Information utilization of beginning principals in school restructuring
Despite general agreement that shared decision making is a desirable component of school restructuring, reform efforts have failed to emphasize the importance of information use in decision processes. Consequently, teacher decision authority is unlikely to result in new and creative approaches to practice. Reports on a study in which teachers and principals in 24 restructuring schools responded to surveys assessing their level of involvement in shared decision making, the kinds of information they used in reaching collaborative decisions, and their perceptions of the usefulness of various sources of information in their school improvement efforts. Results revealed a generally high level of involvement but little valuing of information beyond the collective knowledge of the group. However, where multiple information sources were sought and utilized, satisfaction with collaborative decision making was greater. Sketches of decision processing in two schools contrast the efficacy of collaboration when information is or is not valued. Discusses implications for school restructuring and presents a model for information use in school improvement.
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