THE MOST IMPORTANT AND SIGNIFICANT FINDING AND/OR IMPLICATION OF THE STUDY
One of the most obvious facts to emerge from this study is that Differentiated Staffing has provided an alternative to present staffing for our schools.
The knowledge explosion and the
rise in professional salaries makes it evident that the professional’s
time must be used to maximum advantage. Low-level responsibilities such
as collecting lunch money or supervising recess or sports events needs
to be delegated to non-professional personnel while the professional tasks
of diagnosing, prescription development, treatment and assessment should
be assigned to specialist teachers. Roles and responsibilities must be
differentiated in order for increased learning to take place.
The complexity of the educational process, the knowledge explosion and the significant rise in professional salaries together with the current situation that there is no equivalent appeal in status, authority or financial remuneration for classroom teachers that compares with public administration has emphasized the need for a reorganization of school staff to obtain the most efficient use of teacher talents.
Team Teaching initiated a strong movement toward development of the Differentiated Staffing concept, including a strong supportive staff during the seventies. Many plans, if fully implemented, would bring radical changes to the educational system in terms of instructional techniques, school administrator relationships and preparation of school personnel.
The purpose of this study was to investigate differentiated staffing as an alternative to the existing situation of school organization by providing a well defined and elaborate description of differentiated staffing.
The following specific sub-problems were considered:
of related literature, divided into three parts, namely: innovation and
charge theory; a taxonomy of models; and
the development of new staffing patterns indicated that Staff Differentiation has been proposed as a solution to halt teacher turnover. No precise definition or description, that would be universally accepted was found in the literature, Differentiated Staffing being a relatively recent innovation and an evolving concept appeared to mean different things to different people.
An analysis of the responses of teachers, interns, principals and other administrators and paraprofessionals to the Teacher-Administrator questionnaire and structured interviews in selected Schools of North America provided responses to the sub-problems identified for study.
A team of six educators, traveling in pairs, visited selected innovative 'schools which met the following conditions:
Sub-problem 1. What statement and description of some Differentiated Staffing models could be made?
Differentiated Staffing refers to classroom teachers at various responsibility levels and pay, subject specialists, special service personnel, and number of subprofessionals and non-professionals.
Three distinct models of Differentiated Staffing were evident from the literature and visitation by the teams. The Hierarchical or Reform Model, the Semi-Static or Refinement model and the Fluid or Horizontal model.
Models of Staff Differentiation being developed share some common characteristics and differ from each other in important ways. Same plans stressed curriculum development, other models emphasized a refinement in teaching by adding instructional media or programmed instruction. Still other models have been organization oriented. Learning theories have also been used as a focal point for Differentiated Staffing Patterns.
Among common elements found in Differentiated Staffing models were differentiation of the following: role; methodological competencies; subject matter competencies; salary, prestige and promotional levels; professional and non-professional tasks; trainee-trainer relationships and dollar resources.
Sub-problem 2. Under what conditions and needs were the models derived?
The Hierarchical Model, Temple City, California was developed with emphasis placed on a teacher career ladder during the period from 1966-70 because of teacher shortage and high turnover of teachers.
The Semi-Static model vas developed in Sarasota, Florida primarily to provide more adult expertise to enable greater individualization of instruction. The need for increased teacher leadership, differentiated pay and increased status for teachers were important to development of semi-static models.
The Fluid model, Mesa, Arizona was developed to provide individual school staffing models which were based on pupil needs and to provide for Internal Performance contracting.
In general, the following conditions and needs were present in the three generic models.
Funding, teacher commitment and roles of non-professionals were also of concern.
In general, Differentiated Staffing has produced several significant benefits related to the following areas:
On the basis of the study the following conclusions seem to be justified:
1. Three generic models for Differentiated Staffing were identified which characterize most of the projects being carried out.
