First Advisor

Michael E. Carl

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership






Middle schools -- Administration -- Case studies, Schools -- Decentralization -- Case studies, Leadership -- Case studies



Physical Description

3, ix, 317 leaves: ill. 28 cm.


To effectively and substantively impact the realization of school improvement goals, there is a perceived need for the implementation of participatory processes that involve parents, patrons, students, and educators through decentralization of the planning, programming, and implementation phases. Related to this need is the pressing requirement of providing educational leaders with a greater understanding of what knowledge and skills they should possess to effectively guide and direct the implementation of decentralized participatory processes. An exploratory case study of a nationally recognized middle school's decentralized participatory structure was conducted. The purpose of this study was to provide the comprehensive context of an existing decentralized participatory structure from which needed knowledge and skills could be determined. The likelihood of successfully installing future partnership structures can be increased by providing educational leaders with a description, analysis, and interpretation of participatory involvements. The conclusions for the case study were arrived at through a triangulation approach of key-informant interviewing, participant observation at meetings, and an investigation of essential documents. This researcher concluded that the following skills and knowledge base are important for participatory leaders to possess to successfully implement, direct, and guide a decentralized partnership program: Skills. (1) Group dynamic skills; (2) Human relationship skills; (3) Communication skills; (4) Decision-making skills. Knowledge Base. A participatory leader must possess knowledge of (1) how to positively channel diversity, (2) motivation theory and ways to capitalize on motivation theory, (3) ways to develop participants' capacity to participate effectively, (4) how to effectively facilitate the communication and coordination between and among identifiable groups which interlace with the participatory process, (5) the school effectiveness literature, (6) how to balance high task and high relationship, (7) how people learn most effectively, (8) goal theory and ways to set goals through other people, (9) effective planning procedures, (10) change strategy and how to effectively accomplish goals through other people, (11) the benefits of participatory decision-making, (12) the benefits of decentralization, (13) a range of leadership styles, (14) effective management practices, and (15) how to model a decentralized participatory structure.


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Portland State University. School of Education.

Persistent Identifier