CAROFF, GLEN EDWARD; EDD

                         THE UNIVERSITY OF AKRON, 1984
                         EDUCATION, ADMINISTRATION (0514)

                         The purpose of this study was to develop a curriculum diffusion model based on General Systems
                         Theory. The model was constructed for the purpose of helping students in educational institutions
                         transcend knowledge acquired in specific academic subjects. Students should also gain expertise,
                         through the use of acquired General Systems Theory concepts, in solving complex problems
                         interdisciplinary in nature. The conceptual model was derived from a synthesis of curriculum and
                         innovation implementation literature, conceptual model building literature, and an extensive examination
                         of General Systems Theory concepts. Those concepts were: closed system, open system, entropy,
                         negentropy, space, time, information, wholeness, structure, process, matter-energy, boundary, goal and
                         purpose, system state, input-output transmission, steady states, hierarchy, equifinality, and progressive
                         segregation, mechanization, centralization, and individualization. Four sequential systems were
                         interrelated and interdependent components were identified in the model: (1) the Initiatory System,
                         consisting of the base upon which the other systems of the model are built, (2) the Diffusion Formulation
                         System, connected by a computer terminal to the Society for General Systems Research 'curriculum
                         research' and 'instructional services' components, and consisting of a 'curriculum diffusion project
                         director' and a 'curriculum diffusion coordinating team, (3) the Scrutinization System, consisting of a pilot
                         study to test the validity of the model, and (4) the Heuristic System, consisting of the task of hypotheses
                         development for model/program improvement. As a result of the investigation, implications were
                         suggested as follows: (1) The developed curriculum diffusion model based on General Systems Theory
                         should be piloted in a school for purposes of determining utility, effectiveness and areas needing
                         refinement. (2) Industrial business sectors should examine how functional the model might prove in their
                         management training programs. (3) Additional studies pertaining to the utility of General Systems Theory
                         in all areas of education should be addressed. (4) A graded course of study for General Systems Theory
                         should be developed, and (5) Researchers should ascertain what type and size of educational
                         organization might be most open to piloting the diffusion model developed in this document.


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