Brown v. Topeka : a legacy of courage and struggle
The purpose of this study was to depict and analyze the components of the process by which the Northwest Indiana Curriculum Evaluation Project was applied from a theoretical model of curriculum evaluation which had been developed by Drs. James McElhinney and Richard Kunkel of Ball State University. This task was accomplished through participant observation. In this capacity the participant observer initially recorded the events, insights, and anecdotes which occurred while at the same time, he served as the project director. These recorded observations were then used as a basis for designing a questionnaire which was administered to the team leaders of the project. This instrument, which used a semantic differential as a rating scale, attempted to solicit the team leaders' perceptions and reactions to many concepts about the project which had originally been identified through participant observation.The questionnaire and other data, which was accumulated, as well as the study itself, were organized and presented within the framework of five sequential phases. These were as follows: 1. Phase I - Training Workshops for Data Collectors 1. Phase II - Interviews and Observations3. Phase III - Administration of Questionnaires4. Phase IV - Organization of Data5. Phase V - Writing of Individual Building ReportsThe final section of the study attempted to determine how the team leaders felt about the project once their direct involvement had been completed. Attention was also accorded to what would and should be done with the final project results in the various participating school corporations.Based upon the data and findings of the study, it was concluded that the theoretical model of curriculum evaluation investigated was an effective vehicle with which to collect data and accurately describe the curricular offerings of a given school.In addition, it was determined that public school personnel can be trained to serve effectively as data collectors within the model in a relatively short period of time (In this case, a one and one-half day workshop proved sufficient). However, much of the success or failure of such an undertaking appeared to be determined by the personal and professional qualifications of the consultant who conducted the training workshops. It was also found that the potential for success of a curriculum evaluation project such as the Northwest Indiana Curriculum Evaluation Project would have been enhanced by increasing the man-day commitment of participating school corporations so as to accommodate unexpected time and personnel problems which occurred; by budgeting for more adequate secretarial services; and by providing more adequate storage and office space in which to house the permanent staff required for such a project.Beyond the initial approval which was given by the chief administrator of each participating school corporation, the attitude which the superintendent extended to the project significantly influenced the attitudes which his subordinates displayed as participating data collectors.Other conclusions obtained from the study were: communication plays a vital role in determining the success or failure of a curriculum evaluation project; certain professional public school personnel seem threatened by involvement in curriculum evaluation projects; cooperative curriculum evaluation projects possess a high potential as in-service programs; students tend to be more frank in their responses to the inquiries made by data-collectors than are teachers; professional educators recognize a need for curricular change based on systematically acquired evidence, and the advent of a curriculum evaluation project in and of itself is unlikely to foster significant curricular change.