Evaluation of school restructuring intended to create a middle schooling culture

Year: 2001

Author: Boland, Terry, Cavanagh, Robert, Dellar, Graham

Type of paper: Refereed paper

As a consequence of rationalisation of educational provision in Western Australia, Maddington Senior High School was closed in 1999. A new principal was appointed with the brief to create a middle school. Following extensive refurbishment of physical facilities, appointment of new staff and major curriculum revision, the school was re-opened in 2000 as Yule Brook College.

Re-structuring of the school was based upon application of research into effective teaching, learning and school improvement to create a ‘middle-school’ learning community. Particular attention was given to identifying the characteristics of school and classroom learning environments conducive to improved student educational outcomes. This influenced school leadership practices, staff selection, curriculum provision, class groupings and classroom design.

Prior to re-structuring, The School Cultural Elements Questionnaire, the Classroom Cultural Elements Questionnaire and the Parental Involvement in School Questionnaire were administered respectively to staff, students and parents to profile the prevailing culture of the school. All three surveys were re-administered after one year of school improvement implementation. Survey data were subject to one-way analysis of variance to identify stability and change in multiple dimensions of the learning community culture. Results indicate significant changes occurred within the school over the one year period of re-structuring.