Ana Helvia Quintero examines recent reform initiatives by the Puerto Rican Department of Education (PRDE), and finds that their implementation was inadequate because it was based on a faulty view of education as a closed, rational system. Quintero argues instead that education is an open system that is highly interdependent with its environment and subject to change. An insider in the University of Puerto Rico's Partnership Project with Schools, an experimental project between the PRDE and the university to improve education,Quintero focuses on the work of the program in the San Juan II school district. One of the project's underlying assumptions is that improving education requires studying the processes of changing school practice. Quintero describes a collaborative seminar — with participants at all levels of education, from teachers to superintendents to university professors— that is the heart of the project, and then outlines preliminary results and lessons learned from this experimental program that can be used in future experimental projects to improve education.

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