ERIC Number: ED397492
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Mar
Participatory Decision Making.
King, M. Bruce; And Others
Shifting from traditional, hierarchical bureaucracies to participatory governance and decision making is a major theme in school restructuring. This paper focuses on the involvement of teachers in key aspects of school decision making. Specifically, the paper describes how changes in power relations supported teachers' focus on improving the intellectual quality of their own and students' work. The 24 schools that participated in the School Restructuring Study (conducted by the Center on Organization and Restructuring of Schools) illustrated four types of power relations, only one of which appears to hold promise for the promotion of authentic pedagogy. The four types included consolidated, balkanized, laissez-faire, and shared decision making. Findings indicate that restructuring school decision making, in terms of either structures or power relations, does not necessarily improve the quality of pedagogy provided to students. Participatory decision making, when power was shared, could facilitate more authentic pedagogy and learning. Within a school culture that valued intellectual quality, shared power in decision making reinforced that priority and helped to support sustained programmatic efforts to achieve instructional goals more than the other three patterns. Principal and teacher leadership played a key role in facilitating the sharing of power and advancing the school's vision for high quality teaching and learning. The data show how cultural aspects of a school's power relations interact with formal structures of decision making. One figure is included. (Contains 6 endnotes and 22 references.) (LMI)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center on Organization and Restructuring of Schools, Madison, WI.
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A
Note: In: Fred M. Newmann & Associates. "Restructuring for Authentic Student Achievement: The Impact of Culture and Structure in 24 Schools," Chapter 10. San Francisco, Jossey-Bas, 1996.