Primary school teacher participation in decision making in Western Australian government primary and district high schools

  • Grant Allen Ward

    Student thesis: Coursework Masters - CDU


    The purpose of the study was to investigate primary school teacher participation in decision making in Western Australian Primary and District High Schools.

    The study had three major aims. The first was to identify the main decision maker in each of five decision areas: (1) School Administration; (2) Curriculum and Learning Experiences; (3) Pupils and Pupil Activities; (4) Teacher andTeacher Activities, and (5) School-Community Relations. The second aim was to determine the state of decisional participation (deprivation, equilibrium or saturation) that exists among primary school teachers in Western AustralianPrimary and District High Schools in relation to these decision areas. The third aim was to examine issues concerning the relationships that exist between certain demographic variables and the decisional states of teachers in each of the five selected decision areas, the demographic variables being gender, teaching level, school location, number of years teaching experience, qualifications, and desire for promotion.

    Data were collected from two hundred and two randomly selected primary school teachers by using an adapted form of the Decision Point Analysis instrument. In addition, fifty of the two-hundred and two respondents were randomly selected and interviewed over the telephone. The data from the Decision Point Analysis instrument were analysed both in tabular form and by inferential statistical calculations. Data from the telephone interviews were used to reinforce information highlighted in the analysis of levels of participation in decision making.

    The main findings of the study were:
    • The principal is seen as the main decision maker across all five decision areas.
    • The majority of respondents indicated decisional deprivation across all five decision areas. The findings suggest that the desire for increased participation is not distributed equally throughout the sample group.
    • The study suggests that any one of the six demographic variables may interact with a teacher's desire for more or less participation in any one of the five decision areas.
    • Female respondents experienced higher levels of decisional deprivation than did their male colleagues.
    • Linked with decisional deprivation and dissatisfaction with participative decision making is a need for more time to be allocated to allow for more effective decision making processes.
    • Teachers with less than ten years teaching experience experienced higher levels of decisional deprivation and dissatisfaction with decision making processes.
    • Respondents in country schools have significantly more involvement in participative decision making than did their colleagues teaching in the metropolitan area.
    Date of AwardJun 1994
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorJim Cameron (Supervisor)

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