Whole School Development
Ghana, a West African English speaking Republic covers an area of approximately 238,540 km2. It is bordered on the north and north-west by Burkina Faso, on the east by Togo, on the south by the Gulf of Guinea, and on the west by Cote d’Ivoire. Ghana gained independence from Britain in 1957 and thus became the first independent majority-ruled nation in sub-Saharan Africa. Its education system in the first one and half decades after independence had been described as one of the best in Africa (World Bank 2004).
But by the mid-70s, the education system had begun to slip slowly into decline prompting several commissions of inquiry, notably the Dzobo Education Review to be set up to determine the causes and way forward for recovery. Finally, in 1987 Ghana embarked upon what could well be described as one of the most ambitious programmes of educational reforms in sub-Saharan Africa based largely on the recommendations of the Dzobo commission.
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The education reforms were part of a national economic recovery plan which began with a restructuring of the school system, a process validated and accelerated by the global agenda of Education for All following the Jomtien Conference in 1990. Prior to the reforms, basic education had been affected by a crippling economic decline with devastating consequences on the quality and efficiency of education provision and delivery. The proportion of GDP devoted to education had declined from 6. % in 1976 to about 1. 0% in 1983 and 1. 7% in 1985 (World Bank, 1996). Schools were lacking the very basic and essential inputs such as textbooks and stationary, with school buildings, furniture and equipment in dilapidated state, and statistics needed for planning no longer collected (Yeboah, 1990). Worse still, a large scale exodus of qualified teachers fled the poor conditions at home with the majority heading for Nigeria where new found oil wealth was funding a rapid expansion of basic education.
Consequently, untrained teachers filled the places of those who left. Meanwhile, population growth led first to a rise in class sizes and then to a steady fall in gross enrolment ratios – from 80 in 1980 to 70 in 1987, (Lewin, 1993). These factors and conditions all contributed to a general demoralization within the education system affecting school management, teacher morale and quality of primary education (World Bank 2004).
But, the most persistent criticism of the education system at the time was its structure, totaling 17 years of pre-tertiary education and considered inefficient, highly selective and which generally marginalized participation of the poor in education However, Whole School Development (WSD) has been a key element in the improvement of educational curricula in the world of education (Lewin, 1993).
Achieving quality tuition and excellent results require the understanding of educational authorities and stakeholders concern, the understanding of how they can effectively play their role in contributing to the growth of the school in all aspect. According to Schmuck (1982), WSD involves “a planned and sustained effort at school self-study and improvement, focusing explicitly on change in both formal and informal norms, structures and procedures”.
It is aimed at developing the school, in all its aspects as an organization, so that it forms a context that supports and encourages the provision of quality and innovative education. It is clear that the ability to ensure the growth of a school in all spheres demands from head teachers, staff, pupils and stakeholders such as the Parents Teacher Association (PTA) a high sense of good leadership function to attain the agenda set for the growth of the school. The researcher, as the head teacher of Apedwa S. D.
A Basic School once embarked on taking an inventory of the state of affairs in the school. To his amazement, the researcher discovered that pupils’ academic performance over the previous years had been poor; the school infrastructure had seen no repairs but rather deteriorated, with relatively inadequate number of staff with no motivation. There was also no comprehensive detailed plan of goals for WSD activities. This pressing challenge invariably alarmed the researcher to delve and investigate the fundamental cause of the awful state of the school in Apedwa S. D. A Basic School. Consequently, the researcher had a series of discussion with the staff of the school, Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and stakeholders. He also realized that there were some factors such as lack of teaching and learning material (TLM’s) in teaching, lack of motivation for staff, lukewarm attitude on the part of stakeholders to function as expected and above all the absence of roadmap targets to ensure the growth of the school. However, other factors also might have contributed to the stunted growth.
Diagnosis. The researcher came by the facts through observations made himself, interviewing a teacher on the staff who has worked there for couple of years and finally interviewing PTA Executives as well as members. Causes of Perceived Problem Obviously, the researched apparently had preconceived causes of the problem. Administration setbacks which is usually characterized by no staff meetings or rare staff meetings, no Parent Teacher Association meetings, parents exhibiting lukewarm attitude towards their wards in the school and finally the worst of all pupils are not ever engaged in the decision making process.
Those were the perceived challenges the researcher had in mind when embarking on this research project. Statement of the Problem Leadership challenges, both within schools in the Municipality and particularly Apedwa S. D. A Basic School and within their larger administrative communities, are prevalent in moving toward a more systemic approach to whole school development affairs, a trend articulated in a recently released report by Jackson (2007). The management or stakeholders of Apedwa SDA Basic School do not seem to have much interest in Whole School Development due to the lack of knowledge and indifferent attitude.
