Empowering teachers through school -based decision-making

Jean R Stewart, University of Pennsylvania


This ethnographic study explores teachers' perceptions about shared decision-making as a dimension to teacher empowerment. The study examines school-based decision-making (SBDM) at an Abbot and non-Abbott elementary school. This paper compares and contrasts the two models of SBDM and what teachers say about the process as a means toward empowerment. The study focuses on participants' knowledge of the school-based decision-making process, their involvement in the process, and how their involvement has contributed to their sense of empowerment. Another focus of the report was to compare the similarities and differences of teachers' perception from two demographically diverse schools. In the role of participant-observer, data were gathered through the use of surveys, tape-recorded interviews, and collection of site documents. The following themes emerged as a result of this study: (1) issues of trust, (2) time commitment, (3) competing perceptions of SBDM, and, (4) the question of power versus empowerment. Implications for further study include the need to develop effective staff development in the area of SBDM and connect school-based decision-making to student achievement rather than empowerment.

Subject Area

School administration

Recommended Citation

Stewart, Jean R, "Empowering teachers through school -based decision-making" (2007). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI3270867.