the r e organization.  The o f f i c i a l s apparently gave the new teachers  the impression that there were no "preconceptions" about the new program.  The formation of the advisory council took place  in conjunction with the appointment of new s t a f f , to have been accompanied by an aura of importance.  and appears  CHAPTER 5 PROGRAM PLANNING PRIOR TO YEAR ONES THE JUNE MEETINGS The new s t a f f met at the S a i l e r e s t school board o f f i c e b u i l d i n g throughout the week of June 14 to 18.  At the  first  meeting on the morning of Monday, June 14, an agenda was d i s t r i b u t e d suggesting that there be discussion of  "material  submitted by s t a f f members on features desired i n the structure for September" and "comments from students. .  .";  and that an . . .agenda f o r the remainder of the week and for the August meetings. . .be discussed and set up. This should outline the broad objectives we wish to reach by June 18 and by the end of August, plus any work that i s to be done during the i n t e r v a l . The i n i t i a l agenda also announced that there would be a report that afternoon by a v i s i t i n g expert on the use of s t a f f assistants;, and that s i x persons would be "interviewed  ini-  tially  (The  this week" f o r four staff assistant p o s i t i o n s .  interviews had been arranged f o r Thursday and Friday,  starting  at 4s00 p.m.). On Tuesday, June 15, Dr. Allworth and Mr. Samuelson, head of the d i s t r i c t finance department, met with the staff to discuss what funds would be available to the school.  The  s t a f f pressed for money to buy specialized equipment, while the board o f f i c i a l s stressed the tightness of the f i n a n c i a l picture city-wide and the importance of avoiding any appearance that U. Town "had received a s p e c i a l deal and  52  was not a t y p i c a l school that could he used as a p i t c h for other schools."**'  Dr. Allworth said that limited funds were  a v a i l a b l e , however, and asked the s t a f f to prepare a s p e c i f i c l i s t of needs. That morning, Mr. Sander, the p r i n c i p a l , told the s t a f f that he had delayed the Involvement of parents "so that staff could get to know one another and select representatives and f o r the return of parents from out of town."  He also said  that the "parents wish to know what additional areas we plan to move Into."  The s t a f f discussed the meeting of the  advisory council scheduled f o r that evening, June 15» and the larger meeting for a l l s t a f f ,  students, and parents  scheduled f o r the following evening, June 16.  According to  the minutes of the staff meeting that morning, . . .the f e e l i n g was that June 15 should be used f o r getting ideas; June 16 to give p o l i c i e s in general terms and to introduce the s t a f f . Mr. Happ f e l t that more s p e c i f i c answers should be prepared, Mr. Sander f e l t that d e t a i l s should be arranged through the c o u n c i l . On the afternoon of the 15th, the s t a f f discussed the organization of the physical p l a n t , and how to approach the timetable problem. At the advisory council meeting on the evening of the 15th, there were present two students, three parents, seven  Where not otherwise stated, quoted passages from the period of time p r i o r to my own observations are taken from the minutes. 4  53  teachers, and the p r i n c i p a l s of both the secondary and the elementary schools.  There was discussion of the new school  program and of the functions of the advisory c o u n c i l . Mrs. Hagen expressed the concern she sensed in the community about "what kinds of things are going to happen." Mr. Sander r e p l i e d that they were . . .envisaging three large blocks of time i n the day with the s t a f f divided into t e a m s working in separate domains. The core would be in the large block f i r s t thing in the morning, broken down at the d i s c r e t i o n of the team. The other two blocks of time would be contracted for by the students and could be changed. Each s t a f f member would act as an advisor to a group of about 25 students. Weaknesses in s p e c i f i c areas could thus be contracted for and strengthened. . . .Core material i s e s s e n t i a l , determined by the department of education. . . .The sections would be as f l e x i b l e as possible within the subject areas. Mr. Sander said that "this d e c i s i o n " had been made "to avoid the student missing basic core.material" while at the same time enabling the school to "identify the needs of the student," "include the involvement with the u n i v e r s i t y , " and "to develop the type of c i t i z e n we want In terms of. growing r e s p o n s i b i l i t y .  . .maturity."  . .  Dr. Worrell "expressed  the view that the core time should provide a r e a l backbone of learning and be f l e x i b l e enough to make sure that the basic minimum i s well covered or the necessary changes made."  A  student said that "some of the.students were apprehensive about r a d i c a l changes." Concerning the functions of the advisory c o u n c i l , there was general agreement that i t should f a c i l i t a t e communication  5*  between the school and the community.  The three parent  representatives expected the school s t a f f to provide leadership—"Ideas," "guidance," and "decisions."  Dr. Worrall f e l t  that the council should "get the program across to the commun i t y of parents."  Mr. O'Doherty was concerned about parents  "over-reacting'' before new teaching methods were "well tested and considered," although he f e l t that "the advisory council should play a very Important r o l e in getting feedback."  Mr.  Cyprus, the elementary school p r i n c i p a l , said that "evaluation should come from the community after the ideas have been tried."  Various methods of promoting communication were  discussed, including "abstracts of minutes in the nature of a community l e t t e r , " questionnaires, written material from the school s t a f f , phone c a l l s to council members from parents, and general meetings for parents and students.  It  was decided that methods of communicating should be discussed the next evening at the larger meeting. to speak concerning communications.  Dr. Worrall offered  It was also decided to  hold advisory council meetings every third Tuesday during the summer. At the stiaff meeting the next day, June 16, Mr. Soott said that there had been, at the council meeting, "a misunderstanding of the term 'core material' and de-emphasis on the d i r e c t student contact during ' c o n t r a c t ' time" when "learning becomes t r u l y  Individualized."  55  Other topics discussed, by staff on the 16th Included the s i z e of teaching teams (Dr. Meyer sent a suggestion v i a Mr. Sander that even numbers work together b e t t e r ) ; the use of Westmont University student teachers; and the problem of attendance anticipated by Mr. Sander. (I  could f i n d no record of the June 16 general meeting^)  On June 17, the s t a f f discussed the problem of a timetable. Mr. Sander expressed the need for help during the summer for structuring a formal timetable. It was decided that as many as can make i t would come to U. Town Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday a f t e r noons at It30. . .during the month of July so that there i s something to work from—suitable or not. The two weeks at the end of August could be used for amendments of the timetable plus other basic problems. Also on the 17th, the s t a f f discussed the problem of preparing students f o r scholarship examinations while, at the same time, emphasizing "a broader human approach.  w  On the 18th, the l a s t day of this f i r s t planning week, the s t a f f again considered the questions of use of the physical plant and organization of the timetable. were asked to provide Information on their needs to  Teachers timetable  planners. The following Wednesday, June 23, another meeting was arranged so that the staff could discuss building alterations with Mr. Gray, school board a r c h i t e c t ; at the same time, Mr. Sander "called for f i n a l equipment figures to submit to the board."  On June 25, another s t a f f meeting was held with  56  Mr. Gray, at which proposals f o r alterations and equipment were f i n a l i z e d . The Contract Decision I asked a cross-section of participants how the decision had been made to u t i l i z e the "contract" approach to student r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r learning and Individualization of i n s t r u c t i o n , as an example of an important s c h o o l - l e v e l program decision.  Interviewees almost unanimously traced the decision  to the f i r s t s t a f f planning sessions, but exact information on the process by which the decision was made was d i f f i c u l t obtain.  to  (The interviews were done a year and a half after  the decision.!?); Teacheri . . .It came up i n the s t a f f planning meetings. I don't remember who suggested i t . Teachert We came up with that at the end of the f i r s t planning week. . . .At f i r s t i t was going to be afternoons for contract time, more open than we ended up doing. . . .It would have meant putting a great deal more r e s p o n s i b i l i t y on the k i d s . Contract time was a way in which, i t was f e l t , i n d i v i d u a l i z a t i o n and student r e s p o n s i b i l i t y could best be implemented. Teachers The decision was made at the June meetings of the new staff in 1971. . . .We agreed contracts should be an adjunct to the student r e s p o n s i b i l i t y emphasis. It was suggested by those who believed in i n d i v i d u a l i z a t i o n . We a l l thought i t would be a good thing. I can't r e c a l l who brought i t up. CfeEtainiyiPlt was from the s t a f f , not administration. They never mentioned i t . . . .It d i d n ' t seem Important at the outset. Contract time Is Just a natural  5?  adjunct to i n d i v i d u a l i z a t i o n of i n s t r u c t i o n ; i f you're going to have an. Individualized program, you have to have a time set aside for contracted work—what alternative Is there? Teacher; The contract system came out of the d i s c u s s i o h , of i n d i v i d u a l i z a t i o n of instruction in the early s t a f f meetings, as an answer to how to i n d i v i d u a l i z e rates of progress. Teachers This was decided in order to carry out the other decision (to emphasize student r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and I n d i v i d u a l i z a t i o n ) . . We decided there would be a minimum amount of time students would be required to be in c l a s s e s , and those who wanted to progress at a faster rate could contract to spend more time in any area. A l s o , those who had problems. It was a staff consensus thing; i t was discussed and agreed on. I don't r e c a l l who suggested It. Teachers In our f i r s t meetings i t was voiced as an i d e a l some had, and as past experience by some. It was the product of a l o t of reading by some of us. There was a consensus to use contracts, i t d i d n ' t come out as a d e c i s i o n ; everyone saw a way to use It In t h e i r own area, either through time or work load. The p r i n c i p a l salds It was a staff d e c i s i o n ; i t was made at the meeting down at the school board ( o f f i c e b u i l d i n g ) . Every s t a f f member participated In the decision and agreed to i t . I don't r e c a l l where the idea o r i ginated, or from whom. Dr. Allworth said of the contract decisions a local decision. office."  It  That was  had nothing to do with the board  Dr. Meyer's perception wass  was made s t r i c t l y by the s t a f f . cussion among s t a f f . "  M  It  "The contract decision  arose from general d i s -  Mr. E l v i n , a school board evaluation  58  o f f i c i a l , saids "That was a s t a f f d e c i s i o n . i t was reached.  I don't know how  Our education department may have had some  input. . .although I doubt  it."  Parents Interviewed did not know anything about how the contract decision was made* Parent : I don't know how i t was made. Parent: (The contract decision) was made by the faculty of the school, or the faculty in consultation with the school board. Parent: I don't know how this was done. seems to have made no decisions.  The council  Parent: I don't remember how the decision about contract time was made. Students were also in the dark about the contract decision: Student: I don't know how the decision was made; I guess by the teachers. . . .Students aren't consulted or questioned about decisions concerning the program of the school as a whole. Contract time i s one example. In this respect I t ' s Just l i k e any other school. The students Just carry out decisions made. Student; The decision was made by the s t a f f , the new s t a f f . Student: I don't know how the decision was made.  59  Concerning the contract decision and subsequent decisions about the contract approach, trustee Gruner sald» These were administrative and staff decisions implementing the basic reorganization d e c i s i o n . . . • I think It was the new school staff that generated the new program. I'm not sure when the community council was set up,.whether before or after these decisions were made—probably before. The Decision to Emphasize Student Responsibility and Individualization of Instruction A decision p r i o r t o , and even more basic than, the contract decision was the decision to emphasize student r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and i n d i v i d u a l i z a t i o n of instruction at U. Town.-* Although that decision was e x p l i c i t l y included in the board's o r i g i n a l decision to reorganize the school (as we have already seen), most of the teaching staff believed that they, rather than the board, were responsible for i t .  It  seems l i k e l y that  the s t a f f selection process was c r u c i a l l y Important in determining the nature of staff group philosophy; yet the members of the staff apparently did hot have a clear knowledge of the decisions preceding their appointment. Teacher* It seems to me the decision to emphasize student r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and i n d i v i d u a l i z a t i o n of i n s t r u c t i o n was made at our f i r s t ( s t a f f ) meetings In June, 1971, when we met f o r a week at the school board  ^Thls material i s presented at this point, rather than e a r l i e r , because of the nature of the interview f i n d i n g s , 1 w i l l be seen.  60  ( o f f i c e b u i l d i n g ) . That was the basic philosophy that we a l l seemed to have. From there we t r i e d to determine how we could best put that Into p r a c t i c e . We d i d n ' t r e a l l y have to discuss those emphases too much, although we did spend a l o t of time discussing how to Implement r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and Individualization. . . . Teachers That was by staff consensus, as a r e s u l t of discussing what we wanted the school to be l i k e . It turned out that we were a l l saying the same thing—to give students r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and i n d i vidualize i n s t r u c t i o n . Teachers I t ' s hard to say who made the d e c i s i o n . I felt It to be in the s t a f f as a group before we even met. In the f i r s t couple of days when we met It came out. We d i d n ' t have to do any r e a l decision-making about It. . . .Many of our early decisions were informally arrived at through round-table discussions. We could f e e l the common attitudes we held; we could sense agreement. . . .Maybe It was because of the board's selection of staff—a b e a u t i f u l case of homogeneous grouping; but i t could have been just that when we got together we decided to be d i f f e r e n t . Teachers This was decided when we f i r s t met and b r a i n stormed. It was an outcome of looking at things we'd experienced in other schools. We thought i t would be good to have kids progress at their own r a t e s , p a r t i c u l a r l y In French, Math, and other subjects where the content i s standard. We wanted to see i f we could get kids to take r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r their own learning. Teachers The emphasis on student r e s p o n s i b i l i t y was a consensus of Individual s t a f f opinions. Our opinions were formed before coming into t h i s project. The collaboration which followed simply confirmed the consensus. Why we a l l agreed on this philosophy I'm not sure. I don't think i t was because of any decision by those who selected us. . . .  61  Mr. Scott had a somewhat d i f f e r e n t  view:  Individualization of Instruction was among the parameters that were In the o r i g i n a l prospectus given to the s t a f f by administration. I think the decision to emphasize student r e s p o n s i b i l i t y Is derived from that by the staff as an area most r e f l e c t i n g Individualization of i n s t r u c t i o n . There Is a great difference between Individualization of instruction and i n d i v i d u a l i z a t i o n of learning—the former has to do with the teacher, the l a t t e r with the student. Individualization of i n s t r u c t i o n was included in the o r i g i n a l administrative conception of the program, as were d i f f e r e n t i a t e d s t a f f i n g and a half dozen other things; they were suggestions by the board o f f i c i a l s . Individualization of learning was not e x p l i c i t l y decided upon; i t was a derived concept. It varies from subject to subject. Student r e s p o n s i b i l i t y was seen by the s t a f f as a means of implementing i n d i v i d u a l i z a t i o n of i n s t r u c t i o n . Student r e s p o n s i b i l i t y was emphasized by the s t a f f because of the extremes of t r a d i t i o n a l structure in the schools from whence they came. Our i n i t i a l discussions started with a few simple terms of reference, which gave some notion of a program. Our question was how to do i t . The p r i n c i p a l s a i d : O r i g i n a l l y , the board said to me, replace the s t a f f and try d i f f e r e n t i a t e d s t a f f i n g . They d i d n ' t know what they meant. What they r e a l l y meant was a d i f f e r e n t use of the budget. . . .The board d i d n ' t have any preconception about student r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and so on; that resulted from the teachers I picked. The board's intent was simply to change the school. . . .It wasn't so much "emphasize" student respons i b i l i t y as "encourage." Our f i r s t concern was how much r e s p o n s i b i l i t y should be put on the grade 8s . . . .The decision was made in the f i r s t week of the staff workshops. I brought It up, and It met general agreement; but there were decisions and nondecisions. Many things were done because nobody objected to them. We f e l l Into a l o t of things that way. . . .There was no p a r t i c u l a r point when the program was defined; i t Just evolved. Student r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and i n d i v i d u a l i z a t i o n d i d n ' t actually become the d i s t i n g u i s h i n g features of the program in any c l e a r sense. . . .  62  Mr. E l v i n , the board o f f i c i a l responsible f o r  evaluation  of the U. Town program, s a l d i . . .To my knowledge, this decision was arrived at by the s t a f f team selected for the project. They were given the mandate to develop a school permitting freedom of choice. . . .The education department (under Dr. Allworth) was probably involved to some extent in stating the philosophy of the project to the s t a f f . Dr. Meyer s a i d : It was decided that there would have to be greater student r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i f i t was going to be a d i s t i n c t type of school. Student responsib i l i t y foes along with i n d i v i d u a l i z a t i o n ; i t i s necessary i f there i s to be a more open plan in the school. Chapter Summary In the f i r s t two days of the June planning sessions,  it  began to become apparent that problems which might roughly be termed "organizational" were of much more pressing importance than problems concerned with curriculum, i n s t r u c t i o n , or program evaluation: e . g . , selection and use of s t a f f a s s i s t a n t s , finance, community r e l a t i o n s , physical p l a n t , timetable, and the organization of decision-making i t s e l f .  