It is high time the aforementioned stakeholders reflect and restate the mission to look at specific objectives to enable them work from past achievements and current successes towards a common vision for the school. However, the school management should reinforce their role to carry out what is expected of them to see the expected change. Infrastructural development is expected at the school especially at the classroom levels to reflect on the academic performance of pupils’ and others to mention but few.
Intervention. The researcher therefore felt obliged to intervene with the following interventions thus, holding durbars, open days as well as exhibitions to offer the platform to discuss the need for Whole School Development. Secondly, the researcher also felt very imperative to organize football matches between teachers of the school and the young community members with enviable prizes at stake. During the event, the researcher used the opportunity to educate the young members of the community of the need to embrace the activities regarding Whole School Development.
Last but most significant intervention was the succinct educational tours the researcher embarked upon within the District that were practicing Whole School Development. During the events, the researcher had face-to-face interview with the teachers and pupils with in the District on how they perceived Whole School Development and their opinions on the need for it in other schools. To this effect, various responses were recorded and was helpful for the research study. Objectives of the Study The study seeks to achieve the following:
i.To organize school durbars and open days for all stakeholders of Apedwa SDA Basic School to educate them about Whole School Development. ii. To organize football gala between teachers and the youth and old students of the community and the school iii. To plan and organize tours for members of staff and the PTA executive of Apedwa SDA Basic School. Research Questions Considering the peculiar nature of this research the researcher deemed it appropriate to formulate certain questions to enable him analyze the issues at stake to offer useful suggestions and recommendations hence, the following questions. . How will the organization of durbars and open day for all stakeholders be able to improve Whole School Development in Apedwa SDA School? 2. To what extent will the playing of gala between teachers, old students and the youth in the community improve Whole School Development in Apedwa SDA Basic School? 3. How can tours for members of staff and PTA executive improve Whole School Development activities in Apedwa SDA Basic School? Significance of the Study
A whole-school approach calls for sustainable development to be integrated throughout the school curriculum in a holistic manner, rather than being a blueprint on a standalone basis. In practice, this approach means that Apedwa S. D. A Basic school will incorporate teaching and learning for sustainable development not only through aspects of the curriculum, but also through sustainable school operations such as integrated governance, stakeholder and community involvement, long-term planning, and sustainability monitoring and evaluation.
Furthermore, the study will serve as an eye-opener to other head teachers as well as stakeholders in other schools in the East Akim District to identify possible ways necessary to achieve Whole School Development activities. In addition, it will serve as a guide for subsequent researches to be conducted in a different manner to push the agenda of Whole School Development within other schools. Limitations of the Study The researcher encountered the following difficulties in the course of the study. These were mostly, time constraints and financial challenges.
Some staff members had a preconceived wrong impression of the WSD issue and were therefore reluctant to share their views in that regard. This factor further impeded the process of collecting and gathering of data to satisfy the goals set for the study. Also, pupils had very little knowledge to share since they were also part of the problem that was under study. The researcher had a difficulty in structuring a questionnaire to suitable for the staff/teachers and the stakeholders involved. Organization of the Study This study has been grouped into five chapters.
Chapter one deals with the background study, problem statement, objectives of the study, research questions, significance of the study, limitations and last but most significant the organization of the study. Also, chapter two covers the related literatures, articles and other materials the researcher would chance upon to review. Chapter three would be focused on the research methodology which includes the research design, the rationale with its pros and cons, instruments employed for data collection as well as statement of interventions.
Furthermore, the penultimate chapter will deal with the data interpretation and analysis as well as its presentation of fact findings. Last but not the least, chapter five would be focused on the summary and conclusion of the research findings, recommendations and suggestions. CHAPTER 2 Literature Review This section seeks to give an elaborate discussion on what other authorities, authors, articles and other related materials have opined on whole school development activities. It also highlight on the significant perspectives shared by the authors on the topic under study.
The Concept of WSD “School development planning can best be understood within the framework of the school as a system in which change of any part affects all the other parts” Haynes et al (1996). Ben (1999), also referred to the concept of WSD as a ‘‘systematic, collaborative, inclusive, ongoing and progressive process undertaken by the school to promote whole school effectiveness, school improvement, quality enhancement, staff development, partnerships, effective resource deployment, change management and the furtherance of aims and priorities of the national education system”.
In the light of the definitions espoused by the authors above, the researcher also shares the view of Ben (1999) in that; the explanation encompasses a definitive meaning of WSD concept. Besides, School development planning is usually undertaken to give direction to the work of the whole school in order to ensure that pupils receive quality education in terms of both their holistic development and their academic achievement.
In this sense, school development planning entails the school’s analysis of its development needs, prioritization and planning for addressing its challenges such as infrastructural and academic needs. Furthermore, the Ghana Education Service (GES) report (2003); also states that ‘a school development planning process comprises a framework in the form of a planning cycle revolving around a central core, namely, the school’s mission, vision and the fundamental aims”.
In addition, the planning itself comprise of the school review, design, implementation and evaluation thereof. In the light of the above framework, the researcher also believes that, the school particularly stakeholders of Apedwa SDA Basic has to formulate its vision, mission and the fundamental aim which articulate the reason for the school’s existence, what it wants to create and achieve, and what it considers to be the fundamental purpose of education. School Improvement: The Concept and Practices
The notion of school improvement has evolved more or less from the tradition of research into school effectiveness where attempts have been made to isolate critical inputs and processes that are likely to produce the best outcomes in terms of achievement results. The studies were primarily concerned with the question: what makes a school effective and usually looked at teacher qualities and instructional practices for answers. From an ideological perspective, schools are cast in the same mould as social organizations where success is judged by results and outcomes Morley et al, (1999).
Gray et al. (1999) opine that, with time and understanding how complex the nature of ‘effective’ schools are, could be a shift in interest to looking at the processes of school improvement and the links between processes and outcomes. The researcher therefore shares the view espoused by Gray et al, in that Schools especially Apedwa SDA Basic School have been more skeptical about single-cause explanations of improvement, and have come to recognise the full variety of changes going on in the school.
Apparently, this approach interacts with pupils’ characteristics to produce differences in their learning outcome hence, the poor developmental state of the school under study. Furthermore, in the light of the varied interpretations expressed by various authors, the researcher also understands the term ‘school improvement’ in two ways. One is in terms of “the efforts to make schools better places for pupils’ to learn (and) “as a strategy for educational change that enhances pupils’ outcomes as well as strengthening the school’s capacity for managing change”.
In addition, it is high time stakeholders understand and share this opinion to champion the course in the right direction especially the government ministries and agencies responsible as well as the school authorities. Also according to Harris (2002), school improvement is simply “a process of changing school culture”. The researcher believes the above definition rather highlights the importance of school improvement to school authorities for example the Apedwa SDA Basic School staff/teachers. Besides, managing school from within are the critical agents of change.
Secondly, internal conditions in terms of management, support system and others to mention but few are important to motivate and sustain the school’s effort to improve. Government agencies responsible must endeavor to provide the needed logistics to assist in the WSD activity to maintain and inculcate in school heads and stakeholders the culture of WSD agenda. On the other hand, Hopkins (2002) was of the view that; school improvement reforms have attempted to change the professional and organizational culture of schools to promote a more collegial environment.
This however, emphasizes on the collaboration and professional relations among the staff and has further extended to the local community. The researcher believes this will give considerable attention to teacher development activities as a way to improve pupil’s behaviour, learning and achievement. School Improvement Initiatives & WSD Generally, ideas about school improvement derived in developed countries have apparently influenced and shaped the similar initiatives in less developed countries, notably the (WSD) initiatives which have been used as a vehicle to improve the quality of primary education; Sayed et al (1999) .
Besides, treating the schools as the unit of change gave birth to the idea of ‘Whole School’ change as an educational reform drive meant to harness improvement in management strategies, in-service training, monitoring & evaluation, target setting in school development plans and teacher appraisal etcetera to orchestrate a complete change in the performance of schools. WSD can be found in various private institutions in Ghana for example, in the private basic schools in urban cities.
Such schools have focused on achieving a systemic and targeted intervention programme to work ‘holistically’ with schools at all levels to improve performance. Moreover, in such private basic schools, the emphasis has been on revision of textbooks, teacher development, and decentralization to achieve their aims in respect to the school whole performance; Sayed et al (1999). However, in the government assisted basic schools, generally the notion of WSD is fed by two inter-related ideas: educational decentralisation and change management strategy at the school level GES report (2003).
Furthermore, education delivery in many public basic schools is often characterized by a top-down approach, where decisions are taken at the centre and expected to be implemented at all schools irrespective of their peculiar circumstances and needs; Akyeampong (2004). In addition, education is delivered as a one size fit all. This tends to create a dependency of schools on central government direct intervention to address problems of quality when in most instances these are best handled through the combined efforts of headteachers, schools and their local communities.
In effect, the WSD philosophy is that schools especially public basic schools can achieve significant improvements in terms of the learning outcomes of pupils, if there is effective educational decentralisation Akyeampong (2004). In this wise, the researcher believes that educational decentralisation as understood under WSD would be a strategy for enhancing the participation and involvement of all key partners in planning and decision making.
Also, according to Akyeampong (2004), the assumption underpinning the policy is that a decentralised education system is more responsive to local need and nurtures a culture of ownership, partnership, and commitment. Implications of WSD intervention for education policy in Ghana The WSD programme represents a very bold attempt to put into operation an education sector policy plan to improve access, participation and quality of primary education. To understand the importance of this initiative, one has only to imagine an attempt to achieve the FCUBE objectives without a national school improvement initiative such as WSD.
