Vol. 5 (2020): American Journal of Educational Research and Reviews

Departmentalization in Elementary Schools: Contradictions Teachers Confront

Richard L. Allington
University of Tennessee.


  • Contradictions Teachers Confront; Departmentalization

How to Cite

Richard L. Allington. (2020). Departmentalization in Elementary Schools: Contradictions Teachers Confront. American Journal of Educational Research and Reviews, 5(1), 77. https://doi.org/10.28933/ajerr-2020-09-1205


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.


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