The hand of the  board o f f i c e was evident in the arrangements for a speaker on the use of s t a f f assistants and.for interviews with applicants f o r s t a f f assistant positions—arrangements which represented decisions as to the use of s t a f f group planning time, and which implied a d e f i n i t e p r i o r decision that there would be s t a f f assistants employed.  S i m i l a r l y , the use of part of the  second day of the sessions was allocated In advance by the board o f f i c i a l s to a discussion of finance.  63  The p r i n c i p a l ' s delay of parent Involvement  created a  separation r i g h t from the beginning between the s t a f f and advisory c o u n c i l ; community representatives were not at the planning sessions, and the council met just once In the evening during the f i r s t planning week.  Prom i t s  first  meeting, the advisory council apparently was not expected by the parent representatives to function as a decision-making ibody.  The emphasis appears to have been on f a c i l i t a t i n g  communications and explaining the new program to the community. The p r i n c i p a l ' s description of the new program to the council revealed several important decisions made by the staff:  the intention to organize the s t a f f Into teams, and  subject f i e l d s into domains; to divide time into blocks, some of which would be used by students to "contract for" work in addition to the was on the  "core m a t e r i a l . "  The p r i n c i p a l ' s emphasis  "core," defined by the p r o v i n c i a l department's  curriculum requirements, to reassure concerned parents (and students); In speaking of the program's goal of student respons i b i l i t y f o r l e a r n i n g , the p r i n c i p a l emphasized the development of "maturity" and de-emphasized the student freedom that would l o g i c a l l y accompany increased student r e s p o n s i b i l i t y .  An ,  Ideological s p l i t began to be apparent the day following the advisory council meeting, when one of the teachers objected to the p r i n c i p a l ' s emphasis on "core material." Further evidence of the Importance of organizational rather than c u r r l c u l a r - i n s t r u c t i o n a l problems could be seen in the topics discussed during the rest of the f i r s t week of  64  planning meetings: the size of teaching teams; use of student teachers; attendance; timetable; physical plant.  The only  c u r r l c u l a r - l n s t r u c t i o n a l problem i d e n t i f i e d in the jhinutes for those three days was that of coping with the p r o v i n c i a l - l e v e l scholarship examinations without v i o l a t i n g the "human p h i l o sophy" of the project.  The problems of a r c h i t e c t u r a l  altera-  tions and special equipment were deemed important enough to hold two additional meetings fcheGEoilowing week.  In the l a t t e r  two meetings, the Importance of the board o f f i c e as f i n a l decision-maker was apparent. Participants  1  r e c o l l e c t i o n s of how the contract decision  was made provided some insight into the process of program decision-making In the f i r s t staff planning sessions.  The most  s t r i k i n g c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the process appear to have been the extent of s t a f f consensus achieved without much debating of a l t e r n a t i v e s ; the way in which the contractual approach appears to have been assumed as a feature of the program; and the lack of p a r t i c i p a t i o n in the decision by anyone other than the  staff.  P a r t i c i p a n t s ' perceptions of the basic decision to emphasize student r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and i n d i v i d u a l i z a t i o n of instruction ?at U. Town r e f l e c t e d a lack of clear knowledge of the board's I n i t i a l reorganization d e c i s i o n , and an under-estlmation of the importance of the s t a f f - s e l e c t i o n process.  The apparent ease  of reaching staff consensus was attributed by most participants to s i m i l a r i t i e s in the i n d i v i d u a l s t a f f members' evaluations of schools in which they had previously taught.  #****««  CHAPTER 6 PROGRAM PLANNING PRIOR TO YEAR ONES THE AUGUST MEETINGS A ten-day staff workshop was held from August 23 to September 3t p r i o r to the opening of school.  One of the  matters dealt with early In the workshop, at the suggestion of Dr. Meyer, was the objectives of the school. were offered by various members,of s t a f f , .  Statements  then two teachers  .were delegated to set these general objectives In some  semblance of o r d e r .  w  Their formulation was as follows:  1. To provide opportunities f o r the student to: (a)  evaluate his academic and personal g o a l s , c a p a b i l i t i e s , and needs;  (b) learn through Individual and group processes; (c) recognize education as a continuing l i f e experience. 2. To encourage understanding of and a sense of commitment to the needs of himself and others. 3. To provide learning experiences s u f f i c i e n t l y comprehensive to meet the needs of a variety of post-secondary p u r s u i t s . 4. To Involve the student body and community In decision-making and evaluating new patterns of organization and curriculum development. 5. To encourage student r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for learning. One of the teachers told me l a t e r that the s t a f f did not take the stating of objectives very seriously—that It was viewed as an exercise which could not have much use because the most Important objectives of the school could not be  66  p r e c i s e l y defined and were, in any event, understood by a l l s t a f f members at a "gut l e v e l . " Three days of the workshop were devoted to domain meetings for program planning.  The problem of  articulation  of domains was discussed by the s t a f f as a whole. Evaluation of student achievement and of the school program were discussed.  Also,  . . .Dr. Meyer requested that we have someone from the evaluation and planning department at the school board do a s o c i o l o g i c a l study in the school. After some discussion i t was decided that Dr. Meyer end a member of this evaluation department would s t r i k e a design for this evaluation and submit i t to the staff by September 15. . . . ,?C©mmuni cat ions with parents and students" was a topic considered at the workshop.  The areas of concern within this  topic were student orientation to the new program, s p e c i f i c a l l y the planning of orientation week and the orientation booklet; the advisory c o u n c i l ; and meetings of students and parents with s t a f f advisors.  Individual  A related concern  was the r o l e of the s t a f f advisor and the advisory groups, which were to replace the t r a d i t i o n a l "home rooms." Mr. Scott' . . . f e l t that parents and students should have had some p a r t i c i p a t i o n in the meetings that took place with the staff in June and probably the meetings in progress at the moment.. On August 31 at 3;00, the staff discussed the advisory council meeting to be held that afternoon at 4:00.  A sug-  gested agenda for the council was planned which included the  67  following t o p i c s i bikes; books and l i b r a r y ; student lounge and smoking; portable and construction (building a l t e r a t i o n s ) ; open or closed policy (attendance); and community resources. (Other matters of concern at the s t a f f workshop Included: budgeting; the use of space In the building by domains; the need for a portable or geodesic dome; furniture and s p e c i a l equipment needs; enrolment; the use of s t a f f assistants and a d d i t i o n a l s t a f f i n g needs; timetable r e v i s i o n and the use of the unscheduled Thursday; attendance; and arrangements for the Issuing of textbooks.  There was also discussion of the program  with Westmont U . , the use of community resources, the physical education program, and counselling services,) The advisory council meeting of August 31 was attended by a trustee (Mrs. L i g h t ) , three parent representatives, three student representatives, ten teachers, the p r i n c i p a l , and four staff assistants.  Mr. Sander "reported that the teaching s t a f f  had one week of a l l - d a y sessions at the S a l l c r e s t school board In the l a t t e r part of June and had been at the school since August 23 In planning meetings."  Mi*. Sander:  then explained the timetable for the coming year: The timetable i s set out In 20 minutes modules. This enables classes to be given In 40, 60, 80, etc. minutes time blocks. There i s a timetable drawn up Indicating only the basic minimum core subjects. The remainder of the timetable i s blank. This i s NOT a free day but rather a day for cont r a c t time, f i e l d t r i p s , e t c . A mini-course may l a s t from 3 weeks to 9 weeks depending on the subject area. These subject areas have been l e f t u n t i l the students have an opportunity of suggest i n g the courses they would be interested i n .  68  Mr. Chiba "reported on the proposed programme for o r i e n tation week:"  On Tuesday, September 7, at 9*00, students would  meet with their advisory groups and be given orientation bookl e t s and individual appointment times for interviews with t h e i r advisor the following day; after 10:00, teachers would be "located in the school throughout the day for students to discuss the programmes being o f f e r e d . "  On Thursday and  F r i d a y , September 9 and 10, there would be further  individual  meetings "with subject teachers to discuss course selection and r e g i s t r a t i o n ; "  a l s o , on Thursday at noon, an Informal  s o c i a l a c t i v i t y , and on Friday afternoon, "parents are invited to come to the school to discuss problems and questions which might have arisen during the week."  On Monday the 13th, plans  c a l l e d f o r "individual student/advisor meetings to enable the advisor to see each student's completed timetable^" and a s t a f f meeting to discuss and solve any c o n f l i c t s In students' timetables. On September 14 would begin the "Implementing of the programme." Parents asked questions l i k e :  "How many students were  under the guidance of each advisor?" commencing studies at 8:00 a.m.?"  "What grades w i l l be  "Are the grade 7s being  accommodated at the elementary school?" Mr. Sander explained the building a l t e r a t i o n s , and the problems of getting action from the school board on a portable and on equipment moving.  Mrs. Light agreed to "follow up the  action that i s being taken on t h i s portable by the school  69  board."  It was "moved by Mr. McDonald, seconded by Dr.  Worrall,that  the request to the school board regarding the  moving of equipment be h e a r t i l y backed by the advisory council." Mrs. Anderson . . .asked the advisory council for advice and suggestions regarding a student lounge and smoking In the school. She reported that the staff had made no p o l i c y on these Items and would l i k e some help from the c o u n c i l . Mrs. Light reported that It was a board policy that no smoking was permitted i n schools. She suggested that we could make representation to the board and request that this p o l i c y be changed In the case of this school and then this staff and advisory council could make their own d e c i s i o n . The student representatives made various suggestions about a lounge, and took the position that smoking should be permitted outside the school only.  . . . .•  Miss Deerlng reported on the attendance p o l i c y . Each student w i l l be responsible f o r turning in weekly an attendance card to his advisor. On t h i s the student w i l l mark his absences. Subject teachers w i l l also keep a record of attendance. • .In each of his c l a s s e s . If a student Is absent f o r 3 to k days In a row this w i l l be reported to his advisor who w i l l then n o t i f y the parent by phone. . . .Miss Deerlng also reported that no p o l i c y had been set down by the staff regarding a student who has some free time between classes. Must they remain in school or can they go to the l i b r a r y at Westmont U . , or some other place? Suggestions were asked f o r . Mrs. Hagen suggested that the whole concept of the school would be contradicted i f the teachers had to police the students. After some discussion, Mr. McDonald suggested that an open p o l i c y be adopted to begin with and that i f It was  70  found necessary to tighten up at a l a t e r date this could then be considered. Dr. Worrell and Mrs. Light both stated that the expectations of staff f o r students must be impressed at a very early date. Also t h a t , i f a student shows at an early stage that he i s not performing well that he must be shown the error of his ways immediately. Mr. Hardy requested that old bicycles be contributed to the school for students to use to go to a c t i v i t i e s Westmont U.  at  Mrs. Payter requested "that the community take  some active interest in the l i b r a r y . "  Mr. Sander asked that  "some thought be put into the matter of setting up a f i l e on community resources.  This was tabled. . . .The meeting  adjourned at 5*50 p.m." Chapter Summary In the August planning sessions, the s c h o o l s objectives were stated by the s t a f f .  The manner in which t h i s came  about was of Interest to my study In p a r t i c u l a r , since statements of objectives were so central to the program development model employed.  The staff engaged in t h i s a c t i v i t y in an un-  committed f a s h i o n , and only in compliance with the suggestion of the d i r e c t o r of instruction responsible f o r the project. The teachers generated statements as a group, and then d e l e gated to two staff members the task of putting the objectives into "some semblance of order.". The f i v e objectives which resulted reiterated i n d i f f e r e n t words the p r o j e c t ' s o r i g i n a l emphases on student r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for l e a r n i n g , i n d i v i d u a l i zation of i n s t r u c t i o n , oommunity resources, and community p a r t i c i p a t i o n in decision-making.  P a r t i c u l a r emphasis could  71  be seen in the objectives on the student*s psychological and s o c i a l development. The s t a f f assented to the d i r e c t o r ' s suggestion to have the board o f f i c e evaluate the project, subject to approval of evaluation designs.  staff  The s t a f f does not appear  to have questioned the basic idea of the board, rather  than  the school i t s e l f , making program evaluation d e c i s i o n s ; nor is there any evidence of concern on anyone's part over the postponement of evaluation planning (and stating of objectives) to the l a s t part of the program planning period. As in the June planning sessions, the bulk of the problems concerning the s t a f f during the August meetings appear to have been organizational rather than c u r r l c u l a r lnstructional.  Some major areas of s c h o o l - l e v e l organiza-  t i o n a l problems could be seen to carry through both of the advance planning periods; finance; physical plant; utilization;  timetable; student attendance.  Most c u r r i c u l a r -  i n s t r u c t i o n a l planning appears to have been done at domain or class l e v e l s .  staff  the  School-level program decisions in  the August meetings were concerned with the advisory r o l e ; the use of community resources; and the problems of stating school objectives and planning the program evaluation, discussed above.  It  began to be seen In the August session  that a major s c h o o l - l e v e l program would be the  "articulation  of domains." The types of problems which were of concern to the s t a f f under the heading of "Communications with Parents and  72  Students" r e f l e c t e d the separation between the teachers and the community In program planning and decision-making; only one teacher appears to have voiced concern over the lack of community p a r t i c i p a t i o n In the planning sessions.  The s t a f f ' s  discussion of the advisory council was sandwiched Into the l a s t hour before the council meeting. The council meeting i t s e l f was relegated to l a t e a f t e r noon on a day near the end of the August planning period. The agenda for the meeting, suggested by s t a f f , seemed to dwell on topics r e l a t i v e l y peripheral to basic program decision-making.  Mr. Sander's description to the council of  the timetable i l l u s t r a t e d once again his concern over adverse parental reaction to increased student freedoms; i t also I l l u s t r a t e d the emphasis i n the c o u n c i l ' s function 6n d i s seminating and j u s t i f y i n g to the community the professional's decisions.  The same could be said of Miss Deerlng's report  on attendance p o l i c y .  The parent representatives and the  l i a i s o n trustee demonstrated, In their responses to the question of students' free time between c l a s s e s , that the s t a f f ' s worry about community opinion was well-grounded. The t r i v i a l i t y of the c o u n c i l ' s p a r t i c i p a t i o n In d e c i s i o n making could be seen in the discussions of the problem of getting equipment moved and the question of student smoking.  CHAPTER 7 INTO YEAR ONE The U. Town orientation booklet for students contained the general objectives of the school; the orientation week schedule; course information; the timetable;  attendance  r u l e s ; information on textbooks, l o c k s , and lockers; a map of the school; and blank timetable forms.  Courses were  offered under the following subject headings* business education, home economics, humanities, i n d u s t r i a l education, mathematics, physical education, second language, and science. In the S a l l c r e s t school board handbook for September, 1971, the superintendent reported* During the year the .board of school trustees reaffirmed Its p o l i c y regarding teachers* professional freedom and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . . . .The board and o f f i c i a l s also increased the amount of l o c a l autonomy and encouraged schools to make decisions in matters that can and should be decided l o c a l l y . S a l l c r e s t education department head Allworth emphasized in the handbook that "the need now i s for each staff to e s t a b l i s h , through consensus, a statement of the objectives and the learning experiences their school Is providing or should be providing to achieve these objectives."  Under the board's  policy to develop "alternative programs," the handbook presented University Town Secondary as "a project In studentstaff-parent cooperative planning." . . .Emphasis i s being directed towards reducing grade l e v e l structure, integrating subjects In  74  the curriculum, greater u t i l i z a t i o n of the f a c i l i t i e s and human resources In the university community, and more student r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for learning. When the new U. Town program was Inaugurated, a number of students transferred to the school under the d i s t r i c t ' s open boundary p o l i c y . ^ Student! I came from another school in September, 1971. I heard this school was going to be f r e e r , and I signed up. In the summecsbefore the new system s t a r t e d , along with a l o t of other k i d s . I d i d n ' t know what "student r e s p o n s i b i l i t y " or "Individualization" were going to mean; I just heard i t was going to be a "free school." Student: I came here In September '71 because some other kids described i t to me as a new U t o p i a , where the learning processes had no struggle or e f f o r t Involved; they emphasized the freedom students would have. I was naive enough to believe It. When we f i r s t came i n , i t was l i k e a bombardment because nobody, including the teachers, knew what #as&golng to happen In a c t u a l i t y , which Ideas were f e a s i b l e . The s t a f f met twioe between the opening of school and the next advisory council meeting.  In the course of those  s t a f f meetings, a s t a f f assistant "was asked to make notices f o r parents' afternoon, regarding the contribution of parents to the school;"  Mr. Hardy was delegated "general relations  representative to the S a i l e r e s t school board;" and Mr. Chiba  I n the f i r s t year of the project the school enrolled approximately 330 students. About one-quarter of the student body came from outside the immediate neighborhood. There were 12 f u l l - t i m e teachers. 