At best, this would have left the implementation mainly in the hands of NGOs and development partners, creating the situation where “a government driven education system exists seemingly independently next to a variety of donor driven projects that are only supplementing instead of strengthening the formal system” Plomp & Thijs (2002). Thus, by adopting WSD as its intervention strategy to improve school quality through partnership between headteachers and schools, district education authority and the community, primary education in Ghana may at have last started the journey to recovery.
Furthermore, improving the ‘whole’ school to enhance pupils’ performance is also about change management as the school improvement literature suggests. As a change management strategy, it is concerned with changing the ‘whole’ school’s organizational culture and structure, and also the school community relations. The researcher therefore believes that, in these changing relationships it is prudent if head teachers are encouraged to adopt a more open and participatory management style, where parents, school management boards and pupils’ are considered crucial partners in the day-to-day functioning of schools.
In addition, WSD thus emphasizes the ‘rehabilitation’ of school buildings and the provision of resources such as textbook, furniture and stationary, World Bank (2004). Harris (2002) says that, change is sought at all levels of the school: classroom, teacher level, engaging teachers in professional dialogue and development and change in the school culture with the support of external professional agencies. Thus the focus is on the school as the unit of change.
The researcher finds it imperative to discuss the four ways of gauging school improvements as has been suggested by Gray et al. (1999: 36). These are as follows: 1. Loose descriptions of what has happened, starting with how things were and step by step description of what has happened since then; 2. More systematic description where headteachers involved in effective school improvement programmes estimate how much change has occurred usually using different outcome measures such as changes in staff morale and pupil achievement; 3. Judgement by people external (e. . inspectors) to the school about how much change has taken place. 4. Judgements about extent of improvement based on ‘harder’ measures such as examination and test results. Gray et al. (1999) further suggest that dimensions of change which are more likely to produce the best results in school improvement usually in terms of student learning and achievement have also been a subject of interest in the literature. From their studies of areas of change and in school improvement in some urban schools came up the following general themes:
1. Efforts to raise pupils’ exam performance through such strategies as entering pupils for more exams and mentoring ‘borderline’ pupils; 2. Modification to management structures and planning procedures to achieve greater staff (and to a lesser extent) pupil participation; 3. Efforts to implement more coherent policies for teaching and learning in such areas as codes of classroom conduct and homework; 4. Changes in the ways in which the curriculum was organised, mostly in response to national reforms; 5. Refurbishment of the school environment and facilities; 6. Efforts to involve parents in their children’s education and the community in the life of the school; 7. More active marketing of the school; and 8. Giving attention to the processes of teaching and learning, including such things as fostering more discussion of classroom practices. Summary of review Generally, at the heart of the WSD process in Ghana is the provision of support to headteachers and teachers to improve the quality of teaching and learning in schools.
This focus is rooted in the belief that quality teaching provided by competent teachers will result in effective teachers (WSD Training Programme Document, 1999). To achieve quality schooling outcome, WSD workshops for headteachers and district support personnel focus their attention on three instructional areas for improvement – literacy, numeracy and problem solving. Usually, the workshops follow the cascade model of in-service training where head teachers and district school circuit supervisors are given training, and are in turn expected to provide similar training at local district and school levels.
Moreover, the training also places considerable emphasis on child-centred pedagogy, the use of appropriate teaching and learning materials, and the use of the local environment as an important learning resource (WSD Training Programme Document, 1999). As is typical of school improvement strategies in rural schools especially Apedwa SDA Basic school context, WSD has also attempted to improve the partnership between headteachers, teachers and the community. Another important feature of WSD in rural schools is the attempt to foster better organisation of in-service training.
The approach adopted is the organisation of schools into clusters ranging from five to eight. Cluster in-service workshops are meant to form the focus and centre of school improvement activity. Teachers from an individual school form a single school-based in-service unit and the group of five to eight schools, the cluster unit. Conclusion The WSD programme in Ghana has been framed within the context of a policy of educational decentralisation underpinned by a change management strategy that is aimed at improving quality of teaching and learning, access and articipation in primary schools. CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY This chapter describes the research design and the techniques that were employed by the researcher. Another component described in the chapter is the population and sampling procedures and the instruments that were used during the research. The researcher employed the action method of research for the study. The purpose of this type of research is to identify obstacles and use appropriate interventions to remedy the identified or evident based problem.
Including in the chapter is how data was collected and the analysis of data made. Research Design Research can be conducted in numerous ways of human endeavour. It is common knowledge that, there are various types of research design however, for the purpose of this study, action research was used. Essentially, action research is defined as on the spot procedure designed to deal with a concrete problem located in an immediate situation. Action research therefore involves finding realistic solutions in our environment or situations.
