Administrative tasks of elementary school principals in Brazil



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The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of Brazilian educational reform Law 5.692 on the tasks of elementary (level 1) local school unit administrators through the rating of importance of tasks. The problem was to identify the relationship between the legislated primary and secondary education reform and the tasks of the school administrators. The target population were three groups: the elementary school unit administrators of the Federal District of Brazil were the practitioner group; the coordinators of school complexes in the Federal District formed the supervisor group and the members of the National Association of Professionals in Educational Administration (ANPAE) represented a trainer group. The total number of returns valid for data analysis was 410 divided among the three groups so that 215 were practitioners, 17 from the supervisors and 178 from trainers. These numbers, represented returns of 91.48 percent from practitioners, 90 percent from supervisors and 57.42 percent from trainers. The research instrument was a list of 71 tasks generated by a panel of elementary school unit administrators to be rated on a 5-point Likert type scale according to importance. Since the instrument was original it was tested for reliability by using the alpha test for internal consistency of items and factor analysis was utilized to verify the underlying dimensions. The initial instrument of 76 task items was piloted and refined into the final instrument of 71 items. The tasks were grouped according to the following dimensions: Curriculum and Instruction, Fiscal Management, School-Community Interface, School Plant Administration, Staff Personnel, Student Personnel, System-Wide Policies and Operations. The major findings of the study were the following: 1. There was no significant difference between the elementary school unit administrators trained prior to the legislated reform of 1971 and those trained after, in rating the 71 tasks. This was true of the tasks grouped according to the seven dimensions and also when taken individually. Only one of the 71 tasks was rated significantly different by the two groups. 2. Analysis of variance indicated that there was significant difference between the practitioner, supervisor and trainer groups in rating the tasks by dimension. Two of the seven dimensions indicated no significant difference between groups. These were: School-Community Interface and Staff Personnel. 3. Post-hoc analysis by the Scheffe procedure identified pair- wise differences between groups in 52 of the 71 tasks. Further analysis showed that 48 of the cases of difference were between the practitioner and trainer groups, 12 were between trainer and supervisor groups and 3 were between supervisor and practitioner groups. 4. Post-hoc analysis of the ten tasks specifically legislated by federal law 5.692 and identified by education specialists indicated difference between the supervisor and practitioner groups on one of the tasks. There were three cases of difference between supervisor and trainer groups and six cases of difference between the practitioner and trainer groups. It was concluded that legislated reform in Brazil can provide a framework to effect change in the task performance of school unit administrators. Supervisors play an important role in the local school unit administrators in order to facilitate the implementation of the legislation. The significant difference in the rating of tasks by the trainer group suggests that this group was not impacted by the legislation to the degree that the practitioner and supervisor groups were and this may be reflected in the focus of post-secondary administrator training programs. Recommendations of further research emphasize the reinforcement of the present investigation through additional study and substantive recommendations are directed at practices and policies in the areas of administrator training, professional competence, task performance and the implementation role in legislated reforms.



School administrators--Brazil, Education--Brazil--History