Use of curriculum domains and subsystems by elementary principals and teachers in intructional decision making

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Use of curriculum domains and subsystems by elementary principals and teachers in intructional decision making
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Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2001.
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Includes bibliographical references (leaves 172-178).
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by Mark Brunner.
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USE OF CURRICULUM DOMAINS AND SUBSYSTEMS
BY ELEMENTARY PRINCIPALS AND TEACHERS
IN INSTRUCTIONAL DECISION MAKING














By

MARK BRUNNER


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA














ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


As a teacher, principal, and district administrator, I have always sought to better

understand the relationship between school leadership and curriculum. Through this

understanding, it is my hope that I will be able to better help meet the learning needs of

the students, teachers, and parents I serve. This dissertation has provided me with a

unique opportunity to explore that relationship and, in turn, further my understanding of

how each role adds value to the lives of learners.

This journey would not have been possible without the unending support,

wisdom, and guidance of my chair, Dr. Behar-Horenestein. I would also like to express

my gratitude for the work of committee members Drs. Doud, Turner, and Honeyman.

Each brought a perspective of experience and knowledge that I greatly value. Also, I

would like to express appreciation to my friend and colleague, Dr. Andy Nott, whose

patience and persistence helped me to navigate through uncharted statistical waters.

Lastly, I would like to thank my wife, Barbara, and my two sons, Brendan and Colin, for

all the sacrifices they made while I undertook this journey.

I am finally home!














TABLE OF CONTENTS


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS .............................................. ii

LIST OF TABLES ..................................................... v

ABSTRACT ............ ............................................. vi

CHAPTERS

1 INTRODUCTION ........... ......................................1

Statement of the Problem ................ .......................... 2
Research Questions ................................. ............... 8
Statement of Hypothesis ............................................. 9
Significance of the Study ................ ......................... 10
Limitations ................ .......................... 11

2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE ........................................ 12

The Principal .................................................... 12
The Teacher ...................................... ........... 28
Curriculum .....................................................39
Summary ............. .......................................... 48

3 METHODOLOGY ................................................50

Introduction .....................................................50
Research Method .................. .............................. 51
Description of the Subjects and Sample ............................ 52
Data Collection Procedure ................ ........................ 58
Description of Data Processing .. ......... ....................... 59
Data Analysis Relative to Research Questions ....................... .. 61

4 RESULTS AND DISCUSSION ............... .................... 63

Research Question One ............... ........................... 63
Research Question Two ........................... ........ ...... 88
Research Question Three ................ ........................ 101
Research Question Four ................ ......................... 109
Research Question Five ........................................... 116
Research Question Six ........................................... 126









5 SUMMARY, DISCUSSION, AND RECOMMENDATIONS .............. 135

Summary ........................................... 135
Discussion ............................... ...... .. .............. 144
Limitations of the Study ................ ......................... 155
Recommendations ................ ............................... 156
Conclusion .............. ............................. 157

APPENDICES

A DEMOGRAPHIC QUESTIONNAIRE ................................ 158

B TEACHER DEMOGRAPHIC QUESTIONNAIRE ....................... 159

C REQUEST FOR PERMISSION TO DISTRICT SCHOOL
SUPERINTENDENT ................ ......................... 160

D SAMPLE OF LETTER SENT TO PRINCIPALS ........................ 161

E COVER LETTER EXPLAINING PURPOSE OF INVESTIGATION ........ 162

F INFORMED CONSENT DOCUMENT .............................. 164

G CURRICULUM PRACTICES SURVEY .............................. 166

REFERENCES .......... ................................. .172

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ............... .......................... 179














LIST OF TABLES


Table page

3-1 Demographic Characteristics of Principals ............................ 54

3-2 Demographic Characteristics of Teachers .............................. 56

4-1 Alpha Coefficient Summary of the Subscale Ratings for Importance and
Extent Utilized Within the Domains and Subsystems of Curriculum by
Principals and Teachers .............. ........................... 65

4-2 Principals' and Teachers' Mean Ratings of the Domains and Subsystems
of Curriculum by Categories .................................... .. 66

4-3 Corrected Item-total Correlations and Alpha Coefficients for the
Importance and Extent Utilized of the Domains and Subsystems of
Curriculum by Principals ................ ........................ 67

4-4 Teachers' and Principals' Mean Ratings of Importance and Extent
Utilized for the Domains and Subsystems of Curriculum .................. 75

4-5 Corrected Item-total Correlations and Alpha Coefficients for the
Importance and Extent Utilized of the Domains and Subsystems of
Curriculum by Teachers .................. ........................ 90

4-6 Spearman Correlation Coefficients for Principals' Ratings of Importance
and Extent Utilized within the Domains and Subsystems of Curriculum by
Curriculum Practices ............................................. 117

4-7 Spearman Correlation Coefficient for Principals' Rankings of Importance
and Extent Utilized for the Domains of Knowledge and Subsystems of
Curriculum by Subscales .................. ...................... 122

4-8 Spearman Correlation Coefficients for Teachers' Ratings of Importance
and Extent Utilized within the Domains and Subsystems of Curriculum by
Curriculum Practices ............................................. 127

4-9 Spearman Correlation Coefficient for Teachers' (N=132) Ratings of
Importance and Extent Utilized Within the Domains of Knowledge and
Subsystems of Curriculum by Subscale ............................... 131

5-1 Summary of Alpha Comparisons for Teacher Importance Between
Behar's 1994 Study of Midwest and Southeast Teachers and Current
Study ................................ ........................ 149














Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements of the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

USE OF CURRICULUM DOMAINS AND SUBSYSTEMS
BY ELEMENTARY PRINCIPALS AND TEACHERS
IN INSTRUCTIONAL DECISION MAKING

By

Mark Brunner

May 2001

Chair: Dr. Linda Behar-Horenstein
Major Department: Department of Educational Leadership, Policy, and Foundations

This descriptive study was designed to investigate the (a) level of agreement

among elementary principals and among elementary teachers regarding their beliefs in

the importance of the domains and subsystems of curriculum in making instructional

decisions and (b) the level of agreement among elementary principals and among

teachers in their ratings of the extent to which they use the domains and subsystems of

curriculum to make instructional decisions. The sample was comprised of 10 elementary

principals (n=10) and 132 (n=132) teachers.

A closed-ended, 5-point Likert scale survey was used to obtain ratings from the

principals and teachers relative to curriculum practices. Internal consistency estimates

within each of the groups were calculated through the use of Cronbach's alpha.

Spearman's rank order correlation procedure was used to calculate the relationship








between the principal and teacher groups. Mean rankings were also calculated for

principal and teacher responses.

The findings revealed that generally strong to moderate correlations among

principals and a strong to moderate correlation among teachers relative to the importance

of the domains and subsystems of curriculum. The findings also revealed strong to

moderate correlations among principals, and a strong to moderate correlation among

teachers relative to the extent to which the domains and subsystems are utilized in

making instructional decisions. The principals and teachers rated the domains and

subsystems of curriculum as somewhat to fairly important, and they reported that they

used them somewhat to fairly frequently. There was a high to low degree of association

among principals and teachers relative to the domains and subsystems of curriculum.

Results of this study extend previous research and suggest that teachers' beliefs

about the importance of curriculum practices remain constant in an era of political and

educational accountability. The findings in this study have implications for how an

understanding of a quantifiable curriculum knowledge base can be used at the school and

district level in instructional decision making and in higher education to lessen the gap

between theory and practice.














CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION


The standards movement is a prominent feature in school improvement and

educational accountability systems throughout the United States. In the state of Florida,

school districts are currently involved in the development of curriculum designed around

the Sunshine State Standards. These standards, which delineate expected achievement by

all students in grades kindergarten through twelve, are central to the state's school

improvement and accountability plan aimed at reforming public education. The state's

mandate for accountability is based on the assumption that the determination of

appropriate instructional strategies and the ability to facilitate instructional improvement

is the responsibility of those who are closest to the learners (Florida Curriculum

Frameworks, 1996). Despite recognizing the important role that teachers play, little work

has been done in gaining consensus on what constitutes an accepted repertoire of skills

and practices of curriculum for classroom teachers (Ornstein & Hunkins, 1998).

Hammond (1994) has suggested that it is unlikely that the top down specification of

content can take into consideration the many pathways of learning that are appropriate

for different students across the country.

The empowerment of principals and teachers in the curriculum decision-making

process is one important outcome that has resulted from interest in standards (Glatthom,

1997). Determining what different students need to know and be able to do at a local

level is an essential component of the accountability act. Prior to developing a decision-








making framework, there must be a common understanding of and agreement about what

constitutes an essential set of curriculum skills and practices for educators. Identifying a

compendium of essential curriculum skills and practices can be derived from knowledge

bases. Knowledge bases provide a theoretical framework comprised of essential

knowledge, research findings, and sound practices that provide a structure for making

informed decisions relative to curriculum (Behar, 1994a). As principals seek to assume

leadership roles in curriculum and help to guide teachers in assuming instructional

leadership roles in their schools, an agreed upon structure for making informed decisions

is essential to help schools achieve their goal of ensuring quality learning for all students.

A knowledge base can serve to assist principals and teachers in becoming informed

practitioners. Furthermore, in an era of educational reform, an understanding and

practical application of the curriculum knowledge base to the curriculum decision-

making process can lead to more enduring and effective change (Behar-Horenstein,

Amatea, & Sherrard, 1999).


Statement of the Problem

This study was designed to investigate (a) the level of agreement among

principals and among teachers regarding their beliefs about the importance of the

curriculum knowledge base in making instructional decisions and (b) the level of

agreement among elementary principals and among teachers in their rating of the extent

to which they use the curriculum knowledge base in making instructional decisions. To

understand the relationship between the curriculum knowledge base and student learning,

it is important to understand the roles that principals and teachers play relative to

learning.








The role of today's principal is characterized as complex, rapidly changing, and

increasingly diverse. The traditional mechanistic model of the principalship grounded

upon the principles of specialization of work through simplification of tasks,

predetermined rules to coordinate tasks, and detailed monitoring of performance is giving

way to a new organizational paradigm. This paradigm requires shared ownership of the

leadership process between the principal, teachers, and community stakeholders (Behar-

Horenstein & Amatea, 1999). For the purpose of encouraging flexibility and

innovativeness principals need the skills of conceptual understanding, human interaction,

and technical proficiency (Lunenburg, 1995). These skills can be applied to the essential

leadership functions of curriculum, instruction, and supervision. The acquisition of

curriculum leadership behaviors requires a conceptual understanding of and technique

proficiency in curriculum knowledge bases.

Principals who have an understanding of a curriculum knowledge base assume

three primary roles. First, they assure the quality and relevancy of teacher instructional

lesson plans. Second, they possess knowledge of a curriculum knowledge base that

enables them to analyze teacher instruction and assist teachers in overcoming

instructional difficulties. Third, they facilitate teacher acquisition of a knowledge base

that empowers teachers to take an active role in curriculum decision making (Behar-

Horenstein & Omstein, 1999). Since curriculum leadership does not exist in isolation to

other components of effective organizational behavior, the interests of school principals

and teachers would be served by having an awareness of the behaviors and skills that

comprise the curriculum leadership function. Furthermore, professional collaborative

cultures that cultivate a focus on what and how students learn contribute greatly to

student achievement (Fullan, 1997). This implies that the relationship between the









principal and the teacher, regarding curriculum, is collaborative in nature. Collaboration,

in this sense, is enhanced when there is agreement between the stakeholders as to what

constitutes the basis for making curriculum decisions.

The potential for creating collaboration among educators exists within initiatives

such as the Sunshine State Standards. However, the top down specification of content

does not guarantee improved student learning. Furthermore, the standards provide only a

basic framework for defining what students need to know and be able to do. To

operationalize this framework, schools and principals must involve those who are closest

to the instructional process--the teachers. In operationalizing curriculum, teachers

employ a variety of skills and methods. Unfortunately to date, there is a lack of

awareness and also no formal agreement as to what constitutes the knowledge base

relative to curriculum skills and methods (Ornstein & Hunkins, 1998). Since principals

are responsible for school-wide student achievement, and teachers are the vehicles in

which schools translate standards into instruction, it would serve principals and teachers

to be able to refer to an agreed upon curriculum knowledge base. Furthermore, practical

as well as theoretical decisions can be better made if there is common agreement as to

what constitutes a curriculum knowledge base.

To provide a clear understanding of the concepts and terms related to this study,

the following definitions have been provided:

Instructional decision making is the process used in making judgements relative

to the curriculum functions of planning, designing, implementation, and evaluation.

Knowledge base is the accepted knowledge of a field and is comprised of the

skills and content knowledge utilized in a specific discipline. A knowledge base serves

as a framework to aid in making practical and theoretical decisions. A knowledge base








provides insight into what practitioners should know and be able to do within a specified

discipline (Ornstein & Hunkins, 1998). For the purpose of this study, the knowledge base

was drawn from source documents that have been quantified in previous studies by Linda

S. Behar (Behar, 1992) and will be designated as the domains and subsystems of

curriculum.

Domains of curriculum are the important content areas in the field of curriculum.

These are comprised of activities that reflect the attributes of curriculum knowledge,

skills, and activities. The domains of curriculum used in this study were selected and

quantified in Behar's (1992) study and derived from curriculum textbooks published

between 1970 and 1990 (Ornstein & Hunkins, 1998). These domains represent broad

conceptualizations of curriculum that translate into specific curriculum activities. The

survey utilized in this study incorporates the following domains: (a) curriculum

philosophy, (b) curriculum theory, (c) curriculum research, (d) curriculum history,

(e) curriculum development, (f) curriculum design, (g) curriculum evaluation,

(h) curriculum policy, and (i) curriculum as a field of study (Behar, 1994a).

Curriculum practice describes the activities within the nine domains of

curriculum and the three subsystems of curriculum (Behar, 1992).

Curriculum philosophy is the criteria that are used to determine the aims, means,

and ends of a curriculum. Aims are value statements that are based on philosophical

beliefs. Means are associated with the process and methods that reflect philosophical

choices. Ends are the facts, concepts, and principles of the knowledge or behavior

learned. The literature identifies four educational philosophies: (a) perennialism,

(b) essentialism, (c) progressivism, and (d) reconstructionism (Ornstein & Hunkins,

1998).






6

Curriculum theory presents an overview of the field and assists persons within the

field in analyzing and synthesizing data, organizing concepts and principles, suggesting

new ideas and relationships, and speculating about the future (Ornstein and Hunkins,

1998). Theory is defined as a set of related statements that give meaning to a school's

curriculum by highlighting the relationships among important elements and by directing

its development, use, and evaluation (Beauchamp, 1981).

Curriculum research is an activity used to (a) advance conceptualization and

understanding of the field, (b) create new visions of what and how to teach, (c) influence

curriculum policy, (d) question normative premises about curriculum, and (e) improve

programs for learning (McNeil, 1990).

Curriculum history encourages an understanding of the traditions that have

defined professional and personal lives (Tanner & Tanner, 1990). Curriculum history

involves the process of describing, analyzing, and interpreting past curriculum thought

and practice (Behar, 1994a). The process of historical inquiry involves establishing a

background for events while also connecting the past and the present and documenting

the growth and development of trends within the field. History causes us to view

curriculum in a manner and within a context that extends beyond the field (Hlebowitsh,

1993).

Curriculum development is an activity that determines how curriculum

construction that involves key stakeholders will proceed (Behar, 1994a). As a process,

curriculum development seeks to (a) facilitate an analysis of purpose, (b) design a

program or event, (c) implement a series of activities, and (d) assist in the evaluation of

this process (Wiles & Bondi, 1998).








Curriculum design is the organization of curriculum components that result in a

plan for teaching (English, 2000). Curriculum design implies an arrangement of certain

elements related to the curriculum plan. Which design is selected is influenced by a

person's curriculum approach and philosophical orientation (Ornstein & Hunkins, 1998).

Curriculum evaluation is a process or cluster of processes that people perform for

the purpose of gathering data that will enable them to make decisions pertaining to

curriculum at the classroom level (Omstein & Hunkins, 1998).

Curriculum policy is a formalized body of laws and regulations that pertain to

what should be taught in schools (Glatthom, 1994).

Curriculum as a field of study pertains to the combination of curriculum, the

curriculum system, and research and theory building activities (English, 1983). The field

of curriculum consists of the approaches and the relationship and differences between the

foundations and domains of curriculum, the theory and practice of curriculum, and the

roles of curriculum workers (Omstein & Hunkins, 1998).