The researcher chose the action research due to the fact that, it’s primarily concerned with finding new way of solving institutional problems or learning which can be general, specific to subjects or even topics. The merits of action research are that, it helps teachers to identify specific problems in their various schools and hence find workable solution to them. By the use of action research, numerous problems that teachers usually encounter in the execution of their professional duties are identified and remedies found to them.
Also, action research helps teachers to develop appropriate methods of teaching general or specific concept in the classroom. The use of Action research helps Ghana Education as a whole to see the real solution on the ground in relation to education so that the policy makers can be guided by such findings from action research. It is often said that nobody is perfect in his or her doings. This implies that although action research has numerous strengths, there are some weaknesses associated with the design. One of its weaknesses is that since it is concerned with a classroom or local problem, it cannot be generalized.
That is to say, it cannot be concluded that what happened in one locality is the same to the wider setting. Population The study focuses on using participatory approach to improve Whole School Development activities in Apedwa SDA Basic School. This school was selected due to time and financial constraints. Sample and Sampling Technique Thus, Apedwa SDA Basic School was selected for the purpose of convenience and time. A purposeful sample size of 10 respondents being PTA members was chosen for the study. Also five (5) teachers; who have taught for a number of years in the school as well as ten (10) Junior High School Students.
The process of choosing adequate representatives is termed as the sampling techniques. The researcher used random sampling technique in selecting the sampling size. That is every member of the population stands an equal chance of being selected. Under the random sampling technique, the stratified technique was used. The stratified technique is random sample of a population in which the population is first divided into a distinct sub – divided population or strata and random samples are taken separately from each stratum.
The researcher randomly selected 25 respondents from the school. Type of Data Collection In order to obtain accurate information so as to ensure high level of objectivity, primary data was used for the study. The primary data collection was obtained through interview and the observations of the various events such as durbars, football galla and the educational tours within the District to mention but few organized based on the research objectives. Instrument for Data Collection This refers to the device or technique that was used to gather information.
One significant device that the researcher used was interview. The researcher employed the use of interview because with this option, it is easy for respondents especially PTA members and teachers to explain and compile answers at their convenient time and allowed for soliciting of exact responses needed. Both the closed and opened ended type of interview was used. The closed ended type deals with a list of response or option from which the respondents choose from and the open ended allows the respondents to bring out their own views.
Also well-focused observation was embarked upon to determine the apparent causative factors that might inhibit teachers/staff and pupils interest in Whole School Development activities. The observation were so critical such that at the end of the analysis the researcher’s objective will be met in order to draw a reasonable conclusion based on the findings as given by the respondents. The fundamental mode of data collection was basically interviews and observation; the research interviews were made up of 4 sections. Section A sought for the general information about the respondents.
Section B which was made up of questions 1 to 7 was designed to find out the lack of interest in WSD by teachers/staff and pupils in Apedwa SDA Basic School. Section C was meant to find the effect of such lack of concern for WSD activity in the school under study. And section D which was the last section was meant to find the ways teachers/staff and pupils’ opinions or voices can help improve WSD activity in Apedwa SDA Basic School. A sample interview checklist and observation guides have been appended. Furthermore, an Observation refers to a way of collecting information on the status of persons or objects being watched.
It usually does not involve the act of questioning. Observations could be participant or non-participant, structured or unstructured. Observation is relatively advantageous because it is an easy method of collecting data as it provides first first-hand information to the observer. An observation was done by critically watching teachers/staff and pupils attitude and their discussions towards WSD activities. Besides, Interview was also used in the conduct of this research. Interview refers to a form of questioning that is characterized by the use of verbal symbols so as to collect data.
It involves posing question to respondents for answers in a face-to-face situation. In the case of this study, the pupils and staff of Apedwa SDA Basic School were interviewed for needed data. Instrument Validity Observations and interviews are generally acceptable instruments for gathering information and as such very valid. The researcher therefore deemed it important to use such instruments. To ensure the validity of such instruments, the researcher sought for the approval from the research supervisor after designing them. Procedure for Data Collection
Permission was obtained from the teachers responsible at various classes in other schools for the administration of interview questions as well as discussions. The researcher then sent interview questions to both staff and pupils for the research to be conducted. Appointment was booked at the schools and the selected PTA members to meet them at the right time for the onward interview processes. Method of Data Analysis The method or technique the researcher applied as far as analyzing the data on the research is concerned was quantitative (statistical) method with a qualitative analysis to support certain claims espoused by respondents.
The researcher used frequencies and percentages in analyzing the data collected. Interventions Series of observations was done by the researcher to ascertain certain pertinent information regarding the school under study. Since the topic embodies every facet of the school, a week observation was done through-out to obtain adequate information to enable the researcher employ other techniques to salvage the situation. First and foremost a cursory observation was done by checking the inventory of the school physical/infrastructural assets.