6  75  accepted r e s p o n s i b i l i t y as "the staff representative on the students' c o u n c i l , "  Other Items on the two s t a f f agenda  had to do with: v i s i t o r s to the school; timetable problems; equipment for ceramics; arrangements f o r  interviewing  prospective teachers; payment f o r courses taken elsewhere by U. Town students (this question was referred to the advisory c o u n c i l ) ; representation at the Sailerest secondary teachers* a s s o c i a t i o n ; obtaining Information on s p e c i a l events at Westmont University; a f i e l d t r i p ; staff  assistant  assignments; individual student problems; and attendance recording. Advisory Council Meeting, September 14 At this meeting, there were present: Mrs. L i g h t , the l i a i s o n trustee; four parent representatives; four student representatives; three teachers; and the p r i n c i p a l .  Mr,  Sander . , .suggested that a new arrangement regarding the chairman might be made. Moved by a student that a parent take,the c h a i r . Nominated by Dr. Worrall and seconded by Mr. Sander that Mr. MoDonald take the c h a i r . Mr. McDonald suggested that a rotating chairman would be more s a t i s f a c tory. . . .Mr. McDonald w i l l take the chair up to and including the January meeting. . . .Mr. Sander remained In the chair for the early part of this meeting at the request of Mr. McDonald. . . .Mr. Sander moved that the advisory council invite an evaluation person as observer from the Sailerest school board. Agreed. . . .Mr. Sander asked f o r suggestions and/or a p o l i c y regarding public l i b r a r y l e c t u r e s , e t c . . . . .Should the student have the fee paid for by this school?  76  The question was b r i e f l y discussed.  No resolution  r e s u l t e d , although there was no objection to such payments. M  Mr. Sander raised the question of the night school  programme at U. Town Secondary.  M  He pointed out that the  statement in the brochure that the courses were drawn up . • .*with the cooperation of the p r i n c i p a l and parent committee was an e r r o r . . . .Night school principals are usually paid but in t h i s case a request from the board for a voluntary parentp r i n c i p a l has been made. 1  Mrs. Hagen suggested two names. Mr. McDonald then took the c h a i r .  He "raised the matter  of how the f i r s t week in school went."  A student, Ray, said  there was a need f o r "bringing information more quickly and e f f e c t i v e l y to the student." the b u l l e t i n board and P.A.  The students suggested use of Mrs. Hagen " f e l t that in the  orientation booklet i t was missed out that a sense of belonging Is needed."  A student, Margaret, added that she  "missed the cohesion and meeting of other grade 12s In the f i r s t week."  Staff representatives said "they were aware of  t h i s Important p o i n t . "  Mr. O'Doherty "wondered what groups  there are—apart from the whole school—for students to Identify with."  A student, Mark, "pointed out that i t was  d i f f i c u l t for veteran students to meet new a r r i v a l s . " Margaret said that " s o c i a l a c t i v i t i e s w i l l come, but w i l l take longer t h i s year."  Ray.."felt that the present s i t u a t i o n  w i l l be b e n e f i c i a l In the l o n g - r u n . "  Dr. Worrall said that  "this Is s i m i l a r to c o l l e g e s , where s o c i a l i z a t i o n does not begin u n t i l the second or t h i r d week."  77  Margaret said the " h a l l noise i s d i s t r a c t i n g . "  Ray  " f e l t that this noise was Just a temporary thing and that a student lounge would help."  Discussion of the problem of  how to provide a lounge ensued.  Mr. O'Doherty suggested  that the council i n v i t e the f i r e marshal to discuss use of furniture In the h a l l s . Mr. Mattson, a teacher, said that although the "freetime concept Is disruptive for the time being," those parents who "seem to be urging students to f i l l  up their entire  time-  table" were acting "contrary to the o v e r a l l concept of the school."  Mrs. Hagen " f e l t that the use of the expression  •free time' has been misleading.  A more relevant term should  be chosen." Mark reiterated  the need to "bring the students into a  cohesive body and p a r t i c u l a r l y to get new students f e e l i n g more at home."  Mr. Mattson "stressed the importance of a  lounge for t h i s purpose" and "explained that the communications basis of the humanities program meant forming and r e forming communications groups in the s c h o o l . "  Mr. McDonald  "suggested we come back to this at the next meeting and evaluate i t again after a few weeks have elapsed."  Mrs. Fayter  said that "the achievement of Identity would take a long time." Dr. Worrall t o l d me during an Interviews . . . A l l of this was dumped too precipitously on the parents, without any Information to the parents on how the new program was arrived a t . We never had any feedback from the early s t a f f planning meetings on the new curriculum. The  78  planning should have gone on f o r a year in advance. They told us that i t was a l l too new to be able to say what would happen, that they had Just decided upon the new programming. The parents were d i s i l l u s i o n e d because i t was so i l l - c o n c e i v e d and was modified so frequently. There were no get-togethers with parents. Much of the parent disillusionment came because of the ineffectiveness of the new program decisions— the gap between what had been promised and what was a c t u a l l y made a v a i l a b l e . Mrs. Rackham s a i d : . . .It was the understanding of the parents that the council would meet during the summer intens i v e l y to help develop the program; but i t d i d n ' t function this way. It met only twice before the opening of the new school, and when the council met in the f a l l i t was disorganized. Dr. K o l l e r : . . .The advisory council innovation was probably Intended to s a t i s f y the community, having l o s t i t s separate board, but i t was timed in such a way that the basic program decisions were already made before the council got going. . . . There were three more staff meetings in September, at which the main items of business were the use of s t a f f assistants and the budget.. attended the l a t t e r * )  (Dr. Allworth and Dr. Meyer  Other topics included: volunteer  student assistance to handicapped persons; v i s i t i n g educators; arrangements for interviewing a prospective staff member; driver t r a i n i n g ; furniture and equipment replacement;  time-  table problems; attendance forms; l i b r a r y materials; use of the auditorium; language lab equipment; teachers' association; honoraria for three people helping with drama; and arrangement of a meeting with three elementary school teachers.  There  79  was follow-up to two matters discussed in the previous advisory council meeting! the student interested i n the l i b r a r y lecture would be given half the f e e ; and three b u l l e t i n boards in the school would be used f o r s p e c i f i c types of information f o r students.  It was also announced  that Mr. E l v i n of the school board's planning and evaluation department had been assigned to "work with the school on evaluation," and i t was decided that he would be "Invited to attend the next s t a f f meeting, September 30," Chapter Summary In September, 1971, the handbook of the S a l l c r e s t school d i s t r i c t underlined the board's p o l i c i e s supporting teachers' professional freedom and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , l o c a l autonomy and decision-making, and program development through e x p l i c i t statements of objectives and i n s t r u c t i o n a l plans at the school level.  The d i s t r i c t handbook presented U. Town Secondary  School as a project In "student-staff-parent  cooperative  planning," and reaffirmed the emphases at U. Town on subject i n t e g r a t i o n , community program resources, and student respons i b i l i t y for learning.  Meanwhile, new students enrolled at  U. Town from various parts.of the c i t y under the board's open boundary p o l i c y ; these students apparently came to U. Town with the expectation that i t would be a "free s c h o o l . "  Yet  the orientation booklet issued to U. Town students by the s t a f f offered a, program which departed from the  traditional  i n one area: humanities replaced the usual s o c i a l s t u d i e s ,  80  E n g l i s h , and a r t .  The orientation booklet also disseminated  to students the s t a f f ' s statement of f i v e general objectives. At the f i r s t regular s t a f f meetings, the contribution of parents to the program apparently was treated as an organizational problem suitable to delegate to a staff assistant.  The l i n e s between the staff and the school board,  and between the s t a f f and the student government, were apparent in the delegating of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for the s t a f f ' s l i n k s with those groups to p a r t i c u l a r  teachers.  Again, the types of problems addressed by the s t a f f as a whole were primarily not c u r r i c u l a r - i n s t r u c t l o n a l . of timetable,  The areas  physical plant and equipment, finance, s t a f f i n g ,  and attendance continued to characterize staff meeting d i s cussions; in a d d i t i o n , the area of relations with colleagues i n other schools ( v i s i t o r s , professional association representatatlon, meetings with U. Town Elementary s t a f f ) began to appear on s t a f f meeting agendas.  The only c u r r i c u l a r -  i n s t r u c t l o n a l topics discussed during staff meetings i n September of year one seem to have been the d e t a i l s of a f i e l d t r i p , the obtaining of information on special events at u n i v e r s i t y , and driver  training.  At the September advisory council meeting, the p r i n c i p a l raised three side issues: approval by the council of his proposal to invite an •fesaluatlon person;" the question of payment of a student's fee for a lecture outside the school; and the recruitment of a parent volunteer to administer a  81  night school program.  Parents and students i n i t i a t e d d i s -  cussion on several topics more central to the development of the secondary school program, kicked off by one parent's question, "How: did the first.week in school go?"  A need for  quicker information to students from s t a f f was i d e n t i f i e d by student representatives.  (This was followed up in a s t a f f  meeting by a decision as to the use of certain b u l l e t i n boards^;)  An important issue raised was the lack of student  group "cohesion" in the f i r s t week, apparently due to the i n d i v i d u a l i z a t i o n of programming and the influx of new students.  Student and parent representatives supported a  stance of patience with the new system on this issue.  Student  representatives i d e n t i f i e d the problem of noise in the h a l l s . The need for a student lounge was introduced to the discussion. The safety of lounging in the h a l l s was questioned by a parent representative.  A teacher objected to parents* opposition to  "free time."  **«»«**  CHAPTER 8 STUDENT GOVERNMENT, COMMUNITY CRITICISM, AND ORGANIZATIONAL DETAIL The advisory council meeting of October k was attended by four parent representatives (Mr. Hagen in place of Mrs.); four student representatives; three teachers; the p r i n c i p a l ; the l i a i s o n trustee; and Mr. E l v i n from the board o f f i c e . Mr. McDonald chaired. To follow up on the previous council meeting, student representatives reported that "the d i v i s i o n of the student population into ' o l d ' and •new solved.  w  1  components had not yet been  Mr. O'Doherty said he had heard there was a problem,  related to t h i s , concerning student government.  Mark and Ray  said "student f e e l i n g on t h i s had been brought to a head by the student council i s s u e . "  Mr. Hagen " f e l t the questions  of integration of newcomers and of student government were normal at this stage of a new program." was "more serious than that. meetings not student c o u n c i l . "  Ray and Mark said i t  New students wanted plenary type Mark f e l t the "student council  is necessary to bring some organization to the student body." Mrs. Light and Margaret "presented more evidence of student concern."  Mr. McDonald "wondered i f the s t a f f had been  brought into the student council issue.  It was pointed out  that staff had attended plenary student meetings on the same basis as students." unsatisfactory."  Mr. Sander " f e l t the present position  Margaret "pointed out the need f o r possibly  83  a temporary council to take care of p r a c t i c a l Issues while In the meantime students could make up their minds what form of government they wanted. needed."  Some form of compromise Is  Mr. McDonald said this was a "good potential  subject f o r humanities, but It students themselves.  M  Is r e a l l y a problem for the  Mr. O'Doherty said there was a "need  for the administration of the school to adopt a d e f i n i t e attitude on student government.  n  Mrs. Light replied that  the "students are trying to work out a new type of r e l a t i o n ship with the s t a f f . "  The student representatives  "pointed  out that the student council elections were now possibly i n v a l i d because of the changed nature of the school population.  The whole question of the v a l i d i t y of the constitution  was opened up."  Dr. Worrall said that "on the basis of  approximately a two-thirds to one^third s p l i t In the student population, and with the need f o r some structured organization, an e f f e c t i v e student government could and should be obtained." Mr. McDonald "suggested new elections on the basis of the existing c o n s t i t u t i o n . "  Mr. O'Doherty moved that "this  council recommend that due process be followed in establishing new e l e c t i o n s . "  Mark proposed that "advisory groups be used  as a basis for government, with two students from each group." Mr. Shelton (a teacher) pointed out that when Inter-house teams were picked 'new' students had been l e f t out. Mr. Hagen asked for further d e t a i l s . Margaret explained the procedure which had been followed. This was generally seen by the advisory council  84  as being unrepresentative and had led to d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n . Margaret suggested Jack (student council president) be asked to a meeting of the advisory c o u n c i l . Dr. Worrall f e l t this might be a good way of r e i n s t i t u t i n g f a i r student government on Jack's i n i t i a t i v e . Mrs. Light proposed the " p o s s i b i l i t y of offering students a referendum on three suggested forms of student government." Mr. Sander said that "advisory council advice would not be appreciated by the student body right now."  However,  Dr. Worrall supported Mrs. L i g h t ' s suggestion of a referendum offering three choices of government. Mrs. Payter and Mr. Scott f e l t the referendum offered more decision to the students than an advisory council recommendation. The question was raised by the chairman—who would draw up suggestions for referendum choices? Mark said this would be l e f t to existing student council o f f i c e r s . . . .Mr. O'Dbherty f e l t i t was Jack's responsib i l i t y to activate the student council e l e c t i o n procedures under the constitution and that the advisory council should give him some confidence to do t h i s . Robert said the constitution should be suspended, and an interim committee set up to get things going, ultimately producing a new c o n s t i t u t i o n . The chairman asked whether an i d e n t i f i a b l e 'new group* student spokesman and present elected o f f i c e r s could be brought to the advisory council meeting to discuss student government. Dr. Worrall doubted Its value but was w i l l i n g to go along. Mr. O'Doherty was not in favour of Mr. McDonald's suggestion. Mr. Hagen saw a very considerable learning experience in a l l t h i s , and a major r o l e possibly being played by s t a f f . Mr. Sander repeated that talks with groups of students revealed student unwillingness to hear advisory council recommendations. Mr. O'Doherty presented an expanded motion—the advisory council recognizes the need for student government and recommends that i f changes are required to the constitution they be undertaken after the c o n s t i t u t i o n a l elections which should be held forthwith. Seconded by Mark. Robert pointed out the new students were not c o n s t i t u t i o n a l l y oriented, would possibly not be in favour. Mr. O'Doherty pointed out the intent of his motion was  85  to include active p a r t i c i p a t i o n of new students in possibly rebuilding the c o n s t i t u t i o n . Mr. O'Doherty*s motion passed unanimously. Mr. O'Doherty reported that three communications had been submitted to him by parents. Parent A had phoned on a daughter not having enough time on the timetable, and not s u f f i c i e n t l y occupied In her •free'time. Dr. Worrall also reported two phone c a l l s on the same l i n e s of c r i t i c i s m . Mr. McDonald had also heard of 'non-constructive' time, e s p e c i a l l y in grade 8 or 9. Dr. Worrall said there was a def i n i t e need for the advisory council to face the problem of those students who are not self-motivated and their parents' concern. Mrs. Light requested information on procedures being followed. Mr. McDonald asked Mr. Sander for information. Mr. Sander said some advisors had been busy on the phone. Some students were now turning up for the f i r s t time. Advisors were now phoning parents of students in their groups to discuss matters. A l s o , group advisory meetings were being held on Thursday mornings. Mark f e l t r e a l l y appreciative of the new time a l l o c a tions introduced in the new program. Margaret f e l t strongly in favour of the new programme and time arrangement. It allowed her to undertake much more work than was indicated on her timetable. Mr. Sander said the grade 8s are in many cases generally confused. Mr. O'Doherty wondered i f c l e a r l y defined school hours might not be reinstated. Mrs. Light f e l t this would be a mistake and would take the project back to where i t started. Robert said some students d e f i n i t e l y appeared to be confused regarding contract time. Mark agreed. The chairman said parents might be informed by a l e t t e r from school explaining 'unassigned' time. Mr. Hagen asked whether older students could act in ' b i g brother' roles to younger students. Mr. Sander pointed out this was being discussed r i g h t now In humanities. Mrs. Payter said the ( s t a f f ) advisory r o l e was taking time to work out. Dr. Worrall said parent r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i n improving students' use of unassigned time must be stressed. Mr. E l v i n said i t was found in the U.S. i t takes s i x months to adjust to a major new contractual program. Mr. O'Doherty mentioned two other parents who had phoned. Parent B was concerned about the grade 12 chemistry course, p a r t i c u l a r l y government exams. Margaret pointed out that she had no desire to be taught a l l year on the basis of writing one exam. Parent C was reportedly against a lounge i f i t meant reducing 'study space'. . . .  86  The chairman suggested t h a t f o r the next meeting t h e r e he an agenda. Mr. Sander agreed t o r e c e i v e suggestions by phone. The October  7 s t a f f meeting was  d i s c u s s i o n , w i t h Mr. tion.  l a r g e l y devoted  to a  E l v i n and Dr. Meyer, of program e v a l u a -  (The minutes do not r e l a t e any d e t a i l s of t h i s i )  the course of other b u s i n e s s , i t was  In  decided t h a t "a d i n n e r  meeting w i l l be h e l d In the near f u t u r e .  Mr.  Haffner w i l l  oanvass the s t a f f as t o what date would be most convenient. At t h i s meeting, c u r r i c u l u m and teacher l o a d w i l l be cussed."  A l s o , "Mr.  dis-  Sander advised the s t a f f t h a t there had  been s e v e r a l phone c e l l s and l e t t e r s r e g a r d i n g the grade 8 programme." At the October  14 s t a f f meeting, I t was  announced t h a t  "there Is a d i n n e r meeting a t the f a c u l t y c l u b , Tuesday, October  19,  a t 6:00  f o r the e n t i r e s t a f f .  