Subsystems of curriculum represent broad conceptualizations of curriculum that

include instruction, supervision, and evaluation (Behar, 1992). Each subsystem is

comprised of at least four specific curriculum activities that are related to the processes

inherent to instruction, supervision, and evaluation.

Instruction is an activity that comprises the following tasks: (a) a procedure for

organizing learning experiences, (b) a plan for implementing the curriculum, and (c) the

teacher's discretionary behaviors involved with making daily decisions about content,

time on task, questioning, classroom management, grouping materials, and pacing and

sequencing activities (Behar, 1992). Teaching that is guided by a work plan or








curriculum is referred to as instruction. Instruction is teaching that is focused and

connected (English, 2000).

Supervision is represented by the processes that assess the instructional and

procedural functions of schools. These processes determine the effectiveness of schools

in meeting the aims, goals, and objectives of the total school curriculum (Behar-

Horenstein & Omstein, 1999).

Evaluation is a process or series of processes that people perform for the purpose

of obtaining data that will enable them to decide whether to accept, change, or eliminate

something at the school level. Evaluation is the process of determining the relative

values of what is being judged. Relative to curriculum, evaluation serves to determine

whether the curriculum is designed, developed, and implemented in a manner that will

achieve the desired results (Omstein & Hunkins. 1998).

Curriculum leadership describes the functions that enable school systems and

their schools to achieve the goal of ensuring quality student learning (Glatthorn, 1997).

Curriculum leadership activities include (a) guiding successful student outcomes,

(b) engaging in teacher evaluation, (c) promoting teachers' professional development,

(d) examining the congruency between the taught and tested curriculum, and

(e) advocating for responsive and authentic forms of student evaluation (Behar-

Horenstein, 1995).


Research Questions

1. What is the level of agreement among principals in their beliefs about the

importance of the domains and subsystems of curriculum in making instructional

decisions?








2. What is the level of agreement among teachers in their beliefs about the

importance of the domains and subsystems of curriculum in making instructional

decisions?

3. What is the level of agreement among principals in their beliefs regarding the

extent to which they utilize the domains and subsystems of curriculum in making

instructional decisions?

4. What is the level of agreement among teachers in their beliefs regarding the

extent to which they utilize the domains and subsystems of curriculum in making

instructional decisions?

5. What is the level of agreement between principals' beliefs regarding the

importance of the domains and subsystems of curriculum and the extent to which they

utilize the curriculum knowledge base and subsystems of curriculum in making

instructional decisions?

6. What is the level of agreement between teachers' beliefs regarding the

importance of the domains and subsystems of curriculum and the extent to which they

utilize the curriculum domains and subsystems of curriculum in making instructional

decisions.


Statement of Hypothesis

1. There will be no agreement among principals in their beliefs about the

importance of the curriculum knowledge base in making instructional decisions.

2. There will be no agreement among teachers in their beliefs about the

importance of the curriculum knowledge base and subsystems of curriculum in making

instructional decisions.








3. There will be no agreement among principals in their beliefs regarding the

extent to which they utilize the curriculum knowledge base and subsystems of curriculum

in making instructional decisions.

4. There will be no agreement among teachers in their beliefs regarding the

extent to which they utilize the curriculum knowledge base and subsystems of curriculum

in making instructional decisions.

5. There will be no agreement between principals' beliefs regarding the

importance of the curriculum knowledge base and subsystems of curriculum and the

extent to which they utilize the curriculum knowledge base and subsystems of curriculum

in making instructional decisions.

6. There will be no agreement between teachers' beliefs regarding the importance

of the curriculum knowledge base and subsystems of curriculum and the extent to which

they utilize the curriculum knowledge base and subsystems of curriculum in making

instructional decisions.


Significance of the Study

The purpose of the study was to investigate (a) the level of agreement among

elementary principals and among elementary teachers in their ratings of the importance

of the curriculum knowledge base in making instructional decisions and (b) the level of

agreement among elementary principals and among teachers in their ratings of the extent

to which they use the curriculum knowledge base in making instructional decisions.

Given that principals and teachers from across the state are involved in the process of

aligning curriculum to the Sunshine State Standards, this type of study is timely. A

knowledge base enables principals and schools to develop a framework in which to make








informed curriculum decisions. A common knowledge base also serves as a means by

which to establish a common vision among principals and teachers to guide successful

student outcomes, or plan students' learning experiences.

Curriculum knowledge bases relative to curriculum texts were established by

Behar in 1992 (Ornstein & Hunkins, 1998). However, little work has been done since

that time in this area. This study extends the previous research conducted with teachers

by focusing on the implications a curriculum knowledge base has on the role of the

principal. This study extends previous research and examines the role a curriculum

knowledge base plays in actual practice among principals and teachers. This study

determines the extent to which this curriculum knowledge base is common to elementary

principals, and how it is used in making decisions relating to instruction. Lastly, the

study examines the relationship between principal and teacher perceptions of a

curriculum knowledge base.


Limitations

1. This study focuses on elementary principals and teachers in a particular school

district in Florida and cannot be generalized to other school districts.

2. A lack of familiarity with concepts such as curriculum knowledge bases and

curriculum domains may have affected the survey responses.

3. The generalizability of the results are limited to the sample of the respondents

who participate in this study.














CHAPTER 2
REVIEW OF LITERATURE


This study was designed to investigate (a) the level of agreement among

elementary principals and elementary teachers in their ratings of the importance of the

curriculum knowledge base in making instructional decisions, and (b) the level of

agreement among elementary principals and teachers in their ratings of the extent to

which they use the curriculum knowledge base in making instructional decisions.

Since the relationship between the principal, teacher, and curriculum does not

exist in a vacuum, the design of this study requires a general examination and

understanding of the roles of the principal and the teacher, as well as an understanding of

how individuals in these roles view the compendium of curriculum practices associated

with curriculum knowledge bases. The purpose of this chapter is to present a review and

discussion of literature relative to (a) the principal. (b) the teacher, and (c) curriculum.


The Principal

The purpose of this section is to examine (a) the functions, behaviors, and role

that principals are expected to fulfill, (b) the historical perspective of the principal as a

curriculum leader and, (c) the current thinking about the principal as a curriculum leader.


Functions. Behaviors, and Roles of the Principal

The principal must focus on an array of activities and events that influence the

school at any given point in time. By considering the functions, behaviors, and roles of

the principal, a more defined and focused view of the principal can emerge.






13

Administrative functions that relate to what a principal does have been described

by Lunenburg (1995). These functions include planning, organizing, leading, and

monitoring. Planning enables the principal to provide the school and its members with a

sense of direction. The three types of planning processes that typify this function are

operational or short range planning, problem solving, and long range or strategic

planning. Organizing, the second administrative function, entails describing and

delineating the processes that are used for planning implementation. Leading, the third

function, is often referred to as directing or influencing. This administrative function

serves to guide people in the implementation of goals that have been derived from

planning and organizing activities. Leading is distinct from the broad overarching

dimensions of leadership in schools. Leading, in this sense, focuses on the daily

facilitation of groups and individuals in accomplishing tasks, and directly involves

people in the organization through processes. Monitoring, the last function, seeks to

compare what has been planned with what has been accomplished (Lunenburg, 1995).

Proficiencies are the skills and behaviors that a principal needs in order to provide

effective leadership. Examining these proficiencies provides another means by which to

view the role of the principal. The National Association of Elementary School Principals

(1991) identified the following principal behaviors: leadership, supervisory, and

administrative management. Leadership behaviors include leadership functions,

communication skills, and group processes. Taken together, these behaviors serve to

help the principal to create a common purpose, communicate direction, and involve

others in the decision-making process. Supervisory behaviors include activities relative

to curriculum, instruction, performance, and evaluation. An effective instructional leader






14

will recognize the importance of providing students with quality instruction. In addition,

through attention to supervisory behaviors, the principal can develop the instructional

leadership capacity of teachers. Administrative management, the third proficiency, refers

to organizational, fiscal, and political management. These proficiencies recognize that

effective schools operate within an organizational structure that requires management of

various functions.

A cursory examination of the functions and behaviors of the principal can

sometimes promote a reductionist view of that role. In contrast, understanding how

interrelationships between people and events affect behavior, examining cultural norms

and assessing the potential for growth within the school culture can provide a more

holistic way in which to view the role of a principal (Isaacson & Bamburg, 1992). Senge

(1990) described five disciplines that have implications for the role a principal can play

in transforming schools into holistic learning organizations. These disciplines include

systems :hn;l.iiL. which is the use of knowledge and tools to see underlying patterns in

an organization and how they can be changed; personal mastery, which refers to

recognizing the needs individuals have to learn, grow, and create within an organization;

mental models, which refers to the subconscious limits people place on their

understanding of the world; team learning, which describes the learning that takes place

within a group rather than in isolation; and shared vision, which is the emerging of a

vision by those in an organization that truly care about one another and their work. From

these descriptions, Senge contends that school leaders can (a) promote the integration of

the five disciplines, (b) cultivate the emergence of a shared vision and, (c) foster learning

for those within the organization (Senge & Lanno-Kim, 1991).






15

The influence of Senge's work as well as others associated with transformational

leadership such as Larson (1999), Barth (1990), and Jaworski (1998) is indicative of a

movement away from the models of leadership that are managerial and authoritarian in

nature. The transition toward new forms of leadership that are collegial and empowering

in nature requires a reconceptualization of functions, proficiencies, and roles associated

with the principalship. This reconceptualization is reflected by an emphasis on the

development of group processing skills, collaborative leadership styles, participatory

decision making, communication skills, consensus building, and reflective thinking

(Behar-Horenstein, 1995).


A Historical Perspective of the Principal as a Curriculum Leader

There is considerable literature relative to the school and instructional role of the

principal; however, there is little evidence that describes the principal's role as

curriculum leader (Pajak & McAfee, 1992). This finding is notable in light of the

emergent body of research that suggests that student success is integrally related to the

principal's analysis and oversight of curriculum effectiveness. However, why is there so

little information about the principal's role relative to curriculum? Understanding what

role principals have assumed from a historical perspective and an identification of

problems associated with this role can illuminate the complexity of this issue.

As a field of study, curriculum was unrecognized until 1918. Thus, the use of the

word curriculum was not widespread until the late 19"h century. By 1889, the format for

teaching appeared as distinct and separate courses of study. The development of courses

of study resulted in a division of labor known as gradedness. Perhaps it is not

coincidental that a greater emphasis was placed upon curriculum soon after gradedness








was almost completely established. Superintendents were the first proponents of the

standardized curriculum (Tanner & Keefe, 1988). The standardization of curriculum,

administrative, and supervisory practices by superintendents was essential in

accomplishing the purposes of centralization and bureaucratic school governance during

the late 19t" century (Glanz, 1991). Historically, curriculum has been associated with a

document or plan that identified content and methods used for teaching (English, 2000),

although others have suggested that curriculum can also be thought of as a system of

experiences or a field of study (Omstein & Hunkins, 1998). Traditionally, practices

associated with curriculum design and development were centralized in nature. The

responsibility for carrying out these functions existed at the district office and were

generally assigned to a district administrator who supervised curriculum (Pajak &

McAfee, 1992). The district administrator, equipped with information relative to state

curriculum guidelines and occasionally with teachers on release time, developed the

curriculum document. Once developed, the curriculum document was forwarded to the

schools and school principals for implementation by teachers. The district's leadership

role in developing and designing the curriculum was coupled by a lack of involvement by

principals. Underlying this process was the need for control and the division of labor

(Tanner & Keefe, 1988). Tanner and Tanner (1990) found that, "Throughout the

twentieth century, many school administrators, curricularists, and business leaders

continued to embrace the concept of efficiency through a production model of schooling

with all kinds of externally imposed controls" (p. 368). The model was based on three

principles: the specialization of work through the simplification of tasks, the

standardization of processes to coordinate tasks, and performance monitoring. Social







17

analysts contend that the production model of schooling resulted in the separation of the

thinkers from the doers (Behar-Horenstein & Amatea, 1999). As a result, those who

planned the curriculum and emphasized the function of production also assumed

responsibility for emj',li -hiin the rules related to the curriculum. In contrast, the

principal, who by vested authority was charged with ensuring implementation of the

curriculum, was usually not involved in district level initiatives that resulted in the

development of curriculum. Moreover, the teachers, charged with direct service to

instruct the curriculum, were also excluded from the process of curriculum development.

Paralleling the centralized function of curriculum development and design was the

management orientation to the school principalship. Responsibilities associated with this

management orientation included such things as planning, organizing, staffing, directing,

coordinating, reporting, and budgeting (Sergiovanni, 1987). According to Joyce, Wolf,

and Calhoun (1993), during the 1960s and much of the 1970s people at the top designed

curriculum, provided training, and expected implementation. This left principals free to

concentrate on performing fiscal, administrative, and bureaucratic duties outside the

realm of curriculum. Within this context, a system was developed that separated the

principal from curriculum related processes. Historically, relegating the work of

principals to a management paradigm that was mechanistic in nature also perpetuated

other problems that diminished the involvement of the principal in curriculum related

processes. These problems centered around (a) belief systems and values, (b) time, and

(c) clarity of role.

Belief systems and values. Historical inquiry provides an understanding of the

relationship between belief systems, values, and the role of the principal as viewed over








time. Social forces nurtured and eventually shaped the belief systems, as well as values

associated with the principalship. Attention to the role of the school principal grew out of

a social phenomenon occurring at the beginning of the 20'h century in urban areas. Urban

centers gave rise to a dramatic increase in pupil enrollments due to the industrialization of

these areas. The increase in school enrollments necessitated an increase in faculty. This

condition led to the practice of superintendents designating a head teacher to exercise

authority over other faculty members. The position of head teacher eventually became

known as the principal and was the first office in American schools upon which

administrative as well as uper, im:. -r, re~:p..'. : iLlicIi :. were bestowed. The expansion of

enrollments paralleled the expansion of the education bureaucracy with the number of

principals doubling between 1920 and 1930. During this time, the principal's supervisory

and inspectorial duties were broadened to include curriculum development, staff training,

and school community relations. However, due to increasing administrative duties, the

responsibilities associated with the principalship gradually shifted away from curriculum

development and supervision to responsibilities that were more managerial in nature

(Glanz, 1991). During this time, administrative and managerial responsibilities

associated with the position of principal were valued. These beliefs still existed up

through the later part of the 20"h century (Sharp & Walter, 1994). Callahan (1996)

suggests that the N ulnei.lbhi I: of being influenced by the managerial and business

ideologies still exists among school administrators.

The role of curriculum supervisors and curriculum workers evolved during the

1920s and early 1930s. As the role, belief systems, and values of the principalship began

to develop around a managerial and administrative paradigm, supervisors and curriculum








workers defined their roles around activities that were originally relegated to principals.

Thus, during this time curriculum development and supervision of curriculum became an

essential activity of the public school supervisors rather than the principal (Glanz, 1991).

The role of the supervisory and curriculum worker in areas related to curriculum,

instruction, and supervision was enhanced and influenced, to a great extent, by the

theories of democratic and scientific thinking developed by Dewey (1929) and

Hosic (1920). As a result of these influences, supervisors attempted to apply scientific

methods and cooperative problem-solving methods to educational problems

(Pajak, 1993). Efforts to establish a democratic and collaborative relationship between

teachers and supervisors were further reinforced by the prominent superintendent, Jesse

Newlon. Newlon advocated the creation of supervisory councils to work cooperatively

with teachers. Participatory school management and supervision emerged out of the

work of Newlon (Sullivan & Glanz, 2000). The shift away from responsibilities

associated with curriculum, supervision, and instruction and the shift toward activities

that were more managerial and administrative in nature provides one perspective as to

why curriculum development became a function and value associated more with

curriculum supervisors and curriculum workers rather than principals.

As a general rule, principals were not disposed to become involved in school

leadership functions if they did not perceive value in that role. As late as 1978, Vann

(1978) showed that the amount of time principals allocated to curriculum development

may have been related to the relegation of curriculum development to the district level

and also to the relatively low status of this function. Vann's study revealed that

principals placed a relatively low priority on curriculum development and devoted little








time to that area of responsibility. A study conducted by Rosenburg (1980) summarized

that educators looked to principals to assume a major leadership role in the curriculum

development process. However, the study and concurrent literature indicated that the

curriculum leadership role of the principal, in practice, was often less than that advanced

by theorists in curriculum and school administration. Snyder and Anderson (1986)

asserted that in school and district environments that are not collaborative in nature, it

was unlikely that the principal would engage in discussing value questions that centered

around the importance of such things as curriculum leadership.

