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Status of Education Reform in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools: Teachers' Perspective
NCES: 1999045
February 1999

Sources of Information and Assistance in Helping Understand or Use Comprehensive Reform Strategies

Teachers have at their disposal a number of sources of information or assistance in integrating and better understanding reform strategies. Respondents were asked to report the extent to which a series of specific information resources were effective in this regard (Table 12 and appendix Table B-9, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4). Teachers appear to rely largely on state and local sources, teacher organizations, and professional journals for information. Of the 21 listed sources, 5 were reported being used by at least 90 percent of the teachers: other teachers and inservice training (97 percent each); school administrators (94 percent); institutes or workshops (92 percent); and school district (91 percent). Eleven other resources were reported being used by more than 50 percent of the teachers (Table 12). Federal government sources and electronic networks/discussion groups were less frequently used (27 percent to 37 percent).

One-third or more of teachers reported that they found other teachers (39 percent), inservice training (37 percent), and institutes and workshops (38 percent) to be very effective sources of information. Ten percent or less of the teachers using them reported finding the following sources very effective:

  • State department of education (7 percent);
  • Intermediate or regional education agency (8 percent);
  • U.S. Department of Education Regional Labs (4 percent); and
  • Other U.S. Department of Education offices or programs (7 percent). Teachers also reported the method in which they prefer to receive information. Most teachers' reported first choice for receiving information was through workshops and summer institutes (56 percent), followed by hardcopy sources, such as journal articles and magazines (34 percent).

Teachers also reported the method in which they prefer to receive information. Most teachers' reported first choice for receiving information was through workshops and summer institutes (56 percent), followed by hardcopy sources, such as journal articles and magazines (34 percent). Only 6 percent said they preferred electronic media (e.g., e-mail, Internet, electronic bulletin boards, micro cards; Figure 4 and appendix Table B-10, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4).

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