The t o p i c f o r  d i s c u s s i o n a t t h i s meeting w i l l be C u r r i c u l u m . " ( s i c ) There was  n  also a  d i s c u s s i o n r e g a r d i n g e v a l u a t i o n . I t was decided t h a t a l e t t e r should be w r i t t e n t o Mr. E l v i n i n v i t i n g him t o a meeting on November 1 a t 2:30 p.m. I t was suggested t h a t an observer be attached to the s c h o o l on a r e g u l a r c o n t i n u i n g b a s i s . T h i s person should be someone chosen i n c o n s u l t a t i o n w i t h board o f f i c i a l s and the s t a f f a t the s c h o o l . That emphasis should be placed on the e d u c a t i o n process o c c u r r i n g r a t h e r than on the outcomes. I t was a l s o suggested t h a t Mr. E l v i n should continue h i s p a r t i c i p a t i o n w i t h the a d v i s o r y council.  I d i d not d i s c o v e r any c u r r i c u l u m d e c i s i o n s coming out of such a meeting. 7  8?  Also, Mr. Sander asked for suggestions regarding form of report card. Teachers had received copies of three d i f f e r e n t report cards and were asked for t h e i r preference. Mr. Sander w i l l canvass the teachers today. . . . At the October 21 s t a f f meeting, Mr. Sander reported on his inquiries concerning report card forms, and i t was decided "that the NCR forms would be purchased." Concerning grading scales, " i t was decided that an insert to the report cards be made by individual domains regarding grading s c a l e . " It was also decided that marking assistants would be hired as needed by domains u n t i l the school board budget for markers at U. Town was exhausted.  Coordination of -lalrojb-courses and  speakers was discussed; Mrs. Anderson volunteered to act as coordinator.  Mr. Hardy "asked for a count of students  interested" in various music programs; he was to meet with interested Westmont U. people.  There was a discussion of a  f i e l d t r i p f o r a l l interested students. At the October 28 s t a f f meeting, "there was a discussion regarding over-worked and under-worked students.  Mr. Scott  wondered i f we should offer a structured grade 9 programme for some students."  A l s o , an item had been placed on the  agenda concerning "student contact i n courses."  The statement  was amended to read "Are s t a f f members s a t i s f i e d with the number of students that are coming for learning—in any sense of the word"; the Item was "tabled f o r the next meeting." It was also decided that "an open-forum meeting with  88  students/parents/teachers w i l l be brought up for discussion with the advisory council on November 2.  The p o l i c y regarding  v i s i t o r s to the advisory council meetings w i l l also be d i s cussed.  A l s o , i t was decided that "there w i l l be a s t a f f /  w  student meeting in the auditorium on Thursday, November 4, 9*30 rather than advisory group meetings.*  at  1  Other items of business at s t a f f meetings In October Included* teachers* a s s o c i a t i o n ; f i r e prevention education; a new student; book orders; counselling services; university l i b r a r y ; tours of Westmont U . ; t r a i n i n g on o f f i c e machines for staff  a s s i s t a n t s ; the school annual; student insurance;  United Appeal; a school dance; h i r i n g of a t y p i s t ;  attendance  forms; and use of c a r r e l s . Chapter Summary At the October advisory council meeting, the problem of the " d i v i s i o n in the student population" between old and new students returned In the form of a problem In student government.  The "new student" group was pressing for change In t £ e  student council format In the d i r e c t i o n of wider  participation  in student decision-making; many students distrusted the idea of representation.  Parent representatives on the advisory  council attempted to resolve the problem by making a recommendation to the student council to hold new e l e c t i o n s , even though the p r i n c i p a l warned twice that the advisory council i t s e l f was b a s i c a l l y unacceptable to the student body as a representative  forum.  89  The advisory council also discussed issues raised by phone c a l l s and l e t t e r s from parents c r i t i c a l of tlme.  H  "free  The problem of students who are not self-motivated  was r a i s e d .  The p r i n c i p a l defended the s t a f f by describing  e f f o r t s to contact parents of such students. sentatives also defended the new program.  Student repre-  There was disagree-  ment among council members over the d e s i r a b i l i t y of defined school hours, and confusion over contraot time. a newsletter was I d e n t i f i e d .  The need for  Concern was expressed through a  parent representative over p r o v i n c i a l exams, and a student representative again defended the U. Town program. Staff meetings in October dealt with a host of minor organizational problems which roughly f e l l into the categories Identified previously.  Some s c h o o l - l e v e l program  problems were addressed, including "over-worked and underworked students," "student contact in courses," and the questions of grading scales (which were l e f t up to each domain) and report card forms.  Several p a r t i c u l a r aspects of  the program were discussed (music programs, counselling s e r v i c e s , a f i e l d t r i p , f i r e prevention education, use of university l i b r a r y ) .  Plans were made f o r a dinner meeting  of s t a f f to catch up on the problem of s c h o o l - l e v e l curriculum (identified  e a r l i e r as the problem of domain a r t i c u l a t i o n ) ;  an important aspect of this problem was viewed as the d i s t r i b u t i o n of "teacher l o a d . "  It  also became apparent  90  that coordination of mini-courses was problematic.  Pre-  liminary meetings were held on the subject of program evaluation with an evaluation o f f i c i a l and the d i r e c t o r , and further meetings arranged f o r the near future; In t h i s area, the s t a f f pressed i t s concern that evaluation take into account the "processes" of education occurring in the school, not just the academic outcomes.  CHAPTER 9 THE ACTIVATION OP PROGRAM EVALUATION A special s t a f f meeting was held on November 1, at which Dr. Meyer and Mr. E l v i n presented a set of proposals concerning the evaluation of the project during year one. Dr. Meyer introduced Mr. Bob Hoen, a doctoral candidate in the department of administration at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia. Mr. Hoen wishes to do a case study of decision-making at University Town for his d i s s e r t a t i o n . The S a i l crest school board f e l t that the data gathered by'Mr. Hoen would be a great value to the t o t a l evaluation programme f o r this school. This evaluation w i l l be done under Mr. E l v l n of the school board. Dr. Meyer suggested that questions be put to Mr. Hoen regarding his proposed study of the school. Question period followed. . . . It was asked that a decision be reached shortly by the s t a f f as to whether or not Mr. Hoen would be acceptable to proceed with his study in the school. Mr. Hoen and Dr. Meyer l e f t the meeting.  g  Mr. E l v l n proposed several subjects for evaluation, and "suggested that the evaluation done by his department should be of a formative rather than summatlve approach."  The out-  come of the meeting was agreement that "process would be emphasized;" that there would be "some kind of study related to some of the d i s c i p l i n e s ; " that "a neutral  participant  observer agreeable to both the school board and the  staff  would be sought;" and that there would be, i n year one, "feedback" concerning the advisory c o u n c i l , the d e c i s i o n making process, "learner oriented education," changing  8A few days l a t e r I received a telephone c a l l from one of the teachers informing me that the s t a f f had decided my study could go ahead. I was invited to meet some of the staff at a c o c k t a i l party (reported l a t e r In this chapter).  92  student expectations, and d i f f e r e n t i a t e d  staffing.  Mr. E l v i n described f o r me the process by which decisions were made about the evaluation of the U. Town program in year one i When I. . .was asked to work with the U. Town case, I was told by Meyer that this should be a three-year study; that they had committed themselves and had the approval of the secondary teachers' association to continue the project for a three-year period, at which time they would evaluate i t and make a d e c i s i o n , with Inputs from a l l who were Involved. It was f e l t strongly that i f evaluation were d e s i r a b l e , then we should not wait three years, we should take the formative approach and measure in some way the achievement of the objectives stated, so the s t a f f could make changes i f they were not achieving their objectives. I decided to conduct a three-phase evaluation; the f i r s t phase was year one. I looked c a r e f u l l y at the objectives as stated in the U. Town handbook, and met with the staff early i n the f i r s t year. I was very concerned about t h e i r objectives as stated, and my f i r s t meeting with them was not an amicable one. I c r i t i c i z e d their objectives because there was no way you could measure them. I t r i e d to c l a r i f y their objectives with t h e i r help. They were more concerned with "process" than with anything e l s e . Mr, Happ and Mr. Scott were most c r i t i c a l of my proposed approach. I l e f t the meeting asking them to t e l l me what processes they meant. A number of things seemed to need evaluation; the advisory c o u n c i l ; the decision-making process; contracted student time; the attitudes of students toward this school; and cognitive achievement. These things came out of my interpretation of their objectives. I wrote up a phase-one evaluation proposal. This was the way most of the evaluation d e c i s i o n making proceeded. My proposals were discussed with Meyer, then discussed with the staff and amended. The advisory council met on November 2.  The meeting was  well attended, although the p r i n c i p a l was fbsent due to Illness.  There was no formal agenda.  93  It was pointed out. . .that assigned and unasslgned time on students timetables was s t i l l causing concern to parents. 1  The chairman pointed out that a l e t t e r was intended as an explanation to parents; t h i s had been discussed and decided upon at a previous meeting but that this had apparently been overlooked. He referred to the minutes of the October 4 meeting. Mr. Hagen inquired i f i t was s t i l l considered too soon to have a parents/student/staff general meeting. This was taken up for general discussion. It was suggested that a type of meeting was needed where a clear statement of school policy i s made at the opening and some opportunity be then given to put questions to a panel of answerers. This seemed to meet with general agreement. . . . . . .On behalf of the s t a f f i t was suggested that the meeting might be held under the auspices of the advisory c o u n c i l , so that the meeting be more in the nature of representing a l l three aspects, student/staff/community of the school. . . . A l e t t e r was read from a parent, expressing concern, among other things, about the possible loss of a c c r e d i t a t i o n ! similar l e t t e r s led the council member to press for an e a r l i e r meeting than early December. Mrs. Hagen pointed out that Mr. Sander's opinion might be sought on the whole matter. In the d i s cussion of the need f o r the meeting, some of the students who were in attendance, pointed out that not everything expressed on behalf of parents was negative. It was known that many parents In the community were In favour in varying degrees and evidently It appeared were pleased, in varying degrees, with what was being attempted at the school. It was proposed that a subcommittee be c a l l e d by the chair to take care of arrangements for the meeting. Agreed. The student council president was present to follow up on the discussion of student government at a previous council meeting.  He explained that  94  . . .student council now had been constitutionallyelected. . . .Students had been s o l i c i t e d f o r suggestions for alternate forms of government; no deadline had been set for change proposals. . . . The chairman suggested that the student council f i a deadline f o r suggestions. . . . The chairman next asked the s t a f f to explain how community resources were being used. One of the students pointed out that the s t a f f had gone to great lengths to involve the students in some dimension of the school. There was general agreement, on the part of the students, that the community involvement, such as i t i s , had been advantageous. Staff members described actions taken with regard to the use of Westmont University counselling department and l i b r a r y . A need for dissemination of information from the advisory council to the community was f e l t . It was generally thought that t h i s would be a rather d i f f i c u l t undertaking. Dr. Worrall pointed out that the i n i t i a l function of the advisory council was to be one of c o l l a t i n g information rather than disseminating i t . It was agreed, however, that this should be t r i e d . The chairman suggested Its inclusion In the coming parent/student/staff meeting. Dr. Worrall once again stressed, In his own words, the very Important r o l e of parents in emphasizing to their sons and daughters their r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s In the new programme. Mrs. Rackham strongly agreed with Dr. W o r r a l l s statement and suggested that the f i r s t step In. . • the advisory council getting information out to the community might be a notice of the coming proposed meeting. It was suggested that the school might undertake the arrangements of a n o t i c e , once a date had been arranged. 1  Later i n the meeting, Mrs.  Rackham "expressed desire for  communication from the p r i n c i p a l ' s o f f i c e or at l e a s t regular  95  information b u l l e t i n s from the school at l a r g e . " Student representatives expressed unhappiness at not being included in the s t a f f meeting on evaluation the previous day. . . .It was pointed out that there were two senses of the word 'evaluation* being used around the school. One very t o p i c a l meaning of 'evaluation* Is that in which the S a l l c r e s t school board plus the s t a f f are anxious to f i n d means by which the entire project of University Town Secondary School might be evaluated. It was f e l t that perhaps the students had mistakenly thought that a meeting held on Monday of this week between the S a l l c r e s t school board o f f i c i a l s and the s t a f f had been to discuss the evaluation of their work. It was pointed out that this was erroneous, that the meeting had been to discuss methods of evaluating the whole project. Mr. E l v l n then "described at length" to the council "the forms of evaluation which had been proposed for the t o t a l process going on at the school."  Mr. O'Doherty suggested that  the advisory council should I t s e l f consider i t s own r o l e before other evaluations of i t emerged. Mr. E l v i n Indicated that the board has a tentative proposal for evaluating the r o l e of the council but he did not wish to reveal It at this time. One of the teachers, Mr. Shelton, expressed student concern that 'new* students are not represented on the advisory c o u n c i l . Most students present concurred. It was then suggested that the students might be elected from the student body as advisory council representatives. This procedure would be separate from student council elections. Concern about the humanities program was voiced. The chairman and others expressed desire to hear more about the humanities program since i t was arousing so much i n t e r e s t . . . .It was suggested that the humanities staff might be  96  requested to attend the next meeting of the advisory council so that the humanities programme might be a i r e d . The members of the council were apparently not e n t i r e l y happy about the fact that a number of persons from the commun i t y had come to participate In the council meeting that evening. It was f e l t that the next meeting should be held f a i r l y soon, and that this meeting should, on the suggestion of the chairman, consist of a small group of regular advisory council members. . . . Mr. O'Doherty moved f o r open meetings with smaller committee meetings as required. The general consensus was In agreement with this proposal. The following day, Mr. E l v i n , the board o f f i c i a l respons i b l e f o r overseeing the evaluation of the U. Town p r o j e c t , communicated, in a l e t t e r to the U. Town s t a f f ,  his percep-  tions gathered from attending the two most recent staff and advisory council meetings.  A copy went to Dr. Meyer.  Mr.  E l v i n said that . . .there i s a d e f i n i t e lack of understanding among a l l concerned groups as to the s p e c i f i c r o l e to be played by the advisory committee at your school. This suggests to me that i f the committee i s to become e f f e c t i v e in your t o t a l operation immediate steps must be taken to specify c l e a r l y the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of the committee as a whole, and the s p e c i f i c groups represented on the committee in p a r t i c u l a r . Mr. E l v i n noted that "There appears to be a growing resentment on the part of parents toward the program r e s u l t i n g mainly from a lack of knowledge about what i s in fact going o n . "  97  Several parental concerns were i d e n t i f i e d by Mr. ElvinJ (a) There seems to be a lack of communication between school and home. (b) Many parents do not understand how the program i s operated. (c) Parents want assurance that t h e i r children are progressing s a t i s f a c t o r i l y along acceptable paths of learning. (d) What w i l l happen now that the p r i n c i p a l i s i l l and no one has been assigned to lead an organization? (e) There i s concern that more emphasis has been placed on matters evolving rather than having administrative decisions made that w i l l tend to draw the operation together. (f)  There i s concern that children are spending too much time out of school.  Mr. E l v l n wrote further  that  There i s a growing resentment on the part of a large segment of the parents that the p r i n c i p a l has abdicated some of his administrative respons i b i l i t y and this has resulted in a lack of communic a t i o n . There i s a f e e l i n g that requests f o r a parents meeting have been overlooked. 1  I would recommend that in order to olrcumvent possible problems Immediate steps be taken to hold a meeting and that a firm date be established f o r this meeting and that the meeting be held before the end of November. On November 5, I met some of the staff members f o r the first  time at a c o c k t a i l party.  four teachers.  (It  I talked Individually with  was primarily a small gathering of music  and drama people|)^ Mrs. Fayter t o l d me how "surprisingly easy" i t had been to reach consensus in early staff  planning  sessions, although there s t i l l did not exist (at the time we were talking) a statement of philosophy.  Mr. Mattson said  98  that there was a l o t of "flak" from parents currently, and that there would be a general meeting of parents, teachers, and students in about two weeks "to try to clear the a i r . " Mr. Mattson described his own i n t e r e s t ! "the creation of a chaos from which there can emerge a t r u l y new order."  Mrs.  Marion mentioned that "the involvement of parents i s a problem because the i n t e l l e c t u a l bent of many parents in the U. Town community causes them to want to control things they r e a l l y aren't competent t o . " Chapter Summary In the f i r s t few days of November, 1971,  the a c t i v a t i o n  of the board's evaluation department in the U. Town case was apparent.  On November 1, a s p e c i a l staff meeting on program  evaluation was held with the evaluation o f f i c i a l and the director.  At the beginning of the meeting, I was Introduced  as a potential researcher into decision-making. Decisions were made as to the general types of evaluation to be conducted in the U. Town project In year one, based on proposals from the evaluation o f f i c i a l ! "some kind of study related to some of the d i s c i p l i n e s ; " "feedback" concerning the advisory c o u n c i l , the decision-making process, "learner oriented education," changing student expectations, and d i f f e r e n t i a t e d staffing.  Emphasis was placed on the "formative" nature of  the ev&iiiaafclGns and on the "processes" of education.  