Time. The time demands faced by the principal have been and continue to be a

factor that contributes to the inability of a principal to assume leadership in the area of

curriculum. The multidimensional jobs of the principal such as building and'fiscal

management, district and community relations, student related services, and educational

programmatic improvement, may make it difficult for a principal to devote quality time

to curriculum leadership. Senge (1999) suggests that the fundamental problem is not the

lack of time, but the lack of time flexibility. The tasks and goals of managing an

organization provide little discretionary time to undertake those activities that may not be

urgent, but are extremely important to an organization. A number of studies have been

conducted that established the functions that should be performed by the principal, rated

their performance to the principal, and then determined the extent of time that was

actually spent on performing these function. Often these findings were measured against

teacher perception of these functions. Studies of teacher's perceptions of the principal as

an instructional leader suggest that principals are instructional leaders. However, some

researchers have concluded that principals fail to exhibit day-to-day instructional








leadership behavior (Smith & Andrews, 1989). A study conducted by Berlin, Kavanagh,

and Jensen (1988) revealed discrepancies between what principals perceive their

curriculum leadership role to be, and what actually occurs in practice. The authors

concluded that day-to-day pressures and responsibilities of the principalship should not

interfere with the principal's curriculum leadership role. In a study involving 82

principals, Seifert and Beck (1981) reported that 82% of the elementary principals stated

that instructional leadership was their top responsibility. However, 73.7% of the

principals also reported that they devoted less than half of their time to activities

associated with instructional leadership. Although principals may be aware of their

curriculum responsibilities, they may hi' e JdlI.ulT. lindjnr_ Ihi time to assume the roles

related to those responsibilities (Glatthor, 1997). Studies that focused on shadowing

principals revealed that they engaged in 149 activities during the day, although most were

only five minutes in duration. In addition, these studies revealed that principals spend

70% to 80% of their time in interpersonal communication with a variety of individuals

(Lunenburg, 1995). Sergiovanni (1987) also recognized the conflict that exists between a

principal's effective job performance and the demands on his time in the following

statement:

The principalship is a moving, dynamic occupation in almost a literal sense; the
rhythm of the job, from arrival at the parking lot to the close of the business day,
is typified by pace and movement, by frequent and abrupt shifts from one concern
to another, and by the excitement pervading any institution dealing with young
people, the principal's job is different from .Lthor mn1.LJ'a ijl positions because it
is essentially an oral occupation, ajob of talking. The principal governs the
school mostly by talking with other people, usually one at a time, throughout the
day. (p. 14)

The issue of time has not only been of historical significance, but is also of

contemporary significance. Doud and Keller (1998) noted that principals have become








increasingly involved with marketing and political activities in order to generate support

for schools and public education. Working with social service agencies, site based

councils, and strategic planning initiatives have resulted in additional assumed

responsibilities for the principal. These additional responsibilities, along with the

responsibilities associated with student assessment, at-risk students, staff development

and retraining, and fiscal management have raised concerns among principals. In a 1998

survey, Doud and Keller observed that principals (N=1,323) expressed concern over the

fragmentation of their time. In a study seeking to understand the demands of principals'

time and the reasons why they leave the position, Barth (1990) reported that excessive

demands, stress, and heavy work load were cited as the top three reasons. Time

management, the multitude of demands that consume the time of the principal, and the

complexity of relationships that are inherent in this role have made it extremely difficult

for many principals to provide the depth of curriculum leadership that is necessary to

effectively carry out this role.

Clarity of role. Although curriculum is a component of the program and services

function (Lunenburg, 1995), the principal's responsibilities as the curriculum leader may

not be clearly delineated. Part of this problem can be attributed to the lack of clarity

regarding the nature of the curriculum leader (Glatthom, 1997). Further complicating

these responsibilities is a lack of clarity between curriculum and its relationship to

instruction and supervision. ".lih. ".Lji -'n members of the field want to clarify the

relationship between curriculum, instruction, and supervision, the descriptions are still in

flux and are fragmented" (Omstein, 1986, p. 74). Omstein & Hunkins (1998) also cited

the lack of certification in the field of curriculum, inconsistency in course offerings, and








minimum requirements for curriculum personnel as issues that cloud an understanding of

curriculum, instruction, and supervision and their relationship to the principalship.

While historically there has been much discussion in curriculum textbooks about

the relationship between curriculum and instruction, recent discussions about the

relationship between curriculum and supervision have declined. Most supervisory texts

portray curriculum as a subset of supervision (Behar-Horenstein & Ornstein, 1999). The

inability to effectively delineate these functions for school leaders may be attributed to

the inability or unwillingness of the curriculum experts to provide direction. Behar-

Horenstein et al. (1999) have suggested that the disparity between research and actual

practice among curriculum professors may exhibit a lack of interest in the practical

curriculum issues that affect the professional lives of school-based personnel. At times,

their penchant for dealing with the esoteric has been at the expense of those issues that

affect the work of principals, and other educators. Glatthom (1997) supports this

contention by suggesting that principals do not receive much help from the curriculum

leadership experts or curriculum literature. Curriculum training that lacks practicality

and relevance from curriculum experts could also be a contributing factor as to why some

principals feel inadequate in curriculum, teaching models, and evaluation processes.

Since the work of curriculum involves people inside and outside of the school, the

parameters of the role may not have been clearly defined. The ability to clearly view the

role of the principal as a curriculum leader may also be dependent on the roles previously

held by the school leader, thus influencing preference for other administrative roles. A

curriculum specialist who assumes the role of principal will probably approach the

curriculum function role differently from a coach, counselor, or noninstructional person








who might also assume the principalship. However, even the view of a curriculum

specialist, one who engages in the design, implementation, or evaluation of curriculum

and who assumes the principalship, may hold different expectations for that role.


Current Thinking About the Principal as a Curriculum Leader

At the present time, there is a great deal of focus and importance placed on

curriculum. The implementation of national goals and state standards, the influence of

professional organizations, an increasing interest in constructivist curriculum, the

development of new approaches in vocational curriculum, and the development of

integrated curricula have brought about a renewed examination of curriculum (Glatthom,

1997). Furthermore, the emphasis on comprehensive educational goals, higher standards,

and standards-based curricula is moving curriculum to the apex of the educational and

political arena (Marzano, Pickering, & McTighe, 1993). The importance and influence of

curriculum has reached far beyond the walls of a school or district office. Abbey (2000)

asserts that educational policy is more often determined by politicians, corporate and

religious leaders, and local power groups than by educators. Slattery (2000) contends

that the relationship between curriculum and the real world is one that is moving beyond

writing behavioral objectives, evaluating with standardized tests, and implementing

school reform. Slattery sees curriculum as moving toward alternative models of learning

that are evolving around nonplanned experiences and inquiry centered approaches.

A well planned curriculum is essential in order to establish quality in what

students learn. To ensure a productive adult citizenry and competitiveness in a global

marketplace, nations, states, communities, school districts, and schools have an

investment in the development of a quality curriculum. Issues that center around







25

curriculum standards, socio-politicization of curriculum, and systemic transformation of

curriculum in schools provide opportunities for the emergence of active school leadership

in relationship to the learning experiences that children are likely to have.

Given the recent emphasis placed on the curriculum, as well as the educational,

political, and social implications that arise from this emphasis, school leaders can play a

pivotal role in guiding and directing work associated with curriculum. More specifically,

the leadership role assumed by the principal in areas relating to curriculum is imperative

if the functions and processes of the school are to result in successful student

achievement.

McAfee (1990) asserts that knowledge, attitudes, and skills define the principal's

behavior as a curriculum leader. Principals who possess curriculum knowledge are well

grounded in child development, curriculum development, curriculum theory, models of

instruction, curriculum research, and subject content (Behar-Horenstein, 1995). Effective

leadership is also a result of principal attitudes that display a willingness to address

curricular problems through collaborative inquiry and ongoing professional development

(Reitzug, 1997). Skills relative to the principal's curricular leadership role include the

ability to set goals and objectives, relate staff development to curriculum needs, monitor

curriculum implementation, and articulate curriculum goals and priorities to the staff and

community (Pajak & lik M\c. 1992). Behar-Horenstein & Omstein (1999) identified

several essential leadership behaviors that could assist principals in having a positive

impact on the quality of teaching and learning experiences within a school. These

behaviors include (a) modeling essential curriculum processes, (b) assisting teachers in

modifying the curriculum to help meet the diverse needs of students, (c) facilitating the








acquisition of essential curriculum practices and skills, (d) encouraging the use of

reflective practice in examining congruence between philosophy of teaching and learning

and their own behaviors, and (e) promoting an understanding of the macrocurriculum and

the implications for interdisciplinary linkages between subjects and content. Assuming

curriculum leadership roles that embody servitude, empowerment, reflection, and

collegiality creates a sense of shared responsibility that can cultivate efficacy of faculty

and staff within a school. In the end, through these behaviors the principal can provide

effective instructional leadership, enhance students" achievement, and promote

meaningful change within a school.

Glatthom (1997) asserts that curriculum leadership is "the exercise of those

functions that enable school systems and their schools to achieve their goal of ensuring

quality in what students learn" (p. 20). In his definition, Glatthor draws a distinction

between functions and roles. Functions serve to define the processes that enable

individuals and systems to accomplish goals. The ultimate goal of this function is to

maximize student learning through ensuring quality content. Although it is understood

that the principal plays an active role in assuming responsibilities associated with

curriculum leadership, Glatthor suggests that others such as teachers, assistant

principals, and supervisors also assume such roles in the pursuit of function.

Using curriculum as a mechanism to provide quality learning experiences may

rest on the ability of the principal to create a collaborative environment that synergizes

principal and teacher leadership. Reitzug (1994) developed a taxonomy of empowering

principal behaviors that include creating supportive environments for critique of

instruction by educators, initiating activities that result in critique of instruction, and








providing opportunities for publishing and acting on the results of critique. Reitzug

contends that collaboration for principals implies not only working with teachers to

critique curriculum and instruction but permitting others to critique principal leadership

practice. In creating a culture of collaboration, Glatthom (1997) recommended that

teachers and the principal analyze the following operational factors together:

(a) personnel resources available from the central office, (b) the extent of curriculum

work at the district level, (c) total responsibilities of the principal, (d) other administrative

help available to the principal, (e) curriculum priorities at the school level, (f) the extent

to which teachers are interested in curriculum leadership, and (g) time and other

resources available to the teachers to ensure a balance between principal and teacher

leadership. The perspectives principals and teachers hold regarding the role of

curriculum can benefit student learning and school improvement if trust and

collaboration are present and nurtured.

A more recent movement regarding curriculum and quality improvement

advocates application of Deming's Total Quality Management principles (cited in

English & Hill, 1994). Deming suggested replacing traditional organizational structures

with a systems view. This view describes the elements of a system as aim, supply, input,

process output, customer, and quality measurement. All elements must work together in

order for improvement to occur within the system (Jenkins, 1997). Such approaches

represent a way of thinking that is rooted in the early scientific movement and behavioral

approach to educational decision making (Omstein & Hunkins, 1998). The systems

approach has implications for creating collaborative relationships between teachers and

the principal through problem solving and decision-making processes associated with








curriculum. In some educational settings, quality managerial processes have been used

by principals to create new organizational structures, as well as provide employee-

centered leadership roles. There is recent evidence that the quality of leadership

processes utilized at the school and classroom level also can contribute to greater

achievement among students and high quality of instruction (Crown Consortium, 1996).


The Teacher

While the principal plays an active role in mobilizing, energizing, and

orchestrating the efforts of others around curriculum, teacher leadership is critical in

influencing curriculum development and student achievement (Glatthor, 1994).

Although one major focus of this study is centered on the importance and extent to which

principals utilize the curriculum knowledge base, another focus of this study is to

consider the perspective of the teacher in relationship to this same focus. The purpose of

this section of Chapter 2 is to examine the (a) role of the teacher, (b) teacher as a

curriculum leader, and (c) sharing of curriculum leadership.


Role of the Teacher

The Old English root of teaching, teacan, means to show, instruct, or to provide

signs or outward expressions of someone who knows. According to Hansen (1995),

teacher refers to someone who leads others to know what they did not know before.

Although teaching is described as a complex act, a substantial body of research on

teaching has attempted to quantify the teaching process. Process-product research that

has represented the mainstream of quantitative research on teaching since 1965 applies

behaviorist psychology in an attempt to construct a scientific basis for teaching (Ross,







29

Cornett, & McCutcheon, 1992). Results of this research often focused on isolated teacher

behaviors, methods, and processes with little regard to the patterns of relationships and

various contexts that comprise the teaching and learning experience of the classroom. A

focus on process variables resulted in an assumption that teacher behavior was sufficient

for describing teaching and learning. This paradigmatic view of teaching provided little

consideration for resulting behavior or performance of students (Ornstein, 1999). Recent

research on teaching has been less quantitative and empirical in nature and more

interpretive. Interpretive research, which has been characterized as studies of classroom

ecology, represents a broad and diverse group of qualitative studies founded in

anthropology and sociology. The key characteristic of interpretive research is that it

views teaching as a highly complex, context-specific, interactive activity that

encompasses the classroom, school, and community (Ross, Cornett, & McCutcheon,

1992). Qualitative and ethnographic research methods generated from field-based

methods and written in narrative form have provided a new paradigm in which to view

the role of the teacher, research that relies on language and dialogue rather than on

mathematical or statistical research. Approaches include those that are used and

advocated by journalists, reconceptualists, critical pedagogists such as metaphors, stories,

biographies and autobiographies, conversations (with experts), reflection, interviews,

case studies, and narratives (Omstein, 1995).

Out of this new paradigm has emerged numerous descriptive traits that describe

the role of the teacher. Gatto (1995) described a teacher as someone who is whole,

recognizably independent, autonomous from curriculum, an independent speaker, and

knowledgeable of self and of the limits and dangers of institutions. Fullan (1993) claims







30

that teachers have a deep substantial personal knowledge of pedagogy and are cognizant

of the relationship between issues, educational policy, and social development. Fullan

(1997) also claims that teachers are people who have independent personal purpose, bring

a sense of vision to the outcome of leading, and work collaboratively. In his model of

pedagogical reasoning and action, Shulman (1999) describes six cyclic activities that

serve as a basis for effective teaching. These activities include comprehension (of

purposes, subject matter structures, ideas inside and outside of a discipline),

transformation (of ideas to meaning), instruction (the observable forms of classroom

teaching), evaluation (checking for student understanding), reflection (reviewing,

reconstructing and reenacting), and new comprehension (consolidation of new

understandings and learning from experience). Eisner (1999) portrays the image of a

teacher within a context that acknowledges teaching as both an art and a craft, but

distinguishes the art of teaching from the craft of teaching. The artistic teacher displays a

willingness to create new forms of teaching that expands their repertoire beyond the craft

of skill level. Through the process of invention, teachers as artists continually create new

moves that expand the quality of educational experiences for the students as well as for

themselves. Hargreaves (1997) asserts that good teaching touches upon emotional

dimensions that go beyond being efficient, developing competence, mastering techniques,

and possessing specialized knowledge. Good teaching involves emotional work that is

infused with pleasure, passion, creativity, challenge, and joy. This emotional dimension

recognizes that good teachers start not only with content knowledge but with feelings

about their students that create intuitive understanding of what will excite and motivate

them. Senge (1990) described the teacher from a perspective of personal mastery. He






31

noted that teachers must continually clarify what is important, learn to see current reality

more clearly, have a strong sense of purpose and mission, and learn to work with change

forces rather than resist them. Cushing. Sabers and Berliner (1999) distinguish the expert

teacher from the novice teacher and suggest that expert teachers, like experts in other

fields, perceive and understand information within the teaching environment differently

from novices. These differences exist relative to perceptions and understanding of

classroom events, the role of classroom instruction, and the notion of typicality within the

classroom environment. Schlechty (1997) views teachers as leaders and teaching as a

leadership profession, and Gardner (1989) states that "Teaching and leading are

distinguishable occupations but every great leader is clearly teaching and every great

teacher is leading" (p. 3).

