chapter  13
12 Pages

Organizing for Responsiveness: The Heterogeneous School Community: Diana Oxley

The educational critiques of the 1980s portrayed public schools, especially secondary schools, as dysfunctional, calcified institutions that are unresponsive to dramatic changes in family structure, demography, and the economy. Despite decades of classroom-based reform efforts, basic instructional practices and school structures remain in place (Cuban, 1986). Given the enormous differences in the needs of local communities, the organization of schools in New York City and Philadelphia is fundamentally the same as it is in suburbia (Goodlad, 1984). There seems to be no exit from traditional school practices that include large size, academic departmentalization, homogeneous grouping, 50-minute periods, and whole class instruction.