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JOURNAL OF RESEARCH IN NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT VOLUME 7 NO 1, JUNE, 2009

TEACHERS INVOLVEMENT IN DECISION-MAKING AS A CORRELATE OF SCHOOL GOAL ACHIEVEMENT

 

‘Kayode Olu. Ijaduola

Department of Educational Management,Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun, Nigeria

 

Abstract

This study investigated teachers’ participation in decision-making as a correlate of school goal achievement.  The study involved 50 (fifty) secondary schools stratifiedly selected from 5 (five) local government areas of Ogun State, Nigeria.  500 classroom teachers’ and 50 school principals constituted the respondents in the study.  A research instrument called.  Decision-Making and School Goal Achievement Questionnaire (DMSGA) with reliability coefficient of 0.89 was used to collect data.  Three research questions were posed and answered using frequency counts, percentages and mean scores.  The two null hypotheses developed and tested in the study were analysed through the Pearson product moment correlation coefficient.  It was established, through the study, that teachers should be involved in all decision made within the school so as to incure their cooperation with a view of enhancing high productivity.  Based on the other findings of the study it was recommended among others that where the principal is to make decision himself, he should make the teachers aware of the process before and or after the decision have been made i.e. the teachers should not be seen as morons, depository grounds etc rather they should be carried along in the decision making process.

 

Keywords:  Decision-making administrator, leadership, goal achievement, rational model


 

Introduction

Who makes what decision, when and how decisions are made is a major problem faced by all formal organizations (Ajetunmobi, 2000, Brenner, 2000, Sule, 2002, Yailagh, Lloyd Walsah, 2005, Ijaduola, 2007a). This is because decision making is very crucial to the survival of any organization and the outcome of these organizations is a function of the type of importance attached to decisions made.  In the words of Dion, (2006).

                                    …. The salient process of adaptation in

organization is decision; where upon the

biological, personal, physical and social

factors of the situation are selected for specific

combination by volitional action.

 

In a simpler term, according to Brookfield (2006), Kanuka and Anderson (2008), decision-making implies the process of choosing one alternative among set of alternatives that is, it is the act of choosing one way of doing things or solving problems among many other alternative ways.

 

As opined by Osokoya (2003) and Akude (2005), the school system is a complex institution with

 

various ways and approaches that can lead to the performance of distinct tasks.  In essence, almost all the activities in the school system require decision.  For instance, the teaching/learning activities cannot exist without a handful of decision-making.  This is because the classroom teacher is responsible to take decision on what topic to teach, at what time and also decide which method to use while imparting the knowledge.

 

In the same vein, the school principal, according to Adekeye (2005) is also expected to decide job or vocation among teachers and plan a favourable work schedule.  All these are demanding and require decision-making.  Consequently, the principal devices various strategies on the best method to adopt to reach a logical decision-making stage.  Having known the capacity of his teaching force, then he knows whom to call at a particular decision-making level.  He is concerned with his strategy for dealing with conflicts that may occur because of differences in cultural values, role expectations or vested interest of individuals or groups. Nevertheless there is no greater test of leadership on the part of school principal than his positive influence on the professional growth of his teachers.  If he is accepted by his teachers merely as a leader,


JORIND (7) 1 June, 2009. ISSN 1596 – 8308. www.transcampus.org., www.ajol.info/jorind

 


he cannot be regarded as a successful principal.  He is responsible for contributing definitely to the professional improvement of his teachers and he will probably not succeed unless he becomes a stimulating professional leader (Wentzel, 1999; Umar, 2001; Okam, 2002, Simmt, 2005; Slavin, 2005; Tahir, 2006; Ijaduola, 2008a).

 

According to Bernard (2000), Weston and Cranton (2003) and Ijaduola (2007b) administrators should know that teachers are reliable instruments in implementing their administrative policies, and principals remember that teachers are no more robots but the classroom maestros that they used to be.  This is because teachers are interested in participating in decision-making as a result of increased teachers’ varying dispositions, professionalism, school increasing complexity, increased democratic ideas in school and pursuit for job satisfaction and self actualization because all the decisions made in schools often deal with human beings and not ordinary files and objectives.  They are no more ‘yes men’ rather they are part of the framework of the school system.  This is the reason why it is necessary for teachers to be fully integrated in decision-making process of the school.

 

Conversely, an organization whether educational or otherwise is viable only when it accomplishes the goals for which it is established (Enoch, 2002; O’ Bannon, 2002; Manyanga, 2005; Kizlik, 2006).  As opined by Ijaduola (2008b), school goal achievement can be judged by the congruence between expected managerial behaviour of a school head in relation to this task performance.  As a result the inability of the principal to perform his administrative tasks in such a way that the educational goals and objectives are achieved will be regarded as ineffectiveness of decision making on the part of principal as the school administrator.  In a nutshell, school administration can be regarded as an effective one if it has achieved the accepted objectives and goals of the organization using the resources at its disposal.  Some indicators of school goal achievement are as shown in table 1.


 

Table 1: Indices of School Goal Achievement

 


Indices                       Appraisal guide

 

School facilities           Are there enough classrooms and enough furniture?  What                                                                about recreational facilities? Does the need arise too f                                                                     frequently for the school to    borrow laboratory equipment?

 

Academic                   How well do students perform in both the internal and external

performance               examinations?  Do their results compare with others in the zone?  Were                                           results often withheld because of examination malpractice?

 

Teachers’ attitude       Are teachers regular and punctual?  Do they attend meetings and contribute                          meaningfully to the school progress?  Do they show happiness when in                                           school?

 

 


Managerial behaviour              Are the vice-principals very cooperative?  Do teachers follow the line organization in solving problems? Are there cases of financial embarrassment to the school?