2. These three models were derived from a variance in their priority of needs: The Hierarchical Model focused an meeting teacher career needs. The Semi-Static Model focused an pupil and teacher needs 'and emphasized a horizontal differentiation of teacher roles. The Fluid Model had the student as a primary focus.
3. Early models of Differentiated Staffing emphasized the establishment of a career ladder to overcome occupation problems associated with the lack of a sense of career, the lack of status, and the poor visibility of teachers. Recent trends in Differentiated Staffing have advanced teacher tasks firmly grounded in student needs.
4. There vas a wide variance among the major generic models in role definitions. Variations were noted at grade, school and system levels.
indicated that a static-hierarchy of teacher roles inhibited collegiality
between people in a school or school system.
It Would appear that hierarchies actually under-develop talent and lower expectations, rather than promote the desire for advancement. The Florida State University evaluation of school personnel utilization projects revealed that Mesa, Arizona, as a non-static hierarchical model, ranked highest of the four schools representing the three most common models. These were in the area of collegiality and professional practices.
5. Shared decision-making was an integral element of models of Differentiated Staffing. Teachers indicated that they were able to make major decisions about curriculum through the school Academic Senate, Faculty Senate, or School Council. Teachers indicated that they felt that the quality of the decisions was better under a Differentiated Staffing structure.
Collegial decision making was considered to be central to the flexible staffing concept by teachers and administrators contacted. Group problem solving, as opposed to unilateral decision-making, was considered essential. Several of the teachers and administrators indicated that teachers and administrators interacting as equals with different responsibilities was an important component of flexible staffing.
Several administrators expressed the view that, in a flexible staffing situation, the evaluation of teacher performance be based on an assessment of one's performance by his subordinates, his peers, and his superiors in the organizational structure. The teachers that were contacted were far less positive to this idea and several held many reservations about this type of evaluation.
6. Major progress has been made in the following areas of Differentiated Staffing Projects:
b. Teacher specialists have provided for the instruction of teachers and assistants in modern teaching methods and developed curriculum for individualized instruction;
c. Decentralization of decision-making to the teacher level or the lowest responsible level consistent with good management, was evident in the areas of curriculum, learning and deployment of their team in the classroom;
d. The use of community resource persons on teaching staffs have provided increased manpower for the schools by utilizing their special talents, knowledge and competencies in the instructional program;
e. A differentiated work period has been provided in most models;
f. Earlier training experience has been provided for future teachers through clinical experience both at elementary and secondary levels.
c. The most responsive teachers to Staff Differentiation appeared to be males, and generally, the higher up the teacher vas on the standard salary schedule, the less inclined he was to react positively to Differentiated Staffing. The least positive group as a whole to Staff Differentiation were females teaching at the elementary level. The historic appeal =o status and the notion of a career ladder in a profession appear to have had little attraction for female elementary teachers;
e. Substantial objective evidence was not available that would indicate that new staffing approaches have provided better education for children.
Much has been learned about developing staffing patterns to meet the needs of children. What has become apparent has been the realization that unless staff differentiation vas accompanied by training in human relations skills limited behavioral change will be realized.
Educators indicated that several significant facts have been learned from the various Differentiated Staffing projects:
c. Only a few innovations should be implemented in a school at a time;
d. The staff must make decisions within prescribed guidelines;
e. Teachers in the projects needed more training regarding employment of teaching assistants;
f. Communication with the community is vital. Community parents often did not understand what Differentiated Staffing was or how it affected their boys and girls;
h. Some individual or individuals must have management responsibility, and this area must be clearly defined;
i. The teaching act was not clearly defined in several projects and confusion existed as to what the teacher and teacher-assistant should do;
j. Clearly understood and defined relationships must exist between the principal and the project director;
k. Some teachers were more committed to the project than others and they kept up with the current writings and project developments;
m. Concern was expressed by some of the projects that there were too many schools in the same part of the community involved in the project;
n. Teacher and teacher-assistants must have uniform planning time;
o. In several projects the original Differentiated Staffing concepts were poorly defined and implementation was haphazard;
p. In some projects teacher-assistants who were certified were hired in considerable number and later requested work other than that for which they were hired;
q. Teacher-assistant training programs must be defined for training institutions; and
r. There needs to
be an effective monitoring System within the project
to determine if the staffing pattern is meeting the
needs of the students and if Differentiated Staffing makes
any difference to the learning of boys and girls.