Studies of teaching characterize it as complex work that is multidimensional and

unpredictable. Teachers constantly juggle the need to create a secure supportive learning

environment while at the same time pressing for academic achievement, attend to the

needs of individual students while paying attention to the demands of the group, and meet

the challenges of developing multiple paths of learning so those students who are at

various places in their learning can move ahead (Darling-Hammond, 1997).

Attempting to define what a teacher does is confounded by many issues. Omstein

(1999) noted that determining what a good teacher does is determined by whether the

perspective is examined from a theoretical or practical perspective. The situational nature

of teaching makes it difficult to attribute the role of the teacher to theory or practice. Is

good teaching a science or an art? Although professional knowledge is grounded in

scientific principles, good teaching requires the use of artistic judgement about the best








ways to teach. Such questions are often relegated to the realm of philosophy: however,

philosophy is a good starting point from which various conceptions of what good teachers

do can be formulated. Behar (1994b), Darling-Hammond (2000). Eisner (1999), and

Schlechty (1997) offer varying but representative conceptions of what good teachers do.

Their conceptions, relative to good teaching, will be reviewed.

The functions, roles, and skills of teaching are numerous. Establishing a

conceptual framework in which to view these responsibilities is essential. Behar (1994b)

identified a compendium of practices that create such a framework. These practices

include curriculum pedagogy, instructional models of teaching, developing goals for all

students, developing a plan for teaching, and facilitating the acquisition of interpersonal

skills. Curriculum pedagogy requires a knowledge of the precise tasks and behaviors that

teachers will perform in the classroom. These include developing quality lessons,

analyzing the types of instructional difficulties students experience, developing an

integrated (macrocurriculum) view of curriculum rather than a compartmentalized view

(microcurriculum), and seeing the relatedness between subjects. Instructional models of

teaching require an understanding of how teaching strategies can be designed to meet a

variety of student needs. Skills associated with instructional models of teaching include

selecting appropriate teaching models and developing learning activities that incorporate

different learning and thinking styles. Developing goals for all students includes the

ability to foster a learning community among diverse learners, visualize outcomes for

students, and recognize the unique characteristics of individuals and subgroups within the

class. A specific skill associated with this competency includes identifying concrete

goals for each student. Developing goals for all students requires teachers to be able to








(a) identify concrete goals for each student, (b) construct visual as well as cognitive

images of students' present ability and skill level. (c) plan and sequence learning

activities, (d) develop flexibility in responding to learners with diverse backgrounds,

(e) assess students' prior knowledge and, (e) analyze how students learn and what

motivates them to learn. Developing a plan for teaching recognizes that planning is

integral to the students' experiencing success. Planning provides the teacher with an

opportunity to reflect on the relationship between objectives and learning activities.

Skills relative to this competency are the understanding of the amount of time needed for

teaching a particular topic and the ability to develop a clearly defined plan of what

students need to know and be able to do at the end of a lesson. Lastly, facilitating the

acquisition of interpersonal skills recognizes the importance of showing respect for the

Jln.r of each student and communicating to students in a way that allows for

meaningful understanding to occur. Skills relative to this competency include

demonstrating empathy, encouraging opportunities for student expression, and

interpreting nonverbal modes of expression.

Understanding what powerful teaching is can lead to an understanding of what

effective teachers do in the classroom. Darling-Hammond (2000) describes powerful

teaching as that which builds on students' knowledge, experiences, conceptions, and

misconceptions. She asserts that effective teachers provide opportunities that allow

two-way pedagogy to occur. Two-way pedagogy is the process in which teachers come

to understand how students think. Reading journal entries, observing and documenting

discussions, and having a student explain something to someone else are all examples of

two-way exchanges that can help teachers understand the reciprocal relationship involved








in learning. Two-way pedagogy requires that teachers observe, analyze, reflect, and

redirect. In this sense, teachers become aware of learning environments that reveal

patterns of thinking and learning. The role of the teacher is often one that requires

flexibility, adaptability, and creativity (Darling-Hammond, 1997).

The theme of teacher as creator is one that is important to consider when

discussing the roles and functions of the teacher. A study conducted by Darling-

Hammond (1997) revealed that 65% of teachers interviewed characterized teaching as an

art rather than a science. Eisner (1999) asserts that the role of the teacher is akin to that

of the artist and craftsman. This analogy is grounded in principles that (a) students do not

merely respond to stimuli as human beings, and they construe situations from multiple

perspectives; (b) powerful educational experiences do not decrease differences in

students (as reflected in diagnostic-prescriptive teaching) but rather increase the

differences; and (c) skilled teaching is based on understanding dynamic patterns rather

than discrete elements. A holistic understanding of the learning process provides

opportunities for teachers to respond in inventive and unique ways rather than in discrete

elements and patterns.

Craftspersons and artists tend to care a great deal about what they do, they get a
great deal of satisfaction from the journey as well as from the destination, they
take pride in their work, and they are among the first to appreciate quality. Is
such an image really inappropriate today? I hope not. I hope such an image
always has a place in our schools. And somehow, just somehow, I think that in
the private, quiet moments of our professional lives, we do too. (Eisner, 1999,
p. 89)

Good teaching requires creative judgement. Schlechty (1997) likens the role of

the teacher to that of an inventor of work. Schlechty asserts that the role of teachers and

administrators is to analyze the work given to students to determine whether desired








qualities and attributes are present in the work. The aim of good teaching is to design or

redesign the work for the purpose of improving the presence of desirable attributes. Ten

attributes related to these qualities were identified. These include (a) product focus,

(b) clear and compelling assessment standards understood by students, (c) protection of

students from suffering adverse consequences should they fail in the learning task,

(d) affirmation of student performances, (e) opportunities to affiliate with others,

(f) presence of novelty and variety within the task structure, (g) opportunities for task

choice, (h) authentic and real-world tasks, (i) knowledge that is structured in clear,

relevant, and accessible ways, and (j) utilization of work that is knowledge based and rich

in substance (Schlechty, 1997). The work qualities comprise a system that is composed

of systemic properties and design resources. Systemic properties include consideration of

elements of culture such as beliefs, meanings, commitments, values, and lore and

traditions as well as elements of structure such as rules, roles, and relationships. Design

resources include the variables of time, people, space, and information, as well as

technology. Teachers must not only design quality work for students, but they must also

design the work within a system that takes into consideration the dynamic forces that

define the teaching and learning environment.


Teacher as a Curriculum Leader

The school structure has traditionally isolated teachers in self-contained

classrooms. As a result, decisions related to what was taught have been made

independently by teachers (English, Frase, & Arhar, 1992). However, a lack of social

interaction deprives teachers of the opportunities to help and seek help from others and

mitigates against the emergence of a collaborative culture.








In isolated settings, teachers come to believe that they alone are responsible for
running their classrooms and that to seek advice or assistance from their
colleagues constitutes an open admission of incompetence. In interpreting and
formulating solutions to classroom problems, teachers realize little benefit from
the advice, experience, or expertise of colleagues with whom they work.
(Sergiovanni, 1987, p. 242).

This structure also serves to nullify the development of collaborative decision-making

processes. Over a quarter of a century ago, Joseph J. Schwab attempted to focus attention

on the contextual nature of curricular decision making. However, his efforts were only

partially successful and the literature regarding the collaborative nature of curriculum

decision making continued to be sparse (Atkins, 1997). Sergiovanni (1997) noted that

school practices often encourage bureaucratic teaching, promote isolation among

teachers, encourage privatism, and discourage social interaction.

More recently, however, recognition of the valuable role teachers play in the

curriculum decision-making process has been associated with work in the area of

organizational leadership. Joyce, Wolf, and Calhoun (1993) described a self-renewing

system that leads to interdependence among teachers, faculties in schools, and the district

office. The largest sphere included individual teachers who work independently with

other faculty members and within the district to build collaborative learning environments

that aim to nurture the growth of everyone in the organization. This system also

promotes changes in cultural patterns and roles. Teachers become reflective practitioners

and continually work to improve curriculum and expand their teaching tools and

knowledge.

Schlechty (1997) asserts that teaching is not a service delivery profession but

rather a leadership profession. He contends that teachers, like other leaders, must base








their success on what they have caused others to do. As leaders, he advocates that teacher

behavior should be understood in terms of theories of leadership.

Empowering teachers with leadership opportunities that renew an organization

through decision-making processes encourages a personal sense of growth and self-

actualization. Barth (1990) noted that teacher growth was closely related to pupil growth.

Furthermore, he asserted that nothing had more impact on students in terms of skills,

development, self-confidence, or classroom behavior than the personal and professional

growth of their teachers. The opportunity to work collaboratively with others in areas

central to the work, such as curriculum, enables teachers to exercise leadership, catalyzes

personal as well as professional growth, and enriches the culture of the school. The

processes also brings multiple perspectives, collective expertise, and support to the

decision-making process (Glatthom, 1997).


Sharing Curriculum Leadership

The prominent view of the principal and teacher relationship has been one that

values principal knowledge and essentially marginalizes teacher knowledge. A more

contemporary notion views the interaction between the principal and teacher as that of

collaborative inquirers (Reitzug, 1997).

Developing a spirit of collaborative inquiry within a school for the purpose of

making informed curriculum decisions requires attentiveness and appreciation of group

dynamics, cultural norms, and influences that are both internal and external to the

organization. The role of the principal and teacher can be significantly influenced by an

organizational and sociopolitcial context. With regard to exhibiting curriculum

leadership, this process is also influenced by the research enterprise. For example, the








ways in which the curriculum field assists practitioners have not always addressed these

myriad of factors that influence the context in which curriculum decision making occurs.

Furthermore, although the field is engaging more scholars in significant curriculum work

and understanding curriculum phenomena at the local site level, there is a question as to

whether their work addresses the knowledge needs of practitioners (Short, 1991).

Formulating the context to permit informed decision making within a process of

collaborative curriculum leadership can be realized by utilizing a curriculum knowledge

base comprised of domains and practices that establishes a framework for curriculum

development, staff development, and evaluation (Behar, 1994b). In this sense, the

relationship between teacher, principal, and school improvement is nurtured through a

consensual agreement of the domains and practices that benefit the field and the student.

Collaboration between the principal and the teacher in the area of curriculum can

result in shared leadership as well as further the aims and goals of school improvement.

Collaboration between curriculum scholars and practitioners in the field can also

endeavor to promote the same purposes. Curriculum scholars can provide assistance to

practitioners and can shed light on the relationship between theoretical concepts and

practice. To do so requires an essential core of knowledge that can be used as a basis for

understanding and application of the delivery of curriculum. Curriculum practices and

knowledge bases can create a common language not only between the principal and

teacher but also between scholars and practitioners that sustains dialogue and provides

opportunities for shared leadership. Promoting understanding, inquiry, and dialogue

relative to curriculum practice is essential to sharing the role of curriculum leadership.









Curriculum

Curriculum is used as an umbrella to describe the teaching, learning, instructional,

and evaluative processes that occur in the classroom. Principals and teachers can

maximize the leadership role they play when they are knowledgeable of their field.

Curriculum represents an increasingly important part of an educational field that exists

within the realm of the principalship. How does one define the knowledge of a particular

field? The knowledge of a field can be defined and conceptualized through a professional

knowledge base.

The purpose of this section of chapter two is to examine (a) paradigms of

curriculum, (b) curriculum knowledge bases, (c) domains of curriculum, and (d) domains

and subsystems of curriculum for this study.


Paradigms of Curriculum

Presently, there are two dominant paradigms, or views, to interpret curriculum.

One view consists of the modern conception of curriculum, which includes traditional

and contemporary viewpoints. The other view consists of a perspective known as

postmodern. The modem and postmodern views of curriculum embody several

interpretations, which shed light on how scholars have viewed the purpose of curriculum.

Behar-Horenstein (2000) has provided an overview of representative paradigmatic

perspectives and has cited several curriculum scholars and their respective interpretations

of curriculum. From a modernist perspective, curriculum has been interpreted as a plan,

content, subject matter, experience, and as a field of study. From a postmodern

perspective, curriculum has been described as evolving or nonplanned experiences.

Influences that have shaped each definition are numerous. Influences on the modern








paradigm are derived from public perceptions of what schools should be, memories of

what schools were, social expectations, accountability movements, standardized tests, and

metaphors of schools as a factory (Behar-Horenstein, 2000). Many fields, including

critical theory, hermeneutics, existentialism, neo-Marxism, chaos theory, feminism, and

multiculturalism have influenced the postmodern paradigms (Wraga, 1996). Each of

these paradigmatic views contribute to an understanding of the field of curriculum.

However, affiliation by scholars to one view or another has resulted in a lack of synthesis

of ideas within the field and, more recently, missed opportunities in which to shift the

direction of the field toward the issues and concerns of practitioners (Hlebowitsh, 1993).


Curriculum Knowledge Bases

A knowledge base is the body of common information that defines a field.

Through the identification of essential knowledge, practices, and research, a knowledge

base provides a framework in which informed decisions can be made. Relevant

knowledge within a field is organized and unified through the framework of a

professional knowledge base (Galluzzo & Pankratz, 1990).

Historically, little progress has been made in organizing and structuring existing

curriculum knowledge. The amount of information representing the curriculum field is

vast and diverse. Diversity of information can enrich a field or it can serve to obscure it.

Rosales-Dordelly and Short (1985) noted, "The status of the body of curriculum

knowledge has been described by scholars in the field as amorphous, diffuse, incoherent,

and fragmentary" (p. 22).

Rogan and Luckowski (1990) attribute the lack of structure in the field of

curriculum to a lack of consensus on agreed upon categories of knowledge. They also








cite the particular curricular orientation of numerous curriculum authors as reasons for

the lack of coherence in the field. Furthermore, they note that most disciplines clearly

identify the body of knowledge future practitioners must master prior to practice. Thus,

the sequence of understanding and mastery of a discipline proceeds from theory to

practice. However, their analysis of understanding of curriculum texts revealed that there

was no such definitive body of knowledge. Rogan and Luckowski claim that many

students of curriculum (elementary and secondary teachers) already considered

themselves practitioners in a field that has not yet defined for them its knowledge base.

Ornstein & Hunkins (1998) assert that confusion and fragmentation occur in the field

because of the numerous values, choices, options, personal reflections, and perspectives

that exist in different contexts.

In spite of the absence of an agreed upon knowledge base, efforts have been

made to conceptualize the knowledge that is representative of the field of curriculum

(Short, 1973). Short classified knowledge into two types of professional knowledge,

personal and public. Personal knowledge comprises a professional's repertoire of

specialized knowledge and is acquired through practical experience. Personal knowledge

takes place in personal educational settings and is gained through day-to-day experiences

that require action and decision making. Short categorizes public knowledge by status,

scope, structure, and references. Public knowledge is acquired through such activities as

reading, inquiry, and discussion and can be transmitted over time and space to others.

The conceptualization of professional knowledge bases has been most prevalent in

the field of teacher education. Gideonse (1989) conceptualized knowledge bases

pertinent to teacher education programs. Topical, research domains, and personological








were the categories used by Gideonse. Topical refers to organizing knowledge around

such classical categories as curriculum, instruction, classroom and behavior management,

individual differences, and subjects. Research domains reference the categorization of

domain areas such as effective teaching, language of the classroom, planning, decision

making, effects of context on teaching, and effective schools research. The

personological framework reflects the thoughts and ideas that are contributed by

researchers and scholars in the field. Gideonse attests to the importance of a knowledge

base in teacher education: "In summary, establishing the knowledge bases underpinning

teaching and teacher education defines the extent and depth of any special authority we in

teacher education have to participate in the initial preparation of future teachers" (p. 12).

Galluzzo and Pankratz (1990) advocated the use of knowledge bases in teacher

education program design. They have identified five essential attributes that comprise a

program knowledge base for teacher education: (a) a philosophy and beliefs,

(b) organizing theme, (c) program outcomes and evaluation processes that are consistent

with beliefs and the organizing theme, (d) a bibliography of essential knowledge, and

(e) a program model. Philosophy and beliefs centered around the role of the teacher in

relation to educational practice, research on teaching, and contemporary issues. The

organizing theme was designed to reflect the purpose of the program that is gained

through faculty collaboration. Program outcomes described the knowledge skills and

qualities that a teacher should posses. A bibliography of essential knowledge was a

compilation of the source documents agreed upon by faculty members that represent

knowledge inherent in the program. Finally, the program model was a graphic

illustration that conceptualizes the components of the model.








