Author: Michael Raiber, Bryan L. Duke, Nancy H. Barry, Charlene E. Dell and Diane H. Jackson, with Executive Summary by Jean Hendrickson.
Institution: University of Central Oklahoma
Full reference: Raiber, M., Duke, B., Barry, N., Dell, C and Jackson, D. (2010) Oklahoma A+ Schools: What the Research Tells us: 2002 – 2007. Edmond, OK: Oklahoma A+ Schools® / University of Central Oklahoma
Oklahoma A+ Schools® (OAS) is a network of 60 schools employing a whole school reform model that aims to use the arts, experiential learning, cross-curricular integration and multiple intelligences theory to encourage creative learning opportunities for all students while also improving curriculum, infrastructure, and climate in their schools. The programme has an active research component and this research project was commissioned by OAS to review the body of findings from the first five years of activity.
The research provides a picture of OAS schools in practice and insights into the A+ process. From the qualitative data the researchers identified multiple levels of engagement in the OAS process and developed a continuum to describe the process for school entry and its movement from “reform-minded” (moderate engagement) to either an “inform-minded” (minimal engagement) or “transform-minded” (high engagement) culture “reform” level of engagement.
The report identifies three primary drivers that empower transition with the school culture: (a) faculty engagement, (b) principal leadership, and (c) professional development and five indicators of engagement: (a) resiliency (b) sustainability, (c) flexibility, (d) ownership, and (e) empowerment. Although causality was not established greater integration of the OAS process was associated with gains in performance and in more positive attitudes amongst pupils and staff.
The report consists of five, independently written volumes examining the A+ process from a number of perspectives.