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A study of curriculum specialists' perceptions of barriers to the utilization of research (Texas).


Curriculum Specialists in public school districts have important roles in introducing new curriculum program changes, and new organizational arrangements. Their view of utilization of research in their decision-making appears to be significant. Previously, a study by West and Rhoton (1994) surveyed central office administrators about their perceptions related to the utilization of research. Another study by Lovett (2003) used a similar survey based on the survey created by West and Rhoton (1994). Lovett's research surveyed superintendents in the public school system in Texas. In the current research, a modified West and Rhoton survey solicited responses from respondents in the role of curriculum specialists in the public school system in Texas with an enrollment of over 3,000 students in the 2003-04 academic school year. The categories of perceived barriers identified by West and Rhoton (1994) were redefined into eight different categories of perceived barriers to the use of research. These barriers were identified as the following: (1) Practical/Non- Practical Focus of Research; (2) Complexity of Research: (3) Organizational Support; (4) Utility of Research; (5) Accessibility of Research; (6) Credibility of Research; (7) Reliance on Self and Others; (8) Accountability.