Annotated Bibliography of Resources for Educational Reform, Coherent Teaching Practice, and Improved Student Learning

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  • Lieberman, A., & Miller, L. (1990). Restructuring schools: What matters and what works. Phi Delta Kappan, 71, 759-764.

The focus of this article is on the constraints and possibilities posed by the realities of school restructuring. The authors discuss approaches to school restructuring, building blocks of the restructuring movement, and issues that are emerging from practice. Restructuring seems to focus either on procedures (i.e., legislation allowing schools to restructure) or on principles or values (i.e., the nine core principles of the Coalition of Essential Schools). Building blocks that form the foundation for school change include: (1) rethinking curriculum and instruction; (2) rethinking the structure of schools; (3) focusing on the learning environment for students and the professional environment for adults; (4) building partnerships and networks; and (5) increasing the participation of parents and the community. To restructure schools, the following issues must be confronted: administrative and teacher leadership, the dilemma of process versus content, balancing the needs of students and teachers, and achieving a balance between action and reflection. The authors state that it is crucial to remember that the ultimate goal of restructuring is to make schools better places for children.

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