SHARED GOVERNANCE 4
Many local schools have committees that constitute the teachers andsome parents who are chosen among the parents as representatives.These committees are tasked with the responsibility of spearheadingvarious activities in the school including development. I attended alocal school committee which comprised of 10 teachers are 5 parents.One of the male parents was the chairman of the committee and he wasdeputized by the school principle. The committee has theresponsibility and the function of making decisions that affect theschool. The committee functions as the school decision making tool.Matters affecting the students such as meals, education performance,strategies to enhance performance are discussed by the committee.
The role of the chairman of the committee, as it was observed, wasto lead and direct the meeting. He played the role of deciding whichcommittee member would speak at what time. Additionally, the chairmanhad the responsibility of opening and closing the committee meeting.He was assisted by the principle of the school. The secretary to thecommittee had the responsibility of recording the proceedings of themeeting. It was abundantly clear from the proceedings of the meetingthat every member to the committee had a role to play. Membersparticipated fully in every aspect of the meeting. The aspect ofshared governance was evident in the way the meeting proceeded. It isessential to state that in a shared governance, all committee memberswork as a team in order to arrive at a decision.
The interaction between the members of the committee was that ofmutual respect and equality. Every member’s contribution was takenseriously and considered in decision making process. Every member hada chance to contribute to the issues of the day. The chairman did notassume the role of a manager, but he only directed the members orguided them on how to proceed with the meeting. I observed that everymember to the committee had a valued opinion regarding the agenda ofthe day. It was clear that there was no predetermined decision fromthe leaders and every issue was discussed openly on the table.
Shared governance is an aspect where members to a committee are worktogether towards a particular goal (Porter-O`Grady, 2009). Sharedgovernance ensures that the members work in collaboration, solveproblems, are accountable and set goals for the organization orinstitution (Gasman et al, 2008). The collaboration between themembers is the primary element of shared governance. Members attemptto solve problems together and this function is not left to theleaders of the committee alone. This aspect of shared governance wasevident in the local school committee meeting that I had theprivilege to attend the interaction between the members indicatedthat there was an element of shared governance. Members workedtogether to find solutions to the various issues that were affectingthe school.
The decisions arrived at the meeting reflected the element of sharedgovernance. Before the committee arrived at any decision, all theviews and opinions of the members were considered and incorporated.All the decisions arrived at in the meeting were through a way ofpopular vote. The process was fair and transparent. This is primaryelement of shared governance. Teamwork was used and memberscollaborated in ensuring that the final decision was acceptable toeverybody. It is abundantly clear that the meeting manifested a formof shared governance in the arrival of its decisions.
Gasman, M., Baez, B., & Turner, C. S. V. (2008). Understandingminority-serving institutions. Albany: State University of NewYork Press.
Porter-O`Grady, T. (2009). Interdisciplinary sharedgovernance: Integrating practice, transforming healthcare. Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.