Departmentalization in Elementary Schools: Contradictions Teachers Confront

Departmentalization in Elementary Schools: Contradictions Teachers Confront

Richard L. Allington

University of Tennessee.

American journal of educational research and reviews

This paper presents analyses of observational and interview data gathered in a study of exemplary fourth-grade teachers from five states. The central issue explored is the relative merits of self-contained and departmentalized models of instruction. We found no achievement differences in the classrooms by organizational pattern, but differences in the instruction offered in these two models were identified, and mixed views of the relative advantages of either organization plan were expressed by the participants. A key tension was whether these organizational plans are intended to primarily benefit teachers or students. However, the complexities of the cost/benefit concerns are the findings that this study highlights.

Keywords: Contradictions Teachers Confront; Departmentalization

Free Full-text PDF

How to cite this article:
Richard L. Allington. Departmentalization in Elementary Schools: Contradictions Teachers Confront. American Journal of Educational Research and Reviews, 2020; 5:77. DOI: 10.28933/ajerr-2020-09-1205

1. Allington, R. L. (2002). What I’ve learned about effective reading instruction from a decade of studying exemplary elementary classroom teachers. Phi Delta Kappan, 83(10), 740-747.
2. Allington, R. L., & Johnston, P. H. (Eds.). (2002). Reading to learn: Lessons from exemplary 4th grade classrooms. New York: Guilford.
3. Allington, R. L., Johnston, P. H., & Day, J. P. (2002). Exemplary fourth-grade teachers. Language Arts, 79(6), 462-466.
4. Anderson, R. (l962). The case for teacher specialization in the elementary school. The Elementary School Journal, 63, 253-260.
5. Anderson, R., & Pavin, B. (l993). Nongraded-ness: Helping it to happen. Lancaster, PA: Technomic.
6. Barnes, R. (l961). Survey of status and trends in departmentalization in city elementary schools. Journal of Educational Research, 55, 291-297.
7. Barr, R. & Dreeben, R. (l99l). Grouping students for reading instruction. In Barr, R., Kamil, M., Mosenthal, J., Pearson, P. D. (Eds.). Handbook of reading research, Volume II. White Plains, NY: Longman, pp. 885-911.
8. Broadhead, F. (l960). Pupil achievement in semi-departmental elementary/junior high schools. The Elementary School Journal, 61, 385-390.
9. Burns, R. & Mason, D. (l998). Class formation and composition in elementary schools, American Educational Research Journal, 35(4), 739-772.
10. Cattell, R. (l948). Concepts and methods in the measurement of group syntality. Psychological Review, 55, 48-63.
11. Chan C. T., & Jarman, D. (2004). Departmentalize elementary schools. Principal, 84(1), 70-72.
12. Culyer, R. (l984). The case for the self-contained classroom. Clearing House, 57 417-419.
13. Drees, J. (l989). Elementary school organization: Self-contained and departmentalized classroom structures. Des Moines, IO: Des Moines Public Schools.
14. Gabriel, R., Pereira, J. D., & Allington, R. L. (2011). What effective teachers taught us about learning to teach effectively. In I. M. Saleh & M. Swehine (Eds.), Teaching teachers: Approaches in improving quality of education (pp. 343-357). Happague, NY: Nova Science Publishers.
15. Gayer, N. (l961). The myth of the self-contained classroom. California Teachers Association Journal, 13, 22-26.
16. Gibb, E. & Matala, D. (l962). Study on the use of special teachers of science and mathematics in Grades 5 and 6. School Science and Mathematics, 62, 565-585.
17. Gumplowicz, L. (l899). Outlines of sociology (trans. by F. H. Moore.) Philadelphia: American Academy of Political and Social Science.
18. Howard, E. (l969). A look at specialization, Educational Leadership, 26, 547-556.
19. McPartland, J. M., Coldiron, J. R., & Braddock, J. H. (1987). School structures and classroom practices in elementary, middle, and secondary schools. Baltimore, MD: Center for Research on Elementary and Middle Schools, Johns Hopkins University.
20. National Education Association. (l966). Departmentalization in elementary schools. NEA Research Bulletin, 44, 27-38.
21. Nye, B., Konstantopoulos, S., & Hedges, L. V. (2004). How large are teacher effects? Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 26(3), 237-257.
22. Raze, N. (l985). Primary and intermediate grade configurations: A review of the literature. Redwood City, CA: San Mateo County Office of Education.
23. Robinson, H. M. (1961). Summary of investigations relating to reading, July 1, 1959 to June 30, 1960. Journal of Educational Research, 54, 203-220.
24. Rodger, M. & Palardy, J. (l987). A survey of organizational patterns and grouping strategies used in elementary schools in the Southeast. Education, 108, 113-118.
25. Slavin, R. E. (1988). Synthesis of research on grouping in elementary and secondary schools. Educational Leadership, 46(1), 67- 77.
26. Strohl, A., Schmertzing, L., Schmertzing, R., & Hsiao, E. (2014). Comparison of self-contained and departmentalized elementary teachers’ perceptions of classroom structure and job satisfaction. Journal of Studies in Education, 4(1), 109-127.
27. Ward, R. (l988). Toward improved school organization: Further look at horizontal structure. National Elementary Principal, 22, 93-115.

Terms of Use/Privacy Policy/ Disclaimer/ Other Policies:
You agree that by using our site, you have read, understood, and agreed to be bound by all of our terms of use/privacy policy/ disclaimer/ other policies (click here for details). This site cannot and does not contain professional advice. The information on this site is provided for general informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. Accordingly, before taking any actions based upon such information, we encourage you to consult with the appropriate professionals. We do not provide any kind of professional advice. The use or reliance of any information contained on this site or our mobile application is solely at your own risk. Under no circumstance shall we have any liability to you for any loss or damage of any kind incurred as a result of the use of the site or our mobile application or reliance on any information provided on the site and our mobile application. We may publish articles without peer-review. Published articles of authors are open access. Authors hold the copyright and retain publishing rights without restrictions. Authors are solely responsible for their articles published in our journals. Publication of any information in authors’ articles does not constitute an endorsement by us. We make no representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability or completeness of any information that authors provided. more..

CC BY 4.0
This work and its PDF file(s) are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.