An analysis of policy development in selected Newfoundland school boards

Tremblett, Gwen J. (1984) An analysis of policy development in selected Newfoundland school boards. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to analyze and describe the nature of various aspects of policy making in three selected Newfoundland school boards. Particular attention was paid to the political components of policy and policy development, educational governance and communication patterns. Superintendents, board chairmen, board members, senior administrators and program coordinators participated in the study. A questionnaire, adapted from one used by Coleman (1979), was administered to all participants. In addition, a structured interview was conducted with each superintendent and chairman. An overall response rate of 81% was obtained. -- Data collected from the questionnaire were analyzed in two parts. Part A was coded and means were calculated for each area of difficulty in policy making. Means for Part B indicated the response of each group toward the appropriate level of involvement for school board members, administrators and denominational representative in seven major policy areas. The structured interview data were recorded, coded and divided into areas of distinct response. A composite profile of each interviewee was then constructed around the major aspects of policy making. Finally, questions posed in the statement of the problem were answered. -- Findings and conclusions from the study indicate that policy making in the three selected school boards tends to follow the rational mode. Hence, one is left to speculate on a possible closed system approach to policy making. Administrators play a dominant role in policy development with the superintendent being the primary initiator and presentor of policy issues. Response patterns from all groups give support to this practice. Although perceptions of a definition of policy are similar to those found in literature, descriptions of the nature of policy lead one to infer that existing policy more closely resembles administrative rules for day-to-day district operation. Communication patterns are largely formal with the superintendent acting as mediator in policy issues. -- Recommendations for action included inservice for policy makers, the development of guidelines for policy making, written policy handbooks, graduate courses in policy studies and an examination of school board / interest group interactions. Recommendations for further study included an examination of the superintendent's position as well as existing relationships between various educational agencies, the nature of policy in school boards, the impact of interest group activity on educational policy making and political communication patterns.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/7946
Item ID: 7946
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 107-110.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1984
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: School boards--Newfoundland and Labrador

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