ERIC Number: ED374540
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988
How Teachers Empower Superordinates: Running Good Schools.
Corbett, H. Dickson; Rossman, Gretchen B.
Teachers in "good" schools often provide considerable input into curriculum decisions and other types of school policies. They are considered to be "empowered." This paper argues that the apparent empowerment of teachers in these situations is actually the opposite: In good schools superordinates do not empower teachers; instead, teachers empower their superiors. Methodology involved analysis of the practices of 30 secondary schools recognized as excellent by a panel convened by the Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI) for the Secondary School Recognition Program (SSRP) during the school years 1982-83, 1983-84, and 1984-85. Data were derived from the written comments of principals and site visitors. Findings indicate that for teachers, the shift in power is one of kind rather than degree. Many of the strategies intended to empower teachers actually empower their superiors by giving superordinates a greater amount of information about classroom activities upon which to act. In return, teachers gain a different kind of influence, that of authorized power. In the process, the organization is more likely to become typified by common understandings and how best to achieve them. (LMI)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Research for Better Schools, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.