Any attempt to identify a knowledge base involves evaluation, judgement, and

choice. These are qualities that comprise values. Thus, any attempt to create a

knowledge base in a particular field gives rise to the influences of values

(Gudmundsdottir, 1990). However, it is only through evaluation, judgement, and choice

that clarity in purpose and practice in a field can be attained. Whether it is within the

teaching profession or within the principalship, the goal of clarity and purpose is

achieved through a well defined and agreed upon knowledge base.

A well defined and agreed upon knowledge base serves little purpose unless there

is a means by which to provide access to practitioners to that knowledge base. For that

reason, it is important to consider the role of knowledge bases as well as other specialized

forms of knowledge that serve to (a) guide curriculum pedagogy, (b) assist students of

curriculum in the construction of curriculum knowledge, and (c) help create

comprehensive programs of professional study (Behar-Horenstein et al., 1999).

Guiding curriculum pedagogy. Curriculum knowledge bases serve to guide the

processes of learning, teaching, and instruction. Within these processes exist curricular

conceptions, language, teaching skills, and behaviors that comprise the field. Those who

understand key curricular conceptions associated with knowledge bases and who can

utilize the language of the field and are knowledgeable of the skills and behaviors will be

better equipped to meet the realities of the classroom and the needs of students.

Developing quality lesson plans, analyzing instructional difficulties, seeing the

relatedness of curriculum through a macrocurriculum view, and developing instructional

models that correspond to students' learning systems are all essential skills that help








create connections between student experiences and knowledge base pedagogy (Behar-

Horenstein et al., 1999).

Construction of curriculum knowledge. The field of curriculum is diverse and

complex. The disconnects in the field of curriculum are often associated with the

overabundance of curriculum definitions, unclear beliefs relative to why a particular

definition is embraced, and a vagueness of how leadership roles contribute to the

application of practice. Helping students of curriculum create personal meaning

regarding what curriculum is, assisting them in identifying beliefs that are associated with

the meaning of curriculum, and helping them to identify their role as curriculum leaders

in a school and the field are important in helping to transform curriculum theory to

practice. This can be accomplished through active learning experiences that take the

form of reflective joumaling, interviewing, and observing those in curriculum leadership

positions, engaging in discussion relative to key curriculum issues, analyzing and

critiquing curriculum frameworks, and abstracting information from curriculum articles

(Behar-Horenstein et al., 1999).

Comprehensive programs of professional study. Guiding curriculum pedagogy

and assisting students in the construction of curriculum knowledge from knowledge bases

are of little use if there are no agreed upon standards relative to curriculum competencies

and certification. Omstein and Hunkins (1998) note that the lack of certification

contributes to the problems of defining and conceptualizing the field. Behar and Omstein

(1992) advocate a compendium of competencies that could be used as a framework to

guide program development and certification. Identifying common knowledge, language,

and practices associated with a field are critical in helping knowledge bases become a

tool that informs and guides practice.








Domains of Curriculum

Domains of curriculum provide a description for conceptualizing and structuring a

field of study. They also describe specific activities relative to a particular field

(Behar, 1994a). Omstein and Hunkins (1998) defined domains as the internal boundaries

in the curriculum field. "Whereas the foundations of curriculum represent the external

boundaries of the field, the domains of curriculum define the internal boundaries, or

accepted knowledge, of the field that can be derived from textbooks, articles, and

research papers" (p.15).

There has b,-ci iil aJren,n.it .ii. 'r, experts in identifying domains that

represent the curriculum field. Orstein and Hunkins (1998) noted that George

Beauchamp divided curriculum knowledge into planning, implementing, and evaluation,

while Fenwick English viewed curriculum in terms of ideological (philosophical-

scientific), technical (design), and operational (managerial) issues. MacDonald (as cited

in Rosales-Dordelly & Short, 1985) considered three fundamental questions as a basis for

defining a domain. These questions were the following: What can be learned? What is

learned? Why is it learned or not learned? MacDonald described a domain of curriculum

as the conceptual theory that encompasses the realities that are relevant for providing

explanations to those questions.

A study by Rosales-Dordelly and Short in 1985 investigated the similarity of

curriculum knowledge of higher education general curriculum professors who taught

precollege curriculum courses in curriculum development, theory, design, and policy. In

the study, 95 general curriculum professors in the United States and Canada responded to









a questionnaire that requested observations relative to three questions dealing with 36

selected curriculum references. These observations were (a) how they understand and

classify them into various domains of curriculum knowledge, (b) in what contexts of their

academic work they use them, and (c) what qualitative descriptors they apply to these

references. The conceptual framework that emerged identified eight domains of

curriculum knowledge. These domains included policy making, development and

evaluation, change and enactment, decision-making modes (as a field of activity or

study), forms of inquiry, languages for inquiry, and questions directing inquiry. Four

contexts of use (teaching, program planning, research, and consulting) and four

descriptors (uniqueness, contemporary relevance, conceptual clarity, and subject to

criticism) were also identified in their study.

Although the general curriculum professors' specialized body of knowledge

varied, the results of the study indicated that there were similarities in these professors'

understanding, use, and judgement of significant curriculum references. However, the

study also revealed significant gaps that existed in selected references containing

specialized curriculum knowledge. The general curriculum professors also had difficulty

in classifying the main contents of the references by domains of the curriculum activity,

in selecting the descriptors applied to them, and in reporting the contexts in which they

were used. In summary, this study revealed tremendous gaps in certain kinds of

knowledge within the curriculum field (Rosales-Dordelly & Short, 1985).

Rogan and Luckowski (1990) recognized the importance of textbooks as an

informal means in which to measure the degree of domain consensus. In their study, they








sought to identify the degree of common content existing within the selected texts. In

addition, they wanted to explore whether curriculum texts tend to identify with a

particular orientation and to what degree do they consistently adhere to that orientation in

the text presentation. For the study, they selected nine books that were in print and were

widely used. From an analysis of the texts, common themes emerged. These included

paradigms, conceptions of the curriculum, history, and politics. However, an analysis of

the texts revealed that the field was devoid of essential knowledge.

Previous to 1992, all studies associated with the domains of curriculum lacked

empirical evidence and were qualitative in nature. In addition, these studies examined

texts that were published prior to 1970 (Behar, 1992). Linda Behar was the first to

quantify curriculum domains and curriculum practices through an empirical study

involving curriculum texts and curriculum practices. In her study, 49 curriculum

practices were validated and then rated in importance by Professors of Curriculum.

"Behar's work helped to establish recommended content for curriculum texts" (Omstein

& Hunkins, 1998, p. 16). Beauchamp (1981) identified a curriculum model, known as

subsystems of curriculum, that provided a framework for what would be taught in

schools, how it would be taught, and how it would be assessed. Subsystems of

curriculum are instruction, supervision, and evaluation (Behar, 1992).


Domains and Subsystems of Curriculum for this Study

The domains of curriculum for this study were those identified by Behar (1992)

and selected through the content analysis of textbooks published between 1970-1990.

The domains included for this study are (a) curriculum philosophy, (b) curriculum theory,

(c) curriculum research, (d) curriculum history, (e) curriculum development,








(f) curriculum design, (g) curriculum evaluation, (h) curriculum policy, and

(i) curriculum as a field of study. This study also utilized three subsystems of curriculum

identified by Beauchamp (1981). The subsystems of curriculum include instruction,

supervision, and evaluation. As broad conceptualizations of curriculum, these domains

and subsystems of curriculum were used as a basis for determining the curriculum

practices used by elementary principals in their leadership role. These domains and

subsystems served as a basis in determining the agreement between teachers and

elementary principals as to what constitutes a knowledge base of curriculum.


Summary

Understanding the context of curriculum leadership is critical to promoting

effective instructional leadership. Curriculum leadership and the role of the principal are

inextricably interwoven within the systems that define both instructional and school

leadership.

A historical perspective of curriculum leadership relative to the principalship

illuminates how the principal has been systematically disassociated from the role of

curriculum leader. The problems confronting school principals in discharging

responsibilities associated with curriculum have also been discussed. Although problems

that center around belief and values systems, time, and clarity of role serve to impede

principals from assuming curriculum leadership roles, the importance of their role as

curriculum leaders cannot be understated. A redefining of the functions, roles, and goals

of the principalship, as well as forces that have moved curriculum to the forefront of the

educational, political, and social arenas have served to shape views of the principal's role

as a curriculum leader.








An understanding of the roles and practices of the teacher is dependent upon the

philosophical and theoretical perspective in which these functions are viewed. Teaching,

like the principalship, is influenced by a variety of approaches, sources, and historical

foundations. Conceptual frameworks help to delineate and describe the purpose and

process of teaching. A reexamination of the role of the principal and teacher within the

school environment has revealed an interdependent relationship that is of mutual benefit.

The proximity of teachers to the delivery point of curriculum, their ability to observe its

effects, and the realization that their voices enhance the curriculum decision-making

process adds legitimacy to the need for a collaborative relationship between the teachers

and the principal.

Curriculum and the processes associated with the development, design,

implementation, and evaluation of curriculum play a critical role in school improvement

efforts and in determining the quality of learning experiences for students. Knowledge

bases within a field such as curriculum can serve to better define the essential knowledge,

practices, and research of the field. Knowledge bases and a description of activities

associated with knowledge bases (domains) can serve as a framework in making

informed decision about curriculum. A review of literature regarding knowledge bases

and domains of curriculum reveals a persistent lack of agreement regarding what

constitutes a common knowledge base. However, recent studies quantifying curriculum

domains and practices may help to establish agreement among practitioners.














CHAPTER 3
METHODOLOGY


Introduction

The purpose of this study was to investigate (a) the level of agreement among

elementary principals and among elementary teachers in their ratings of the importance of

the curriculum knowledge base in making instructional decisions and (b) the level of

agreement among elementary principals and among teachers in their ratings of the extent

to which they use the curriculum knowledge base in making instructional decisions. This

chapter provides (a) a description of the research method, (b) a description of the subjects

and sample, (c) a review of the pilot study, (d) background of the research instrument,

(e) validity and reliability of the research instrument, (e) a description of the data

collection procedure, (f) a description of data processing, and (g) data analysis relative to

the research questions.

The various outcomes associated with this study provide stakeholders at the

elementary level with information relative to the importance of curriculum knowledge

bases and the extent to which the knowledge bases are used in making curriculum

decisions in a school system located in central Florida. The results of this study lead to a

more refined process of decision making among teachers and principals, clear curriculum

conceptions, an increase in the skillful use of curriculum pedagogy, and more supportive

learning experiences for students.








Research Method

The research method used for this investigation is one that is descriptive in

nature. Descriptive research, a form of quantitative research, involves the careful

description of educational phenomena. An accurate description, or an explanation of

what the phenomenon initially is, provides researchers with the prerequisite knowledge

with which to conduct other forms of quantitative research. Measures used for

descriptive research may include standardized achievement tests, observation

instruments, attitude scales, and interview schedules (Gall, Borg, & Gall, 1996).

Surveys, a form of attitude scale, are undertaken within a research method that utilizes

comparison groups. Survey results can be advantageous in education and behavioral

science research (Tuckman, 1999) because they provide a means to describe the nature

and extent of data that ranges from frequencies to attitudes and questions. Information

ascertained from survey research can be used to (a) answer questions, (b) solve problems

that have been posed or observed, (c) assess needs and establish goals, (d) establish

baselines for future comparisons, and (e) generally describe what exists, in what amount,

and in what context (Isaac & Michael, 1995). A survey of curriculum practices was used

for this study.

Research involving survey designs is (a) systematic, (b) representative,

(c) objective, and (d) quantifiable. A survey design is systematic when there is sufficient

content coverage and sound and efficient data collection occurs. A representative survey

design closely reflects the population and utilizes scientific sampling techniques. Survey

designs that are objective and quantifiable insure that the data is observable and explicit

and can be expressed in numerical terms (Isaac & Michael, 1995). Standards of reliability








and validity that are associated with other data collection methods must also be met in

survey designs (Gall, Borg, & Gall, 1996). Survey designs do have limitations. The

risks of surveys include (a) obtaining the use of participants who are accessible and

cooperative, (b) vulnerability to over-rater and under-rater bias, (c) arousal of response

sets, and (d) the potential for illicit biased reactions due to the characteristics of the items

(Issac & Michael, 1995). For this study, the survey research responses were assumed to

be authentic and representative of the participants actual beliefs.

This study's survey utilized a 5-point Likert scale to measure teachers' and

principals'ratings of the importance and utilization of a curriculum knowledge base on a

previously validated instrument (Behar, 1992). A Likert scale is one form of scaled

response measure. Using responsive statements, a Likert scale measures an individual's

attitude, belief, or disposition toward a particular person, thing, or idea (Tuckman, 1999).

Attitudes are comprised of three components. These include (a) an affective component,

which assesses the individual's feelings about an idea or the level of agreement among

individuals; (b) a cognitive component, which assesses beliefs or knowledge about the

attitude object; and (c) a behavioral component, which assesses how an individual will

act toward the attitude object (Gall, Borg & Gall, 1996). While the survey instrument

used for this investigation fulfilled all three of these components, the cognitive aspect of

the closed-ended Likert survey relates to the participants' ratings of importance, and the

behavioral component closely relates to the participants' ratings of the extent utilized.


Description of the Subjects and Sample

This investigation was conducted in a medium sized, semi-rural school district in

central Florida. The district is comprised of 20 schools, including 10 elementary. The 10








elementary schools serve students from prekindergarten through grade 5. For this

investigation, teachers from grades kindergarten through grade 5 were selected. Two

sample groups participated in this study. One group was comprised of the 10 elementary

principals (n=10). The second group was comprised of 178 (n=178) kindergarten

through grade 5 teachers who were randomly selected from a population of 281 (n=281)

elementary teachers. From this sample, 132 (n=132) teachers responded to the

questionnaire.


Demographics of the Principals

Demographic information was obtained from principals through the use of a

demographic survey (see Appendix A). All principals who were participating in this

study hold state certification in the area of Educational Leadership. Seven of the 10

principals had former experience as curriculum specialists in the district. The

demographics of the principals as depicted on Table 3-1 include (a) number of years in

the principalship, (b) the last degree earned, (c) gender, and (d) race.

Table 3-1 illustrates the frequency and percent of years of experience for the

principals. Thirty percent (n=3) of the principals have 2 or less years of experience, 30%

(n=3) have 3 to 5 years of experience, 30% (n=3) have 10 to 16 years of experience, and

10% (n=l) have 24 years of experience. The minimum years of experience was 1 year,

while the maximum years of experience for the principal group was 24 years. The mean

years of experience was 8.3. As shown in this table, 90% (n=9) of the principals

obtained a masters degree, while 10% (n=l) of the principals earned a specialists degree.

Gender of the principals was 30% male and 70% female. The ethnicity/race of the

principals in this study were 80% white and 20% African American.








Table 3-1
Demographic Characteristics of Principals (N=10)

Characteristic n

Number of years in the Principalship (N=10)

2 or less 3

3-5 3

10-16 3

24

Last Degree Earned by Principals (N=10)
Masters 9

Specialist 1

Total 1

Gender of the Principals (N=10)

Male 3

Female 7

Total 10

Ethnicity/Race of the Principals (N=10)
White 8

Black 2

Total 10



Demographics of the Teachers

The demographics reported for the teachers included (a) grade level assigned to

teacher, (b) years of teaching experience, (c) area of certification, (d) last degree earned,

(e) gender, and (f) race. Demographic information was obtained from the teachers

through the use of a demographic survey (see Appendix B).








As shown in Table 3-2, kindergarten teachers comprised 12.1% of the sample,

while first grade and second grade teachers comprised 24% and 26%, respectively. Third

grade, fourth grade, and fifth grade teachers comprised 23%, 22%, and 21%,

respectively. The range of years of experience of those teachers included 22% with 1 to

5 years of experience, 19.9% with 6 to 9 years of experience, 35.6% with 10 to 19 years

of experience, and 23.5% with over 20 years of experience. The minimum number of

years of experience was less than 1, while the maximum years of experience for the

teacher sample was 34. The mean years of experience was 12.98. The certification of

the teachers in this sample included 6.8% (N=9) certified in early childhood, 92.4%

(N=122) certified in elementary education, and .08% (N=1) certified in special education.

As depicted, 53% (N=70) of the teachers have earned a bachelors degree, 44.7% (N=59)

a masters degree, and 2.3% (N=3) a specialist degree. Males comprised 7.6% (N=10) of

the sample while females comprised 92.4% (N=122) of the sample. The ethnicity/race of

this teacher sample included 94.7% (N=125) white, 4.5% (N=6) African American, and

.8% (N=I) Hispanic.


