THE UNGRADED PRIMARY ORGANIZATION IN THE MILWAUKEE PUBLIC SCHOOLS (NONGRADED, CONTINUOUS PROGRESS; WISCONSIN)

MILDRED SANSONE HOFFMANN, Marquette University

Abstract

Throughout history educational movements have paralleled broader societal trends and the schools changed relative to the extent that the movements became integrated into the educational system. The changes in the ways schools were organized reflected society's values of the need for the expression of individuality and the demands for conformity. The Public School System of Milwaukee was a leader in the nongraded school movement. Although a great many communities throughout the United States attempted some form of nongraded school organization over the years, it was Milwaukee's Primary School that established the pattern for the nation. This study examined Milwaukee's Primary School in terms of its history and current status, in comparison to Pavan's model of nongradedness, and in comparison to other nongraded schools in the nation. The study involved three groups of respondents: Milwaukee teachers, Milwaukee authorities, and non-Milwaukee authorities. The historical aspect of the study recorded the initiation, growth, and current status of the ungraded primary in the Milwaukee Public Schools. The current organizational status of Milwaukee's Primary School was compared to other nongraded public schools in the nation. The opinions of respondents relative to implementation procedures and parent/teacher/principal understanding of the ungraded programs were also compared. Pavan's model of nongradedness was used to identify the assumptions perceived as most important and least important in the implementation and maintenance of Milwaukee's Primary School. The identified assumptions were examined relative to time (1942-1962, 1963-1982, 1942-1982) and to other selected nongraded, public schools. Milwaukee respondents indicated that Milwaukee's Primary School was less the model of nongradedness in the last twenty years than it was in the first twenty years. The factors that diminished parent, teacher, and prinicipal understanding appeared to have limited the degree to which ungrading was integrated into the system. Both Milwaukee and non-Milwaukee respondents identified Pavan's Assumptions 2 and 6 as most important to their ungraded programs. The assumptions for which Milwaukee respondents noted the greatest change were assumptions 20 and 30. Non-Milwaukee schools/units were perceived to be more like Pavan's model of nongradedness than was Milwaukee's Primary School.

Recommended Citation

MILDRED SANSONE HOFFMANN, "THE UNGRADED PRIMARY ORGANIZATION IN THE MILWAUKEE PUBLIC SCHOOLS (NONGRADED, CONTINUOUS PROGRESS; WISCONSIN)" (January 1, 1985). Dissertations (1962 - 2010) Access via Proquest Digital Dissertations. Paper AAI8516276.
http://epublications.marquette.edu/dissertations/AAI8516276

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