Validation of the Satisfaction with Participation in Decision Making Questionnaire

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Virginia Tech

There has been limited research regarding teachers' opinions about their involvement in school decision making. A critical step missing in the research is the development of instruments to assess teachers' perceptions of their actual and desired levels of involvement. With the wide spread use of site-based management, shared decision making, participatory management and teacher empowerment, it is important to study teachers' involvement.

The purpose of this study was to design an instrument to measure teachers' satisfaction with their involvement in school decision making. A review of the literature was used to identify issues to be considered for instrument development. Four domains were formulated for the Satisfaction with Participation in Decision Making Questionnaire (SPDMQ): (1) Involvement in the Operation of the School; (2) Involvement in Establishing Curriculum and Instructional Techniques; (3) Teacher Development, Evaluation, and Work Allocation, and (4) Involvement in Establishing Student Teacher Relationships. There are five questions included in each domain, for a total of 20 questions. Each question measures a desired level of involvement and a perceived actual level of involvement in school decision making. To measure content and construct validity, a total of three draft instruments were administered to doctoral students, school administrators, teachers, and other educators.

The population selected to validate the instrument consisted of all teachers in five elementary schools from two different school districts in the Hampton Roads area. Two schools were selected from a district that currently implements site-based management programs, and three schools were selected from a district that implements little or no site- based management. A total of 168 teachers completed the SPDMQ.

The treatment of data included several statistical routines including chi-square, Cronbach's alpha, t-tests, and correlations. The results of administration of the SPDMQ indicated that teachers in site-based schools reported more involvement in decision making but were not significantly more satisfied with their involvement.

This instrument may be used by principals as a needs assessment to determine how much and in what areas teachers want to be involved in school decision making.

Site-based management, Teacher's Involvement, Satisfaction, Participation