The purpose of this paper is to explore the gap between actual and desired decision domains as a potential factor affecting teacher participation in decision-making in Egyptian schools. In order to explore this gap, the study sets out to answer three questions: (1) what would a typology of school decisions look like in Egypt’s secondary schools? (2) How do Egyptian teachers perceive actual decisions made in their schools? (3) What decision domains are most desired by Egyptian teachers? The study employed a qualitative, descriptive research approach based on individual, semi-structured interviews with a sample of 85 school teachers and senior and middle management members in nine general secondary schools in Damietta County, Egypt. School documents were also collected and analyzed. These included minutes of meetings of school boards and Boards of Trustees (BOTs). A typology of school decisions was developed which revealed the absence of significant decisions related to curriculum. Teachers’ responses showed that they regarded school decisions as insignificant and irrelevant to their concerns, and that significant decisions are retained by central administrators. Desired decision areas were identified which included curriculum and student discipline policy. As this study is consistent with the current interest in decentralization and increased participation in Egypt’s schools, it is hoped that the findings will be useful to educational policy makers as well as practitioners as they implement decentralization initiatives in Egypt. The findings may also have relevance and applicability to comparable secondary schools in other parts of the world.


Decision-making, Decision Domains, Teacher Participation, Secondary Schools, Egyptian Schools, Qualitative Research

Author Bio(s)

Waheed Hammad is currently an assistant professor of educational administration in the College of Education, Sultan Qabos University, Oman. He previously served in King Faisal University, Saudi Arabia. He is originally affiliated with the Faculty of Education in Damietta University (Egypt) where he graduated from French department in 1992. He received his PhD in school management from the University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK in 2008. His research interests include school management & leadership, teachers and principals' professional development, and instructional supervision. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: waheedhammad@gmail.com.

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