Innovations in Secondary Education

By Glenys G. Unruh; William M. Alexander | Go to book overview

Preface

Important changes have taken place in secondary education since 1970, when the first edition of Innovations in Secondary Education was published. This book picks up on new directions in innovation following the period of student riots in 1969 and 1970. The errors of the sixties are pointed out, and innovations that are promising but little used are identified. The book takes a positive and constructive approach and emphasizes "what works" in high school today. In fact, there is an air of excitement about newer innovations, which responds meaningfully to the writers who are emphasizing negativism, defeatism, and "frauds" in education, and whose books and articles have tended to depress the public regarding the potentialities of education. This textbook is intended as a comprehensive and basic source on innovative practices for high school personnel who are in training or on the job.

Chapter 1 is a discussion of the forces that necessitate innovation. The next six chapters classify and describe innovation in general categories: the student, the curriculum, the organization, the staff, media, and places for learning. The final chapter deals with the processes of innovation and change.

More emphasis is given in this edition to concerns within the school as well as to societal concerns. Student problems are identified by the students themselves in addition to those expressed by practitioners and theorists. A subtle but meaningful difference in approach is evident in curriculum innovations. The curriculum programs developed nationally during the sixties were assumed to be "teacher proof." Teachers subsequently were found to be "curriculum proof." This book makes very clear the effects of the ingenuity of teachers and administrators in leading schools who have drawn the best from the curriculum movement of the sixties and created new dimensions in response to the changing needs of students and society. In the earlier edition, flexible organizations were mostly confined within the standard school day and year; here, new concepts of time and attendance permeate the chapter on organization.

This new edition advances into more sophisticated interpretations of the role of the teacher and adds new concepts of staff development including teacher centers, competency-based teacher education programs, and the increasing scope of the concept of accountability. New types of technology are illustrated. In the chapter on space for learning, contemporary architectural designs for schools are presented as well as descriptions of learning areas in nonschool facilities.

When the first edition was written, schools and universities were enjoying the heyday of foundation and federal funding. In the concluding chapter of this book, the discussion of innovation and change reflects the lessons learned from reforms inspired by the advent of federal and private

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