A special unit for disruptive secondary school students : a social systems analysis : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Education at Massey University
This study is a qualitative description of the Hutt Valley Activity Centre, which is a special unit for disruptive secondary school students. The writer is the Director of this unit, and he applies the Getzels Guba social systems model to the data which is collected.
The research is essentially concerned with the organisation and administration of the Activity Centre, and the model postulates that social behaviour in a school is affected by institutional expectations, group intentions and individual needs. These three aspects are developed more fully with the institutional element of the model describing the development of the Hutt Valley Activity Centre, the
job descriptions of staff, administration and management and community resources and parental links. In the work group element, the following factors which influence the group dynamics are discussed: the composition of the group - the background and values of' the students,
the referral of new students and assessment of students' progress,
organisational procedures, and the Activity Centre programme. The individual element gives a descriptive case-study of two students who attended the Activity Cerntre.
There is a chapter which describes a typical day in the life of an Activity Centre Director, with all the incidents based on what actually happened. The review of related literature provides a n nber of source references to special classes or units for disruptive secondary school students in New Zealand. and abroad.
The concluding chapter gives a number of recommendations relating
to the educational unit which is studied.. These include: the need for the Management Committee to include more representatives from community organisations, an increase in staffing, the need for more permanent tenure for the building which is occupied, for increased travel allowances to cover costs incurred by staff whilst on Activity Centre business, and an annual time allowance of up to eight days per
annum to be allocated to the Activity Centre staff for the purpose of visiting organisations and departments related to the Centre and its students.