A Professional Development School Partnership: Conflict and Collaboration

By Renee W. Campoy | Go to book overview

SUMMARY

Attempts to legitimize the PDS with regard to governance, policy, and rewards met with limited success, and the level of institutionalization of the Jackson PDS was determined to be minimal. Teitel ( 1997) reported that this is a common occurrence as PDS partnerships often plateau after obtaining a modest level of success. In the case of the Jackson PDS, one of the reasons for the modest level of institutionalization was the failure of the parent organizations to respond to the need for new organizational solutions regarding leadership, governance, policy, and financing as these arose during partnership development. Lieberman ( 1992b) reports that partnerships must challenge existing relationships and organizational structures in order to allow substantive educational change within institutions. PDSs may work best when the furor and success of exciting new practices exert pressure on existing organizational structures to change in order to accommodate the requirements of innovative practices. The PDS participants did press for organizational change, but the work of partnership development was so difficult and time-consuming that when the participants did not receive a positive response to their initial requests, they were disappointed and discouraged. They then abandoned their hope for what the PDS promised to accomplish and moved on to other less challenging endeavors.

One of the primary factors explaining the parent organizations' lack of response was that both organizations failed to develop a broad consensus of support for the PDS within their organizations. According to the history of the Jackson PDS, the agreement to begin the partnership had been quickly determined by a limited number of decision makers, and then the partnership had been quickly implemented before stakeholders were aware that negotiations had begun. This left the PDS fighting for acceptance and survival from its beginning. It also made consensus building and the development of a "clearly, authentically, and consistently communicated mission" ( Sirotnik, 1991, p. 20) difficult when stakeholders were indifferent or even hostile to the PDS. The PDS leaders and planners would have needed to expend a good deal of time and energy to facilitate dialogue and overcome negative attitudes toward the PDS in order to produce a shared and collective vision of the PDS. The PDS leaders and planners initially did not attempt to develop a consensus and vision because they wanted to avoid early controversy over the PDS. Later, they were consumed with the day-to-day activities of the PDS, and neglected vision development as a strategy to sustain the future of the partnership.

Without a firm level of organizational commitment and policy and financial support from the parent organizations, and without a broad level of consensus, the partnership floundered after an initial burst of success. The difficulties resulting from the lack of institutionalization

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A Professional Development School Partnership: Conflict and Collaboration
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction vii
  • Part I Context 1
  • Chapter 1 Introduction and PDS as a Reform Initiative 12
  • Chapter 2 Methodology of the Case Study 15
  • Note 24
  • Chapter 3 Context of the PDS 34
  • Part II Foreshadowed Problems, Findings, and Conclusions 37
  • Chapter 4 Partnership Development 51
  • Chapter 5 University Student Benefits 66
  • Chapter 6 Elementary Student Benefits 78
  • Chapter 7 Teacher Development Issues 92
  • Chapter 8 University Faculty Development Issues 107
  • Chapter 9 Institutionalization of the Partnership 122
  • Chapter 10 Summaries, Generalizations, and Lessons Learned 138
  • Afterword 139
  • Bibliography 141
  • Index 147
  • About the Author 151
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