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ERIC Number: ED513078
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 245
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1092-5147-0
How Do Minnesota School Board Members Learn to Do Their Jobs?
Conlon, Thomas Julius
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Minnesota
School boards in Minnesota largely function as volunteer or lowly-compensated elected bodies whose members are not professionally trained for their jobs, yet the public demands accountability and results from their local public school districts. This descriptive study examined how a random sample of 322 Minnesota school board members learned to do their jobs under such conditions, as largely autonomous bodies with various differences between school districts. A hard copy of a survey was sent to the identified sample, with a response rate of 66.1%. The study found that, while neither informal, formal, nor external professional transfer skill learning methods solely dominated, whereas Marsick and Watkins (1992) believed that 90% of workplace learning takes place through informal means. Skills requiring large degrees of interpersonal interaction, negotiation, or political awareness were learned predominantly through informal (and to a lesser extent external professional transfer) means, while skills in key duties were largely learned through formal means. Demographic characteristics gathered yielded virtually no differences among groups. Challenges faced by formal training providers of school board members included whether or not the training methods (formal versus informal) were effective for certain tasks or duties, if learning improved using formal methods, and if certain areas not currently covered in formal training might be needed. The study concludes with a call for further research into the experiences of learning to be a school board member. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Minnesota