Teacher-Education Reform Slow, Deans Say in Study

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Deans and chairmen who head up the nation's schools, colleges, and departments of education strongly agree with their institutions' agendas for reforming teacher training, but believe little action has been taken to implement those plans, according to a study released this month by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.

Slightly more than 90 percent of the institutions whose leaders responded to the survey, Teaching Teachers: Facts and Figures, 1991, reported that admissions standards had been raised on their campuses.

Three-fourths indicated that exit standards also had been put into place. And almost as many respondents said they had undertaken partnerships with elementary and secondary schools to improve teacher preparation.

At the other end of the spectrum, only 20 percent of those surveyed noted that student-cohort groups had been developed, and only 28 percent had adopted extended teacher-education programs.

The preliminary data, released at aacte's annual meeting in Atlanta this month, is the latest in a series of reports produced by the organization's Research About Teacher Education project.

The new study, known as rate V, focuses on the leadership of schools, colleges, and departments of education. The final report will be available through aacte later this year.

More than 200 academic heads responded to the survey; about one-fourth of them were deans.

According to Gary Galluzzo, associate dean of education at the University of Northern Colorado, who helped conduct the study, most of the reforms adopted by institutions to date "are the result of external forces," such as a state department of education telling them to raise admissions criteria.

New exit standards also have been adopted primarily because of pressure from state lawmakers, he said.

Education deans identified department chairmen as having the most influence in bringing about changes on their campuses, with central-office administrators the least effective. But the chairmen saw themselves as least effective and "powerful faculty" members as the greatest source of reform.

The researchers reported that few inroads have been made in increas ing the number of women and mi nority members who are deans and chairmen since a similar profile of leaders was drawn 15 years ago.3

Eighty-five percent of the college, school, and department heads sur veyed were male; 95 percent were white, according to Nancy Zimpher, an associate professor of education at Ohio State University.

A majority of the deans have been in their present positions for five years and anticipated remaining L

there another four to five years--a shorter period than 15 years ago, when deans believed they would stay put a dozen years, Ms. Zimpher said.

Most of the deans have worked in academe about 20 years, and 88 per cent had been school administrators at some point in their careers.

Some 60 percent received salary increases for taking the administra tive posts. On average, deans paid on a 12-month cycle earned $64,400, while chairs earned $55,000.

In small liberal-arts colleges, only 14 percent of the department heads said they received financial support throughout the calendar year.

What women there are in the pro fession earn 90 percent of the sala ries of their male counterparts, up from 81 percent five years ago.

The deans reported that three-HL fourths of their time is spent on ad ministrative duties, while chairmen devoted about half of their time to


Most deans said they spend more time than they would like on day-to- day operations, rather than on long- range planning.

They also have seen their time for publication and scholarship dwindle and feel buffeted by conflicting de mands and external pressures, the survey found.

Attending to program improvements topped the list of priorities for deans and chairmen, followed by tending to faculty conditions, promot ing a healthy academic climate, and engaging in long-range planning, said Mary McManus Kluender, an assistant professor of education at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.

Not surprisingly, faculty members ranked faculty conditions as the con cern that should be foremost in the minds of deans and chairmen. Long- range planning was second and pro gram improvements a distant third. But the greatest variation was re4orted by the education leaders' supe riors, who ranked budget manageL ment first. Program improvements were second; long-range planning and faculty conditions tied for fourth.

Despite their frustrations, 86 per cent of the deans and 69 percent of the chairmen said they would accept their administrative posts again.

Other research-team members in cluded Richard I. Arends of the Uni versity of Maryland; Kenneth Howey of Ohio State University; Edward DuH charme of the University of Vermont; Antoine Garibaldi of Xavier Univer sity, Louisiana; and Sam Yarger of the University of Wisconsin.

Staff Writer Ann Bradley contrib uted to this report.

Vol. 10, Issue 25

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