Title

The decision dance: Staff decision making in a restructuring urban middle school

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1999

Abstract

An ethnographic examination of staff decision making at a restructuring urban middle school provides a description of how some decisions get made at this school. Three complex moves within the decision dance are played out at the school: balancing the relative needs of individual students and the whole school; managing consensus, dissent, voice and democracy; and recognizing leadership, authority, and accountability. Collective decision making was an important element of the staff's professional identity and was an important passage through which most of their work was channeled. When the decision making took an unpopular turn and did not support democratic, consensually made decisions, professional identity was threatened. The consistently unnoticed consensual decision to act together in service of their students' needs and in affirmation of their professional identities is the unifying core of the staff's decision dancing.

Comments

A link to full-text has been provided for authorized subscribers.

Publication Title

The Urban Review

Published Citation

Calderwood, P. E. (1999). The decision dance: Staff decision making in a restructuring urban middle school. The Urban Review, 31, (4), 385 - 418.

DOI

10.1023/A:1023242517498

Peer Reviewed