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THE MAKING OF ROBOTS: CONTROL AND DE-SKILLING OF FOURTH GRADE TEACHERS IN AN URBAN APPALACHIAN SCHOOL AFTER IMPLEMENTATION OF THE OHIO PROFICIENCY TEST

by ADAMS, KATHY LYNNE

Abstract (Summary)
The purpose of this study was to provide a description of the impact on three teachers, teaching in a large urban school district in an Appalachian neighborhood school, after the implementation of the Ohio Proficiency Test (OPT). This descriptive qualitative study used observations, semi-structured and unstructured interviews, a focus group, and archival and current documents for data analysis. The data was coded and categorized with the use of Folio Views. Themes of control, de-skilling, student behavioral control and accommodation and resistance in relation to critical theory were described. In particular, Critical Scholarship, as described by McNeil (2000) and educational critical theory as described by Apple (1979, 1985, 1989, 1996) and Giroux (1997) was used. The findings suggest that the impact on these teachers from the OPT may actually be from the pressure and control on the teachers. The pressures and control stem from the consequences of the accountability aspect of the OPT which has resulted in a top-down management style district and school. The OPT and the specific standards from the OPT only get superficial glances due to possible "assessment paralysis" and teachers' own beliefs (Delandshere & Jones, 1999; O'Loughlin, 1990). The policy and political context of the Ohio Proficiency Test and a brief description of the history of tests and high-stakes tests were written about. Implications and suggestions for further research were included.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:University of Cincinnati

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:ohio proficiency test critical theory control de skilling professionalization

ISBN:

Date of Publication:01/01/2001

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