WEST FALLS HIGH SCHOOL: A MODEL OF CHANGE: CHANGES WHICH HAVE OCCURRED AT WEST FALLS HIGH SCHOOL, WEST FALLS, PENNSYLVANIA, 1971-1981 AS PERCEIVED BY SCHOOL PRACTITIONERS

LOUISE WILSON MCCANN, University of Pennsylvania

Abstract

My research examines and describes changes which had occurred from 1971 to 1981 in the culture of a middle class suburban high school from the perspective of a sample of staff members and to explore the role of the principal and his leadership style in effecting the changes. The methodology used was a case study approach from an ethnographic perspective. The data were generated from taped interviews of twelve staff members who had been part of the change process. The study assumed the approach whereby if the practitioners articulated their perceptions of the changes in their own high school culture prior to and including the years 1974 to 1981, a view would emerge of organizational climate measured by reported behavior as well as an understanding of the leadership qualities responsible for effecting change and maintaining the climate. Since a school is a "small society," the descriptive data resulting from a study of West Falls High School could have implications for other American high schools undergoing similar changes. A review of the events as perceived by those staff members involved in the changes is substantiated by the following conclusions: (1) The natives of the culture (school staff) must perceive a need for change. (2) The educational hierarchy of the school must likewise sense the need for change. (3) An authority figure vested with the power to direct a change must be present. (4) The leader directly responsible for effecting change must foster a sense of loyalty in those subordinates most affected by the change.

Subject Area

School administration

Recommended Citation

MCCANN, LOUISE WILSON, "WEST FALLS HIGH SCHOOL: A MODEL OF CHANGE: CHANGES WHICH HAVE OCCURRED AT WEST FALLS HIGH SCHOOL, WEST FALLS, PENNSYLVANIA, 1971-1981 AS PERCEIVED BY SCHOOL PRACTITIONERS" (1983). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI8318168.
https://repository.upenn.edu/dissertations/AAI8318168

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