The  evaluation o f f i c i a l and the s t a f f disagreed over the d e s i r a b i l i t y of "measuring" the achievement of the school's objectives.  99  At the November 2 advisory council meeting, the evaluation o f f i c i a l reported on the program evaluation plans.  Student representatives expressed unhapplness  over not being Included In the previous day's meeting on evaluation, and were told that the meeting had not dealt with student evaluation. In other advisory council business, the problem of "unassigned time" was s t i l l of concern to parents.  Parti-  cular concern was voiced about the humanities program.  A  parent was even worried about possible loss of the school's accreditation.  Some students present at the council meeting  defended the school's new program, p a r t i c u l a r l y the s t a f f ' s e f f o r t s to involve students i n learning and to use community resources.  The need for better communications from the  school to the community, and from the advisory council to the community, was again brought out.  A parent representative  was disappointed that a newsletter from the school called for i n a previous council meeting had not materialized.  The need  f o r a general meeting was again i d e n t i f i e d . The president of the student council was at the advisory council meeting to report that new elections f o r student o f f i c e r s had been held, and that students had been asked for suggestions as to alternate forms of student government.  The  advisory council chairman suggested that a deadline be set f o r gathering these change proposals.  The representation of  "new" students on the advisory council was discussed, and the  100  need f o r elections of student representatives voiced. (As far as I know, such elections never were held,).  The  p a r t i c i p a t i o n of community members other than representat i v e s in advisory council meetings (which evidently occurred to a s i g n i f i c a n t extent at this meeting) was seen as a problem by some council members. On November 3, the evaluation o f f i c i a l wrote to the U. Town s t a f f his perceptions of a c r i t i c a l s i t u a t i o n * the advisory c o u n c i l ' s r o l e was unclear; there was a lack of information to parents, causing parent "resentment;  M  the  "evolving" nature of the program was associated with a lack of "administrative d e c i s i o n s ; " parents were upset about too much time spent by students out of school; the p r i n c i p a l was thought by many community members to have "abdicated" his r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s ; there was a need for a general meeting within the next few weeks. When I f i r s t met some of the teachers i n d i v i d u a l l y that week, t h e i r apprehension over community attitudes and their d i s t r u s t of community involvement in decision-making were apparent in the comments they made to me. ***««*«  CHAPTER 1G THE ADVISORY COUNCIL'S IDENTITY CRISIS The advisory council met on November 8.  The meeting was  attended by three parent representatives, three student representatives, f i v e teachers, and Dr. Meyer.  It was the  first  meeting I attended as an observer. Chairman McDonald suggested that the f i r s t topic of d i s cussion be the role of the advisory c o u n c i l . . . .In Introducing the task of d e f i n i t i o n , the chairman raised the question inherent In the t i t l e of "Advisory C o u n c i l , * i . e . , "advisory" to whom? He f e l t i t apparent that functions-of the three elements of advisory council had not been c l a r i f i e d , and the need for c l a r i f i c a t i o n was now Immediate. The function of parent and student representatives on the advisory council was one of a consultative nature to the t h i r d element, namely a responsible f a c u l t y / s c h o o l board executive element. Mr. McDonald said that a consultative committee would "monitor the t o t a l environment of the school's operation;" "receive the views of parents and students;" "interact with student and s t a f f representatives in the school's operation;" "marshall community resources;" "be advisory to the school f a c u l t y ; " Receive reports from the s t a f f at each consultavie council meeting;" and "disseminate information to the community from consultative council d i s c u s s i o n s . " Dr. Meyer read to the council the points made by Mr. E l v l n in his recent l e t t e r .  One of the parent representatives  said that some parents f e l t they were "cheated" by e l e c t i n g  102  representatives to advise on the development of the program while the program "has been and Is being developed by the staff,"  Another parent representative said that there were  concerns over the "experlmentallsm" of the school and a "lack of d e f i n i t i o n of the program to parents," as well as a lack of "input data" to the committee; that he "learned more about the school from his children than from the school organizat i o n ; " and that he did not know whether he was "supposed to be evaluating,"  Another parent representative c a l l e d i t  amorphous s i t u a t i o n , "  "an  Dr, Meyer defended past events by  saying that the d e f i n i t i o n of roles was "developmental,"  A  parent representative said that Mr, Sander had "put off i n i t i a t i o n of advisory committee meetings u n t i l after things got r o l l i n g " and, therefore, the committee had not accomplished much,  Mr, Scott, a teacher, said that "there should  have been advisory work in the planning of the program," parent replied that he did not want to " i n t e r f e r e ; "  A  "the s t a f f  are the p r o f e s s i o n a l s , " Parent*  There i s an executive function in the school. The advisory committee can't be executive. . . .  Parent!  The school system has a l e g a l foundation in the community through the school board, and an organizational hierarchy.  Meyeri  The t r a d i t i o n of centralized administration is changing here and now. It i s n ' t easy to transfer r e s p o n s i b i l i t y .  Parent!  I would choose to move some of the school board's r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to the community. If not, then get r i d of the advisory function and make i t purely communicative.  103  Parent!  Why don't the s t a f f say anything about what the parents* r o l e should be?  Teacher!  Parents should advise; teachers should decide and inform.  Teacher!  Parents should a s s i s t the teaching function at home.  Teacher!  Parents should be informed of students* assignments.  Chairman!  Should t h i s committee be t r i p a r t i t e or changed to b i p a r t i t e ?  Parent!  We should change the name to "consultative" i n the l a t t e r case.  Teacher:  This leaves the school without the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of c o l l e c t i v e planning.  Parent:  Not so. The r e l a t i o n s h i p could function in planning.  Parent:  You c a n ' t have a r e a l contribution to planning from parents without some authority.  Teacher:  Right.  Otherwise i t ' s merely a gesture.  The council asked Dr. Meyer whether any grant of author i t y to them was contemplated by the school board.  The reply  was . . .that the S a i l e r e s t school board did not include the delegation of any share of executive authority to the advisory c o u n c i l , but that the concept had been rather one of advisory council acting as a sounding board for decision and proposals of the staff/administration complex. The discussion of r o l e was concluded by a vote on Mr. McDonald's proposal. The committee approved the r o l e d e f i n i t i o n . The one dissenting vote was Mr. Scott. It was proposed that "advisory council" be hereinafter referred to as "consultative committee."  104  Two of the teachers present at the meeting told me l a t e r that as far as they could see, It was Meyer's comment that clinched the advisory c o u n c i l ' s d e f i n i t i o n of I t s e l f as a non-decIsion-making body.  This perception was corro-  borated by Mr. Berends, the board's communications d i r e c t o r , who t o l d me that Dr. Meyer claimed to have engineered the decision. The committee then proceeded to discuss the proposed '"general meeting of parents, students, and s t a f f .  It was  decided that "this meeting would not be held under the sponsorship of the consultative c o u n c i l , but would be the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of the executive l e v e l . "  The staff repre-  sentatives had a proposal concerning the topics to be included in the general meeting agenda and in an advance newsletters 1. The r o l e of the advisory c o u n c i l . 2. The r o l e of the administrator. (a) The r o l e of the administrator and staff in decision-making. (b) The r o l e of the administrator as an "authoritarian" f i g u r e . 3. The r o l e of the student's advisor and of the counselling service provided by Westmont U. 4. The r o l e of the parent. 5. Dissemination of information. 6. Discussion of the d i s c i p l i n e s , (a) The study of humanities.  105  (b) What Is meant by contractual time? (c) An outline of the requirements In subject areas at each grade l e v e l . (d) Evaluation of student e f f o r t s . of report card to be used. (e)  The type  Student response to Irregular schedules. Use or misuse of ' f r e e ' time.  The s t a f f was also arranging f o r a resource person from the Westmont teachers' federation to be present at the meeting to respond to parental fears about loss of a c c r e d i t a t i o n . The form of the general meeting was proposed by s t a f f t . . . a large meeting which Is purely d e s c r i p t i v e In nature at which a general Introduction and overview of the material In the newsletter w i l l be presented. . .followed by a breakdown into small groups by subject areas for the purpose of discussion and questions. . .followed by return to large group for general questions. These s t a f f proposals were approved by the parent and student representatives. The humanities teachers then presented a b r i e f  to  the c o u n c i l , "with the explanation that t h i s was going out to a l l parents, and was already f e l t to be doing much to provide parents with a clearer understanding of the humanities p o s i t i o n . " F i n a l l y , the committee . . .expressed i t s e l f In favour of the i n t e r e s t shown i n i t s meetings by students and parents, and welcomed the type of v i s i t o r observation in evidence at the November 2 meeting. The chairman pointed out, however, that such p a r t i c i p a t i o n should  106  be limited to observation only, unless notice of desire to speak on s p e c i f i c points had been received beforehand and approved by committee. (Very few members of the community came to meetings thereafter.) At the staff meeting l a t e r that week, November 12, the plans for the general meeting were reported to the s t a f f as a whole, and s t a f f members were designated to write sections of the newsletter.  By November 18, the  newsletter was ready for d i s t r i b u t i o n .  In a covering  l e t t e r from the p r i n c i p a l , parents were informed that; This meeting w i l l be an opportunity f o r the community to hear presented a statement of current school p o l i c y , although i t i s anticipated that, as the program is an ongoing process, i t w i l l develop and change over the next three years with the growth of the project; but the meeting w i l l provide an opportunity to examine some of the changing roles and approaches to learning which have evolved and which, in t u r n , c a l l for altered r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s on the part of s t a f f , student and parent. Concerning the r o l e of the consultative c o u n c i l , Mr. McDonald wrote In the  newsletter;  The University Town Secondary School advisory council was set up l a s t summer as a group consisting of representative students, parents and school s t a f f . The group has met at approximately monthly intervals since then. The meetings have served as a forum for the discussion of some problems of concern. They have also given an opportunity to discuss s p e c i f i c aspects of the school programme and  107  to bring out views of that programme brought to the attention of the council by i t s constituent groups. They have not, however, been able to provide e f f e c t i v e l y for an overview of the academic programme or for monitoring and communication of i t s progress. This i s , perhaps, due to the lack of d e f i n i t i o n of the function of the group at the time i t was created. The council has had an opportunity to work towards an assessment of i t s r o l e in an empirical way. It has now been able to conclude t h a t , In the absence of a clear delegation of s p e c i f i c authority from the school board, i t can act p r i n c i p a l l y as a sounding board f o r proposals and decisions of the staff-administration complex. In such a r o l e , the student and parent representatives are consultative to the school, f a c u l t y and the school board. The advisory c o u n c i l , therefore, i s in effect a consult a t i v e council and i t s duties should r e f l e c t this r o l e . It Is the hope of the council that i t s status and Its possible function can be f u l l y discussed at the November 24 meeting. Evaluation of students was described by Mr. Mattson and Mr. Scott In the  newsletter*  Evaluation Is dependent on the nature of the subject f i e l d s . In some subjeot areas evaluation w i l l be on the basis of attendance and p a r t i c i p a t i o n , example, physical education. In other areas the basis of measurement w i l l be p r a c t i c a l s k i l l s in conjunction with theory, example, i n d u s t r i a l education and business education. In other areas such as the humanities evaluation w i l l be based on the t o t a l interaction of the c h i l d with other students, resource people, teachers and subject matter. Mathematics, science and languages which contain a body of cognitive learning w i l l cut across a l l these forms of evaluation.  108  Contractual time was described by Mrs. Marion and Miss Deerlng: Contractual time Is the scheduling of time, over and above timetabled c l a s s e s , to complete the requirements for s p e c i f i c courses. It provides an opportunity for students to take r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for t h e i r own progress, according to their a b i l i t y and i n t e r e s t , e . g . , a student who works slowly during a regular class is able to timetable extra time with the teacher concerned to complete the work; a student who works quickly can devote time to further reading and research. A teacher may require a student to contract time when the need becomes evident. The "open" time on student timetables represents the time when contracts can be scheduled. t  The s t a f f , meanwhile, had.been taking action on the problem of student involvement in the program.  At the  November 18 s t a f f meeting, Mrs. G r i f f i t h s reported that . . .group meetings w i l l commence this Monday with students who s t a f f f e e l are not involved In the programme or their attendance i s questionable. . . .Letters have been sent out to the parents of these students and each student i s to be n o t i f i e d . P a r t i c u l a r teachers were to meet with these students in gradel e v e l groups. Chapter Summary On November 8, the advisory council engaged in a p i v o t a l discussion of i t s own r o l e .  The chairman proposed that the  parent-student r o l e be defined as "consultative" and the f a c u l t y - s c h o o l board r o l e as "executive."  One parent repre-  sentative objected that parents f e l t cheated by being excluded from program development, and pointed out that the p r i n c i p a l had delayed the s t a r t of the advisory c o u n c i l ' s  109  functioning u n t i l  "after things got r o l l i n g . "  A teacher  supported this view by stating that the community should have been involved In the early planning period.  Another  parent representative, however, saw the staff as the "prof e s s i o n a l s " and did not want to "Interfere."  Expressions oj'  of disillusionment with both the simple lack of Information about the school's program and the lack of d e f i n i t i o n of the c o u n c i l ' s role were heard from a t h i r d parent representative, who c a l l e d i t "an amorphous s i t u a t i o n . "  The director defended  the s i t u a t i o n by saying that the role d e f i n i t i o n s were "developmental" (a term he used several times in the case as a defense).  A parent representative proposed that either  the school board transfer some r e a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to the community or the advisory council declare i t s e l f to be "purely communicative."  Three of the teachers present seemed to  think that parents should be less Important than the staff in decision-making, but a teacher objected to precluding "the p o s s i b i l i t y of c o l l e c t i v e planning."  The d i r e c t o r , when asked  whether the school board would grant any authority to the c o u n c i l , denied that any authority was intended in the conception of the c o u n c i l — i t was to be only a "sounding board." The council f i n a l l y decided to approve the c h a i r ' s proposal that i t reconstitute i t s e l f as a b i p a r t i t e body of parent and student representatives to be known as the "consultative committee;" a teacher cast the only dissenting vote.  110  The council also discussed the proposed general meeting, which had become by now a need recognized by a l l The staff  parties.  had a proposal as to the topics for such a  meeting: the roles of the advisory council (consultative committee), administration, the student's advisor, the counselling s e r v i c e , and the parent; the problem of dissemination of Information; c e r t a i n aspects of the programhumanities, contractual time, subject requirements by grade l e v e l , student evaluation, student use of "free" time; and the question of a c c r e d i t a t i o n .  Staff also proposed a format!  presentations to a large meeting; small group questions and discussion by subject areas; and f i n a l l y , a large meeting for general questions.  This plan was approved by the consultative  committee. The humanities staff presented a written program d e s c r i p tion to the committee; the staff was planning to use i t communicating with the community generally. b u l l e t i n " described, f i r s t ,  in  This "humanities  the program to date, which was  said to have been concerned with "perception," including "characteristics of language" and the physiology and psychology of perception.  The underlying rationale was stated as  the Improvement of the Individual student's "awareness" in order to "enhance students' acceptance" of material to be received in the ensuing phases of the program.  The humanities  s t a f f apparently thought that the community, unlike the teachers themselves, would not view the f i r s t phase of the  Ill  program as a valuable learning experience in and of  itself.  For the next phase, the humanities s t a f f projected a more t r a d i t i o n a l i n s t r u c t i o n a l plan in which each student would select and study a p a r t i c u l a r society from the points of view of basic concepts from s o c i a l science, l i t e r a t u r e , fine a r t s .  and  Parents were assured that the program would  operate within the p r o v i n c i a l curriculum requirements. At the conclusion of i t s November 8 meeting, the consultative committee closed off future p a r t i c i p a t i o n in i t s discussions by any non-members except by p r i o r permission. This p o l i c y d i f f e r e d noticeably from the e a r l i e r Idea of having some open and some closed meetings. The newsletter prepared during the next week included, among other things, descriptions of the advisory c o u n c i l ,  its  problems and recent r o l e d e f i n i t i o n : student evaluation, which was said to depend on subject; and contract time.  Contracts  were said to be intended "to complete the requirements for s p e c i f i c courses" or for "further reading and research;" contracts were the intended use of "open" time. At the November 18 s t a f f meeting, I learned that group meetings by grade l e v e l would be held with students not Involved in the program or not attending; that the meetings would commence within a few days; and that the parents of such students had been n o t i f i e d by l e t t e r .  *******  CHAPTER 11 ATTEMPTS TO REASSURE THE COMMUNITY At the November 24 general meeting, Mr. McDonald opened with a presentation of the problems of defining the function of the council and communicating between the council and the community. Mr. Sander, the p r i n c i p a l , described the "changing role of administration."  He said that t r a d i t i o n a l l y  a l l school-  l e v e l decision-making was done by administrators, but there was a " f e l t need" at the present time in education for participation  in decision-making.  staff  Staff c o u n c i l s , he s a i d ,  had been Introduced throughout the S a l l c r e s t school d i s t r i c t , and at U. Town Secondary the staff council consisted of the total staff.  However, he added, "at the present time the  consent of the board and department of education Is  still  needed for important d e c i s i o n s , and the p r i n c i p a l i s formally responsible for school d e c i s i o n s . "  still  Mr. Sander ,  stated that in his opinion the new trends were "better in quality of decisions but decision-making takes much longer." Dr. Worrall, a parent council representative, concerning the r o l e of the parent.  spoke  He called upon the parents  to be "good l i s t e n e r s , " w i l l i n g to seek "awareness of the problems of students" in "changing times;" to be "good c r i t i c s , " providing counselling for their sons and daughters and becoming "informed on the nature of the new school  113  programme;" to be "good informers," to a l l e v i a t e  the  problem that "comment and discussion at home too often doesn't get back to the school s t a f f ; " and to exhibit "patience without complacence," giving the new staff and program an opportunity to succeed. Teachers made presentations, as o r i g i n a l l y planned, on the r o l e of the students' advisors, the counselling s e r v i c e , evaluation of students, and contractual time.  Mr. E l v i n ,  from the board o f f i c e , described program evaluation plans. Persons attending the meeting were then asked to form Into three discussion groups according to the colors of name tags given out before the meeting.  The groups rotated among three  domains of the school, in each of which there were staff and consultative council members stationed* humanities; math/ science; and the miscellany domain containing French, health education, Industrial and counselling.  education, commerce, physical education,  (My general Impression of these groups was  that they did not r e s u l t in a very wide p a r t i c i p a t i o n discussion.  In  Among those parents and students who did speak,  there seemed to be many supportive of the new program and a few vocal opponents).  After the group meetings, those  interested were Invited to return to the auditorium for coffee and informal t a l k .  (Original plans had called for a general  questioning period at the endi»)  ;  Mrs. Rackham l a t e r said this to me* , . .Most of us as the f i r s t year went on were Interested; we f e l t that we should l i s t e n to the professionals; but the council In reporting to  114  us at general meetings would often sound ethereal—they couldn't explain anything to the community. The teachers were defensive; they thought the community was critical. They would not allow any general meeting to answer questions about the program. I expressed my disdain f o r this p o l i c y to Mr. Sander, and he said this was Just the way It was going to be, that i f they had such a meeting i t would turn into a f i s t - f i g h t between parents end teachers; but we needed a frank d i s cussion to release tensions. Some parents became d i s i l l u s i o n e d as a r e s u l t . I wasn't too worried because I favored the changes occurring in the school and I knew the school board had a plan to put into a c t i o n . I knew we would have mass confusion at such a meeting. At the December 2 s t a f f meeting,  9  Mr. Scott voiced what  he considered to be a widely shared d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n with the general meeting.  He proposed that the staff "send some  communique to parents before Christmas recognizing the need for further meetings and the Inadequacy of the November forum."  It was his opinion that "the i n i t i a t i v e belongs  with the s t a f f to improve communications with the community further."  The staff decided to plan for "grade by grade"  meetings with the community in January, and to send a l e t t e r on the subject to parents with the student reports to be Issued the following week.  Three grade meetings were to be  h e l d , on January 12, 19, and 26. Also at the December 2 staff meeting, one of the s t a f f members, Mrs. Fayter, invited the staff to her home the  I n the period between the November general meeting and the New Year, I was hampered in my c o l l e c t i o n of data by a serious I l l n e s s — i n retrospect, this can be seen as a hazard of the method employed in this type of study. 9  115  following evening to address problems In the defining of the r o l e of staff assistants and In general communications among d i f f e r e n t departments of the school. hand about that gathering^)  (No Information  In  A questionnaire from Mr. E l v i n  on contracted student time was d i s t r i b u t e d .  The need for a  committee to draft the accreditation booklet was noted. The Contract Questionnaire Decision I asked participants about one evaluation decision in particular—the decision to use a questionnaire on contracted student time in the f i r s t - y e a r evaluation—to follow up on my questions about the e a r l i e r decision to u t i l i z e the cont r a c t approach. Mr. E l v i n , the board's U. Town evaluation o f f i c i a l , s a i d : Once the overall (evaluation) proposal was approved by a l l concerned, we appointed Mrs. Pearson to work on the U. Town case as a research a s s i s t a n t . , . .(W)hen Mrs. Pearson and I met regarding contractual time, we made a decision to survey the t o t a l student body. In developing the questionnaire we looked again at the handbook from U. Town, and asked the s t a f f to give us a statement of what they meant by contracted time. We took that information and the two of us developed the questionnaire. We asked questions about amounts of contractual time, what they did with i t , how they f e l t about It, and so on. We also wanted inputs from parents—their f e e l i n g s , and their knowledge of what kids were doing with their time. So Mrs. Pearson and I decided to sample every household. We mailed a questionnaire to each household, and followed up with a l e t t e r to those who d i d n ' t respond. . . .We also gave the staff copies of the questionnaire to f i l l out, but we only had one return after repeated needling. The p r i n c i p a l s a i d : The S a i l e r e s t school board decided It. Mr. E l v i n brought out the mock-up in s u f f i c i e n t copies for  116  the s t a f f and discussed i t in a meeting. I objected to some of the questions, but they went ahead with i t anyway; I think they f e l t they had to produce something. The kids d i d n ' t know what was contract time and what wasn't. Now I look at the charts and figure i t ' s a waste of time to read i t . Teacher* As you know, there's an ongoing evaluation of the school, and certain decisions have had to be made in Mr. E l v l n ' s o f f i c e . Contract time i s a neat part of the program f o r an evaluator to get a hold on. I t ' s easy to d e f i n e , nice and c r i s p . I t ' s much more d i f f i c u l t to say "We're going to evaluate i n d i v i d u a l i z a t i o n of i n s t r u c t i o n . " I t ' s easy to look only at "contract time." The s t a f f has been very, very wary of the attempt to impose a measure of behavioral outcomes without evaluating the processes. Teacher: I had no say In It. I don't r e c a l l how It came In. E l v i n wanted some kind of "hard data," and I objected to i t in the s t a f f room. Maybe he thought contracted time was something easier to grasp for evaluation purposes. . . . Teacher; It was decided by the planning and evaluation department of the board that the school would be evaluated by the board. There was discussion i n s t a f f meetings with Meyer and E l v i n about the general forms evaluation would take, after the year had begun. We decided some of the t r a d i t i o n a l things were inappropriate methods for this school. They came up with the contractual time questionnaire to try to s a t i s f y our viewpoint; but the format of the questionnaire was faulty and confusing. Teacher; I don't know who decided i t ; I assume the school board evaluation people. I f e l t that i t emphasized a part of the program that I r e a l l y d i d n ' t care too much about getting information on, partly because  117  i t wasn't too relevant in the physical education program. There were many other areas I would have rather had evaluation of—how the students were reacting to a l l areas of the program, the d i f f e r e n t domains; whether the students thought the physical education or humanities programs were good ones; I would l i k e to know i f the kids f e l t frustrated with the vagueness of the program, how much r e s p o n s i b i l i t y the students thought the teachers should take; what the students and parents thought of the methods of evaluating students. I found i t d i f f i c u l t to answer the contract questionnaire because i t was vague to me. Teacher; It was an awful questionnaire. It came from the school board. They made the decision to use it. The kids d i d n ' t know what i t meant, nor did  I.  Parents and students did not have much knowledge of how the decision was made to use a questionnaire on contract time in the f i r s t - y e a r  evaluation;  Parent; I knew nothing about that d e c i s i o n . It was perhaps mentioned as a f a i t accompli, but I'm not even sure of that. None of us were invited to take part in d r a f t i n g i t . Parent; The decision was made by the faculty of the school, or the faculty in consultation with the school board. Parent; There was no parent p a r t i c i p a t i o n in the evaluation decisions. Student: I don't have any idea how i t originated. It was a f a r c e . Everybody made up answers, because they wanted the school to work out.  118  One student was an exception* It was probably decided by Mr. E l v i n ; he's supposed to be evaluating the program. I don't remember what the questionnaire was l i k e . It was a good thing, though. Student* I d i d n ' t hear about i t u n t i l I f i r s t saw i t . The school board put i t out. . . . Student* It was put out by some guy at the school board. If we. . .make our own evaluation, w e ' l l r e a l l y know what we f e e l . This guy i s an outside opinion, but he doesn't know what's r e a l l y going on. The questions were too defined. There's a l o t more to the school than that questionnaire covered. Dr. Meyer's r e c o l l e c t i o n of the contract time questionnaire decision was* and the s t a f f .  "That was a joint decision between us  There was some d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n with contractual  time, so this was designed to help provide information." Allworth saidf  "I'm not sure.  the evaluation."  Dr.  I wasn't d i r e c t l y involved in  Trustee Gruner's view was*  "The trustees  only approved the idea and said 'Come back In three years and t e l l us how It  worked.'"  On December 9, the s t a f f meeting was informed that on December 17 and 20 the humanities teachers " w i l l take some time to discuss their changes for the next term. w i l l be set for the students."  Assignments  (The changes made In the  humanities program subsequently Included the addition of some r e l a t i v e l y t r a d i t i o n a l courses on an optional basis as a response to community d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n * )  It was also noted  119  that a request would be sent from the whole staff to Dr. Allworth for two days* cancellation of classes on December 21 and 22 In order to have time for evaluation.  A staff  steering committee for the accreditation booklet was formed. A problem was raised as to how to use the honour r o l l board In the main h a l l now that competition f o r grades was p h i l o sophically suspect. Other Items of business during regular s t a f f meetings in November and December included: p o l i c y on placement of new students; the physical education program for the second term; mini-course coordination; school dances; the use of the unscheduled Thursday; teachers  1  association; building a l t e r a -  t i o n s ; cost of an extra telephone l i n e ; formation of a staff budget committee; s t a f f a s s i s t a n t s ; v i s i t i n g teachers; funds for the art program; the school annual; l i b r a r y ; heat In the building on weekend®! f u r n i t u r e ;  honoraria; funds f o r math  workbooks; payment of a faculty club b i l l ; funds f o r books in humanities; funds for basketball uniforms. The two evaluation days were held on December 21 and 22.  The staff decided to start each day with a general s t a f f  meeting, then break into domain meetings. meeting on the 21st, the humanities  At the general  staff  . . .reported on the reorganization of the humanities programme planned f o r the beginning of the next term. Grade 12 w i l l have the option of either humanities III or a programme with English emphasis. Grade 11 w i l l have the option of either humanities III (or) a programme where the emphasis w i l l be on s o c i a l studies and E n g l i s h .  120  (A student commented l a t e r *  "Humanities did some things that  seemed wild to some parents, then cut them out because of parental pressure.  If  the teachers wanted to provide innova-  t i v e programs they should learn to stand up to the parents.") At the December 22 general staff meeting, It was noted that there would be a teachers* professional day on February 18, and the teachers* association would l i k e to know by January 5 what type of program the school planned f o r professional day. A reminder was noted from Mr. E l v i n to return the questionnaires on contractual time. Other topics of discussion at the general meetings on the evaluation days included* the h i r i n g of a part-time teacher i n humanities; a timetable, f o r room use; budget; remuneration f o r two students working in the media workshop during Christmas break; humanities mini-course requirements and record-keeping; noise in the h a l l s f space for student lounging; staff assistant assignments; student dances; b u i l d i n g a l t e r a t i o n s ; and money for the s k i program. In January and February, s t a f f meetings dealt with, among other things, plans for the professional day i n February; the work of the accreditation committee; the problem of the honour r o l l board; arrangements for student council e l e c t i o n s ; arrangements for the grade meetings with the community? and a questionnaire to students from Mr. E l v i n . Other topics in s t a f f meetings during that period Included* teachers* federation pension; recognition for  121  student service; an individual student's plans to be away from school for an extended period of time; accounting of disbursements from the s p e c i a l i n s t r u c t i o n a l fund; teachers' association; v i s i t i n g teachers; coordination of mini-courses; the time of opening the school doors in the mornings; s k i equipment; replacement of l o s t equipment from the Westmont U. zoology department; and the budget committee. Chapter Summary At the general meeting on November 24, the p r i n c i p a l described the "changing r o l e of administration."  He offered  the view that the U. Town s t a f f ' s p a r t i c i p a t i o n in d e c i s i o n making was l i k e that of s t a f f councils In other S a l l c r e s t schools—except that at U. Town the staff council consisted of the whole s t a f f .  He pointed out, however, that the l o c i  of authority and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y were unchanged; the p r i n c i p a l was s t i l l responsible for decisions at the school l e v e l .  A  parent representative urged parents to act as patient supporters of the school, constructive c r i t i c s , and good couns e l l o r s at home.  Other presentations, and the rotating group  discussions, were held as o r i g i n a l l y planned.  The l a s t part  of the meeting, however, was changed to an Informal talking period rather than a time for general questioning^ The format did not r e s u l t in a very wide p a r t i c i p a t i o n in discussion of the program as a whole. At the next staff meeting, a teacher voiced the d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n apparently shared by many participants in the general meeting, and urged the s t a f f to accept r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for  122  further  improvement of communications with the community.  Plans were made f o r smaller meetings with parents and students in January by grade l e v e l . I inquired into the decision to use a questionnaire on contracted student time in the f i r s t - y e a r evaluation, to follow up on my questions about the e a r l i e r decision to u t i l i z e the contract approach.  I found that this decision  was made by the evaluation o f f i c i a l and his research a s s i s t a n t . There was some involvement of staff in the d e c i s i o n , but they (and the students and parents who subsequently responded to the questionnaire) were almost unanimously d i s s a t i s f i e d with i t as a vehicle for evaluating the program*s emphasis-sion student r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and Individualization of i n s t r u c t i o n — largely because, in p r a c t i c e , contract time was not d i s t i n c t from other individualized class time, and the evaluators did not discover that.  (More w i l l be said about the imple-  mentation of the contract approach near the conclusion of this study*)  Students and parents apparently had no r o l e  In  the decision to use such a questionnaire nor In the drafting of i t .  The trustees and board o f f i c i a l s responsible for the  project (other than the evaluation o f f i c i a l )  apparently  were not c l o s e l y in touch with the evaluation decisions. The humanities staff reorganized i t s program in December as a further concession to t r a d i t i o n a l i s t pressures from the community.  Relatively t r a d i t i o n a l courses in English and  s o c i a l studies were added to the program on an optional  123  b a s i s , and a writing course requirement was added for  all  students remaining i n the experimental humanities program. The altered program was to begin in January. Numerous organizational problems arose in s t a f f meeting discussions during the period November, 19?1» to February, 1972.  Most of these could be seen to f i t  categories mentioned previously! timetable, and equipment, finance, s t a f f  utilization,  professional r e l a t i o n s .  *******  the  physical plant and external  CHAPTER 12 CATCHING UP ON STAFF COMMUNICATIONS The staff met for two days on February 17 and 18, having obtained an extra day In conjunction with the professional day.  The f i r s t  Item of business was presen-  tations by domain s t a f f s to the staff as a whole, and discussion of problems raised thereby. Humanities spoke f i r s t .  The team presented a s t a t e -  ment of the domain's philosophy, general objectives, s p e c i f i c objectives, and program organization, and asked for comments from the s t a f f as a whole.  Some minor sugges-  tions were offered as to c l a r i f i c a t i o n of the wordings; these suggestions were taken into account in a s l i g h t l y revised humanities program description issued l a t e r . The humanities s t a f f was concerned about c r i t i c i s m s of a lack of d i r e c t i o n in i t s seminars.  Students were d i s s a t i s -  f i e d with the lack of "content" and "hung up on academic expectations , " whereas the staff was trying to emphasize the communication process and to them the content of the seminars did not matter.  The consensus of the staff as a whole  appeared to be that the emphasis of the humanities  staff  should be continued and better ways sought to achieve  it.  Some of the other teachers on s t a f f thought that the human i t i e s teachers' expectations with regard to assignments were not clear enough, and wanted some written guidelines to use  125  In t h e i r role as advisors.  