Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Center for the Advancement of Education


This report describes a shared decision-making model for school improvement which is consistent with a rural environment. Originally, informal interviews documented a discrepancy in perceptions about roles, change and shared decision-making planning. A formal survey administered in mid-October, 1988, produced specific data about knowledge and attitudes toward shared decision-making planning, the elements of shared decision-making that principals and teachers saw in roles and the differences between the two groups. Analysis of the probable causes revealed that teachers felt left out of the decision-making process. Additionally, teachers and principals expressed opinion differences in the degree of "desired" and "actual" participation of teachers in various aspects of the total school program. Besides the discrepancy in the degree of involvement, respondents indicated an extreme degree of difference in knowledge about shared decision-making. The solution strategies included implementing team management concepts, restructuring roles, providing training in the shared decision-making process, taking charge of change and securing time for shared decision-making activities. As a result of the practicum, teachers became actively engaged in decision-naking. Knowledge levels of decision-making increased for all sub-groups (teachers, principals and central office administrators). The gap narrowed between perception differences of administrators and teachers. Using the Quality Circles approach, teachers identified and solved grade level problems. Moreover, the process served as a means of setting annual goals and grade level goals to improve student achievement

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