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Site-based decisionmaking in the public school system: A case study of teachers in response to the implementation of a weekly "academic seminar"

20 July 1992


This study investigated attitude changes among teachers as a result of implementation of a weekly "Academic Seminar" during the 1991-92 school year in a Washington County school. In this study, time for an on-site staff to meet was a major component of site-based decisionmaking. The school district provided time and space to allow the opportunity for staff development and professional growth. Students arrived in the buildings 40 minutes later on the day of the meeting. The agenda, which would include issues the staff, students and schools face, was to be decided by the teachers. A review of the literature showed that teacher empowerment through site-based decision making resulted in higher teacher morale and, therefore, positive effects on students and the school. A pre-seminar survey was conducted in October in the initial stage of Academic Seminar. A post-seminar survey in April determined if or how much teacher attitudes of personal and professional satisfaction had changed. Questions that were answered ' on a 5-point Likert scale by a selected teacher population from one school provided the means that served as the measurement . unit for analysis. The null hypothesis of no difference between the ' means could not be rejected at 'the .05 significance level. It was concluded that within a seven:..month period, the seminar had no significant improvement on teacher job satisfaction. The evidence indicates an effect, however. This author believes there are other factors including: finances; curriculum; time; public scrutiny; district, state, and national mandates/requirements, etc. These all may strongly influence teacher ' attitudes and job satisfaction beyond a weekly teacher/staff meeting such as Academic Seminar and could be issues for further investigation.


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