Sample Size

The ability to reveal hypothesized differences is dependent upon obtaining a

sufficient sample size (Gall, Borg, & Gall, 1996). A sufficient sample size from the

teacher population is used in this study to render statistics that are within an acceptable

level of confidence. Sixty-three percent (n=178) of the overall teacher population was

randomly selected for the sample. From the sample of 178 teachers, 132 responded to

the survey. This represents a return rate of 74.1%. While a high return rate for teachers

was achieved, participants who did not respond indicated that time demands related to








Table 3-2
Demographic Characteristics of Teachers (N=132)


Characteristic n %

Grade level assigned to teachers (N=132)
Kindergarten 16 12.1
First Grade 24 18.2
Second Grade 26 19.7
Third Grade 23 17.4
Fourth Grade 22 16.7
Fifth Grade 21 15.9
Total 132 100
Years of experience of the teachers (N=132)
1-5 29 22
6-9 25 18.9
10-19 47 35.6
20+ 31 23.5
Total 132 100
Area of certification of the teachers (N=132)
Early Childhood 9 6.8
Elementary Ed. 122 92.4
Special Education 1 0.8
Total 132 100
Last degree earned by the teachers (N=132)
Bachelors 70 53
Masters 59 44.7
Specialists 3 2.3
Total 132 100
Gender of the teacher (N=132)
Male 10 7.6
Female 122 92.4
Total 132 100








Table 3-2--continued

Characteristic n n %

Ethnicity/race of the teachers (N=132)
White 125 94.7
African American 6 4.5
Hispanic 1 0.8
Total 132 100


end of the year activities made it difficult to complete and return the survey. The sample

of principals was comprised of all the elementary principals (N=10) in the school district.

All of the principals responded to the survey.


Confidentiality Protection

The confidentiality of each survey respondent was maintained through the use of

anonymous surveys and questionnaires. To guarantee confidentiality protection, rosters

were numbered and participants were provided with self-addressed envelopes to facilitate

return of the survey and demographic questionnaire. All data pertaining to the

investigation was coded and entered into an SPSS-PS data file. The program was

protected by a password to further protect confidentiality.


Review of the Pilot Study

Studies benefit from running pilot tests on research-constructed or instruments

that lack evidence of reliability and validity. A pilot test is administered to individuals

who are part of the intended population but are not part of the sample. A pilot test assists

the researcher in determining whether questionnaire items achieve appropriate quality of

measurement and discrimination (Tuckman, 1999).






58

Although the survey instrument that was utilized in this study was validated in a

previous study by Linda Behar (1992), results of the pilot study for this research effort

indicated the need for some modifications to the survey instrument. Adaptions as

described below were made to the instrument for the purpose of this study. The modifier

"to" was added to each survey statement (i.e., to establish a primary focus for subject

matter). The wording of the first survey item was changed from "Reflecting upon

schools of thought including perennialism, essentialism, progressivism, reconstructivism,

and existentialism" to "To determine a particular philosophy of education." Permission

was obtained from Dr. Linda Behar-Horenstein to make these modifications.


Data Collection Procedure

Permission to conduct this study was obtained from the district school

superintendent (see Appendix C). A letter explaining the study and asking for

cooperation was hand delivered to each school principal (see Appendix D.) A data

collection packet was developed for each respondent (teacher and principal) and included

(a) a cover letter explaining the purpose of the investigation (see Appendix E), (b) an

informed consent letter (see Appendix F), (c) a closed-ended Survey of Curriculum

Practice with instructions (see Appendix G), (d) a demographic questionnaire, and (e) a

self-addressed envelope. A response was requested within 18 days. A follow-up cover

letter and survey instrument was sent to those who did not respond within the allotted

time-frame.

The principal (N=10) and teacher (N=178) groups were asked to respond to a

closed-ended Likert survey instrument. Based on their opinion, the participants ranked

the importance of each curriculum practice and the extent to which they used the








curriculum practice in the decision-making processes related to curriculum. Participants

were also asked to rate the importance of the curriculum practice using the following

5-point scale: 5 = very important, 4 = important, 3 = some importance, 2 = fairly

unimportant, 1 = very unimportant. Participants were also asked to rate the extent to

which they used the curriculum practice in the decision-making process using the

following 5-point scale: 5 = very frequently, 4 = fairly frequently, 3 = somewhat

frequently, 2 = fairly infrequently, 1 = very infrequently.


Description of Data Processing


Scoring and Weighing of Curriculum Practices

Each of the domain categories (curriculum philosophy, curriculum theory,

curriculum research, curriculum history, curriculum development, curriculum design,

curriculum evaluation, curriculum policy, and curriculum as a field of study) and the

subsystem categories (instruction, supervision, and evaluation) was comprised of at least

four items. The domain and subsystem categories were not identified by name and each

of the survey items were intermixed. All statistical analysis for this investigation was

completed by SPSS version 10 statistical software. Internal consistency estimates were

calculated to determine separate coefficient alphas for the teacher and principal groups.

An alpha level of .05 was used to determine the significance of the statistical findings

related to this study. Correlations among principal and teacher groups regarding the

importance and extent utilized components were calculated by using the Spearman rank

order correlation procedure. These correlations were calculated for individual survey








items as well as for the subscales within the curriculum domains and subsystems. For

statistical purposes, each item was given equal weight.

The alpha coefficients and Spearman rank order correlations were entered into a

spreadsheet so that individual item responses could be rank ordered from weakest to

strongest. Demographic features of the respondents by the teachers and principals were

summarized by using descriptive statistics.


Parametric Versus Nonparametric Statistics

Kerlinger (1986) recommended that nonparametric measures be utilized when

results cannot be assumed to be from a normal distribution, population variances cannot

be assumed to be homogeneous, and samples cannot be assumed to represent the

population. The use of parametric statistics is based on the assumption that the scores

being analyzed are derived from a measure that has equal intervals. Most continuous

measures meet this criterion. However, measures that yield categorical, or rank scores,

do not have equal intervals, and so one of the nonparametric statistics should be used for

data analysis (Gall, Borg, & Gall, 1996). Nonparametric statistics will be used in this

study. However, it is important to describe the conditions that determine the application

of parametric and nonparametric statistics.

The use of parametric statistics is dependent upon a number of assumptions that

pertain to the population from which the samples are drawn. When utilizing

nonparametric statistics, there are no assumptions as to the sample population (Kerlinger,

1986). Kerlinger noted that parametric statistics adhere to the following conditions:

(a) the sample is assumed to be drawn from populations that are normally distributed,

(b) there is an assumption that the analysis of variances within the groups are statistically








the same, (c) measures to be analyzed are continuous measures with equal intervals, and

(d) observations are independent of each other.

According to Siegel and Castellan (1988), nonparametric tests are utilized when

the following conditions exist: (a) when a small sample size exists and a parametric

statistical procedure may not be applicable, (b) when fewer assumptions about the data

are required by the study, (c) when data are measured in ranks, (d) when nonparametric

statistical tests are available to analyze data that are categorical such as nominal data, and

(e) when samples made up of observations are from several populations.

The Curriculum Practices Survey instrument will generate ordinal data. As a

result, nonparametric statistical tests will be used.


Data Analysis Relative to Research Questions

The research questions and corresponding data analysis techniques for this study

are as follows:


Research Question One

What is the level of agreement among principals in their beliefs about the

importance of the domains and subsystems of curriculum in making instructional

decisions? To address this question, Cronbach's alpha correlation coefficient was used.


Research Question Two

What is the level of agreement among teachers in their beliefs about the

importance of the domains and subsystems of curriculum in making instructional

decisions? To address this question, Cronbach's alpha correlation coefficient was used.








Research Question Three

What is the level of agreement among principals in their beliefs regarding the

extent to which they utilize the domains and subsystems of curriculum in making

instructional decisions? To address this question, Cronbach's alpha correlation

coefficient was used.


Research Question Four

What is the level of agreement among teachers in their beliefs regarding the

extent to which they utilize the domains and subsystems of curriculum in making

instructional decisions? To address this question, Cronbach's alpha correlation was used.


Research Question Five

What is the level of agreement between principals' beliefs regarding the

importance of the domains and subsystems of curriculum and the extent to which they

utilize the curriculum knowledge base and subsystems of curriculum in making

instructional decisions? To address this question, the Spearman rank-order correlation

was used.


Research Question Six

What is the level of agreement between teachers' beliefs regarding the importance

of the domains and subsystems of curriculum and the extent to which they utilize the

domains and subsystems of curriculum in making instructional decisions? To address

this question, the Spearman rank-order correlation was used.














CHAPTER 4
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION


Research procedures are conducted for the purpose of generating new knowledge

to resolve inconsistencies or contradictions that are present in existing bodies of

knowledge. In educational practice, hypotheses are tested in order to confirm or

disconfirm the proposition or assumption from which the theory is based (Kerlinger,

1979). Chapter 4 provides a summary of the results of the statistical analyses that

correspond to address research questions. The results are presented following a

statement of the research questions.


Research Question One

What is the level of agreement among principals in their beliefs about the

importance of the domains and subsystems of curriculum in making instructional

decisions?

Cronbach's alpha was calculated for each domain and each subscale relative to

the importance of curriculum practice. This procedure was used to identify the degree of

agreement, item total correlation between each item and subscale, and the internal

consistency or homogeneity for each subscale. This procedure also identified the degree

of internal consistency designated by the alpha correlation coefficient that would result if

a particular item was deleted.








Table 4-1 illustrates the alpha correlations for principals' and teachers' ratings

regarding the importance of the domains and subsystems of curriculum by subscales in

making instructional decisions. Alpha coefficient ranges were categorized as high

(greater than + or -.75), middle (between + or .50 to .74), and low (between + or .25 to

.49). Nine of 12 domains for the principals were rated as having a high level of internal

agreement. In descending order those domains included curriculum evaluation (.9551),

evaluation (.9461), supervision (.9179), curriculum design (.9134), instruction (.8461),

curriculum as a field of study (.8322), curriculum research (.8123), curriculum

philosophy (.8057), and curriculum development (.7754). Those domains rated as having

a moderate level of internal agreement in the moderate range included curriculum theory

(.6528) and curriculum history (.5954). Curriculum policy was rated as having low

internal agreement (.3804).

Mean scores were also calculated for each item and subscale. Using a Likert

scale, the mean scores between two and three were designated as fairly unimportant,

mean scores between three and four were designated as of some importance, mean scores

between four and five were designated as fairly important, and a mean score of five was

designated as very important. Table 4-2 depicts the principals' and teachers' mean ratings

of the domains and subsystems by categories.

Each practice comprising the domain was evaluated for its degree of internal

consistency as well as its mean rating by principals. Table 4-3 depicts the item-total

correlation and alpha coefficients for the importance and extent utilized of the domains

and subsystems of curriculum by principals. A description of this analysis follows.

Curriculum evaluation is a data gathering process that enables people to make decisions

pertaining to the effectiveness of curricular activities (Omstein & Hunkins, 1998). The








Table 4-1
Alpha Coefficient Summary of the Subscale Ratings for Importance and Extent Utilized Within the Domains and Subsystems of
Curriculum by Principals and Teachers

PRINCIPALS TEACHERS
IMPORTANCE UTILIZE IMPORTANCE UTILIZE

High Middle Low High Middle Low High Middle Low High Middle Low

Curriculum Philosophy .8057 .8057 .6441 .6909
Curriculum Evaluation .9551 .9037 .9119 .8924

Curriculum Design .9134 .8622 .8365 .8031

Curriculum Theory .6528 .7130 .5940 .6157


Curriculum Policy .3804 .7819 .6363 .6474
Curriculum History .5954 .4128 .6932 .6485

Curriculum Development .7754 .7288 .7700 .6953

Curriculum Research .8123 .8647 .7373 .7533

Curriculum Field of Study .8322 .7991 .8144 .7213

Instruction .8461 .8864 .8245 .7360

Supervision .9179 .8308 .8761 .7745

Evaluation .9461 .8468 .7071 .8279








Table 4-2
Principals' and Teachers' Mean Ratings of the Domains and Subsystems of Curriculum by Categories


IMPORTANCE


UTILIZED


Principals Teachers Principals Teachers
Curriculum Philosophy somewhat important somewhat important somewhat frequently somewhat frequently
Curriculum Evaluation fairly important fairly important somewhat frequently somewhat frequently
Curriculum Design fairly important fairly important somewhat frequently fairly frequently
Curriculum Theory somewhat important somewhat important somewhat frequently somewhat frequently
Curriculum Policy somewhat important somewhat important somewhat frequently somewhat frequently
Curriculum History somewhat important somewhat important somewhat frequently somewhat frequently
Curriculum fairly important fairly important somewhat frequently somewhat frequently
Development
Curriculum Research fairly important somewhat important somewhat frequently somewhat frequently
Curriculum as a field of fairly important fairly important somewhat frequently somewhat frequently
study
Instruction fairly important fairly important fairly frequently fairly frequently
Supervision fairly important fairly important fairly frequently somewhat frequently
Evaluation fairly important fairly important somewhat frequently somewhat frequently








Table 4-3
Corrected Item-total Correlations and Alpha Coefficients for the Importance and Extent Utilized of the Domains and Subsystems of
Curriculum by Principals

Importance Utilized
Corrected Item Alpha If Item Corrected Item Alpha If Item
Item Total Correlation Deleted Total Correlation Deleted
Curriculum Philosophy
1. To implement a particular philosophy of education .4950 .7901 .5780 .7264
5. To determine the ends of education .1617 .8565 .0844 .8073
16. To determine an orientation to curriculum .8104 .7357 .3716 .7685
31. To suggest a view of society and students in relationship to
education .7420 .7304 .8029 .6399
51. To state the purposes of education .7956 .7125 .6370 .7005
52. To elaborate on the theory of curriculum .4940 .7916 .5949 .7134
Alpha coefficient = .8057 Alpha Coefficient = .7692


Curriculum Evaluation
2. To determine what changes took place as a result of
curriculum
6. To provide information about the effectiveness of the
curriculum
12. To determine whether actions yielded predicted results
14. To determine if objectives have been met
26. To offer suggestions for curriculum modification
29. To measure discrepancies between predetermined objectives
and outcomes


.8607

.8890
.7225
.9336
.6853


.9496

.9482
.9529
.9481
.9537


.3914

.5214
.6849
.7620
.3216


.9071

.9008
.8932
.8898
.9070


.6356 .8958


.8271 .9505








Table 4-3--continued.


Importance
Corrected Item Alpha If Item


Utilized
Corrected Item Alpha If Item


Item Total Correlation Deleted Total Correlation Deleted
53. To judge the worth of instructional methods and materials .2891 .9623 .7237 .8925
58. To determine desired outcomes of instruction .6555 .9546 .8730 .8829
62. To improve curriculum programs .8727 .9487 .8201 .8891
66. To determine effectiveness of content .8704 .9495 .4187 .9042
73. To ascertain whether outcomes are the result of the
curriculum .7079 .9533 .6523 .8948
74. To determine criteria to measure success
of curriculum plan .8271 .9505 .6361 .8960
76. To identify strengths of curriculum content .9387 .9466 .5984 .8975
Alpha coefficient =.9551 Alpha coefficient =.9037
Curriculum Design
3. To attempt to define what subject matter will be used .7577 .8981 .8729 .7854
10. To guide program development for individual students .7839 .8952 .7189 .8084
13. To select subject matter and learning experiences .8129 .8922 .5068 .8396
15. To establish the primary focus of subject matter .7087 .9033 .3969 .8582
19. To permit curriculum ideas to function. .6490 .9094 .5073 .8407
20. To integrate careful planning .8271 .8917 .6535 .8215
32. To indicate instructional strategies to be utilized .6426 .9102 .8634 .8203
Coefficient alpha =.9134 Coefficient alpha =.8622








Table 4-3--continued.

