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Credits: 3.0

One way to see the act of education is that it is essentially about what occurs between teachers and learner. In other words the key unit of analysis is the classroom or activity structure. The classroom is important, but teaching and learning are also shaped by their context. Individuals are situated in organizations, which are situated in broader social, cultural, and political environments. Consequently, reform and improvement efforts must not only take seriously individual factors, they must understand the ways in which individual action is enabled and constrained by organizational and environmental contexts. This seminar will focus on schools as organizations drawing on theoretical and empirical work grounded in organizational theory. We will interrogate the institutional, organizational, and day-to-day contexts of work in schools. We also explore how reform efforts targeting organizational features can intervene and perhaps, improve teaching and learning. In order to grapple with the concepts from the literature, students will analyze several cases or organizational improvement efforts and conduct a small study examining an improvement effort in a local educational organization.

Recent Instructors

Eleanor R. Anderson