A Study of Loss and Grief as Produced by Mandated Educational Change
The Problem. This research explored the proposition that subjective feelings of loss and a subsequent behavioral complex of grief are produced in response to mandated educational change. Two primary questions related to the change-loss-grief construct were posed: (1) Do organizational members report professional loss in response to mandated educational change? (2) Are selected behaviors, associated with symptoms of grief, reported by organizational members in response to the mandated educational change? Procedures: A study-specific survey was developed and distributed to seventy-five schools. Data were gathered from 208 participants consisting of superintendents, secondary principals, elementary principals, secondary teachers, and elementary teachers. Respondents were grouped by those reporting loss or no loss and by the number of adjectives indicated per grief stage. Findings: Of the 208 participants, 44 (21 percent) indicated no feeling of professional loss and 164 (79 percent) indicated a feeling of professional loss. The findings further indicated statistically significant relationships between loss and the grief stages of anger, bargaining and depression. Conclusion. A feeling of loss was reported by organizational members in response to the mandated educational change and symptoms of grief, especially anger, bargaining and depression, were evident in response to the mandated change. Recommendations. This exploratory study provided some insight into the phenomena of loss and grief in response to organizational change. Further studies must be conducted, however, in order to determine if the loss and subsequent grieving process, normally associated with life's more traumatic events, can be applied to school organizational members' responses to educational change.
- Theses