The relationship between leadership behavior centralization and staff stability and the degree of implementation of change : bilingual-bicultural education

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1982

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Abstract

Introduction. The purpose of this study was to examine certain variables affecting educational change and to determine the relationships between these variables and the implementation of Bilingual-Bicultural education programs. Literature on change/innovation, leadership theories, one aspect of the axiomatic theory of organizations, centralization, staff stability, and Bilingual-Bicultural education, contributed to the formulation of the hypotheses. Conceptual Framework. Twelve behavior dimensions were used to operationalize the leadership independent variables. Centralization, a second independent variable, represented the degree to which the principal shares decision-making with the bilingual teacher. Teacher turnover and teacher absenteeism, the independent variables for the construct staff stability represented the degree to which bilingual teachers felt a sense of satisfaction related to their work. The dependent variable, degree of program implementation, was represented by three different measures. The first was reading in the first language, which measured the frequency and extent of Spanish reading instruction. The second was transition to instruction in the second language, which measured how soon English instruction was introduced in the curriculum. The third was continuum of bilingual program structures, which measured the same dimensions in a more descriptive, general manner. Problem Statement and Hypotheses The problem selected was: What is the relationship between supportive leader behavior, centralization and staff stability and the degree of implementation of Bi- lingual-Bicultural education programs? Thirteen hypotheses were generated based on the literature. They are summarized as follows: The higher the degree of supportive leader behavior and the lower the degree of centralization, the lower the rate of teacher turnover and absenteeism and the higher the degree of program implementation . The higher the degree of supportive leader behavior, the lower the rate of teacher turnover and absenteeism. The higher the degree of centralization, the higher the rate of teacher turnover and absenteeism. The higher the degree of supportive leader behavior, the lower the degree of centralization. Setting and Data Analysis. The unit of analysis selected was the school implementing aBilingual-Bicultural education program in the Houston ISD, a large metropolitan school district. Two different multiple regression techniques were used to assess the multivariate relationships in the data. In addition the Pearson product-moment statistic was used to assess several bivariate relationships. Conclusions. It was concluded that there were, in all instances, significant relationships between all leadership dimensions and centralization. Relationships were also found between certain leadership dimensions and teacher turnover, between certain leadership dimensions and the three measures for degree of program implementation: reading in the first language, transition to instruction in the second language and continuum of bilingual program structures. There were, however, no relationships between centralization and teacher turnover, centralization and teacher absenteeism, centralization and the three measures of degree of program implementation. Furthermore, there were no relationships between teacher turnover and the three measures of degree of program implementation. The same is true of teacher absenteeism. Finally, there was no relationship between teacher turnover and teacher absenteeism. One control variable, school years in the program, demonstrated a relationship with one of the three measures of degree of program implementation. Of the fifteen multiple regression models generated, only two models from the Implications. Generally, the findings were in agreement with the literature both empirically and theoretically. Change is resisted by human organizations. If it is to succeed, it must be supported by those in power. This support must be expressed through specific leader behavior concerning the change. The results of the study also suggested that when change is of a radical and/or controversial nature, it is best to assume an exploratory stance rather than a theoretically narrow perspective, when conducting research. School systems should provide basic and intensive training to principals and all other administrators not only on the legal mandates of Bilingual-Bicultural education but also on the pedagogical foundations of the program, specifically on cognitive development as it refers to a dual language curriculum. At the classroom level, principals should involve bilingual teachers in programmatic decision-making by allowing them to act as content specialists. The amount of work inherent in conducting a dual language curriculum is enough to make the working conditions of bilingual teachers stressful. A certain degree of automomy will improve the level of satisfaction among the teacher ranks and allow them to develop a more creative approach to program implementation. Finally, the findings of this study suggested that there is a need to educate public school administrators and school boards on the facts of bilingual education as legislated in Texas. Primarily, that it is the best method of educating a segment of the population which will continue to enter the schools with a primary language other than English, and that their optimal achievement can be attained more satisfactorily through this program of change.

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Keywords

Education, Bilingual, United States

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