ERIC Number: ED345340
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Aug-15
Participatory Management of Co-Curricular Activities.
This paper argues that, for both practical and philosophical reasons, high school activities ought to be managed by participatory principles. It further argues that the responsibility for bringing this about belongs to principals and activities directors through appropriate modeling and in-service education. In addition, obstacles to the implementation of such practices are identified and means of removing them outlined. The paper first describes how high school activities need to be managed within single "activities" department and referred to as co-curricular and not extra-curricular. It defends the importance of activities (including athletics) to schooling and why it should model participatory strategies rather than authoritative. Reasons are given for applying democratic principles to activities management and why it is the right thing to do. Next, the paper addresses the educating of co-curricular leaders about the merits of democratic management. The single greatest barrier to the implementation of participatory principles in activities is the widely held but grossly inaccurate image of activities--particularly athletics. In using business as an example of empowering workers, examples are given to illustrate how coaches and advisors of activities can benefit from this understanding through in-service effort. Further examples of athletic coaches using participatory strategies reinforce this notion. The paper then addresses the reasons beyond effectiveness for adapting participatory strategies to activities. In addition to modeling democratic principles, participatory activities are more likely to teach both responsibility and creativity. Finally, the paper elaborates on how democratically managed activities are consistent with research on effective schools. (Author/RR)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A