Exploring participative decision-making and school effectiveness : A case study of three secondary schools in Maphumulo Circuit.
Ngcobo, Sithembiso Wellington.
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There has always been a need for including school educators in decision-making in schools. Before democracy school governance was in the hands of the principals and parents were represented by school committees which were just there to demand school fees from parents. Therefore, introduction of decentralized decision-making has been advocated by different researchers as a culture that benefits schools and learners. Inviting different stakeholders in decision-making in the schools depends mostly on the leadership style practiced by the principal. As a result, qualitative study was undertaken to explore experiences and perspectives of educators in participative decision-making and school effectiveness. This is a case study of three secondary schools in Maphumulo Circuit. The focus of the study was based on the assumption that educator participation in decisionmaking in their schools could benefit the school and its clients who are the parents. The study made use of semi-structured interviews and documents analysis to generate data. Interview sessions were recorded and transcribed before they were analyzed. In addition, the data from transcription was coded and the themes were developed from coded data. Documents were also analyzed, which was done to ensure reliability and conformability of document. The result of the study revealed that: (i) School practice a top-down communication, that is when decisions are imposed on educators. Educators participate in decision-making process. (ii) There is evidence of educator participation in decision in one of these schools. (iii)Enhancing quality education there is a belief that when educators are included in decision-making quality of education offered by the school improves. (iv) Teacher’s leadership is possible in the situation were democracy prevails.(v) Teachers’ participation in decision-making process and school effectiveness.(vi) The data revealed that educators’ involvement in decision-making is crucial in moving the school to the high levels when it comes to teaching and learning and is highly valued.(vii) Barriers to teacher participation in decision making. It appeared that in spite of benefits there are also two barriers that hinder educators from participating in decision- making in their schools. (a) Communication brake down. It was discovered that is a communication breakdown between school management and the teachers. (b) Educator intelligence. It transpired that in these schools there was an undermining of educator intelligence.