Some of the teachers In other  domains also had the f e e l i n g that Individual students were not getting enough one-to-one contact with teachers In humanities, but the humanities staff maintained that t h i s was not so. seminars.  Mr. Sander raised the Issue of attendance  In  Several staff members asserted that the solution  to the attendance problem should be to o f f e r a c t i v i t i e s , not to require attendance.  alternative  Discussion then  ensued of the f e a s i b i l i t y of offering additional options. Staff members considered i t problematic, but not impossible. It was then pointed out that many students had the attitude that the a v a i l a b i l i t y of numerous options meant that none of them were important.  The need was recognized to devise  strategies to involve students in a c t i v i t i e s and to convince them that the learnings coming out of the a c t i v i t i e s were Important.  offered  Students were described as being too much  oriented toward academic success and, therefore, d i s s a t i s f i e d without the t r a d i t i o n a l type of work and grades.  Humanities  s t a f f were not sure how to handle the demand for grades but expressed a determination to Include the students in grading decisions i f grades had to be given.  Asked about the con-  sequences of a r a d i c a l program and no grades f o r a student transferring to another school, humanities s t a f f offered the opinion that differences in curriculum always occur In such cases, and that there are often b i g differences in the grades a given student receives from d i f f e r e n t a single area.  teachers In  126  The problem of stud est® who were not taking the required number of mini-courses was r a i s e d , and It was pointed out that a form was now being used to the students with this shortcoming.  identify  Humanities  staff  f e l t that i t was useful experience for these students "to have to hustle in the l a s t round of m i n i s . " Humanities teachers were asked about program evaluat i o n * how were they determining the degree to which objectives were being achieved?  The reply was that the  staff  perceived changes in students, and these changes were very different  among i n d i v i d u a l s .  (The humanities staff was  generally averse to the Idea of measuring learning*) The problem of timetable c o n f l i c t s was r a i s e d .  It  was noted that "many kids are unhappy about not being able to take advantage of interesting o f f e r i n g s , " and that many classes were "depleted" by the competition with more e x c i t i n g mini-courses and a c t i v i t i e s .  An additional problem  was seen In some students' "faking mini-course c o n f l i c t s i n order to skip regular c l a s s e s . "  Staff members saw a need  for subject teachers and advisors to work together in persuading some students of the value of p a r t i c i p a t i n g classes.  in  They saw the communicating of information between  subject teachers and advisors as essential to this Mr. Mattson urged the staff  effort.  to "find ways of involving  students and parents In the organizing of the program." This suggestion was not, however, followed up at the moment by further discussion, and Mr. Mattson did not p e r s i s t .  12?  Much of the discussion occasioned by the humanities report was r e a l l y concerned with problems of the school as a whole.  The staff  Identified as a major problem a  f e e l i n g of being "locked In by the amount of a c t i v i t y "  the  s t a f f was already engaged In, and hence unable to "do enough planning."  It was suggested that the staff might  "retreat" as a group; that It might be good at the same time to "have the kids run the school and hold discussions of their Cthe students') views of the program." Again, the question was raised of "how to Involve the parents In the program."  This led to the question;  "What  involvement do we want?"  Mr. Sander stated that the staff  "hadn't wanted to meet with the parents In the f a l l because of s t a t i c from the community and the pressures of work." Mr. Scott r e p l i e d that "this does not mean the idea i s abandoned—not at a l l . "  Mr. Hardy and Miss Deerlng thought  that communication to the parents was needed, but that was not enough; the s t a f f needed to "get the parents into the program development."  Mrs. Marion thought that  "getting  more Information to the parents concerning the s t a f f ' s intentions i s a c r u c i a l f i r s t step."  Mrs. Fayter said that  "this was a big f a i l i n g in the f i r s t term."  At this point  i t was suggested, and agreed, that the discussion of this topic should be postponed u n t i l the conclusion of the domain reports.  (The s t a f f did not, however, return to  the topic during the course of the professional day meetings•)  128  Mr. Scott reported on the teaching of French.  He saw  several problems of importance to the s t a f f as a whole: the problem of how to evaluate students; the problem of how to get students to use the contractual time provision ("The contract time idea encourages students to f e e l that just showing up i s accomplishing something"); the need f o r  inte-  grating language instruction,with the humanities program; the lack of student authority to make decisions about programs, exemplified by the language requirements; and the problem of student traditionalism r e s i s t i n g the change to student-initiated learning—that i s , the dependence of some students on teacher d i r e c t i o n and approval. Mr. Scott spoke of a "Grade 11 syndrome"—a group of about eight "guys who r e s i s t school" and "think that they won't be f a i l e d because of the nature of the s c h o o l . "  He  warned that they would be f a i l e d in French, and "the onus w i l l be on them; grade 12 for them w i l l start around Christmas next year."  (The problem of the "Grade 11  syndrome" was a recurring theme in  staff discussions.)  Mrs. Anderson reported on problems in teaching French at the grade 8 l e v e l .  To most of them, the language seemed  "meaningless," and she and Mr. Scott were "sympathetic" with t h e i r point of view.  The objective of the French  program at that grade l e v e l was simply to keep the students from getting "scared o f f . "  fPromotion to grade 9 was  129  problematic without successful completion of grade 8 French, because of p r o v i n c i a l requirements.  Members of  s t a f f responded to this presentation by stating that the French teachers should be given the support of the  staff  as a whole to make a l t e r a t i o n s . i n the program and in the requirements for passing marks.  It was argued that i f  the s t a f f believed a t r a d i t i o n a l course should not be required, the school should ignore the requirements of the p r o v i n c i a l department,  just as in other cases of this  type. Next came the math/science domain's report.  Mr.  Laurldsen stated that an objective of the domain was to "humanize and i n d i v i d u a l i z e l e a r n i n g . "  To accomplish  this objective, the program was organized around "different levels of achievement" and "different rates of work."  Mr.  Laurldsen said that "the choice of what to study Is a c r u c i a l part of Individualization—not  Just pace; but the  provision of alternative materials i s d i f f i c u l t . "  He saw  "learning packages" as "one possible way to offer  alterna-  t i v e programs, perhaps j u s t i f i e d by the d i f f i c u l t y for teachers of developing new c u r r i c u l a . " A related problem was that "existing courses" were "designed only for university preparation, not for general education."  The "best short-term solution" seemed to be  "small-group work on science problems."  However, a big  problem in doing this was the "lack of a b i l i t y on the part of some students to organize their own time to get things  130  done."  Mr. Lauridsen saw a "need to take the disruptive  kids out."  At the same time, he was concerned about low  attendance in many cases.  The problem of the "grade 11  r e g i s t e r s " was i d e n t i f i e d by Mr. Lauridsen; and another teacher in the domain, Mr. Shelton, said that the grade l i s constituted the biggest problem faced by the  staff.  Other problems reported by Mr. Lauridsen included the obstacle to integration within the domain presented by the location of one of the teachers* f a c i l i t i e s  in a  d i f f e r e n t wing of the building from the other two teachers; and the "disappointments" encountered to date in the attempt to get university people to do some "real work" for U. Town.  (The involvement of Westmont U. was  seen as disappointing in several areas of the school.) Mr. Happ, the math teacher, pointed out, however, that there were a number of graduate students working e f f e c t i v e l y with small groups of his students. Mr. Happ reported that in the math program, students "set their own aspirations!* at one of three l e v e l s — "university, medium achievement, or minimal achievement"— and were given assignments appropriate for that choice. An attendance record was kept, and attendance required at least three times per week, although Mr. Happ did not record contractual time attendance.  (Generally speaking,  Mr. Happ was the skeptic within the staff group.  He had  been at the school for years—the reader w i l l r e c a l l his contributions to the investigation of the case background.)  131  Like the French teachers, Mr. Happ saw a problem In the grade 8 requirements in math.  He thought that math  seemed "irrelevant" to many students at that age, and "shouldn't be r e q u i r e d . "  It  seemed to him that "Interested  students could go d i r e c t l y into grade 9 math  (algebra)."  Mr. Sander, who taught biology 11 in addition to administering the school, reported that there was a wide v a r i a t i o n among his students In attendance, and that because of this he could open the course to interested students from lower grades. (Mr. Sander made i t clear several times in the year that he was not happy with the irregular attendance in his classes.  I gathered from i n -  formal comments that his teaching methods were r e l a t i v e l y unchanged from previous years.) There were also reports from Mrs. Fayter (business education and l i b r a r y ) , Mrs. Anderson (home economics), Mr. Chiba (Industrial education), and Mrs. G r i f f i t h s (physical education).  A general impression in a l l of  these areas was that the philosophy of i n d i v i d u a l i z a t i o n was r e s u l t i n g in rather r i c h l y varied offerings.  Student  involvement did not seem to be as much of a problem in these p r a c t i c a l areas. Domain reports and related discussion took much more time In the two professional days than expected.  The  agenda had c a l l e d for discussion of the recommendations of the accreditation committee concerning the statement  132  of the philosophy, objectives, and program of the school, and discussion of school organization In r e l a t i o n philosophy and objectives. Implementation  to  Time, however, did not permit  of those parts of the agenda.  The staff  found Intensive discussion of school-wide problems to be an exhausting  activity.  Near the end of the discussions, they talked about the problem of finding time for group planning work.  Mr. Sander  thought that the s t a f f should pay I t s e l f out of the school budget for planning meetings during the summer.  Miss  Deerlng said that they should "force the board to commit itself."  Mr. Scott proposed that they ask f o r "coverage  for a week's planning session in A p r i l or s o . "  Miss Deering  f e l t that "the board doesn't treat the teaching staff as professionals; we had just two weeks to plan the whole program f o r the f i r s t year."  She suggested that they "get  Allworth or Meyer to the next staff meeting (on Thursday)." Mrs. Marion cautioned that they needed to "be clear on what we want to do with the time we request." "How should we react i f refused?"  Miss Deering asked;  At this point, Mr. Sander  l e f t the meeting to phone Dr. Meyer for a r e a c t i o n .  He  returned with word that the staff should make a proposal to Meyer and Allworth in w r i t i n g , and Meyer would come to the March 2 s t a f f meeting to respond.  Miss Deering proposed  that they ask for two weeks' planning time—"one week in town and one week out of town, as an experiment to see which is more e f f e c t i v e . "  133  At the close of the discussions, i t was decided that the domain reports would be a very useful thing to put into writing for d i s t r i b u t i o n to the community.  It was agreed  that each domain would do so within one week. Attached to the agenda for professional days was the statement of the philosophy, objectives, and learning opportunities of the school as a whole, written by the accreditation committee.  The statement of philosophy was  as follows: We view education as a continuous l i f e process and the school as one facet of the process. Students require learning experiences that w i l l enable them i n d i v i d u a l l y to discover and develop their potential capacity to acquire and synthesize knowledge, to understand themselves, and to be able to r e l a t e to others on both an i n t e l l e c t u a l and an interpersonal b a s i s . In order to r e a l i z e their p o t e n t i a l , students must have the r i g h t , with appropriate guidance, to make decisions about their own educational programme and must assume r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r these d e c i s i o n s . Consistent with the view of education as a l i f e process, of which the school is only one aspect, we believe i t i s e s s e n t i a l to develop a strong, positive r e c i p r o c a l r e l a t i o n s h i p between the school and the community. Following the statement of philosophy, the committee l i s t e d four objectives: 1. To encourage student r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and s e l f - d i r e c t i o n for learning. 2. To provide opportunities f o r the student to experience a variety of learning s i t u a t i o n s . 3. To encourage a s o c i a l awareness and s e n s i t i v i t y to others' needs as well as his (the student's) own. 4. To broaden the concept of school so as to include the resources of the community.  13^  The committee placed the August, 19?1, statement of f i v e general objectives in front of the proposed new statement so that the staff could consider the differences* 1. To provide opportunities for the student to: (a)  evaluate his academic and personal g o a l s , c a p a b i l i t i e s , and needs;  (b) learn through individual and group processes; (c) recognize education as a continuing l i f e experience. 2. To encourage understanding of and a sense of commitment to the needs of himself and others. 3. To provide learning experiences s u f f i c i e n t l y comprehensive to meet the needs of a variety of post-secondary p u r s u i t s . 4. To Involve the student body and community in decision-making and evaluating new patterns of organization and curriculum development. 5. To encourage student r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for learning. The new statement of objectives and the proposed statement of philosophy, taken together, seemed to me to cover e s s e n t i a l l y the same topics as the e a r l i e r statement of ojectives.  There were, however, some interesting  diffe-  rences in wording, p a r t i c u l a r l y with regard to student and parent p a r t i c i p a t i o n in decision-making.  In place of the  o r i g i n a l objective, "To involve the student body and the community in decision-making and evaluating new patterns of organization and curriculum development," the new statement of philosophy spoke of student rights and r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s to make decisions about "their own educational programme,"  135  and called f o r "a strong, positive r e c i p r o c a l relationship between the school and the community."  The new objectives  pointed to the importance of "the resources of the commun i t y " In "the concept of s c h o o l , " while omitting the o r i g i n a l l y clear aim of community p a r t i c i p a t i o n in schooll e v e l program decision-making (objective #4, 1971). Student p a r t i c i p a t i o n In decision-making was retained and emphasized, but only at the l e v e l of the individual student's program. Following each objective proposed, the accreditation committee Identified learning opportunities offered to achieve the objective.  Item #1 stated that to encourage  student r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and s e l f - d i r e c t i o n f o r l e a r n i n g , students were given "training in communication s k i l l s ; " "guidance and instruction in the use of resource materials and equipment;" " r e s p o n s i b i l i t y ( i n consultation with their advisors) f o r setting up t h e i r own programmes, and f o r scheduling themselves into contractual time;" "opportun i t i e s to pursue their interests by proposing, s e l e c t i n g , organizing or instructing i n mini-courses and s p e c i a l interest aspects of regular courses;" and "maximum opportunity to learn by experimentation and exploration." Item #2 stated that "To provide opportunities for the student to experience a variety of learning s i t u a t i o n s , " the program included "small-group learning s i t u a t i o n s , such as humanities and science seminars, language practice  136  groups;" "large-group learning s i t u a t i o n s , such as the lecture in humanities (involving 80 or more students at a time), the l a r g e , often weekly, class in mathematics, science, language, whose object i s to outline major aspects of the work;" "Individual learning which involves m u l t i l e v e l content learning and s e l f - p a c i n g in a l l cognitive domains, the use of machines and programmes, and i n d i v i dually-phased t e s t i n g ? / ? i n - s c h o o l programmes involving resource persons from the community at l a r g e ; "  "field  programmes and the external use of community resources;" "a wide and varied programme of mini-courses;" " f u l l - y e a r courses;" "use of the directed class i n s t r u c t i o n a l group where appropriate;" "extensive use of media presentations;" "varied duration of meetings, both in large and small groups, dependent upon the requirements of the learning objectives;" "learning situations in which some students learn from other8 who have expertise in s p e c i f i c areas;" and "opengraded learning situations where maturational, c o g n i t i v e , i n t e r e s t , or s k i l l c r i t e r i a are judged to be more relevant than chronological age." The t h i r d objective, "To encourage a s o c i a l awareness and a s e n s i t i v i t y to others  1  needs as well as his own," was  said to be achieved "by s o c i a l learning which is i n i t i a t e d by the students themselves rather than being imposed upon them by the administration;" "by p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n human r e l a t i o n s discussion groups;" "by having a weekly  interview  13?  with his appointed advisor;" "by s t r i v i n g for a maximum l e v e l of s e l f - a c t u a l i z a t i o n through the development of his own academic and s o c i a l goals" and "through the preparation for the use of l e i s u r e time which Is provided f o r by a variety of mini-courses, physical education, i n d u s t r i a l education, health education courses, etc.;" and "by encouraging trust and respect between students and teachers." F i n a l l y , the committee stated that the school aimed "to broaden the concept of school so as to include the resources of the community" by u t i l i z i n g resource people with expertise in special areas from the community as lecturers and seminar discussion leaders;" "by working r e c i p r o c a l l y with the u n i v e r s i t y , so that graduate students offer their services to the school in exchange for the learning experiences which the school has to offer;"  "by u t i l i z i n g f i e l d t r i p s to other  institutions,  to demonstrations, to l e c t u r e s , to f i l m s , to r u r a l and wilderness areas;" "by u t i l i z i n g physical f a c i l i t i e s outside the school;" "by working with a consultative committee of parents, students and teachers in which the three representative groups interact regarding the school programme;" "by insuring three-way communication among parents, students and teachers through the consult a t i v e committee, parent-teacher-student meetings, newsletters,  telephone c a l l s , interviews and r e p o r t s ; " "by  138  using data-gathering questionnaires to obtain parent and student opinion regarding the programme;" "by u t i l i z i n g a committee of parents to provide c l e r i c a l help, transportation of students, help with e x t r a - c u r r i c u l a r a c t i vities, etc.;  M  "by increasing awareness of parents and  students to the o v e r a l l objectives of the school, p a r t i c u l a r l y as they r e f l e c t current educational trends;" and "by establishing a close r e l a t i o n s h i p with the community elementary school where secondary students can participate in t u t o r i a l programmes." Chapter Summary The s t a f f met for two f u l l days on February 17 and 18.  