ERIC Number: ED328992
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
The Importance of the Source of Power in an Educational Setting.
Golanda, Eugene L.
This paper raises important questions about proposals for empowerment and shared governance in U.S. schools. Holding that consent is the key to understanding power and empowerment, the paper defines these concepts, discusses the purposes of empowerment, describes the types of empowerment being attempted, and outlines some predictable consequences. According to French and Raven (1959), five types of power exist: legitimate, reward, coercive, expert, and referent (associated with charisma). The first three types of power are transferrable; the other two, which have the most influence in human transactions, are not. Power may also be enhanced by improving the degree of expert power possessed by certain individuals or groups in the organization through education programs. Redefining power and empowerment in terms of synergistic interactions forces educators to consider some new dimensions: (1) all empowerment attempts may be refused by the organization or individuals; and (2) empowerment effects are determined by an individual or organization's enhanced health. If the organization cannot function more efficiently or effectively than previously, empowerment attempts have failed. Examples of empowerment attempts that can prove deleterious to healthy schools are legislation of more teacher power, parental "choice" initiatives, and efforts to minimize the principal's power. Healthy schools exist not because of outside influences, but in spite of them. Recommendations for research and practice are provided. (50 references) (MLH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Consent; Empowerment
Note: Paper presented at the Southern Regional Council on Educational Administration Conference (Atlanta, GA, November 11-13, 1990).