In addition, a search for previous stock of school assets was also chanced upon for comparison and evaluation. The next day was also devoted in checking previous academic records of past pupils. Subsequent to the other days was a continued observatory action in concluding factors impeding against the development of the school in general. However, the penultimate day of the observation week was to observe both pupils and teachers/staff reactions to extra curricula activities. The last day of the week was used in gathering relevant information to help remedy the worsened situation at Apedwa SDA Basic School.
Focused Grouped Discussions After realizing the facts from the observations made by the researcher; he then decided to intervene by carefully engaging the teachers/staff and pupils involved in the study in a discussion at relatively informal levels. This deliberate activity was however done to ascertain their opinions in whole school development issues. During the discussions among the staff, it came to light that every member had divergent opinion regarding whole school development. These are some of their views as put on record.
Most of them reiterated the view that they have been posted to teach and nothing else. Anything concerning otherwise is none of their business. Others recounted the view that, there is very little or no input they can play in terms of whole school development since it is the government’s ministry responsible for education to consider such matters. Furthermore, some teachers/staff also were of the view that, there is no harmony in the collaboration of PTA and therefore whole school development plans cannot properly work to churn out good results.
A relatively significant number of the staff shared the view that, they will not attract any allowance in their effort to help the school develop except to teach in the classroom. The outcome of discussions indeed was disheartening considering their level of education and the kind of views inhabited in them made the researcher completely demoralized. Moreover, looking no further, the researcher continued in his effort to ensure he bid a farewell to the task at hand. He then moved on the classroom to engage the pupils’ attention in sharing their sentiments regarding whole school development activities.
Apparently, most of them were ignorant in terms of the brand name ‘Whole School Development’ however; they knew the crux of the matter in a different dimension. The researcher opened a forum for every pupil to bring on board their view and to make categorical statements in what had cause the school to be its stagnating state. Indeed, the pupils’ views were so amazing in that, some were even permitted to express their opinion in the language they were comfortable with. Interesting records were noted from the pupils. Emphasis was however made to pupil who would be able to opine effectively to help salvage the situation.
Stimulating and creative responses were noted. Moreover, face-to-face interview was also made with some selected teachers/staff and pupils at leisure hours to further discuss Whole School Development activity in detail. The researcher took upon himself to explain the issue of Whole School Development activity and the need for their concern during the interview to cast out the diabolic beliefs in extra curricula activities. This activity yielded the some results and those who understood the need for their concern began to influence others with the same perspective. Interviews
Upon realizing the facts obtained from the observations made by the researcher, he then decided to intervene by carefully designing an interview guide to solicit the opinions of staff/pupils in respect to improving whole school development. The interview was semi-structured based on the research questions. It was also categorized into four sections where section A sought for the respondents personal information, section B demanded from both teachers and parents views on the lack of concern for whole school development, section C also gathered information from respondents on the negative effects of the lack of whole school development.
The last but not the least section also sought from respondents the way forward or how all stakeholders involved can participate to improve whole school development. CHAPTER 4 RESULTS AND DISCUSSION This chapter serves to present and analyze all results gathered through the data collected. Such results have been presented and analyzed in forms of tables, charts and statistical diagrams. The arranged detailed analysis put the entire chapter into three main parts.
The first part gives a brief description of why stakeholders especially teachers in Apedwa SDA Basic School exhibit no interest in whole school development activity. It delves into issues like teacher motivation in Whole School Development activity, PTA preparedness to support the Whole School Development activity and the Government interventions to also assist the school in terms of infrastructure and others educational materials especially textbooks and TLM’s among others. The penultimate part also focuses on the impact of whole school development activity with its respective sub-headings discussions.
Finally, the last brings to the fore stakeholders interventions to improve whole school development activity in Apedwa SDA Basic School in the East Akim District. Presentation of Data It also deals with the presentation of results based on responses gathered. All responses gathered for the presentation of the results are based on the research instruments used thus questionnaire observation and interview. First and foremost, the researcher observed the whole school development situation critically and found out that, stakeholders were not interested in Whole School Development activity other than their basic roles.
The researcher critically used observation during the events and interviews with 25 respondents (the researcher being the interviewer and the respondents being the interviewees). This interview was conducted by using the research questions. In the analysis, inferences were drawn, and comprehensive general statements were made in the context of acknowledged facts, theories among others. Also, some data were analyzed qualitatively using deductive reasoning. All these have been integrated in the discussions of the results to aid understanding.