Each domain reported to the s t a f f as a whole on i t s  program and major problems, and the staff discussed those problems which were most important to a l l . The humanities staff presented a statement of i t s philosophy, objectives, and organization.  Many of the  problems Identified in r e l a t i o n to humanities were of concern to the whole s t a f f .  Some students were d i s s a t i s f i e d  with what they considered to be a lack of academic "content," teacher d i r e c t i o n , and graded evaluation, while the human i t i e s staff were more Interested in the communication "process."  Some teachers In other domains wanted clearer  guidelines from the humanities s t a f f as to students' assignments. attendance.  The p r i n c i p a l was very concerned about Humanities staff saw a need for even more  139  options in the program to interest students, rather attendance requirements.  than  Teachers from a l l domains c a l l e d  for better communications between subject teachers and advisors to keep up the counselling of uninvolved students. Timetable problems arose from c o n f l i c t s between regular classes and other a c t i v i t i e s .  B r i e f attention was given  to the lack of parent p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n program development and the need f o r better information to parents.  There was  seen to be a c r i t i c a l lack of time f o r staff group planning; i t was suggested that the s t a f f needed a " r e t r e a t . Reporting on the French program, a teacher  M  identified  the problems of student evaluation p o l i c y ; student use of contract time; the lack of integration of languages and humanities; the lack of student decision-making authority; the traditionalism of some students; and the "grade 11 syndrome"—a p a r t i c u l a r group of non-achieving, schoolr e s i s t i n g students.  A teacher discussed the problem of  the grade 8 French requirement, imposed by the p r o v i n c i a l department, which was creating unhealthy attitudes among many students. A teacher described the science program, which he said was aimed at "humanizing and i n d i v i d u a l i z i n g " instruction through "different rates of work."  levels of achievement" and  He spoke of the d i f f i c u l t y of  "different truly  i n d i v i d u a l i z i n g the program by offering a "choice of what to study," because of the lack of s u f f i c i e n t  "alternative  140  materials;" and said that learning packages were perhaps a solution to "the d i f f i c u l t y f o r teachers of developing new c u r r i c u l a . "  He saw as major problems, a l s o , the lack  of courses f o r general education rather than university preparation; the f a i l u r e of many students to manage t h e i r own time, thereby f r u s t r a t i n g attempts to develop independent projects; the grade 11 resistance group i d e n t i f i e d e a r l i e r ; the physical separation of one of the science teachers from the others; and the disappointing degree of p a r t i c i p a t i o n by the university in the science program. In math, a teacher reported that the program was organized around d i f f e r e n t  "levels of a s p i r a t i o n . "  He saw  as a major problem the grade 8 requirements set by the p r o v i n c i a l department.  The p r i n c i p a l , reporting as a  biology teacher, emphasized the problem of attendance.  In  the other, more p r a c t i c a l , areas of the program, r i c h l y varied offerings were described, and student involvement was not seen as so much of a problem. At the end of the two days, the s t a f f discussed i t s d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n with the b o a r d o f f i c e ' s commitment to s t a f f f  planning time, and decided to make a strong request for at least a f u l l week's released time In A p r i l .  It was also  decided that the domain reports made verbally within the s t a f f group would be useful In communicating to the community, and, therefore, would be written up In the near future.  141  There was no time for the other main topics on the agenda: the statement of the school's philosophy, objectives, and learning opportunities prepared by the accreditation committee. the agenda.  This material was attached to  I found i t similar to the e a r l i e r  statement  of objectives in i t s basic message, except that the wording of the new statement subtly cut out the goal of parent and student p a r t i c i p a t i o n in s c h o o l - l e v e l program decision-making.  «*»*«**  CHAPTER 13 PLANNING FOR THE LAST PART OF YEAR ONE The consultative committee met on February 23, in the week following the professional days.  The meeting was  attended by three parent representatives; four students; two staff members; the p r i n c i p a l ; and the board's director of communications, Mr.  Berends.  As the f i r s t item of  business, chairman Worrall Introduced Mr. Berends and brought up the need for a council newsletter. said that a newsletter  Dr. Worrall  "could have avoided the communica-  tion problem in the f a l l . "  Mr. Berends said that the board  could print a council newsletter and send i t to a l l U. Town parents and students.  Dr. Worrall pointed out that the  newsletter "could Include the agenda of the next consultat i v e council meeting to stimulate response from the commun i t y ; " he proposed that "the purpose of the newsletter would be to inform parents on the discussions i n the c o u n c i l , because many issues are contentious."  Mr. O'Doherty asked  who should edit the newsletter, and i t was decided that Mr. Berends would take on that Job himself.  (Subsequently,  Mr. Berends attended council meetings, took his own notes, and wrote reports f o r the  newsletter,);  A student said that there was also a "need for more general meetings."  Another student asserted that "the  council i s not achieving much f o r the students; It  lacks  143  power and influence."  Dr. Worrall replied that "students  are apathetic" and that the council "could invite p a r t i c i pation through the  newsletter."  Mr. Berends then asked:  "What issues are there?"  He  said that he had heard a l l u s i o n s to issues but none of them had been i d e n t i f i e d .  Chairman Worrall replied that there  were three topics he suggested for discussion that evening: "student apathy;" "evaluation of student achievement;" and the problem of "drop-outs." A student said that he was "not personally achieving;" that he "lacked the desire t o . "  Mr. Sander urged him not  to " t e l l about your personal experience—be a representative. "  The student went on:  "Everything rests on the  humanities, because i t ' s the thing most students can get high or low about."  Dr. Worrall asked:  phase between systems?" "natural phase."  "Is this a lag  The student thought that i t was a  Another student proposed that they "get  student opinions d i r e c t l y , through a questionnaire."  Yet  another student thought there was a need for a student newspaper.  A teacher said that i t was a "good idea, but  y o u ' l l get an i n f l u x of negative opinions at  first."  1 0  Dr. Worrall said that i t appeared "we don't have enough information on student apathy to discuss i t y e t . "  10  He asked  In the second year of the project, a student newspaper was s t a r t e d , and this was exactly what happened. (See Chapter 21*1  144  the student representatives to return to the next meeting with more information; the students agreed to do so.  Mr.  O'Doherty said there was a need for "some measure of apathy."  Mr. Sander remarked that "I've  heard about student  apathy for ten years, but no comparisons are ever made between our school and others."  Dr. Worrall s a i d ; "We need  to get our own data before we can compare with others." (To my knowledge, very l i t t l e was subsequently done in getting student opinion for the c o u n c i l . ) Dr. Worrall then read a l e t t e r received from a parent who was c r i t i c a l of changes in the evaluation of students and the r o l e of the teaeher.  Mr. Sander defended by asking  whether i t was f a i r to "use the same evaluation techniques in a new system" or to "put evaluation in black-and-white terms."  Mr. McDonald said that "there is a. need for some  assurance that the experimentation i s based on good results elsewhere."  Another parent s a i d :  "Parents f e e l that their  children might be victims of a t r i a l which w i l l be abandoned later."  Mr. Hardy r e p l i e d that "teachers In humanities  that they have had success in similar efforts  feel  (less organized  as a t o t a l school) elsewhere, and that they are not trying something new."  Mr. McDonald asked:  that across to the parents?"  "Then how can we get  Dr. Worrall added:  "The  public doesn't understand the changes in the theory of teaching and learning that have been taking place in recent years."  Mr. Berends thought i t seemed "a f a i n t echo of the  145  B r i t i s h informal approach."  Mr. O'Doherty said*  a d e f i n i t i o n of teaching and learning in the  "We need  newsletter  as a basis f o r future d i s c u s s i o n . " Chair raised the question of drop-outs.  Mr. Sander  said that "the rate i s the same as in past years."  Mr.  Hardy said that "in the past, transfers were punitive; now with the open boundaries, transfers are useful in some cases," It was agreed that the next meeting of the council would be on March 14, three weeks hence. The following morning, February 24, Mr. Hardy and Mr. Haffner reported to the staff meeting on the consultative council.  They said that "the r o l e of the council i s de-  veloping in a narrow way—as just an information channel to the parents."  They described the council newsletter plans,  and they referred to the c o u n c i l ' s discussion of evaluation: "The parent representatives are too concerned with s t a t i s t i c s , not educational philosophy." The s t a f f discussed the proposal to Dr. Meyer concerning released time f o r planning.  It was recalled that two sepa-  rate weeks had been proposed at the previous s t a f f meeting. Mrs. Fayter asked If  even one f u l l week would not be "too  much, given the s t r a i n of the two-day session."  Mr. Happ  r e p l i e d that "that was because we t r i e d to do a week's work i n two days."  The s t a f f decided to request the week of  A p r i l 1? to 24 and a second week in May.  Mr. Scott suggested  146  the second week could be used f o r "ln-domaln preparation of m a t e r i a l s .  w  Mrs. Fayter urged that the staff  "specify  what we w i l l do in the released time." Humanities Team Meeting. February 2 5 I attended some of the planning meetings of the humanities s t a f f , because of the obvious interest taken by the school and community in the humanities program.  Most  of the humanities team meetings I observed took place over a long lunch at the u n i v e r s i t y ' s graduate student centre. The team was discussing the evaluation of the students' presentations of their studies of p a r t i c u l a r cultures  (the  plans f o r which we saw in the November humanities bulletin),. Mattson*  Many of the kids are presenting encyclopedia reports and doing i t in an uninteresting manner.  Deering:  Many of the reports were well written but not well presented—they needed t r a i n i n g In oral reporting.  Hardy*  We were trying to make the kids into teachers, without preparing them. The kids l i s t e n i n g to the reports weren't interested in certain t o p i c s , and the kids presenting them couldn't pick up those s i g n a l s . We could have made attendance at the presentations voluntary.  Deering*  The problem goes back to the kid selecting a topic of interest rather than one for which information was a v a i l a b l e ; but attendance in areas of presentation other than their own was b e n e f i c i a l to the k i d s .  Hardy*  The kids were more interested in reports on topics related to their own.  Deering*  It goes back to the teachers, who give direction.  Haffner:  We need to have a c t i v i t i e s f o r kids who don't have an Interest In any of these things.  Hardy:  Very few kids are not interested in anything. Positive changes are happening in certain cases.  Marion:  Some kids are hard to reach—about four out of twenty.  Dillman: (student teacher)  Why not move the kids around to the teachers with whom they can function well?  Marion:  O . K . , but l e t ' s organize the t o p i c s .  The team then went on to discuss plans for the next phase of the program. Mattson*  We could divide into four sections concerned with current culture and have the kids c i r culate during the 13 weeks. We aren't using ourselves e f f e c t i v e l y because we're a l l doing the same things. We should plan i t out so d i f f e r e n t things can be done without conflicting. One topic could be "The Language of the Decade". . . .(Mr. Mattson had written down a s p e c i f i c proposal as to topics f o r d i f f e r e n t sections.)  Marion*  Are you suggesting we use the c u l t u r a l studies as a stepplng-off point for studying the culture of here and now? It would be good to have a change of format.  Deerlng*  We should get the kids involved in this planning—not that they should decide what to do next but they should have some influence.  Hardy*  A broad program takes them a l l  Deering;  But we haven't l e t them decide more than what culture to study. They should f e e l involved; i t i s n ' t enough for the staff to judge their needs.  Hardy;  Too many p o s s i b i l i t i e s for them i s not a good idea. Why not an umbrella or guiding format?  in.  148  Deerings  I don't think we've given as much choice within the format as we Intended.  Marions  I t ' s Interesting how they pick and choose among the mini-courses.  Mattsons  We could offer a core and then discuss i t with them. There Is an i n f i n i t e variety of interests among the k i d s .  The discussion shifted hack to organizational problems. Mattsons  We could keep the same groups for the f i r s t four weeks, u n t i l Easter, and get the programs in each area firmed up before switching groups.  Hardyt  We should consider the relationships the groups.  Deerings  Shall we keep large groups?  Mattsons  Yes, large groups could have multi-media presentations which would have d i f f e r e n t values for d i f f e r e n t groups; and the k i d s ' work could feed into the large groups. What ideas do we have for topics?  Hardy:  Urban l i t e r a t u r e .  Deerlngs  Folklore.  Haf f ner s  Contemporary s o c i a l thought with reference to economic philosophy.  Deerlngs  Creative communication through multi-media.  Marions  H i s t o r i c a l drama—portrayal of selected personalities with associated study of the period.  Dillmans  There's a l o t of action in (the capital) now.  Hardys  A group in Level 3 i s working on "Concerns" and a videotape.  Marions  Why not open the sections to k i d s ' choices at the beginning?  Haffner $  We could even extend i t  Deerlngs  What about the grade 8s?  between  provincial  into September.  149  Marion;  Same program.  Hardy:  We could keep the 8s twice as long and continue into next year.  Deering:  The 8s need more time on s k i l l s .  Mattson:  We should a r t i c u l a t e with the 7s in U, Town Elementary.  Deering:  We could go to the elementary schools as a staff.  Mattson;  We could use resource people from Level 3 to cover time for releasing the staff to v i s i t the elementary schools, and we could take a s l i d e presentation to the elementary schools . . . . I ' l l write up and duplicate the program plans coming out of this week's meetings by Monday.  Deering:  We're supposed to hand in plans, objectives, e t c . , f o r parent communication.  At another point in the meeting, one of the s t a f f memb e r s , Mr. Haffner (whose r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s were shared with another domain), proposed an independent study program for a few students as t h e i r t o t a l program for the r e s t of the year. Marion;  We would have to reconsider our basic objectives to do t h i s .  Deering:  It raises questions about their roles in the basic program.  Marion:  Many couldn't handle the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y .  Haffner:  Not the grade 8 s , but some dfcotfi* 9 s . . •=. •  I could vaguely sense a problem with regard to Mr. Haffner's acceptance in the team.  Two months l a t e r  I was  to l e a r n , through observing a d i f f i c u l t process of d e c i s i o n making in a staff meeting, that the humanities team wanted  150  Mr. Haffner to transfer out of the school.  As far as I  could t e l l , the reason was that they did not think he worked hard enough or was s u f f i c i e n t l y committed to the Job. Humanities Team Meeting. February 29 On t h i s date, the team raised the topic of evaluation of seminars.  Reports had been obtained from group leaders  (resource people from the university who helped with this aspect of the program).  It was reported that "most leaders  f e e l they should continue, although i t  is only a portion of  the students who are coming." Mattson:  We shouldn't cancel any groups without doing so with a l l .  Deering:  We need to look more s p e c i f i c a l l y at the individual kids who aren't attending and make alternate arrangements—different groups.  Marion:  It's  Deering:  Just a certain few need changing.  Marion:  I guess w e ' l l have to go through them a l l .  Hardy;  I t ' s not a big deal to make changes, since we've had an attendance problem a l l along.  Deering;  L e t ' s require those who haven't been attending to come, and permit those who have been coming to consider themselves f i n i s h e d .  Mattson:  We could create new time s l o t s and new groups after Easter for those not attending and If . they don't come t h e y ' l l have to do It next year.  Deering:  The grade 12s won't have any penalty.  Marlon:  The kids have been waiting for punishments. Should we f u l f i l l their expectations?  a l o t of work to do t h i s .  151  Deerlngs  We set the requirement In the f i r s t place, so we have to be consistent.  Marlon:  Right; but l e t ' s not carry It over to next year. We should say In our evaluation of these kids at the end of the year that they have not developed s e l f - r e l i a n c e yet, and then think about what to do next.  Deering:  Right, but there has to be some consequence of not f u l f i l l i n g the seminar requirement we s e t .  Marlon:  Should we, for another year, avoid setting requirements?  Deering:  That would be not making commitments and following them, l i k e the kids do.  Hardy:  We should make commitments and be w i l l i n g to be wrong.  Mattson;  We do need seminars.  Marlon:  Yes, but some kids aren't b e n e f i t t i n g , so are they to be required?  Deering:  The same problem as always: providing alternatives.  Marion;  Should we require some p a r t i c i p a t i o n In one of several alternatives?  Deering:  We could have independent study as an a l t e r n a t i v e . We should discuss this with the kids to determine the problem and s o l u t i o n s .  Marion:  L e t ' s phone the group leaders and say we want the seminars to continue for the time being.  The team took a break from the discussion to get some food.  On returning, Mrs. Marion suggested that there was a  need to "formulate recommendations for next year soon." Deering:  Writing courses.  . . .  Marion:  We need to reorganize to avoid the problem of checking on p a r t i c i p a t i o n .  Deering:  Periods should be an hour instead of forty minutes.  152  Marlon*  For larger concerns, there Is the question of s t a f f i n g . Timetable mechanics could be worked out l a t e r ,  Deerlng*  Before t