Importance Utilized
Corrected Item Alpha If Item Corrected Item Alpha If Item
Item Total Correlation Deleted Total Correlation Deleted
Curriculum Theory
8. To create statements that give meaning to school curriculum .4485 .5823 .5831 .6184
9. To use techniques of science or logic to present a systematic
view of phenomena .4972 .5559 .5533 .6306
17. To deal with structuring knowledge .6674 .4932 .7873 .5714
33. To identify how students learn .1451 .7464 .3130 .7229
57. To use principles and rules to study curriculum .4028 .6019 .2425 .7469

Alpha coefficient =.6528 Alpha coefficient = .7130
Curriculum Policy
18. To influence the control of curriculum .3207 .2418 .5879 .7362
25. To recommend what learning experiences to include .2902 .2792 .5967 .7527
55. To mandate school goals .2654 .2573 .3221 .8555
56. To state what ought to be taught .3650 .1539 .7311 .6826
60. To communicate with local and state government agencies -.1654 .5846 .7675 .6608

Alpha coefficient =.3804 Alpha coefficient =.7819








Table 4-3--continued.

Importance Utilized
Corrected Item Alpha If Item Corrected Item Alpha If Item
Item Total Correlation Deleted Total Correlation Deleted
Curriculum History
22. To describe past curriculum thought and practices .5187 .4470 .0657 .4654
36. To interpret past curriculum practice. .3797 .5743 .3436 .5463
42. To provide a chronology of important events in curriculum .5415 .4261 .5651 -.1408
75. To examine forces that inhibit
curriculum innovations .2906 .5854 .3321 .2123

Alpha coefficient =.5954 Alpha coefficient = .4128
Curriculum Development
27. To develop curriculum guides .5576 .7327 .4016 .7118
38. To develop school grants .4321 .7676 .4160 .7212
45. To determine procedures necessary for curriculum planning .5940 .7312 .6084 .6696
46. To address question of who will be involved in curriculum
construction .7317 .6854 .8831 .5498
67. To integrate content and learning experiences .6150 .7352 .2738 .7358
68. To decide the nature and organization of curriculum .3754 .7968 .3465 .7235

Alpha coefficient = .7754 Alpha coefficient = .7288








Table 4-3--continued.

Importance Utilized
Corrected Item Alpha If Item Corrected Item Alpha If Item
Item Total Correlation Deleted Total Correlation Deleted
Curriculum Research
30. To analyze resisting and supporting forces .8675 .6774 .8825 .8006
34. To advance hypotheses and assumptions of the field .7104 .7673 .6232 .8513
41. To use systematic inquiry for the purpose of solving a
particular problem .6405 .7694 .7743 .8164
63. To analyze steps to be taken in solving a problem .6535 .7765 .6487 .8452
69. To focus on research and/or inquiry
ofcurriculum .3288 .8408 .7442 .8513

Alpha coefficient = .8123 Alpha Coefficient =.8647
Curriculum as a Field of Study
39. To promote curriculum planning and implementation .3101 .9260 .4239 .8541
47. To organize patterns and structures
ofcurriculum .7449 .7691 .5515 .7770
48. To attempt to integrate theory and practice .8349 .6997 .7068 .7041
72. To analyze structures of curriculum .8583 .6886 .8299 .6446

Alpha coefficient = .8322 Alpha coefficient = .7991








Table 4-3--continued.

Importance Utilized
Corrected Item Alpha If Item Corrected Item Alpha If Item
Item Total Correlation Deleted Total Correlation Deleted
Instruction
54. To use reinforcers to promote learning .6750 .8089 .8018 .8445
59. To focus on sequencing learning experiences .4957 .8879 .8257 .8670
61. To decide on school activities that facilitate learning .6403 .8185 .7222 .8628
64. To plan curriculum programs .8945 .7833 .7000 .8762
70. To develop an activity that facilitates learning .7851 .7816 .8023 .8581
Alpha coefficient =.8461 Alpha coefficient = .8864
Supervision
4. To encourage performance improvement .8916 .8947 .6885 .7980
7. To use goal setting, observation, analysis, and feedback
conferences .9226 .8856 .6797 .7905
11. To focus on improvement of instruction .7586 .9044 .6452 .7972
21. To work with curriculum specialists .9502 .8896 .5121 .8182
23. To utilize facilitation techniques and identification of
communication devices .5897 .9209 .7284 .7806
28. To use evaluation for purposes of improving instruction or
granting tenure .3599 .9484 .2091 .8838
35. To use training and modeling to promote professional
growth .9233 .8855 .8328 .7748
Alpha coefficient = .9179 Alpha coefficient = .8308








Table 4-3--continued.

Importance Utilized
Corrected Item Alpha If Item Corrected Item Alpha If Item
Item Total Correlation Deleted Total Correlation Deleted
Evaluation
24. To analyze the progress of education .8893 .9349 .7467 .8114
37. To judge worth of curriculum design .8536 .9368 .8220 .8039
40. To assess effectiveness of curriculum process .7252 .9429 .6610 .8251
43. To assess discrepancies between intended and actual leaning
outcomes .8858 .9352 .6417 .8233
44. To assess teacher's use of curriculum .6445 .9458 .5493 .8323
49. To determine extent to which program learning activities are
realized .5612 .9504 .5823 .8310
50. To interpret how well teachers carry out instruction .5285 .9514 .6280 .8261
65. To assess effectiveness of an innovation .8858 .9352 .4477 .8419
71. To determine whether a program should be maintained or
improved .8944 .9364 .3887 .8467
77. To measure student outcomes .9306 .9327 .0742 .8720
Coefficient alpha =.9461 Coefficient alpha = .8468








strongest level of agreement among principals was evidenced in this domain. Eight of

the 13 practices that comprised this domain had a high degree of internal consistency.

Curriculum practices that contributed to high agreement related to identifying the

strengths of curriculum content (.9387), determining if objectives have been met (.9336),

providing information about the effectiveness of curriculum (.8890), improving

curriculum programs (.8727), determining effectiveness of content (.8704), determining

what changes take place as a result of curriculum (.8607), measuring discrepancies

between predetermined objectives and outcomes (.8271), determining criteria to measure

success of curriculum plan (.8271). Of the remaining five practices, four had internal

consistency ratings there were in the moderate range and one practice had an internal

consistency that was in the low range. Practices having moderate agreement were

determining whether actions yielded predicted results (.7225), ascertaining whether

outcomes are the result of curriculum (.7079), offering suggestions for curriculum

modification (.6853), and determining desired outcomes of instruction (.6555). The

practice having low internal consistency was related to the use of curriculum evaluation

to judge the worth of instructional methods and materials (.2891).

Table 4.4 depicts the mean responses for the ratings of importance by principals.

Table 4-2 depicts the descriptive designation for the mean scores relative to each domain

and subsystem of curriculum. Regardless of the alpha coefficient, the principals rated all

of the practices in the domain of curriculum evaluation as fairly important. The mean

scores ranged from 4.40 (to offer suggestions for curriculum modification, to determine

desired outcomes of instruction, and to identify strengths of curriculum content) to 4.60

(to determine whether actions yielded predicted results, to determine if objectives have








Table 4-4
Teachers' and Principals' Mean Ratings of Importance and Extent Utilized for the
Domains and Subsystems of Curriculum


Principals Teachers

Importance Utilized Importance Utilized


Item


Curriculum Philosophy


1. To implement a particular
philosophy of education

5. To determine the ends of education

16. To determine an orientation to
curriculum

31. To suggest a view of society and
students in relationship to education

51. To state the purposes of education

52. To elaborate on the theory of
curriculum

Domain Mean

Curriculum Evaluation

2. To determine what changes took
place as a result of curriculum

6. To provide information about the
effectiveness of the curriculum

12. To determine whether actions
yielded predicted results

14. To determine if objectives have been
met

26. To offer suggestions for curriculum
modification

29. To measure discrepancies between
predetermined objectives and
outcomes

53. To judge the worth of instructional
methods and materials


4.40 4.30 4.20 3.89

4.00 3.56 3.96 3.53


3.22 2.89 3.90 3.68


2.90 3.77

3.40 3.98


3.00 3.13

3.34 3.82


4.50 4.20 4.50 4.01


4.50 4.10 4.32 3.68


4.60 3.40 4.22 4.02


4.60 4.00 4.61 4.51


4.40 4.10 4.39 3.72



4.60 3.70 3.83 3.28


4.50 4.00 4.49 4.15








Table 4-4--continued

Principals Teachers
Item Importance Utilized Importance Utilized
58. To determine desired outcomes of
instruction 4.40 3.80 4.54 4.33

62. To improve curriculum programs 4.50 4.20 4.53 3.80

66. To determine effectiveness of
content 4.50 3.60 4.52 3.95

73. To ascertain whether outcomes are
the result of the curriculum 4.50 3.30 4.15 3.25

74. To determine criteria to measure
success of curriculum plan 4.60 3.80 4.31 3.43
76. To identify strengths of curriculum
content 4.40 3.70 4.50 3.92
Domain Mean 4.51 3.84 4.38 3.85

Curriculum Design

3. To attempt to define what subject
matter will be used 3.70 3.30 4.46 4.41

10. To guide program development for
individual students 4.40 3.90 4.54 4.25

13. To select subject matter and learning
experiences 4.00 3.80 4.56 4.52
15. To establish the primary focus of
subject matter 4.10 3.50 4.48 4.29

19. To permit curriculum ideas to
function 4.30 4.20 4.07 3.88
20. To integrate careful planning 4.30 3.80 4.56 4.40
32. To indicate instructional strategies to
be utilized 4.50 4.00 4.25 3.97
Domain Mean 4.19 3.79 4.42 4.25








Table 4-4--continued


Principals Teachers
Item Importance Utilized Importance Utilized
Curriculum Theory
8. To create statements that give
meaning to school curriculum 3.70 3.50 3.68 3.17
9. To use techniques of science or logic
to present a systematic view of
phenomena 3.80 3.20 3.74 3.19
17. To deal with structuring knowledge 4.11 3.56 4.07 3.82
33. To identify how students learn 4.50 3.80 4.51 4.19
57. To use principles and rules to study
curriculum 3.30 2.78 3.53 2.78
Domain Mean 3.88 3.37 3.91 3.44
Curriculum Policy
18. To influence the control of
curriculum 3.90 3.20 3.85 3.20
25. To recommend what learning
experiences to include 4.30 3.90 4.28 4.00
55. To mandate school goals 2.80 3.30 3.73 3.29
56. To state what ought to be taught 3.70 3.90 4.21 3.86
60. To communicate with local and state
government agencies 3.70 2.50 3.75 2.34
Domain Mean 3.68 3.36 3.96 3.34
Curriculum History
22. To describe past curriculum thought
and practices 3.50 3.60 3.43 3.03
36. To interpret past curriculum practice 3.80 3.00 3.53 3.06
42. To provide a chronology of
important events in curriculum 3.60 3.00 3.79 3.29
75. To examine forces that inhibit
curriculum innovations 4.50 3.10 4.08 3.07

Domain Mean 3.85 3.18 3.71 3.11








Table 4-4--continued


Item

Curriculum Development

27. To develop curriculum guides

38. To develop school grants

45. To determine procedures necessary
for curriculum planning

46. To address question of who will be
involved in curriculum construction

67. To integrate content and learning
experiences

68. To decide the nature and
organization of curriculum

Domain Mean

Curriculum Research

30. To analyze resisting and supporting
forces

34. To advance hypotheses and
assumptions of the field

41. To use systematic inquiry for the
purpose of solving a particular
problem

63. To analyze steps to be taken in
solving a problem

69. To focus on research and/or inquiry
of curriculum
Domain Mean


Principals

Importance Utilized


Teachers

Importance Utilized


4.20 3.50 4.21

4.30 3.50 4.05


4.30 3.90 3.93 3.42


4.00 3.60 4.02 2.94


4.60 3.70 4.62 4.41


3.40 3.11

4.13 3.56


4.20 3.50 3.57 2.98


3.70 2.70 3.29 2.75



4.50 3.50 3.90 3.37


4.50 3.80 4.16 3.73


4.60 3.80 3.53 2.73

4.30 3.46 3.70 3.12








Table 4-4--continued

Principals Teachers

Item Importance Utilized Importance Utilized

Curriculum as a field of study

39. To promote curriculum planning and
implementation 4.30 3.50 4.42 4.00

47. To organize patterns and structures
of curriculum 4.00 3.50 3.91 3.30

48. To attempt to integrate theory and
practice 4.10 3.30 4.10 3.63
72. To analyze structures of curriculum 3.90 3.20 3.79 3.00

Domain Mean 4.15 3.53 4.06 3.49

Instruction

54. To use reinforcers to promote
learning 4.20 4.00 4.42 4.34

59. To focus on sequencing learning
experiences 3.80 3.40 4.29 4.14
61. To decide on school activities that
facilitate learning 4.50 4.20 4.47 3.93

64. To plan curriculum programs 4.40 4.30 4.27 3.45

70. To develop an activity that
facilitates learning 4.40 4.40 4.63 4.58
Domain Mean 4.26 4.06 4.42 4.09


Supervision

4. To encourage performance
improvement

7. To use goal setting, observation,
analysis, and feedback conferences

11. To focus on improvement of
instruction

21. To work with curriculum specialists


4.40 4.30


4.40 4.20


4.50 4.22

4.60 4.10


4.64 4.56


4.35 3.85


4.66 4.52

4.30 3.47









Table 4-4--continued

Principals Teachers

Item Importance Utilized Importance Utilized

23. To utilize facilitation techniques and
identification of communication
devices 4.00 3.70 3.88 3.44

28. To use evaluation for purposes of
improving instruction or granting
tenure 4.30 3.80 4.13 3.67

35. To use training and modeling to
promote professional growth 4.50 4.20 4.49 4.16

Domain Mean 4.39 4.07 4.36 3.96


Evaluation

24. To analyze the progress of education 4.00 3.20

37. To judge worth of curriculum design 4.40 3.60

40. To assess effectiveness of
curriculum process 4.70 3.80

43. To assess discrepancies between
intended and actual learning


outcomes

44. To assess teacher's use of
curriculum

49. To determine extent to which
program learning activities are
realized

50. To interpret how well teachers carry
out instruction

65. To assess effectiveness of an
innovation

71. To determine whether a program
should be maintained or improved

77. To measure student outcomes

Domain Mean


4.50 3.20


4.50 3.80



4.10 3.80


4.40 3.90


4.50 3.80


4.60 3.90

4.60 4.40

4.43 3.74


4.28 3.76



4.14 3.63


3.93 3.46



4.02 3.66


4.55 3.38


4.26 3.59







81
been met, to measure discrepancies between predetermined objectives and outcomes, and

to determine criteria for measuring the success of curriculum). The overall mean for the

domain of curriculum evaluation was 4.51. Thus, for this domain and the practices

associated with it, there was a high degree of internal agreement and the practices were

related as fairly important in the instructional decision-making process.

Evaluation, a subsystem of curriculum, is a process or cluster of processes used to

judge whether something is to be accepted, changed or eliminated (Omstein & Hunkins,

1998). In this domain six of the 10 practices had a high level of internal agreement.

Curriculum practices that contributed to high agreement included measuring student

outcomes (.9306), determining whether a program should be maintained or improved

(.8944), analyzing the progress of education (.8893), assessing discrepancies between

intended actual learning outcomes (8858), assessing the effectiveness of an innovation

(.8858), and judging the worth of curriculum design (.8536). Practices having a

moderate degree of internal agreement were assessing the effectiveness of curriculum

processes (.7252), assessing teacher's use of curriculum (.6445), determining the extent

to which program learning activities are realized (.5612), and interpreting how well

teachers carry out instruction (.5285). Mean scores indicated ranged from 4.00 (to

analyze the progress of education) to 4.70 (to assess effectiveness of curriculum process)

and indicated that all practices were rated as fairly important. The mean score for this

domain was 4.39. Overall, this domain depicted a high level of internal agreement

among principals as well as a mean rating that indicated that this domain was fairly

important in the instructional decision-making process for principals.








Supervision, also a subsystem of curriculum, is an activity or set of activities that

focuses on improving instructional planning and the quality of instruction (Sergiovanni,

1987). The subsystem of supervision showed high internal agreement rating in five of

the seven practices. High agreement was attributed to practices that focused on

collaboration with curriculum specialists (.9502), training and modeling to promote

professional growth (.9233). using goal setting, observation, analysis and feedback

conferences (.9226), encouraging performance improvement (.8916), and focusing on the

improvement of instruction (.7586). One practice was in the moderate range and one

item in the low range of internal agreement. Moderate agreement was related to the

importance of facilitation and communication techniques (.5897). Low agreement was

centered around the use of evaluation for improving instruction or granting tenure

(.3599). Mean scores indicated that this domain was fairly important for principals with

mean ranges from 4.00 (to utilize facilitation techniques and identification of

communication devices) to 4.60 (to work with curriculum specialists). The overall mean

for this domain was 4.39.

