UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Society's child Collins, Simon

Abstract

I want to challenge T. M. Skrtic's notions of Adhocracy as a viable organizational framework for Special Education in mainstream schools. I want to challenge Skrtic, not so much on the structural aspects of Adhocracy, but on the psychological, physical and emotional demands made of the teacher working in such a system. For while Skrtic's perspective regarding the organizational context of Special Education warrants credit for its perception and providence, it is my belief that Skrtic fails to address the human needs of teachers with the same clarity and brevity that he affords to understanding the needs of the children that are placed in their care. By focussing primarily on the design and implementation of what he considers to be the most effective structural configurations within schools to meet the needs of special education students, Skrtic's organizational paradigms may well create and perpetuate high levels of professional burnout and attrition as a consequence of reaching and maintaining his goal. In order to levitate Skrtic's ideology, and my experience, of Adhocracy, creating the potential for an initial point of equilibrium, I require a fulcrum, a pivot compiled of research made during my graduate studies, research that has focussed on the causes of stress, burnout and attrition associated with regular and special education teachers, I will make particular reference to the work of Brownell, Smith, McNellis & Lenk (1995) who provide tremendous insight into why people become 'stayers' - special education teachers with more than 5 years of classroom experience - or become 'leavers' - teachers who leave special education (Brownell et al, 1994-. 95, p. 87). It is my hope that by counter-weighing adhocracy, thereby giving credence to both its theoretical and practical existence, I hope to have exposed a paradox: that in striving to meet the needs of Special Education Children, Skrtic's application of Adhocracy as a viable organizational structure in regular schools is flawed because of its failure to identify and address the (individual) needs of those held directly responsible for its administration.

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