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COURSENOTES

COURSE TITLE: MANAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP IN EDUCATION COURSE CODE: EPB2033 PREPARED BY: TENGKU NOORAINUN TENGKU SHAHDAN

COURSE: EPB2033: MANAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP IN EDUCATION FACULTY: EDUCATION AND SOCIAL SCIENCES

TOPIC 1: The School as a Social System (Textbook Chapter 1) 1.0 Introduction This topic will explain schools as a social system and as an open system. The topic also covers the basic assumptions for social system. Learners should be able to give example of: (a) a social system; (b) an open system. At the end of this topic, learners should be able to explain how a complex process of social system provides a conceptual basis for organizational analysis and administrative problem solving. 1.0.1 Overview The notion of a social system is a general one. It can be applied to social organizations that are carefully and deliberately planned or to those that emerge spontaneously. The school is a system of social interaction; it is an organization wholly comprise of interacting personalities bound together in an organic relationship (Waller, 1932). Schools are open social systems with five important elements or subsystems: the structural, the individual, the cultural, the political, and the pedagogical. The teaching-learning process is the technical core of the school social system. Schools are service organizations that are committed to teaching and learning. The ultimate goal of the school is student learning; in fact, its very existence is based on such activity. 1.1 Key Contents 1.1.1 Social-Systems Model: Basic Assumptions All social systems have some activities and functions that are accomplished in a fairly stable fashion. For example, if we conceive of a society itself as a social system, then the routine and imperative functions of educating, protecting, and governing are performed by educational, legal, and governmental institutions. As a social system, the school is characterized by an interdependence of parts, a clearly defined population differentiation from its environment, a complex network of social relationships, and its own unique culture. Explicit assumptions examine the school as a social system is given below: o Social systems are open systems: Schools are affected by state mandates, by politics, by history, and a host of other environmental forces. o Social systems consist of interdependent parts, characteristics, and activities. o Social systems are people: Teachers act on the basis of their needs, beliefs, and goals (motivations) as well as their roles. o Socials systems are goal oriented: Student learning
Version: 01 Date: 18/03/2011

COURSE: EPB2033: MANAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP IN EDUCATION FACULTY: EDUCATION AND SOCIAL SCIENCES

o Social systems are structural: School systems have division of labor, specialization, and hierarchy. o Social systems are normative: school have formal rules and regulations as well as informal norms that prescribe appropriate behaviour o Social systems are sanction hearing: Schools have formal mechanisms such as suspension, termination, tenure, and promotion. o Social systems are political: Schools have power relations that inevitably affect administrator and teacher activities. o Social systems have distinctive cultures: Schools have a dominant set of shared values that influence behaviour. o Social systems are conceptual and relative: For one purpose, a classroom can be considered a social system o All formal organizations are social systems: BUT all social systems are not formal organization. 1.1.2 Key Elements of the School System Formal organization explicitly established to achieve certain goals. Goals are the desired ends that guide organizational behaviour. Specific goals direct decision making, influence the formal structure, specify the tasks, guide the allocation of resources, and govern design decisions. Figure 1.1 stated the major elements, or subsystems of a social system. Behaviour in formal organizations is influenced not only by structural and individual elements but also by cultural and political elements. Structure is defined in terms of formal bureaucratic expectations, which are designed and organized to fulfil the goals of the organization. Organization consists of people, deliberate structure and purpose. Bureaucratic expectations are formal demands and obligations set by the organization; they are the key building blocks of organizational structure. Bureaucratic roles are defined by sets of expectations, which are combined into positions and offices in the organization. In schools, the positions of principal, teacher, and student. A teacher, for instance, has the obligation to plan learning experiences for students and has the duty to engage students in a pedagogically effective manner. The individual is viewed in terms of the needs, goals, beliefs, and cognitive understandings of work roles: the individual provides the energy and capacity to achieve the organizations goals. They learn what their job is about by monitoring and checking their own behaviour. Their motivation and cognition are influenced by such factors as beliefs about personal control and competence, individual goals, personal expectations for failure and success, and work motives. Culture is the shared work orientations of participants; it gives the organization special identity. Organizational culture distinguishes one organization from another and provides members with a sense of organizational identity. In a school, shared beliefs and informal norms among teachers have a significant impact on behaviour. Cultures provide members with a commitment to beliefs and values beyond themselves. Culture represents the unwritten, feeling part of the organization (Daft, 1994). Communication of feelings is easy among
Version: 01 Date: 18/03/2011