Curriculum design refers to the way in which curricula are created and implies an

arrangement of certain elements relative to a curriculum plan (Omstein & Hunkins,

1998). Four of the seven practices in the curriculum design domain had alpha

coefficients in the high range. The practices that contributed to high agreement centered

upon activities including the integration of planning (.8271), the selecting subject matter

and learning experiences (.8129), guiding program development for individual students

(.7839), and attempting to define what subject matter will be used (.7577). The

remainder of the practices had alpha coefficients in the moderate range. Practices that








showed moderate agreement were related to establishing the primary focus of subject

matter (.7087), permitting curriculum ideas to function (.6490), and indicating

instructional strategies to be utilized (.6426). The overall mean for this domain was 4.19

and the means ranged from 3.70 (to attempt to define what subject matter will be used) to

4.50 (to indicate instructional strategies to be utilized). Mean scores indicated that

curriculum design was a fairly important consideration for principals in the instructional

decision-making process.

Instruction, a subsystem of curriculum, can be viewed as (a) a procedure for

organizing learning experiences, (b) a plan for implementing the curriculum, and (c) the

teacher's behaviors that are involved with making daily decisions about those aspects

that comprise instructional experience for students (Behar, 1992). Two of the five

practices in this domain had a high level of intemal agreement. Practices that contributed

to a high level of internal agreement were related to the use of instruction for planning

curriculum programs (.8945) and developing activities that facilitated learning (.7851).

Of the remaining three practices, two had alpha coefficients in the moderate range and

one had a coefficient in the low range. Practices that had a moderate degree of

agreement were related to the practice of using reinforcers to promote learning (.6750)

and deciding on activities that facilitate learning (.6403). Low agreement was associated

with the sequencing of learning experiences (.4957). Mean scores for instruction ranged

from 3.80 to 4.50. The overall mean of 4.26 indicated that principals viewed this domain

as fairly important.

Curriculum as a field of study refers to the approaches as well as the relationships

and differences between the foundations and domains of curriculum, the theory and







84

practice of curriculum, and the roles of curriculum workers (Omstein & Hunkins, 1998).

High internal agreement was evidenced in two of the four practices in this domain.

Practices with high agreement centered around the analysis of structures of curriculum

(.8583) and the integration of theory and practice (.8349). Of the other remaining

practices, one had moderate agreement while one had low agreement. Organizing

patterns and structures of curriculum yielded moderate internal agreement (.7449) while

promoting curriculum planning and implementation had low internal agreement (.3101).

Mean scores for items within curriculum as a field of study ranged from 3.90 (to analyze

structures of curriculum) to 4.30 (to promote curriculum planning and implementation).

An overall mean response of 4.15 indicated that principals viewed curriculum, as a field

study, as fairly important in instructional decision making.

Curriculum research is described as an activity that is used to (a) advance

conceptualization and understanding of the field, (b) create new visions of what and how

to teach, (c) influence curriculum policy, (d) question normative premises about

curriculum, and (e) improve programs for learning (McNeil, 1990). One of five practices

in this domain had a high level of internal agreement. The practice that contributed to

high internal agreement was based on the analysis of resisting and supporting forces

(.8675). Three practices had moderate agreement, and one had low internal agreement.

Practices of moderate agreement were associated with advancing hypotheses and

assumptions (.7104), analyzing steps to be taken in solving a problem (.6535), and using

systematic inquiry to solve problems (.6405). Focusing on research and/or inquiry of

curriculum had low internal agreement (.3288); it also had the lowest level of internal

consistency (.3288). However, this practice also had the highest mean rating (4.60). The








range of mean scores for items in curriculum research was 3.70 (to advance hypotheses

and assumptions of the field) to 4.60 (to focus on research and/or inquiry of curriculum).

Although this domain had a majority of items that were categorized as having moderate

agreement, the overall mean response for this domain was 4.30, which indicated that

principals saw this domain as being fairly important in instructional decision making.

Curriculum philosophy takes into consideration the criteria that is used to

determine the aims, means, and ends of a curriculum (Omstein & Hunkins, 1998). Two

of six practices had a high level of internal agreement, one practice had a moderate level

of agreement, and three practices had low agreement. Of those three practices, two were

just below the moderate range. Determining an orientation to curriculum (.8104) and

stating the purpose of education (.7956) had high agreement. Suggesting a view of

society and students in relationship to education contributed to a moderate degree of

internal consistency (.7420). Those items rated in the low range centered around

implementing a particular philosophy (.4950), elaborating on the theory of education

(.4940), and determining the end of education (.1617). Variation between the alpha

coefficients as well as in the mean scores were evident in this domain. Although the

principals ratings indicated a high level of internal agreement, the overall mean rating

(3.66) indicated that principals found this domain to be of some importance. The range

for items in curriculum philosophy was 3.22 (to determine an orientation to curriculum)

to 4.40 (to implement a particular philosophy of education).

Curriculum development refers to the activities that determine how curriculum

construction will proceed (Behar, 1994a). There was a high level of agreement among

principals relative to this domain (.7754). There were no practices within this domain








with a high level of internal agreement. Four of the six practices contributed to a

moderate level of agreement, and two of the practices were in the low range of

agreement. The practices contributing to the moderate level of agreement were

addressing questions of who will be involved in curriculum construction (.7317),

integrating content and learning experiences (.6150), determining procedures necessary

for curriculum planning (.5840), and developing curriculum guides (.5576). Practices

having lowest coefficients were related to developing school grants (.4321) and deciding

the nature and organization of curriculum (.3754). The weakest coefficient alpha (to

decide the nature and organization of curriculum (.3754) also received the lowest mean

rating (3.40). The highest rating was 4.60 (to integrate content and learning experiences).

Principals saw this domain as fairly important in the decision-making process as

evidenced by an overall mean rating of 4.13.

Curriculum theory establishes the frameworks in a field that assists persons in

analyzing and synthesizing data, organizing concepts and principles, suggesting new

ideas and relations, and speculating about the future (Omstein & Hunkins, 1998). The

overall alpha coefficient (.6528) indicated that there was a moderate level of agreement

among principals for this domain. No practices were in the range of high agreement.

One of the five practices were in the moderate range of agreement, and the remaining

four were in the low range. The practice contributing to moderate range of agreement

centered around the structuring of knowledge (.6674). Practices in the low agreement

range dealt with using techniques of science or logic to present a systematic view of

phenomenon (.4972), creating statements that give meaning to school curriculum (.4485),

using principles and rules to study curriculum (.4028), and identifying how students learn







87

(.1451). Mean scores for items in curriculum theory ranged from 3.30 (to use principles

and rules to study curriculum) to 3.80 (to use techniques of science or logic to present a

systematic view of phenomena). A mean rating of 3.88 indicated that the principals rated

this domain as being of some importance in instructional decision making.

Curriculum history refers to the collective memory of the field of curriculum.

Curriculum history provides an understanding of the traditions that define our

professional and personal lives (Tanner & Tanner, 1990). Two of the four practices had

a moderate degree of internal agreement. Practices relative to a moderate level of

internal agreement included providing a chronology of important events in curriculum

(.5415) and describing past curriculum thought and practices (.5187). The remaining two

practices had low agreement. Practices relative to low internal consistency centered

around interpreting past practice (.3797) and examining forces that inhibit curriculum

innovations (.2906). Although the examination of forces that inhibit curriculum

innovations had the weakest alpha correlation (. 2906), this item had the highest mean

rating (4.50) among principals. Overall the mean scores for this domain ranged from

3.50 (to describe past curriculum thought and practices) to 4.50 (to examine forces that

inhibit curriculum innovations). A mean rating of 3.85 indicated that the principals rated

this domain as being of some importance in instructional decision making.

Curriculum policy is defined as the formal body of law and regulations that define

what should be taught in schools (Glatthom. 1994). All of the five practices that

comprise this domain were rated as having a low degree of internal agreement ranging

from .1654 to .3650 among principals. The use of curriculum policy to state what is

taught and to influence the control of curriculum had an alpha coefficient of.3650 and








.3207, respectively, while recommending what learning experiences to include,

mandating school goals, and the use of policies for communicating with local and state

government agencies had alpha coefficients of.2902, .2654, and .1654, respectively. The

overall mean rating of 3.68 indicated that the principals found this domain to be of some

importance in instructional decision making. The mean scores for these items ranged

from 2.80 (to mandate school goals) to 4.30 (to recommend what learning experiences to

include).


Research Question Two

What is the level of agreement among teachers in their beliefs about the

importance of the domains and subsystems of curriculum in making instructional

decisions?

Alpha correlation coefficients were used to determine the degree of internal

agreement among teachers for each item and subscale within the importance category.

Table 4-5 illustrates the alpha correlations for teacher ratings regarding the importance of

the curriculum domains and subsystems of curriculum in making instructional decisions.

Six of the 12 domains and subsystems were rated as having a high degree of internal

agreement (Table 4-1). In descending order, those domains and subsystems of

curriculum rated in the high category of internal consistency were curriculum evaluation

(.9119), supervision (.8761), curriculum design (.8365), instruction (.8245), curriculum

as a field of study (.8144), and curriculum development (.7700). The remainder of the

domains were rated as having moderate agreement relative to importance were

curriculum research (.7373), evaluation (.7071), curriculum history (.6932), curriculum








philosophy (.6441), curriculum policy (.6363), and curriculum theory (.5940). Mean

scores were also calculated for each item and subscale. The following information

provides a further examination and interpretation of alpha coefficients and mean scores

relative to the domains and subsystems of curriculum in the area of teacher importance.

Curriculum evaluation had the strongest degree of internal agreement among

teachers with an alpha coefficient of .9119 (Table 4-1). Four of the 13 practices had high

agreement among teachers (Table 4-5). Practices that contributed to alpha coefficients at

the high level were identifying the strengths of curriculum (.7980), determining the

effectiveness of content (.7969), providing information about the effectiveness of the

curriculum (.7635), as well as judging the worth of instructional methods and materials

(.7527). Eight practices had a moderate level of agreement and one practice had a low

level of agreement. Practices of moderate agreement were determining desired outcomes

of instruction (.7358), determining criteria to measure success of curriculum plan (.6973),

determining if objective have been met (.6927), improving curriculum programs (.6583),

ascertaining whether outcomes are the result of instruction (.6420), offering suggestions

for curriculum modification (.6251), determining whether actions yielded predicted

results (.6051), and measuring discrepancies between predetermined objectives and

outcomes (.5816). The practice with low agreement pertained to evaluating the changes

that took place as a result of curriculum (.0195). The overall mean for curriculum

evaluation was 4.38 (Table 4-4). This indicates that in addition to high agreement,

teachers found the curriculum practices within the domain of curriculum evaluation to be

fairly important in the decision-making process. The mean scores for curriculum

evaluation among teachers ranged from 3.83 (to measure discrepancies between

predetermined objectives and outcomes) to 4.61 (to determine of objectives have been

met).








Table 4-5
Corrected Item-total Correlations and Alpha Coefficients for the Importance and Extent Utilized of the Domains and Subsystems of
Curriculum by Teachers

Importance Utilized
Corrected Item Alpha If Item Corrected Item Alpha If Item
Item Total Correlation Deleted Total Correlation Deleted
Curriculum Philosophy
1. To implement a particular philosophy of education -.0106 .7230 .3722 .6656
5. To determine the ends of education .4494 .5733 .3266 .6783
16. To determine an orientation to curriculum .4852 .5594 .3198 .6869
31. To suggest a view of society and students in relationship to
education .4444 .5734 .5346 .6113
51. To state the purposes of education .5574 .5296 .5024 .6219
52. To elaborate on the theory of curriculum .3628 .6062 .4807 .6295
Alpha coefficient =.6441 Alpha coefficient = .6909


Curriculum Evaluation
2. To determine what changes took place as a result of curriculum
6. To provide information about the effectiveness of the
curriculum
12. To determine whether actions yielded predicted results
14. To determine if objectives have been met
26. To offer suggestions for curriculum modification
29. To measure discrepancies between predetermined objectives
and outcomes
53. To judge the worth of instructional methods and materials


.0195

.7635
.6051
.6927
.6251

.5816
.7527


.9295

.8996
.9006
.9030
.9057

.9077
.9008


.5103

.6761
.5337
.5322
.4602

.5500
.6018


.8882

.8799
.8870
.8876
.8909

.8864
.8839








Table 4-5--continued

Importance Utilized
Corrected Item Alpha If Item Corrected Item Alpha If Item
Item Total Correlation Deleted Total Correlation Deleted
58. To determine desired outcomes of instruction .7358 .9019 .5989 .8849
62. To improve curriculum programs .6583 .9043 .6137 .8834
66. To determine effectiveness of content .7969 .8993 .7098 .8788
73. To ascertain whether outcomes are the result of the curriculum .6420 .9050 .6384 .8821
74. To determine criteria to measure success of curriculum plan .6973 .9027 .5401 .8873
76. To identify strengths of curriculum content .7980 .8987 .7311 .8772

Alpha coefficient =.9119 Alpha coefficient = .8924
Curriculum Design
3. To attempt to define what subject matter will be used. .0477 .8927 .0502 .8526
10. To guide program development for individual students .7114 .7958 .6867 .7495
13. To select subject matter and learning experiences .7644 .7864 .6997 .7501
15. To establish the primary focus of subject matter .7217 .7950 .6232 .7615
19. To permit curriculum ideas to function .7076 .7936 .5663 .7723
20. To integrate careful planning .6626 .8018 .6470 .7583
32. To indicate instructional strategies to be utilized .6057 .8113 .5409 .7769

Alpha coefficient = .8365 Alpha coefficient = .8031








Table 4-5--continued

Importance Utilized
Corrected Item Alpha If Item Corrected Item Alpha If Item
Item Total Correlation Deleted Total Correlation Deleted
Curriculum Theory
8. To create statements that give meaning to school curriculum .3752 .5248 .3222 .5861
9. To use techniques of science or logic to present a systematic
view of phenomena .2865 .5727 .3995 .5465
17. To deal with structuring knowledge .4657 .4786 .4611 .5178
33. To identify how students learn .4161 .5052 .3940 .5532
57. To use principles and rules to study curriculum .2274 .6045 .2937 .6013
Alpha coefficient = .5940 Alpha coefficient =.6157
Curriculum Policy
18. To influence the control of curriculum .4619 .5490 .4390 .5766
25. To recommend what learning experiences to include .3164 .6157 .3141 .6319
55. To mandate school goals .4574 .5466 .4625 .5627
56. To state what ought to be taught .4435 .5581 .4010 .5944
60. To communicate with local and state government agencies .2843 .6364 .3919 .6001
Alpha coefficient = .6363 Alpha coefficient = .6474
Curriculum History
22. To describe past curriculum thought and practices .4965 .6181 .4762 .5504
36. To interpret past curriculum practice .5854 .5571 .4996 .5315
42. To provide a chronology of important events in curriculum .4303 .6614 .3289 .6569
75. To examine forces that inhibit curriculum innovations .4068 .6714 .4275 .5809
Alpha coefficient = .6932 Alpha coefficient = .6485








Table 4-5--continued

Importance Utilized
Corrected Item Alpha If Item Corrected Item Alpha If Item
Item Total Correlation Deleted Total Correlation Deleted
Curriculum Development
27. To develop curriculum guides .4988 .7399 .5115 .6254
38. To develop school grants .4496 .7535 .3688 .6778
45. To determine procedures necessary for curriculum planning .5631 .7227 .5147 .6256
46. To address question of who will be involved in curriculum
construction .5823 .7176 .5145 .6254
67. To integrate content and learning experiences .5043 .7409 .2442 .7023
68. To decide the nature and organization of curriculum. .4989 .7398 .4032 .6626
Alpha coefficient = .7700 Alpha coefficient = .6953
Curriculum Research
30. To analyze resisting and supporting forces .6054 .6545 .5350 .7042
34. To advance hypotheses and assumptions of the field .4754 .7005 .6027 .6806
41. To use systematic inquiry for the purpose of solving a particular
problem .5041 .6909 .4017 .7506
63. To analyze steps to be taken in solving a problem .4572 .7072 .5699 .6905
69. To focus on research and/or inquiry of curriculum .4782 .7057 .5005 .7179
Alpha coefficient = 7373 Alpha coefficient = .7533




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