One of the most obvious facts which emerge from this study is that Differentiated Staffing has provided an alternative to present staffing patterns for schools. The Multi Unit Elementary School model developed in Wisconsin appears to be a model for Differentiated Staffing that should be seriously considered for implementation on at least a pilot basis in Saskatchewan Elementary Schools. It offers a practical alternative to age-graded, self-contained elementary schooling and establishes a second-level career position in elementary teaching, namely that of the lead teacher.
Reports from Differentiated Staffing projects indicate that the most difficult problem faced in the implementation of Differentiated Staffing vas related to getting a school staff involved and ready for a reorganization which involved changing the teacher's role. Professional associations, local communities, staffs, boards of education, and students need to be involved early in any plans for Differentiated Staffing and considerable care needs to be given to encouraging communication among all parties involved.
Differentiated Staffing Projects appear to require limited financial increase following an implementation period of from three to five years over traditional staffing plans. Attention needs to be given to the conversion costs required to begin this type of program. Considerable costs are involved, both in time and money, to prepare a staff and school plant to implement a new staffing pattern.
Differentiated Staffing requires that administrators have a different philosophical and psychological outlook than most traditional school administrators appear to have.‘ By its very nature Differentiated Staffing requires that administrators have great trust in human nature, that they permit teachers to make decisions and that they have trust in teachers' ability to do their job effectively and without close supervision.
Unless Differentiated Staffing is based on a refined, systematic assessment of student needs it may not be worth implementing. A model to be followed is that utilized by Mesa, Arizona, which began their development of Differentiated Staffing with a pupil needs assessment and then developed their Staff Differentiation.
Differentiated Staffing is not a single component but a more complex type of change. The Mesa, Arizona plan for Differentiated Staffing is a comprehensive, complex and Sophisticated approach to educating students. Differentiated Staffing is a small part of a much larger and complex system. Although there are many entry points the development of any model for Differentiated Staffing requires determination and dedication on the part of those involved.
4) How were the staff hired? What was
the pay schedule and who determined it? Did you have a form of merit pay
or a system of special allowances?
c) Why did you adopt differentiated
b) 1. What are the titles and functions associated with each step in the hierarchy?
2. How are teachers assigned to their rank and function?
3. How are teachers hired, evaluated and assigned?
4. What are the titles and functions of paraprofessionals? How many do you have? What is the method of ayment for paraprofessionals? How are they integrated in educational decision-making and the instructional process?
5. What changes have occurred in instructional technique since the implementation of differentiated staffing? (i.e. increased use of technology, field trips, etc.)
6. In what way did differentiated staffing really change the role of the teacher?
7. What is the pay differentiation among teachers?
8. What is the role of the administrative staff?
c) Why did you choose this form of differentiated staffing?
d) Did you study other models of differentiated staffing?
e) Why did you not choose another system of differentiated staffing? (i.e. a different hierarchical pattern.)
f) What elements, both internal and
external to the school system, facilitated implementation of differentiated
staffing? (i.e. special grants, initiators)
2. Instructional techniques?
3. Hierarchical differentiation among teachers?
4. Pay differentiation among teachers
on the basis of assigned responsibility?
c) How do students feel about differentiated staffing?
d) How do parents and the general public feel about differentiated staffing/ How has the attitude of the public changed towards the school since the implementation of differentiated staffing?
e) Has differentiated staffing helped improve instruction? How has this been achieved?
f) How important is differentiated staffing in providing career patterns, attracting and holding able teachers ad in providing adequate salaries?
g) Has there been a change in philosophy towards the goals of education through the implementation of differentiated staffing?
