Date of Award

1976

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Department

Graduate Studies

First Advisor

Thomas C. Coleman

First Committee Member

J. Marc Jantzen

Second Committee Member

M. Lewis Mason

Third Committee Member

Roger L. Reimer

Fourth Committee Member

Walter Nyberg

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to select a sequence of steps as a model change process and then compare that sequence with the steps followed by the Berkeley Unified School District during the change process embodied in the development and first year's implementation of its Experimental Schools Project.

Deliminations: The study was limited to the Experimental Schools Project of the Berkeley Unified School District from December 28, 1970, through June 30, 1972. That project involved approximately one-third of the students and teaching staff of the district.

Procedures: The primary source of data was a structured in-depth interview with eighteen experimental school leaders, seven writer-developers of the project, and seven central project staff. The responses were clustered in relation to steps in the process model. The study's four questions were answered on the basis of whether or not steps in the model had been followed. Secondary sources included district documents, direct observation and unstructured talks and interviews, with other project participants.

Findings: The requirements of some steps in the model were judged satisfied but the requirements of a majority of the steps were not. A majority of the respondents expressed a negative evaluation of the management of the change process exemplified by the project.

Conclusions: The district's leadership did not (1) treat the development and implementation of the project as a special organizational problem requiring adherence to the basic principles of the change process model, (2) take actions manifesting the belief that having understanding and agreement on common goals among its change implementers was required when attempting a major change, (3) take actions to reduce staff emotional stresses during the period of major change, and (4) act on the principles that some additional communication and training were needed by implementers prior to the start of the district's Experimental School Project.

Pages

227

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