Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A systems approach: A *policy analysis of state-guided school improvement plans
by Chancellor, Steven K.||||||Vanderpool, William C., Ed.D., Saint Louis University, 2008, 113; 3351876
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this report of a policy analysis was to identify dimensions found within systems theory and thinking literature to enhance states' departments of education school improvement policies. Policies centered in systems theory and systems thinking can assist local school districts in designing change initiatives that are purposeful and sustaining.

The team reviewed literature focusing on systems theory, systems thinking, organizational development, and leadership. Through the review, five dimensions emerged as core systems concepts that could be general practices of school improvement. The dimensions were then validated in a review by an expert panel. Information gathered from the panel was used to strengthen the dimensions. The revised dimensions were used to assess the presence of systems theory and systems thinking concepts within states' departments of education school improvement policies.

The team identified ten states where their departments of education provided school improvement policies to analyze through the dimensions which emerged from literature on systems theory, systems thinking, and an expert panel review. These states were selected using team produced criteria. The ten states where Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Washington.

The analysis of the states' departments of education school improvement policies contains two parts. The first part was a description of the format for each set of state policies. The second part listed each dimension and if that state's policies had information relating to the dimensions.

The team developed recommendations for both state departments of education and local school districts. Ten recommendations were developed for states to use within the current policy documents. Eighteen recommendations were developed for local school districts. The report also includes possible consequences from the implementation of the recommendations.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Lea, Dennis R.
School: Saint Louis University
School Location: United States -- Missouri
Source: DAI-A 70/03, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: School administration, Education philosophy
Keywords: Education policy, Improvement plan, Leadership, Policy, School improvement, Systems theory, Systems thinking
Publication Number: 3351876
ISBN: 978-1-109-08599-0
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