5. What are some of the problems associated with differentiated staffing?
b) Is it serious enough to force the discontinuation of differentiated staffing in your system?
c) What modifications do you feel are necessary to improve your form of differentiated staffing?
RANK in order the items within each group.
( ) Need to facilitate teacher and staff curriculum and decision-making
|( ) Need to provide more flexibility in curriculum offering|
|( ) Need to have some teachers with more authority
substantive curriculum matters than some administrators
( ) Need to affect individualization of instruction by additional supplementary personnel
|( ) Need to provide greater flexibility in learning experiences|
|( ) Need to provide greater variety of learning experiences|
( ) Need to economize costs
|( ) Need to avoid promoting good classroom teachers into administration|
|( ) Need to provide vitality at the senior teacher level by creating non-tenured positions|
|( ) Need to match salary with differentiated responsibility|
|( ) Need to change the role of the prinicipal from a manager to professional leader|
|( ) Need to create a climate for innovation within the system|
|( ) Need to provide greater flexibility in staff utilization|
|( ) Need to enhance teaching as a career by providing possibilities for professional growth|
|( ) Need to facilitate decentralization of decision-making|
|( ) Need to enhance the status of teachers by creating positional-status levels|
|( ) Need to establish individuals and staff accountability|
|( ) Need to provide greater range in salaries|
|( ) Need to provide an opportunity for talented
teachers who want only limited professional
responsibility (I.E. teaching housewife)
|( ) Need to demonstrate to the community that the schools are striving for quality education|
|( ) Need for budget control at the school level|
( ) Need to better utilize professional skills of teachers by providing assistance in
non-professional skill areas
|( ) Need to retain competent teachers in the profession|
|( ) Need to provide specialized skill support for new instructional techniques|
|( ) Need to provide greater flexibility in teaching technique|
|( ) Need to provide a clinicial approach to meeting student needs|
|( ) Need to recognize individual differences
among teachers by differentiating roles in order to
affect better teaching
|( ) Need to provide more manpower to diversify
and individualize programs, offering alternative
modes of participation in the instructional program
|( ) Need to facilitate the utilization of community laymen expertise|
|( ) Need to make the job of the teacher more manageable|
|( ) Need to facilitate co-operative problem -solving among teachres|
( ) Curriculum Emphasis
( ) Organization Emphasis
( ) Learning Emphasis
( ) Teaching Emphasis
Please rank the following claimed benefits of differentiated staffing as you perceive them.
RANK IN ORDER
( ) Benefit of teacher and staff curriculum planning and decision making
|( ) Benefit of increased flexibility in curriculum offering|
|( ) Benefit of having some teachers with more authority regarding substantive curriculum matters than some administrators|
( ) Benefit of additional supplementary personnel affecting individualization of instruction
|( ) Benefit of greater flexibility in learning experiences|
|( ) Benefit of greater variety of learning experiences|
( ) Benefit of cost economy
|( ) Benefit of keeping good teachers in the classroom instead of being promoted into administration|
|( ) Benefit of providing non-tenured positions at the senior teacher level|
|( ) Benefit of matching salary with differentiated responsibility|
|( ) Benefit of principal's role changing from a manager to a professional leader|
|( ) Benefit of creating a climate for innovation within the system|
|( ) Benefit of greater flexibility in staff utilization|
|( ) Benefit of enhancing teaching as a career by providing possibilities for professional growth|
|( ) Benefit of decentralized decision-making|
|( ) Benefit of enhancing the status of teachers by creating position-status levels|
|( ) Benefit of establishing individual and staff accountability|
Worksheet: Plan the composition of the Units in your school on this chart. Indicate the number of teachers, aides (clerical and instructional), interns (if available), students and ages of students.