The normal school and some of its abnormalities : an extended case study of factors affecting antiracist multicultural education school improvement strategies in a secondary school.

Lee, Donald Robert (1998). The normal school and some of its abnormalities : an extended case study of factors affecting antiracist multicultural education school improvement strategies in a secondary school. PhD thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.000101fd

Abstract

‘Race’, cultural diversity and equality of opportunity as issues affecting school effectiveness and improvement, and responses through antiracist multicultural education, are examined using mainly qualitative research methods. Development of grounded theory (Glaser and Strauss, 1967) research strategies and progressive focusing of comparative data analysis are applied at institutional, departmental and individual levels of enquiry to identify and analyse factors affecting antiracist multicultural education’s anticipated adoption and implementation at Stepford School and Community college.

Stepford’s historical, social and institutional contexts, related policy and curriculum development, leadership, and external and internal communities of interest are identified as factors contributing to the concept of the “normal” school and its organisational defensive routine (Argyris, 1992), “the exceptional school”, both resistant to antiracist multicultural education.

Although overt or direct resistance to antiracist multicultural education was inconspicuous, complex strategies, including contradictory institutional impression management for different purposes and audiences, are revealed whereby Stepford, its structures, processes and individual organisational members evaded its development. Confidently predicted antiracist multicultural education developments did not occur but tentative recommendations are offered concerning effective management of educational change in which ‘race’ and cultural diversity are operative, and about related research.

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