Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Curriculum planning -- Iowa -- Cedar Falls; Interdisciplinary approach in education -- Iowa -- Cedar Falls; High schools -- Curricula;


Continuity of educational experiences and activities from grade to grade and classroom to classroom has been acknowledged as a primary factor in the development of a sound educational program. The diverse aspects of the American educational system serve to obstruct rather than assist schools in the attainment of such continuity, and philosophical differences about the role and function of the schools serve to further obfuscate the curriculum articulation process. The Cedar Falls, Iowa, Community Schools have recognized the problems inherent in the absence of a vertical articulation structure and their detrimental effect upon the educational process. This study has attempted to evaluate the degree of success the Cedar Falls System has experienced in its attempt to meet the challenge of maintaining a basically s.tratified system (a six-three-three arrangement) while seeking to promote the maximum coordination and articulation between grade levels and curricular offerings. The study was done through the use of surveys to determine the effectiveness and general comprehension of the Cedar Falls model of curriculum articulation as utilized in the secondary levels of the system. Populations surveyed were the teaching staff, the curriculum chairpersons, and the secondary administrators. Related literature was reviewed to find generally accepted problems in the articulation process as well as those solutions common to most writers when addressing the identified problems. The setting in the Cedar Falls School System was viewed historically, and the articulation model was examined to determine from the opinions of teachers, curriculum chairpersons, and coordinating administrators the extent to which it was effective. Because of the clearly defined nature of the populations to be surveyed during the course of the study, it was determined that a written questionnaire would most adequately provide the type of information needed. Three surveys were designed to measure various aspects of curriculum coordination through specific population questioning. Survey A was designed to provide input from all participants in the articulation model and was prepared in three variations: Form 1 was administered to the entire teaching staff of both junior high schools and the senior high school; Form 2 was administered to curriculum chairpersons in all three buildings; and Form 3 was administered to administrators serving in the capacity of coordinators in the curriculum structure. Survey B was designed to investigate the perceptions held by the curriculum chairpersons of their role and its success in the structure. Survey C was constructed in response to administrative input to Form 3 of Survey A and designed to define more clearly the administrative role in the curriculum coordination structure at Cedar Falls. The general consensus of opinion was that the model in use was effective in that it permitted cross-level articulation to take 1V place, and involved both faculty and administration in its operation. Areas of general agreement were found in role definition and task significance, as well as in over all satisfaction with the model as it was functioning. Several suggestions were offered to ensure continued understanding, the most significant being amplification of roles and job description, more systematic communication between participants, and further investigation of release time consideration. The results of the surveys were then conveyed to the Board of Education and to the members of the Cedar Falls system that participated in the study.

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Specialist in Education

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