Practice Fidelity and Sustainability of School Reform: A Study of the Schoolwide Enrichment Model in an Independent Elementary School

Cynthia Boyd

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Abstract

After many years of research on school reform, two issues continue to be of concern”practice fidelity (Bain, 2010; O'Donnell, 2008) and sustainability (Bain, 2007; Elmore, 1996; Hargreaves & Goodson, 2006; Tyack & Cuban, 1995). Practice fidelity refers to the degree or veracity with which the pedagogical components of a reform model are being implemented within classrooms (Bain, 2007). Sustainability refers to the longevity of an innovation, but it also encompasses the idea of institutionalization, whether or not the reform model becomes built in� or embedded into the existing structures and culture of the school (Berman & McLaughlin, 1976; Datnow, 2005). There is relatively little mention of the fidelity with which reforms are being implemented in the evaluation literature, while the sustainability of reforms over time has proven to be difficult to accomplish. The desired outcomes do not seem to match the efforts and time that have been devoted to the reforms. This study seeks to determine the extent with which the pedagogical components (Total Talent Portfolio, Curriculum Modification Techniques, and Enrichment Learning and Teaching) associated with the Schoolwide Enrichment Model (SEM) are being implemented with fidelity. Critical to the data generation and analysis are six principles of self-organization (Bain, 2007) associated with the theory of self-organizing schools (SOS). Its principles provide a theoretical lens for the study and focus on the need to more deeply understand the factors that contribute to practice fidelity and sustainability.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Education
Awarding Institution
  • Charles Sturt University
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Bain, Alan, Principal Supervisor
  • Perry, Bob, Principal Supervisor
Place of PublicationAustralia
Publisher
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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