The purpose of this paper is to investigate power and its influence on the teaching assignment process and school-based decision making.
Qualitative interpretive design and thematic analysis were used. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with teachers and administrators.
Both teachers and administrators discussed power and social capital as components of the teaching assignment process. Teachers viewed the origins of their social capital differently than administrators and felt social capital was evident in school-based decision making and the teaching assignment process.
Participants were demographically rather homogeneous. Further studies with a diverse sample could examine race and gender as factors in the teaching assignment process.
This study demonstrates a need for administrators to examine how they consider social capital when distributing teaching assignments and involving teachers in school-based decision making. Administrators’ actions may result in teacher tracking, disadvantaging marginalized and at-risk student populations.
There is a clear disconnect between administrator and teacher understanding of the purpose and practice of teaching assignment distribution. Administrators were unaware of their own power, how they wielded it, and the effect it had on teachers.
Few studies have examined teacher–administrator power relations or the teaching assignment process at the secondary level. This study connects the teaching assignment process to social capital and power.
Lieberman, D.S. and Clayton, J.K. (2018), "Social capital, power, school-based decision making, and the teaching assignment process", Journal of Professional Capital and Community, Vol. 3 No. 4, pp. 321-340. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPCC-01-2018-0002
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