Perceptions of the implementation of a whole-school reform model : all-female single-sex education

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2013-05

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The purpose of this study was to explore the implementation experiences of school leaders and teachers in a public, all-female, single-sex campus that experienced successful student outcomes. This research examined the participants' views of the factors that influence successful implementation of this model. Three research questions guided the study: (1) What are stakeholder perceptions of the factors that influenced the successful implementation of an all-female, single-sex, whole-school reform? (2) What are stakeholder perceptions of the successes experienced during the successful implementation of an all-female, single-sex, whole-school reform? (3) What are stakeholder perceptions of the challenges to the successful implementation of an all-female, single-sex, whole-school reform? This qualitative study used a grounded theory approach and a case study design to examine the implementation of whole-school, single-sex reform on a campus that experienced successful student outcomes, as evidenced by receiving the highest rating from the state accountability system in 2010-2011. Participants for this study were selected through purposive, theoretical sampling using a referral technique to generate the participant pool. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews, an open-ended questionnaire, and a review of documents. To produce a substantive theory, data analysis followed the open, axial, and selective coding processes outlined by Strauss and Corbin (1990). The participant perceptions and major findings were analyzed to determine the relationships between causal conditions in order to develop theoretical explanations about the factors that influenced the implementation. The major factors influencing the implementation of the all-female, single-sex campus in this study were: (1) Community, (2) External factors, (3) District-level factors, and (4) School-level factors. The data and findings from this research were used to generate a substantive theory regarding the factors that influence successful implementation of this model so that leaders in public school districts may have a greater knowledge base with which to augment the decision-making process when considering the implementation of all-female, single-sex campuses as a whole-school reform model. Also, districts planning to implement this model may use the findings as a guide when considering the factors in their own districts that may influence implementation.

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