Do communities know best? Testing a premise of educational decentralization: Community members' perceptions of their local schools in Ghana

David Chapman, Elizabeth Barcikowski, Michael Sowah, Emma Gyamera, George Woode

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

A central premise of the argument for greater decentralization of education in the developing world is that those closest to the school, e.g., community members, have a better understanding of local conditions and are in the best position to make decisions about the educational processes that best serve local needs. This study tested that premise by examining the extent that community members in rural Ghana demonstrated a clear understanding of (a) what school practices were indicative of an effective school and (b) what community members could do to most effectively support their local schools. Results were interpreted with respect to attitude theory, decentralization, and program evaluation. Implications of the findings for the decentralization movement, the professional development of headmasters, and the work of international development organizations are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-189
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Development
Volume22
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2002

Keywords

  • Community participation
  • Decentralization
  • Development
  • Education policy
  • School effectiveness

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