This qualitative study looked at the effects of cooperative charter school participation on adults. Research questions included: "How do parents who have identified personal changes as an outcome of their participation in a cooperative charter school understand and describe the changes?" and "What events or experiences do they perceive as having contributed to these changes?" The literature review focused on three areas: Charter Schools, Parent Partnerships, and Adult Learning.
The constructivist epistemology was the appropriate fit to study the effect of engagement in two cooperative charter schools, as the questions focus on constructed meaning. I employed surveys to gather participants who named change as an outcome of their experience, then conducted semi-structured interviews to elicit rich descriptions. Transcripts were coded, and themes emerged that combined to construct the following grounded theory: The Elements of a cooperative charter school that appear to be most central to the experience of change and development of adaptive skills for adults are: a) a supportive, mentor-rich environment oriented toward a common goal; b) a diverse, collaborative community, and c) opportunities to engage in high-level leadership afforded through the cooperative model.
Critical factors that enabled participants to challenge tacit assumptions included a common goal, and a sense of security stemming from the mentor rich environment. Four grand theories were compared to this grounded theory. They included Kegan's constructive development theory (1994), Mezirow's transformational learning theory (2000), Daloz's conditions that may promote transformative learning (1996), and Heifetz's technical and adaptive learning theory (1994). Each were congruent with the findings of this study.
|Commitee:||Heid, Laura, Howe, Michael|
|School:||Saint Mary's College of California|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 76/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational leadership, Adult education, Developmental psychology|
|Keywords:||Adult development, Adult learning, Charter schools, Cooperative schools, Transformative learning|
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