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ERIC Number: EJ774828
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Mar
Pages: 23
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 33
ISSN: ISSN-0033-1538
Who Participates in School Councils and How?
Khan, Faryal
Prospects: Quarterly Review of Comparative Education, v36 n1 p97-119 Mar 2006
In this review the author explores whether school management councils (SMCs) reproduce prevailing norms of social participation or serve as a lever for change by challenging these norms and creating opportunities for subdominant groups to participate, thus enabling parents to take part in decision-making. The analysis highlights examples from Africa. Studies are examined on the practice of school councils in developing countries, by asking the following research questions: (1) Who participates in school councils?; (2) Is the socio-economic and gender composition of councils related to traditions of civil autonomy and gender empowerment?; and (3) What categories of decisions do school councils make? Despite claims by some writers that "schools must learn to communicate with all families, especially those that are marginalized," often the poor, the less educated, and women are excluded. Having examined studies of the work of school councils in 20 developing countries, she notes that the groups most likely to serve on councils are the affluent and educated. Evidence from countries with a low level of gender empowerment indicates that women too find participation difficult. Though they might take part, often they are under-represented or play secondary roles. The literature review suggests an overall trend with regard to decision-making: councils tend to limit themselves to administrative functions. Decisions related to classroom pedagogy and curricula are infrequent. Little is said about the type and range of pedagogical decisions. The author suggests it is these very "lacunae" that indicate the importance of further research regarding socio-economic status (SES) and gender, and whether councils are truly enabling the marginalized to participate in educational decision-making. (Contains 2 tables.)
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Publication Type: Information Analyses; Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Africa