ERIC Number: ED345362
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Mar
Decentralization in Education: Technical Demands as a Critical Ingredient.
The implications of decentralization reform on the amount of serious attention and effort that teachers give to teaching and learning activities are explored in this paper. The discussion is informed by the results of two case studies of school districts recognized as exemplary cases of decentralization. The first section describes limitations of the standard theoretical argument for decentralization, particularly the principal-agent approach. The two case studies are described in the second section, which is based on document analysis and interviews conducted with central office administrators in each of the two districts, four principals (two from each district), and a small group of teachers from each of the four schools. The most significant common element was the extent to which the districts' management arrangements generate interactions in the area of teachers' technical demands, that is, issues related to curriculum and teaching. A conclusion is that technical interactions among teachers form the basis for effective social control, motivational, and learning processes that are necessary to a well-run decentralized system. A critical element of successful decentralization is the explicit structuring of teacher interactions around technical demands. Structural reforms should: direct teachers' attention to their central functions, stimulate them to interact professionally around defined common objectives, and give them a sense of importance. (36 references) (LMI)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A