Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Racial or Gender Achievement Gaps: the Result of Basic School Conflicts?

The school is a complex organization. By their complexity alone, schools run up against four basic internal conflicts. These are
• following policy vs. sensitivity to individual differences, e.g. the conflict of teaching a class according to a standardized curriculum vs. making adjustments according to the readiness of individual students

• delegating authority vs. pursuing authorized goals, e.g., Teachers change the curriculum at will to reflect their personal tastes and priorities.

• process vs. product, e.g. Standardized testing and curriculum vs. the concern for the "specialness" of students.

• power vs. morale., e.g. Student enthusiasm for school sinks as "discipline" is tightened up.
Dealing with these school conflicts is not merely a matter of more dedication or self-discipline on the part of individuals. Nor is it a matter of patience or forbearance or charisma. What must be addressed is the structure of relationships that constitute the organization.

To examine these issues further, see Basic Internal Conflicts

--- EGR