Improving urban and disadvantaged schools: Dissemination and utilization perspectives

Karen R Seashore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


There has been increasing concern in a number of countries about the perceived deterioration of schools that serve immigrant, minority or poor children. Field reports suggest that such schools tend to be bureaucratic, politicized, and isolated from the most up-to-date information about educational innovations that may improve the educational opportunities for disadvantaged children. Even in countries with relatively well-established dissemination systems, these schools may be "out of the knowledge utilization loop." In this paper, the organizational properties of U.S. urban schools that may lead to their isolation from knowledge will be discussed, and a variety of strategies to improve dissemination and utilization will be outlined, including political/community organizing, linking dissemination to organization development, increasing the salience of ties between universities and schools, the development of teacher networks, and action research. The paper will conclude with some principles for designing a dissemination system that will effectively promote knowledge utilization in urban centers. p]The conditions in some of our schools are so bad, and the physical and social environments in which these schools are located are so frightful, that we may have to cross off expendable. (Halpin, 1966, as quoted in Englert, 1993: 3.)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-54
Number of pages21
JournalKnowledge and Policy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 1994


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