A Historical Study of the Contributions of Dr. William G. Spady to Education Reform


Forty-five states have adopted the National Common Core Standards. The purpose of these standards is to ensure that all students are proficient in the knowledge and skills needed for success in a highly competitive global society. Basing education on national standards for all students seems similar to some of the basic tenets that served as the foundation of outcome-based education (OBE). Since 1983, there have been numerous attempts at educational reform in the U.S. Despite these reform efforts the nation still has approximately a 30% high school dropout rate, and American students no longer rank at the top on international tests. Many current educational reformers argue that the educational system is obsolete and out of sync with the fast-paced changes impacting the world. The purpose of this historical study was to explore the contributions of William Spady to the history of educational reform in the United States, particularly the impact of OBE on educational reform. This study also examined how Spady describes his contributions to the history of educational reform initiatives and leadership development. One major research question and two sub-questions guided this study: 1. What have been the contributions of William Spady to the history of educational reform in the United States? 1a. What has been the impact of Outcomes-Based Education on educational reform in the United States, according to Spady? 1b. How does Spady describe his contributions to educational reform and leadership development? A qualitative, historical, interpretive design was used to conduct this study. Data were collected through an elite, face-to-face interview, telephone communications, emails, and the examination of Spady’s and other educational reformers’ publications. A major finding of this study is that several of the fundamental components of Spady’s system of OBE are embedded throughout many current educational reform initiatives such as classroom reform models, program alignment, external accountability, national common core standards, and approaches to school transformation. The findings from this research study may be useful for educational leaders and educational organizations that will be leading the implementation of the National Common Core Standards and other reform initiatives

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oai:scholarsarchive.jwu.edu:dissertations-1232Last time updated on 11/12/2016

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