Summarily, whereas quantitative analysis dealt with how many or much of staff/pupils were interested in contributing to whole school development, qualitative analysis dealt with staff and pupils attitude towards whole school development in Apedwa S. D. A Basic school. The scope of whole school development is definitely very broad and encompasses several activities such as the following: leadership and communication, Governance, Quality of teaching, educator development–knowledge and implementation of curriculum, School safety, security and discipline, learner support systems in mathematics, science and counseling etc. motivation and team building, extra and co-curricular activities, parental volunteerism, maintenance of school structures and last but not the least infrastructural development (Work Bank, 2004). On this score, the researcher has classified and combined the above-mentioned scope into smaller units that delves into the whole school development activity. Now the table below gives the results of the first question of the questionnaire. Table 1 Awareness of the essence of Whole School Development Views No. of response Percentage (%) Yes No Yes No
Having any idea about WSD 4 21 16 84 Engaged in extra curricula activity 6 1924 76 Motivation to participate in WSD 3 2212 88 Total 25 100 From the table above, it was found out from the research that relatively significant number of the responses had no idea of what whole school development was about. Statistically, majority of the respondents being 84% indicated that they know nothing about whole school development activity. Conversely, 4 respondents accounting for 16% also indicated that they have an idea of what whole school development entails.
In addition, some 76% respondents being the majority indicated that they do not engage in extra curricula activity. However, 24% of the respondents being the minority also indicated that they rather participate in extra and co-curricular activities. Below is a graphical representation of table 1 for further understanding of the issues at stake. Fig. 1A graphical representation of the responses obtained from staff/teachers and pupils Last but not the least, is in respect to the motivational drive by respondents to participate in Whole School Development activity.
On this score, 3 of the respondents showing 12% on the bar graph above indicated that they are personally motivated to engage in whole school development activity with a relatively a significant majority being 88% of the respondents stating that they are not motivated at all. The researcher believes that one major cause of the sinking attitude towards Whole School Development activity in Apedwa SDA Basic School is possibly due to the low or no motivation among staff/teachers and stakeholders concern.
It is common knowledge that, Whole School Development activity cannot be successful if the authorities’ in-charge has no-driving force to inch towards it. In addition, the interview results also hinged on the same issues as discussed in the questionnaire. It was however no different from the matters raised in table 1 above. Furthermore, the researcher beyond the questionnaire administration did an assessment of the varied responses to ascertain the following in the table below: Levels of attention given to the under listed factors of Whole School Development activity.
Table 2 Reasons espoused by respondents in respect to the determinants of WSD Factors Very High High Moderate Low Very low Leadership & Communication8 4 6 5 2 Governance 17 4 1 3 – Learner support systems 3 2 10 7 3 Quality of teaching 9 5 8 2 1 Respondents were asked to rate the levels of the factors of whole school development as propounded by World Bank (2004). The feedback was plain enough and depicts the overall state of Apedwa SDA Basic School in the East Akim District. Furthermore, on the score of leadership and communication among the staff/teachers and pupils 8 of the respondents indicated very high.
Also, in respect to governance; relatively high number of responses was recorded indicating that, the head teacher and the staff are playing their roles efficiently. Figure: 2 a graphical representation of respondents levels of attention As can be seen from the graph above, on the level of very high, quality of teaching recorded the highest; thus accounting for 36% (being 9 of the respondents). Besides, learner support systems was also posed to respondents and from the graph it can be seen that 3 of the respondents believed it is very high, 2 of the respondents being 8% which is relatively minor indicated learner support systems to be high.
Furthermore, a relatively significant majority being 40% of the respondents also were of the view that learner support system is moderate. Also, 28% of the respondents were of the view that learner support system is rather on the low side. However, 12% of the responses were so unhappy about the learner support system in Apedwa SDA Basic School. Another determining factor of Whole School Development was in the area of Quality of teaching. On this level, varied responses were however recorded; the result indicates that 36% shared the view that they are satisfied with the quality of teaching. 2% of the respondents also indicated that the quality of teaching is rather moderate. 4% of the respondents accounting for an individual (see table 2) also opine that the quality of teaching in Apedwa SDA Basic School is very low and that something should be done to salvage the situation. In simple terms, Whole School Development is a mechanism used to improve and uplift the academic, infrastructural, social, and security environment in schools.
Whole School Development activity aims primarily to ensure that schools have the necessary resources to support an environment conducive to excellence in teaching and learning in every school especially Apedwa SDA Basic School. The results encountered presupposes to the researcher that, the fundamental factors to be considered by the Apedwa SDA Basic School management team has been ignored over a period of time. Thus the impact of such ignorance is what is being manifest today. Moreover, the statistics regarding the quality of teaching leaves much to be desired in that the responses especially from the teachers were not in the best of shapes.
