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From Isolation to Collaboration: The Emergence of a Collaborative Culture in a Middle School

by Gabauer, Timothy M.

Abstract (Summary)
FROM ISOLATION TO COLLABORATION: THE EMERGENCE OF A COLLABORATIVE CULTURE IN A MIDDLE SCHOOL Timothy M. Gabauer, Ed.D. University of Pittsburgh, 2005 Advisor: Joseph S. Werlinich The landscape of American education is constantly changing. The most current trend that is dominating the field is accountability that resonates throughout the entire organization. Accountability becomes one of the six change indicators that provide the framework for the study. This study recognizes a middle school that has seen success in changing from what Richard Elmore defines as a default culture to one that supports collaboration and a focus on student achievement. The foundation of this study is to analyze the change indicators and to determine their influence on moving the culture of the middle school out of its crisis and into its more productive realm. The indicators identified as positive contributors to the cultural transformation are Staff Changes, Accountability Measures, Renovations, Middle School Merger, Leadership and Educational Programming. The use of qualitative research and the semi-structured interviewing process known as Responsive Interview Model highlight the inner most thoughts and feelings relating to the dissertation question. The interview data was analyzed by organizing the responses into unanimous, supported and individual themes. A survey derived from the probing questions along with a rank order of the indicators provided a triangulation of data that validates the overwhelming results of the study. The value of the leadership is underscored in each data collection and becomes the primary influence in moving the building culture forward. Palestinis principles of effective leaders is the framework chosen in the final chapter to highlight the importance of leadership in cultural change as well as depict the strong relationship between the collected data and those identified principles. This study shows a positive correlation of each indicator in the cultural change and supports the abundant research on the role of the leadership as most critical in promoting effective change in any organization.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Dr. Richard Seckinger; Dr. Shirley A. Golofski; Dr. Joseph S. Werlinich; Dr. Sean Hughes; Dr. Sue Goodwin; Dr. Otto Graf

School:University of Pittsburgh

School Location:USA - Pennsylvania

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:administrative and policy studies

ISBN:

Date of Publication:08/09/2005

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