ERIC Number: ED390610
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
A Framework for the Analysis of Shared Decision Making in Rural New Zealand Schools.
This paper examines school management and decision-making practices in four small rural New Zealand secondary schools. During the late 1980s, national legislation was enacted that established local school governance by elected boards of trustees. A national teachers' union felt that teachers and their unions had been marginalized from policy-making processes. The union advocated a shared decision-making model in which teachers, parents, and central and local educational administrators have equal voices in determining school policy, and decided to sponsor research on related attitudes and practices. Data were obtained through interviews; informal observations; informal discussions; and questionnaires administered to staff, students, boards of trustees, and parents. The study found that in addition to the changing roles of principals, teachers, and teachers' unions, schools face the same issues of technological change and consequent restructuring that affect organizations in the private sector. Most students were not aware of the role of student board representatives and therefore were not aware of participative management practices. Most parents did not see themselves as significant in terms of school management or decision making. In most cases, the board was seen by the community as remote although most parents expressed satisfaction with its work. This paper concludes that participative management practices have not been entirely successful or productive in rural schools, and that more research is needed to verify that this is an appropriate management model for New Zealand schools. Contains 10 references. (LP)
Descriptors: Action Research, Administrator Role, Board Administrator Relationship, Community Involvement, Decentralization, Educational Policy, Elementary Secondary Education, Foreign Countries, Governing Boards, Participative Decision Making, Rural Schools, School Based Management, Secondary Schools, Student Participation, Teacher Participation
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: New Zealand
Note: In: Issues Affecting Rural Communities. Proceedings of an International Conference Held by the Rural Education Research and Development Centre (Townsville, Queensland, Australia, July 10-15, 1994); see RC 020 376.