The initiation of multidisciplinary teams: A case study on educational change

Karen Ann Sheehan Benedict, Fordham University


This study chronicles the change process in a small, suburban, northeastern high school. It focuses on Riverside High School's attempt to restructure its English, social studies, and arts classes through the initiation of multidisciplinary teams. It describes structural, curricular, and instructional changes made by multidisciplinary teams, and analyzes the driving and restraining forces that enhanced or impeded the change process.^ An ethnographic design is used in this single case study to document changes and to explore how these changes were made over time. Triangulated data were gathered through the use of participant observation, interviews, and program records and documents. The results indicate that multidisciplinary teams were able to make structural, curricular, and instructional changes. The driving and restraining forces are explored as three themes: leadership, collegiality, and beliefs, values, and norms.^ The conclusions drawn from this study are shared as three propositions: (a) change is learning; (b) change is a journey; and (c) change requires power to manage it. These propositions attempt to explain the change process in one school and to deepen the way educational change is conceptualized. ^

Subject Area

Educational administration|Curriculum development

Recommended Citation

Benedict, Karen Ann Sheehan, "The initiation of multidisciplinary teams: A case study on educational change" (1993). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9412128.