Rockwood adopts a dial-select television system: a study of educational decision-making roles and processes in a suburban community
By: Thomas Sobol
Published: 1969
Uploaded: 10/19/2006
Uploaded by: Pocket Masters
Pockets: Gottesman Libraries Archive, Historical Dissertations, Thomas Sobol Collection, Politics and Education, Teachers College Program Collections
Tags: Community and school, Decision Making

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Description/Abstract: ABSTRACT
ROCKWOOD ADOPTS A DIAL-SELECT TELEVISION SYSTEM: A STUDY OF EDUCATIONAL DECISION-MAKING ROLES AND PROCESSES IN A SUBURBAN COMMUNITY
Thomas Sobol
In describing the educational decision-making roles and processes of one suburban community during a period of significant educational change, this study seeks to answer the questions who did what, when, how, why, and to what effect. More specifically, the study asks what is the decision-making process whereby a suburban school system adopts an educational innovation? Who participates in this process? What roles and statuses do these participants occupy, and what are their relationships to one another? What kinds of influence do the participants exercise, and what kinds are effective? What are the long-range system consequences of the decision-making process in which they engage?
Data are drawn from official records, newspaper files, interviews with decision-making participants, and the notes and recollections of the writer as participant observer. A model of the empirical adoption process is constructed and compared with selected existing prescriptive models for such adoption; this and the accompanying descriptive propositions give rise to a theoretical model of decision-making behavior in local educational systems.
The adoption process in this case is not seen as a fully rational activity by rational participants who act according to the perceived merits of the innovation. Rather, decision-making participants are seen to act in response to individual needs, interpersonal group norms, and institutional role expectations and according to their perception of a variety of situational factors. The relationships among these variables are schematized and set against a background of the professional literature on role study, decision-making in formal organizations, and community power as treated in sociology and political science.

Sponsor: Marcella R. Lawler
Dissertation Committee: Francis A. J. Ianni, Gordon N. Mackenzie
Degree: Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University