Impact of Teacher Participation in Decision Making in School Administration

Topics: Decision making, High school, Secondary school Pages: 39 (10253 words) Published: September 18, 2012
1.0 Background of the Study
At the apex of the school structure is the supreme head with the staff at various levels under him, from top to bottom, as asserted by Nolte (1986). The administration of most schools in the early days was based on highly centralized structures with the head that could be conveniently described as an autocrat, firmly at the helm of affairs.

The head as the administrative officer assumes control over teachers and other classroom procedures. As Basset (1997) put it; the powers of the head here were virtually unlimited, except for the laws of the state. This happened because the state had handed over the management and control of the schools largely to the discretion of the school head. The situation started changing in around the 19th century when teachers realized that the subordinate role they had been playing in the education enterprise was not compatible with the emerging ideas of professionalism. School teachers began challenging the authority of school administrators and became increasingly vocal and militant about their desire to be involved in the affairs of the school. (Carnegie Forum 1986).

Peter (1993) points out that administrators are now working in complex environment so if they want to be successful, they must be prepared to share their time honoured administrative prerogative of decision making. This calls for increased staff involvement in the day-to-day running of the school. However, schools in Africa and for that matter Ghana are undergoing rapid structural changes. With the introduction of decentralization policy in Ghana and the current, educational reforms being pursued, there is the likelihood of involving teachers more and if the administrators will continue to play the central role in the life of the schools, then special emphasis will certainly have to be placed on co-operation and consultation with the staff. (Conley: 1988)

1.2 Statement of the Problem
The traditional role of the school head as one competent enough to supervise all areas of instruction and the curriculum has to large extent affected the perception of modern teachers about their role in the decision making process. A research conducted by Bacharach, Bamberger, Conley, & Bauer (1990); indicated that teachers have problems participating in decision-making activities. Teachers in no small way continue to see decision-making as the sole preserve of the school head some headmasters also seemed not prepared to involve teachers in the decision-making process.

The researcher faced with the challenge of participating in decisions in his school for instance the headmaster single handedly made admission of students whose grades fell below average which tends to affect the general performance of the school, yet every suggestion from any of the teachers including the researcher proved futile. This accounts to large extent, the teachers’ apathetic attitude towards decision making. This poor attitude towards decision-making in the schools and many others prompted the researcher to investigate the impact of decision making in Senior High Schools, actual teacher involvement in decision making, the extent to which teachers have been participating in decision making and their effect.

1.3 Research Questions
The study specifically aimed at seeking answers to the following i.To what extend do teachers participate in decision making? ii.What factors hinder teachers from participating in decision making in schools? iii.What is the impact of the decision making process in the school? iv. What effective ways can be adopted to improve the process of decision making in a school?

1.4 Purpose of the Study
A number of Senior High Schools in Ghana, teachers felt left out in the decision making process of their schools. The study therefore seeks to investigate...
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