A study of the antecedents for reform movements in high schools based on a national historical study and interviews with eight veteran educators in Williamson County, Tennessee

Donna Kay Kendrick, Tennessee State University

Abstract

This study traced the history of the public high school; reported on the antecedents that emerged; reported on political, economic, and situational occurrences and statistics that affected high schools; and cited recommendations for more efficiently dealing with these antecedents and accompanying reform in the future. ^ A historical analysis of educational thought and philosophy and a study of the political, economic, and situational occurrences that affected high school revealed at least five antecedents for high school reform: idealism, utilitarianism and economics, social engineering, reorganization of the high school, and government intervention during crisis. Of these utilitarianism and economics had the greatest impact on secondary education because students must high school leave prepared for the next phase of their lives. ^ Primary references came from interviews with eight veteran educators with at least 25 years of educational experience from Williamson County, Tennessee. Four were female and four were male; minority representation was not available. These educators could not be used to represent any larger group of educators. Based on historical literature, occurrences and statistics, and personal interviews with veteran educators, a determination was made that the status quo of the high school student had not significantly changed regarding academics. Social pressures and economic gains made the life of the modern high school student vastly different from students of just 25 years ago. There was a heated debate over the presentation and interpretation of education statistics. There was an urgent call for re-evaluation of in-service and staff development for teachers so that they could address the needs of the modern high school student. ^ Reform initiatives should involve an examination of national standards and curriculum because of current population mobility. All of the stakeholders in education should address reform and be accountable. State departments of education should assume the responsibility of disseminating accurate statistics in an easy to understand format. ^

Subject Area

Education, Administration|Education, Secondary

Recommended Citation

Donna Kay Kendrick, "A study of the antecedents for reform movements in high schools based on a national historical study and interviews with eight veteran educators in Williamson County, Tennessee" (1998). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI9943849.
http://digitalscholarship.tnstate.edu/dissertations/AAI9943849

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