COURSE: EPB2033: MANAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP IN EDUCATION FACULTY: EDUCATION AND SOCIAL SCIENCES

peers, especially friends. Shared orientations help maintain feelings of personal integrity, self-respect, and belonging. Politics is the system of informal power relations that emerge to resist other system of control. It is illegitimate because it is behaviour usually designed to benefit the individual or group at the expense of the organization. There are always those who want to seize power for their own personal ends. Power relations get played out in a variety of ways: political tactics and games, bargaining, and conflict resolution.
Environment

Transformation Process Structural System Inputs Cultural System Political System Outputs

Individual System

Figure 1.1 Internal Elements of the System

1.1.3

School as an Open System The open-system model views organizations as not only influenced by environments, but also dependent on them. At general level, organizations are easily pictured as open systems. Organizations take inputs from the environment, transform them, and produce outputs. For example, schools are social systems that take resources such as labor, students, and money from the environment and subject these inputs to an educational transformation process to produce literate and educated students and graduates. An open system is a set of interacting elements that acquires inputs from the outside, transforms them, and produces outputs for the environment. People, raw materials, information, and money are the typical inputs for organizations. In the transformational process, these inputs are change into something of value called outputs, which are then exported back to the environment. Outputs are usually products and services, but they may also include employee satisfaction and other by-products of the transformation process. Classrooms, books, computers, instructional materials, teachers, and students are critical inputs for schools. Ideally, students are transformed by the school system into educated

Version: 01 Date: 18/03/2011

COURSE: EPB2033: MANAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP IN EDUCATION FACULTY: EDUCATION AND SOCIAL SCIENCES

graduates, who then contribute to the broader environment or society. These three elements of an open system are illustrated in Figure 1.2

Environments

Inputs People Materials Finances Transformation Process Feedback People Materials Finances

Outputs Products Services

Figure 1.2 Open Systems with Feedback Loop

Key properties of Open Systems An open system is concerned with both structure and process; it is a dynamic system with both stability and flexibility. To survive, the organization must adapt and to adapt, it must change. The interdependence of the organization and its environment is critical. Feedback - Information about the system that enables it to correct itself. Boundaries - Energy in boundary activities such as parent-teacher meeting, community service projects, and adult education programs. Environments - Anything outside the boundaries of the system that either affects the attributes of the internal components or is change by the social system itself (will discuss further in Chapter 7) Organizations are complex and dynamic. They have formal structures to achieve specified goals, but are composed of people who have their own needs, interests, and beliefs that often conflict with organizational expectations. 1.2 Summary Schools more than any other kind of organization should be learning organizations, that is, places where participants continually expand their capacities to create and achieve, where novel patterns of thinking are encouraged, where collective aspirations are nurtured, where participants learn how to learn together, and where the organization expends its capacity for innovation problem solving (Senge, 1990)

Version: 01 Date: 18/03/2011

COURSE: EPB2033: MANAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP IN EDUCATION FACULTY: EDUCATION AND SOCIAL SCIENCES

1.3 1.3.1

Tutorial Activities Activity 1 Interview your friend using the social-systems model described in this chapter. Ask about school-community relations (environmental opportunities and constraints) and the perceived effectiveness of his or her school. Analyze the answer based on the followings: (a) The structure of the school (b) The teaching and learning system (c) The culture of the school

1.4

REFERENCES Wayne K. H, & Cecil G. M. (2008). Educational Administration: Theory, Research, and Practice. Eight Edition -International Edition. New York: McGraw Hill Companies.

Version: 01 Date: 18/03/2011