Date of Award

1999

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Leadership PhD

First Advisor

William H. Green

Second Advisor

Larry D. Burton

Third Advisor

Shirley A. Freed

Abstract

Problem. Curricular reform has a pathetic history. Curriculum documents, some of the major tools of reformers, have had a minor effect on transforming education because the power of pedagogy has been ignored (Cuban, 1993). Teachers in the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) system voiced similar concerns about curriculum documents. Additionally, they felt that their 2-4-day in-service training did not adequately prepare them to implement curricular changes. This initiative, aimed at restructuring both the content and process of teaching, was to be implemented in a distance-learning pilot project in eight one-teacher schools.

Purpose. The purpose of this study was to: (1) define the Technology Partnership Curriculum Initiative and to delineate its component parts; (2) chronicle the story of its background and development; and (3) describe its initial implementation during the 1997- 1998 school year.

Methodology. The study used a descriptive, qualitative case study method. Data collected through interviews, observations, surveys, documents, and artifacts were used to chronicle the story of the Technology Partnership Curriculum Initiative. Data were collected from two primary informants and four secondary informants who were selected by purposive sampling. These data were used to tell the story of the initiative from its beginning through its implementation in the Technology Partnership Pilot Project during its first year.

Findings and Conclusions. The study highlighted some of the challenges involved in developing and implementing innovative curriculum initiatives. It highlighted the need to (1) provide clear operational definitions of initiatives; (2) provide a substantial amount of time for initial and on-going staff-development training; (3) use research to provide “data feedback”; and (4) develop norms and guidelines for building collaborative relationships between all the entities that are involved in a complex project such as the Technology Partnership Curriculum Initiative.

Subject Area

Curriculum change, Educational technology.

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