Date of Award

1998

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Religious Education, PhD

First Advisor

George H. Akers

Second Advisor

Paul H. Denton

Third Advisor

Jerry Moon

Abstract

Problem. Our country stands in need of academic imperatives that will provide direction for our public school system. Highly accountable charter schools are being propagated to model quality education. The country is presently challenged to produce competent educational programs that contribute to this pioneer effort.

Purpose. The purpose of this study was to develop a master plan of curriculum and instruction for a charter school in the state of Michigan by studying select schools and other documents.

Method. This was a qualitative study that sought to determine the culture of select charter, public, private, and home schools. Ten principles, drawn from a literature review, were used to select and study them: (1) the use of core curriculum, (2) individualized learning, (3) cooperative learning, (4) active and passive learning, (5) work and service, (6) values, (7) competency-based education, (8) flexibility in using time, space, and personnel, (9) stimulating and educational learning environment, and (10) healthy, respectful relationships.

Data were collected from observation, interviews, and documents. The study included "cultural," "cross cultural," and "universal" analysis.

Results. When considered in conjunction with the 10 "program components" above, the schools were found to be of respectable quality to varying degrees. The "cross-cultural analysis" included issues involving the institutional quality and school types, balance, curriculum alignment, school age, and autonomy and change. All 10 concepts were significantly honored, but in varying degrees. The 3 that were least honored were work and service (73%), stimulating and educational learning environment (73%), and competency-based education (64%).

"Universal" issues included the time that institutions needed to develop their programs and to mature, communication and collaboration among these schools, and holistic change.

The ethnographic study, landmark research, and additional documents were utilized to develop a master plan of curriculum and instruction for a charter school in the state of Michigan.

Conclusion. Using a set of educational principles as an instrument to research select schools, it was determined that quality schools exist among basic school types and, accompanied by other research, are able to make a significant contribution to a master plan for curriculum and instruction.

Subject Area

Charter schools--Michigan, Curriculum planning

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