Coherence: Why is it not routinely accomplished in secondary schools?

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dc.contributor.advisor Robinson, Viviane M.J. en
dc.contributor.advisor Timperley, Helen en
dc.contributor.author Welton, Megan en
dc.date.accessioned 2020-09-22T02:10:49Z en
dc.date.available 2020-09-22T02:10:49Z en
dc.date.issued 2020
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2292/53037 en
dc.description.abstract Coherence is an organisational property describing the extent to which an entity coordinates its resources, systems and processes with a collective focus on achieving priority goals. While coherence is desirable, it is not routinely accomplished. Coherence was examined in three secondary schools as they introduced and implemented initiatives to improve student achievement. The study examined: a) the extent of coherence of each school’s reform efforts; b) the relationship between coherence and student achievement, as measured by pass rates in national qualifications; and c) the organisational and leadership practices that increase and reduce coherence. Theoretically grounded quantitative measures of coherence were developed and used, along with detailed interviews and field observations, in mixed methods case studies of the three schools. Factor analyses of teacher and leader responses to the coherence survey revealed a wholeschool and a team factor. On the survey, schools differed significantly on coherence because one of the three schools had stronger coherence on the whole-school, but not the team factor. The extent of coherence in all three schools, as measured on a coherence rubric, sat in a relatively narrow range between weak to moderate. School patterns of achievement and coherence were similar: at each school, weak to moderate coherence was associated with pass rates that were comparable to or worse than the average secondary school serving similar students nationwide. While stronger wholeschool coherence was associated with stable but slow gains in achievement, it appears that schools need to improve coherence both at the whole-school level and in teams if their achievement is to improve substantially. School coherence was reduced when leaders: (1) focused many of faculty’s collective activities on the tactical steps and tasks associated with implementing initiatives, rather than on evaluating and improving them; (2) designed their school systems to tolerate differences in performance and quality; and (3) let distributed leaders independently, rather than conjointly, progress improvement activities. These practices persisted because senior leaders’ beliefs prevented them from resolving the tensions between seemingly contradictory organising requirements, such as the requirement to achieve school-wide and department goals. Interventions should assist leaders in attending to the inevitable tensions that arise in crafting coherent school improvement. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof PhD Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA99265308712202091 en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. en
dc.rights.uri https://researchspace.auckland.ac.nz/docs/uoa-docs/rights.htm en
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/nz/ en
dc.title Coherence: Why is it not routinely accomplished in secondary schools? en
dc.type Thesis en
thesis.degree.discipline Education en
thesis.degree.grantor The University of Auckland en
thesis.degree.level Doctoral en
thesis.degree.name PhD en
dc.date.updated 2020-08-26T23:20:11Z en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en
dc.rights.accessrights http://purl.org/eprint/accessRights/OpenAccess en


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