THE CHANGE PROCESS IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PENNSYLVANIA COMPREHENSIVE READING PLAN IN SIX TITLE I CENTERS - A CASE STUDY

CINDI BETH WEISS, University of Pennsylvania

Abstract

The purpose of the study is to examine the implementation of the Pennsylvania Comprehensive Reading Plan (PCRP) in Title I pullout centers in six elementary schools in an urban district. The PCRP is an integrated approach to learning and reading/language arts which differs from the approaches currently being used in the school district. Teachers were familiarized with the approach through a staff development program which incorporated the innovators' assumptions about effective supervision and implementation strategy. Both the actual program and the implementation strategy are examined.^ The project was studied during the first and part of the second year of the implementation. The data were collected through participant-observation, analyses of documents and interviews with key personnel. As an analytic heuristic, the notion of mutual adaptation was brought to the analysis. Mutual Adaptation, a concept developed by Berman and McLaughlin in the Rand study of Federal change programs (1975), implies that innovations are not accepted wholesale by users, but as with any learners are adapted to the user context through interaction between the user and the innovation. Implementation consists of an interactive/adaptive process which is ongoing.^ Mutual adaptation occurred in a number of ways in the implementation of the PCRP. Differences were noted in the implementation of specific activities from more general ones which required a deeper understanding of the underlying philosophy. The complexity of the innovation as well as the distinctiveness of it from existing programs affected the mutual adaptation. The internal structure of the school and the external society were contributing factors as well, particularly as they affected notions of supervision and effective implementation strategy. The classroom program changed throughout the first year and between the two years.^ Both teachers and innovations were affected by the process. Teachers changed their behavior, as well as modifying the innovation to fit their context. As change is a form of learning, it is a fairly long process. Thus, by devising a strategy that facilitates mutual adaptation through interactions between users and innovators over an extended period of time, the process continues, moving toward "ownership" of the innovation by the users. ^

Subject Area

Education, Reading

Recommended Citation

CINDI BETH WEISS, "THE CHANGE PROCESS IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PENNSYLVANIA COMPREHENSIVE READING PLAN IN SIX TITLE I CENTERS - A CASE STUDY" (January 1, 1982). Dissertations available from ProQuest. Paper AAI8227328.
http://repository.upenn.edu/dissertations/AAI8227328

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