FAILURES AND LESSONS LEARNED

                         BENET, SARAH L.; EDD

                         HARVARD UNIVERSITY, 1981

                         EDUCATION, CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION (0727)

                         Curriculum innovations have been introduced to school systems through the recruitment of individual
                         teachers who were trained in the use of the new methods and materials. The expectation was that the
                         curriculum would spread from the model teachers to their colleagues. This intended diffusion process,
                         sometimes called the 'lighthouse model', often failed to take place. The Cross-Age Learning and
                         Teaching Project in China Studies (hereafter the CAP) was aimed at revising teaching about China in four
                         high schools, two urban and two suburban. Its structure involved teaching secondary students about
                         China Studies, curriculum development and teaching pedagogy to enable them to teach units of their
                         own design in elementary schools in their communities. Its diffusion depended on having the Project
                         Teachers demonstrate the usefulness of this program to their teaching colleagues in the Social Studies
                         Departments so that through their example of innovation would spread to other teachers. However, the
                         CAP was not able to change the way China Studies was taught at any of the participating schools.
                         However, a year after the CAP was introduced into the four schools the traditional method of teaching
                         China Studies was still in place. I questioned the Project Teachers' reactions to the CAP, the organization
                         of the school systems in relation to the program and my own perception of education. Documentation
                         includes the original proposal funded by the New World Foundation, correspondence with the
                         foundation and the Hanover school administration, staff minutes from CAP meetings with Project
                         Teachers, case studies on Chinese culture used in the classroom by the Project Teacher and his
                         students, evaluation sheets and taped interviews with the Project Teacher and students and the final
                         report on the CAP submitted to the New World Foundation. The study that follows uses these
                         documents as the basis for reconstructing and analyzing the CAP as it took place at Hanover High
                         School. It examines the behavior and experiences of the Project Teacher at Hanover in an effort to
                         understand what the impact of the CAP was on the teacher, his students and the school system.
                         Incorporated into this analysis is a review of the literature concerning teachers and the culture of schools.
                         (Abstract shortened with permission of author.)


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