The staff of Apedwa SDA Basic School is dominated with pupil teachers and unfortunately their outputs in terms of professionalism are not the best. CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS Conclusion The quality of teaching and learning is improved through capacity building of the school’s management body to ensure that the school’s policies are updated and implemented. Whole school development is a “planned and sustained effort at school self-study and improvement, focusing explicitly on change in both formal and informal norms, structures and procedures” Schmuck (2008).
It is aimed at developing the school, in all its aspects as an organization, so that it forms a context that supports and encourages the provision of quality and innovative education. The ultimate goal of Whole School Development is to improve the quality of teaching and learning. Moreover, Apedwa SDA Basic school management team especially the school authorities needs to be empowered by the stakeholders responsible to ensure all other interventions at the school are efficient and can be implemented.
Findings from the study indicate that radical change is expected at Apedwa SDA Basic school and classroom levels, and at the staff/teachers and pupil levels. The school authorities must rise up to facilitate meetings for Staff, Patron Committees and Parent Associations to build a shared vision for their school with a view of reflecting and restating missions and aims. Furthermore, the researcher believes that this can help the Apedwa SDA Basic school management team to look at specific aims and objectives to enable them work from past achievements and current successes towards a common vision for the school.
Recommendations In order for Whole School Development activities to be highly cultivated in Apedwa SDA Basic School, crucial roles in ensuring quality education is expected by the school stakeholders thus teachers/staff, pupils participation and the support from PTA and others to mention but few. On this account the researcher has suggested the following recommendations. These recommendations are with reservations thought through from the research findings and some other literature specifically authored in the field of whole school development. 1. Teachers/staff development in terms of knowledge, skills and values. . Empowering teachers/staff, stakeholders to change and manage change. 3. Policy development at school level. 4. Creating an environment that supports effective teaching and learning. 5. Access to appropriate support services. 6. School-community partnership. Teachers/staff development in terms of knowledge, skills and values Whole School Development activity is multifaceted; which involves diverse activities and skills, hence very pertinent for school authorities to retrace the processes at any given point. Nonetheless, this ought to be effective and proficient.
Thus, this explains why some schools particularly the private institutions the District are making frantic efforts to become the best in whole school development activities as some have already acclaimed themselves with slogans such as “Masters in Child Education”. Moreover, school authorities understanding how the whole school development processes work is essential to ensuring the competitiveness of a quality education particularly in the in the world of education. Teachers in Apedwa SDA Basic School need to develop their skills and be knowledgeable in managing whole school development activity.
Since WSD encompasses a variety of educational activities teachers must therefore be equipped with the requisite skill and knowledge to direct pupils in the right sense to achieve the intended purpose. However, as findings from the study indicated that teachers have no knowledge or little information as to how WSD activity is managed there is much to be desired in Apedwa SDA Basic School due to their ignorance. Secondly, teachers in Apedwa SDA Basic School need empowerment to change the way things are done and to manage the change as well.
Resources must be available to teachers to explore to the benefit of the pupils. Government agencies responsible and the PTA must understand the need to channel resources to improve the teachers’ knowledge base such as attending WSD symposiums; workshops, durbars and similar events to boost their knowledge in WSD activity to enable them implement what they have also acquired to improve upon what is currently available. Furthermore, the School Governing Body must endeavor to establish policies which entail WSD either short term or long term to guide teachers/staff in the school to do what is right in the direction.
For example, school authorities may organize games between the town folks and the staff to enable them educate them on the need for whole school development. To this effect, a blueprint of WSD activity must be developed by the School board to enable teachers responsible to manage the school development activities. Moreover, Department of Education must be responsible to make an effort to create an environment which will support effective teaching and learning. For example, advising the school authorities to embark on educational trips to other schools or institution of learning to educate themselves of what is being done in other schools.
This is by providing the school the needed logistics such as school buses, athletics resources to enable teachers/staff to use the right and adequate teaching and learning materials to enhance effective teaching and learning. In addition, access to appropriate support services is also crucial to enhance WSD activity. It is also expected of the school Governing Body thus the PTA and other Patron Associations especially the School Alumni to solicit and access support from the appropriate quarters such as charitable organizations; NGO’s that work in communities and even other business entities to support the course of Whole School Development.
Besides, Old School Associations can be formed to organize an event to get help from successful Old School mates to support the school development activities. Last but most significant suggestion is School-Community Partnership; since the school is serve the Apedwa community and its suburbs, it is imperative for a joint partnership and also bestowed on the Department of Social Development to propagate policies that will ensure Whole School Development activities as it is often said ‘combined effort usually yield the best output’.
Also, effective collaboration from the distinct entities would yield good results if well managed. Moreover, educators and school support staff must also play their role efficiently to help the Apedwa SDA Basic School to see the light of day in World of Whole School Development activity. Also, the researcher further suggest that, schools that are lacking in Whole School Development can improve by using field trips and tours, durbars and games to create awareness for its implementation.