Ravitch & Riggan (2012) suggests that author James Spillane has been an innovative leader in the research of educational policy. According to the Northwestern University School of Education and Social Policy website (2016), Dr. Spillane is the Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Professor in Learning and Organizational Change at Northwestern and has published significant research on issues of “education policy, policy implementation, school reform, and school leadership” (p.1).
Dr. Spillane received a PhD. in Curriculum, Teaching, and Education Policy from Michigan State University and is a forerunner in Distributed Leadership and Principal Policy and Practice research. According to Ravitch & Riggan (2012) Spillane’s research and publications investigates how policy is constructed at the state, district, school, and classroom levels and focuses on implementation and policy-practice relations. He has extensively contributed in the process of data collection, research methods, and analysis of organizational leadership and change.
Summary of Dr. Spillane’s Article
Ravitch & Riggan (2012) suggest that Dr. Spillane’s work looks at how policy is implemented by understanding the ways people behave when learning new information and how a school district interprets the policy message. According to Spillane (2002) changes in the application of standards stems from the interpretation of district leaders and how they decipher and explain the standards to school personnel. School personnel will then reinterpret the standards based on their own framework and point of reference. The prior knowledge and skills of the new learners will affect the significance and application of the policy. The meaning and treatment of th...
... middle of paper ...
.... It appears that researchers generally have some idea of what will be featured and a basic conceptual framework as they begin a study. Ravitch & Riggan (2012) highlight Spillane as an example of the how a study works through data, asks new questions and then returns to literature. The conceptual framework connects the parts and drives new questions. It appears that it is important to revisit the conceptual framework, particularly when evaluating the research design.
The conceptual framework clarifies the focus and acts as a link between the literature and the methodology. In the case of Spillane (2002) the shift between the inductive and deductive approach gave clarity to both the method and the results. The change allowed the study to focus more on the how and why of the research question. The conceptual framework worked hand in hand with the research design.
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