 

Perception by                           Do they perceive the school as a good one or bad one? 

parents/community                  Are they  always ready to assist the school?  Are they proud of the school?

 

Tone of discipline                    Are there numerous cases of students becoming unruly?  Are students made to teachers or visitors to the school?  Is there large-scale

 

irregularity in students’ attendance e.g. truancy, lateness to class etc.

 


JORIND (7) 1 June, 2009. ISSN 1596 – 8308. www.transcampus.org., www.ajol.info/jorind

 


Source: Adapted from Jaiyeoba, A. O. (2003).  Perspectives in Secondary School Administration.  In  Babalola, J.B. and Adedeji,S.O. (Eds).  Contemporary Issues in Educational Management:  A Book of Honour.  Ibadan: Department of Educational Management.  University of Ibadan.

 


Theoretical links

Decision making entails identifying and choosing alternative solutions that lead to a desired state of affairs.  The process begins with a problem and ends when a solution has been chosen.  To gain an understanding of how teachers can make better decisions, this study focuses on the rational model.

The rational model proposes that managers use a rational four step sequence for making decision.  The four steps include: identifying the problem, generating alternative solutions, selecting a solution; and implementing and evaluating the solution.  According to this model, managers are completely objective and possess complete information to make a decision.

 

The rational model is based on the premise that managers optimize when they make decisions.  Optimizing involves solving problems by producing the best possible solutions.  This assumes that managers have knowledge of all possible alternatives; have complete knowledge about the consequences that follow each alternative, and have the computational ability to compare consequences and to determine which one is prepared.

 

It has been suggested (Dotse, 1989; Sesan, 2002; Zakari, 2002, John, Wick, Sue and Juani, 2003, Tom and Adrian 2006; and Ijaduola, 2007c) that if a school principal is to adopt this model, the teachers should be involved at least to identify the problems and generate alternative solutions to the problems identified.  This is essential because the principal alone may not possess a complete knowledge of ideas or problems and their consequences.  This was why Swierenga (2007), another theorist, described the rational model as a model which is at best an instruction tool.  Thus, if teachers are involved in decision making, the four step sequence for making decision will be a huge success.

 

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to:

1.         Ascertain whether any correlation exists between teacher involvement in decision     making and school goal achievement as opined by school principals.

2.         Establish the relationship between private and public school teachers’            involvement     in decision making and school goal achievement as perceived by             the teachers.

3.         To know some of the factors school principals see in their teachers before    involving the latter in decision making.

4.         To find out if teachers should be involved in all decisions made within the school.

5.         To elicit level of decision-making participation in the school that can engender          teachers optimal output in the school organization.

 

Research questions

i.          What factors do principals consider in teachers before involving them in school decision-making?

ii.         Should teachers be involved in all decision made within the school?

iii         What do the teachers’ perceive as the appropriate level of participation that can ensure their maximum output in the school organization?

Hypotheses

The following two hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance:

1.         There will be no significant correlation between teacher involvement in decision-      making and school goal achievement as perceived by school principals.

2.         There will be no significant correlation between private and public school     teachers’ involvement in decision making and school goal achievement as          perceived by the teachers.

 

 

Method

The survey research design was used for this study in order to ascertain the extent to which teacher participation in decision-making predicts school goal achievement. 50 (fifty) secondary schools (25 public and 25 private) stratifiedly selected from five local government areas in Ogun State, Nigeria were used in the study.  The local governments include:  Abeokuta South, Imeko-Afon, Ijebu-Ode, Remo North and Ogun Waterside.  50 (fifty) school principals (25 public and 25 private) and 500 (five hundred) classroom teachers (250 private and 250 public) constituted the respondents in the study.  Selection of the teachers was done randomly at 10 (ten) teachers per private and public schools’ respectively.

 

A questionnaire called: Decision Making and School Goal Achievement Questionnaire (DMSGAQ) developed by Olalere (2002) was used to collect data.  The questionnaire has been used in similar studies by Jones (2004), Akorede (2006) and Fatunsi (2007) hence its relevance and suitability for the present study.  However, the questionnaire was subjected to construct validation by four other research experts in educational management while a reliability coefficient of 0.93 was obtained as a result of a test-retest treatment using Kudder Richandson’s correlation KR2 formular.  The three research questions asked in the study were answered via frequency counts, percentages and mean scores, while the two null hypotheses developed were subjected to the Pearson product moment correlation statistical analysis at 0.05 level of significance.  The researcher personally administered the questionnaire to the respondents.

 

Results

Ho1:    There will be no significant correlation between teachers’ involvement in decision    making and school goal achievement as perceived by school principals.


 

 

Table 2: Analysis of correlation between teachers’ involvement in decision-making and school goal achievement as perceived by school principals (n=50)

  Variable                                             X                     SD                   r

  Teachers’ involvement                      63.01               7.03                 0.254*

 

 School goal achievement                   59.77               6.92

 

*Significant @ P <0.05; df = 48; critical r = 195.

 


As shown in table 2, the calculated r-value of 0.254 is greater than the critical r-value of .195 required for significance at 0.05 level with 48 degrees of freedom.  This implies that there is a significant correlation between teachers’ involvement in decision making and school goals achievement as perceived by school principals.  Hence, the null hypothesis stated earlier was rejected.

 

Ho2:    There will be significant correlation between private and public school teachers        involvement in decision making and school goal achievement as perceived by the      

            teachers.


 

 

 

Table 3: Analysis of correlation between private and public school teachers involvement in decision making and school goal achievement as perceived by the teachers (n=500).

  

 Variable                                              X                     SD                   r

   Private school teachers                     71.44               33.81