Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Teaching & Learning


This study explored the relationship of principals' and teachers' attitudes and perceptions toward a site based participatory decision making model that was implemented in a small school district. The main variables were the teachers' and principals' attitudes regarding the process, their attitudes regarding how the process was functioning in their schools, and their perceptions regarding areas for teacher involvement in the process.

The study incorporated quantitative and qualitative features. The quantitative design included a forty question survey. Thirty questions incorporated a Likert like scale, six questions were demographic in character, and four questions were open-ended by design.

The study was initiated with the school district in the fall of 1989. Four principals and eighty-two teachers in six schools participated in the study. The analysis of variance (ANOVA), Tukey-B and t-test statistical procedures were used to test the quantitative research questions.

The qualitative data collection procedures included a review of the district's documentation, participant observation of committee processes, and formal and informal interviews. The qualitative study identified themes that influenced the success, or, lack of success of the decision making process.

The investigator concluded that the district's principals and teachers were inclined to agree with the tenets of the decision making model. Nonetheless, there were differences in how the process was functioning at several sites. The process had not been adopted at two sites, three sites had moderate success, and one site was generally pleased with its progress. Teachers at the sites that had adopted the process tended to believe it was functioning moderately well and believed they were significantly involved in many site decisions.

The investigator concluded that there were a number of deterrents that hindered the implementation process. These deterrents included the lack of a district-wide training strategy, inadequate administrative support, insufficient process clarity, an imbalance of information sharing, and teacher discomfort with being "at-risk" with his or her own ideas.

The primary benefits were increased involvement with greater influence in the decision making process, a greater awareness of the complexity of the administrative process, and a feeling of ownership in the decisions.