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The Accelerated Schools Project in Australia : resilience and renewal


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Andrew, RG 2003 , 'The Accelerated Schools Project in Australia : resilience and renewal', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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The thesis examines key developmental issues arising from a six-year interpretive case study
of the implementation of the Accelerated Schools Project (ASP) in Matterslea (pseudonym)
Primary School, Tasmania, Australia. Matterslea is the first school in the 'Southern
Hemisphere to apply the ASP model of comprehensive school-wide reform. ASP was
designed in the US for use in high poverty communities. Through the process, Matterslea has
reshaped its governance, school organisation and pedagogic approach. Not only has the
model changed the school, but in the context of Tasmanian public education, the ASP model
has also experienced contextual adaptations. The ways in which the model itself has been
adapted and the changes resulting from its implementation are key focus points of the thesis. Consideration is given in the thesis to the researcher's dual role of researcher/observer and
'coach' in the project which has been a collaboration of the University of Tasmania, the
Accelerated Schools project (Stanford and Columbia Universities) and the Esk School
District of the Tasmanian Department of Education (DoE). The research was multi-method
in approach, involving participant observation, qualitative and quantitative data gathering.
Using a combination of surveys, interviews, documentary reports and quantitative measures,
the study analyses outcomes in three reform phases: establishment, consolidation and self authoring.
A review of the literature in the related areas of school renewal and organisational
learning identifies three key difficulties common to top-down systemic reforms: coherence,
member empowerment, and authenticity of learning. In terms of various measures, the
outcomes of the study show that Matterslea's ASP implementation has made substantial
progress in meeting those challenges, and how, as a so-called 'disadvantaged school', it has
achieved an internal coherence of policy and practice that accords with broad central DoE
policy but is not dominated by it. Critical determinants of Matterslea's organisational
resilience are identified by the study. They are the deliberate, committed distribution of its
leadership; broad ownership of authentic vision-led priorities; and the use of transparent,
culturally appropriate means of communication for all key member groups. The thesis
examines the implications for contemporary Tasmanian school planning and curriculum

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:Andrew, RG
Keywords: Accelerated Schools Project, School management and organization
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2003 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Thesis (Ph.D)--University of Tasmania, 2003. Includes bibliographical references

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