Common Planning and the Flexible Schedule: A Case Study of Change Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
  • Little, Gregory
    • Affiliation: School of Education
  • The purpose of this study was to explore the participation of core middle school teachers in the change process as their schools adopted common planning structures. The study followed Oakwood Middle School and Mountain Creek Middle School throughout the initiation and implementation of required common planning times for core content area teachers. The change process was a complex and multi-faceted operation that required school leaders to build the local capacity of organizations involved. This qualitative study focused on a low implementation and a high implementation middle school that adopted common planning structures through a flexible schedule. The primary distinction between the low implementation school and the high implementation school was the structure of the common planning time for teacher collaboration. A low implementation school failed to create at least 160 minutes of common planning time for core content area teachers per week. A high implementation school dedicated at least 160 minutes per week to collaboration. Through interviews, observations, and the study of pertinent school documents, the researcher examined how teachers participated in the move to greater collaborative structures through common planning time. The snapshot provided by the study highlighted critical elements of change, such as the importance of meaning making throughout the change process, the need for on-going staff development to equip teachers with the skills necessary to build successful collaborative relationships within the school, and the establishment of choice and ownership when assertive leadership created the common planning structures. Embedded in the discussion on meaning making was the importance of clarifying the goals of the common planning times, allowing teachers to understand the purposes and expectations of what they were expected to do differently in these collaborative relationships. The extent to which teachers understood the change appeared to impact both their attitudes as well as their instructional practices.
Date of publication
Resource type
Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Day, Barbara
  • Doctor of Education
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education
Graduation year
  • 2007

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