Public school districts have been operating under a decade’s long press to move beyond functioning as engines of access-oriented mass public schooling to functioning as instructionally focused education systems pursuing educational excellence and equity. This press has researchers developing analytic frameworks useful for examining different ways that districts are responding. Even so, limitations in individual frameworks suggest a need to explore the coordinate use of complementary frameworks to support more comprehensive examinations of districts. This analysis explores the coordinated use of a “coupling framework” and a “systems framework” to analyze efforts in two districts to improve educational quality and to reduce disparities. Findings suggests that the coordinated use of the coupling and systems frameworks supports deeper analyses of instructional organization and management than either framework would on its own, and that further incorporating quality and equity frameworks would support still-deeper analyses. From the perspective of this issue of the Peabody Journal of Education (PJE), the implication is that elaborating new institutional theory to capture micro-level variation in response to macro-level dynamics is but one challenge faced by organizational researchers in education, and that the deeper challenge lies in considering alternative world views—paradigmatic assumptions—underlying the use of singular and complementary analytic frameworks.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology