Harnessing Educational Management: Strategies for Embracing Diversity

a photo of educational management

Management has been defined by many scholars from various field of study. But for the purposes of our discussion we are saying that management is the process of planning, organizing, directing and controlling of human and material resources in an effective and efficient manner for the attainment of an organizational or institutional objectives or goals. Management has four main functions and these functions are planning, organizing, directing and controlling.

Planning is the process of deciding in advance what to do and the method of doing them. So anything that has to do with deciding in advance and employing various method to be able to achieve that thing is considered to be a planning activity.

Organizing when we talk about organizing, we are referring to the act of establishing a formal structure of authority within an organization or institution. In other words, we are saying that it is the process of dividing wake into various sections and departments.

Directing is the process of guiding and inspiring subordinates to be able to achieve organizational set goals or objective.

Controlling is the process of comparing actual results with set targets. So the act of comparing actual results, what you actually obtain from the targets that you set for yourself and making the necessary corrections where needed is known as controlling.

Educational management is therefore concerned with any planning activity that is concerned with formulation of educational policies and programs for the purposes of achieving educational goals or objectives.

One of the scholars by name Gallick and Orwick defined management using the various functions in management with an acronym POSDCoRB and in their definition they actually linked it in the educational setting. Let’s consider it in our discussion and how it was related to some of the activities within the educational domain.

Planning: We have already defined planning to be deciding in advance what need to be done and various method that is being employed in performing those activities. Now in our educational setting, examples of activities that is considered under planning includes preparing and drawing of timetables, school calendar, scheme of work. You could realize that all these activities are prepared in advance in educational setting and it serves as a guide for the activities that need to be done at each particular point in time.

Organizing: We have already also tackled organizing and we said that it is the act of establishing formal structures of authority and dividing work into various sections and department. Examples given in the educational setting are as follows. Appointments of Headmasters, Senior Housemasters, Housemasters, School Prefect, and various work that we do in our schools. So you could realize that if a Housemaster has a complaint, you don’t just stand up and move to the Headmaster and lodge your complaint. You need to pass through the various channels or protocols. So the Housemaster would have to go to the Senior Housemaster and the Senior Housemaster would then go to Assistant headmaster. Then finally the Assistant headmaster will then go to the Headmaster and it follows in that order. So there is a chain of command and other duties that need to be performed too are also divided. For instance, various subjects have been assigned to various teachers with various expertise and experience.

Staffing: It is the process of recruiting qualified personnel, giving them the necessary training and maintaining their professional development and growth. Examples of staffing activities in the educational setting includes; recruiting and assigning staff personnel, providing and ensuring the welfare of the various personnel, etc.

Directing: It is the process of guiding, influencing and inspiring subordinates to achieve set goals. Examples are motivation, influence. Directing is considered to be anything that is done with the intention of motivating, guiding, influencing, and inspiring subordinates to give out the best of his or her performance.

Coordinating:  This refers to the act of harmonizing various departments, units, sections and bringing them together in order to achieve the set goals. So with this, different departments, different units, different sectors don’t see themselves different within the organization. It is in this perspective that an organization is seen as a single entity but with different departments and units. Here an example is drawing of timetable to avoid clashes for teachers who are handling various subjects.

Reporting: It is the act of giving an account of what has transpired within a period of time. So here, some of the things that we do that is considered under reporting is keeping of admission registers. The logbook, inventory of school property are all examples that we can give under reporting. Thes reports are prepared for the various stakeholders that may need them.

Budgeting: This refers to accounting for all incomes and expenditures within a specified period of time. So here an example that we can give is the School Performance Improvement Plan (SPIP). It’s one of the things that head teachers normally prepares and it’s always in financial terms that considers various activities that need to be done within a period of time. So you account for every fund or money that comes into school and what it has been used for over a given period of time.

Tap on this for a detail discussion on educational leadership

THE ROLE OF MANAGERS IN DECISION MAKING

Decision making is the process of making a choice among or between various alternatives. In short term, it is process of making a choice among or between various alternative actions.

THE TWO MAJOR TYPES OF DECISIONS

Programmed Decisions: These type of decisions are routine in nature. These decisions are based on established rules, predetermined criteria and guidelines. They are characterized by a low risk and can easily be delegated. Examples are curriculum development, grading policies or system, etc

Unprogrammed Decisions: These are type of decisions that are non routine. They have no rules, and they have a higher risk when taking such them. It is difficult in delegating such decisions. Examples are dealing students behavioural issues, handling crises and emergencies, etc.

Now, Griffmix suggested three classification of administrative decisions, let’s quickly to through them

Intermediate Decision: This is a type of decision that come from a superior body for an implementation. This means the decision does not originate from the person, but rather from a superior authority, which is then delegated to the person in charge to implement them. Examples includes; developing professional development programs, adjusting curriculum emphasis, etc.

Appellate Decision: The appellate decision is the kind of decision that is suggested by subordinates to be considered by managers within an organization. So this is kind of an appeal that is given by subordinates to be considered by managers of institutions and organizations. For example, disciplinary appeal, admission appeal, ect.

Creative Decision: This is an initiative action that is taken by a manager of an institution, a unit, or even in a classroom to be able to improve on certain aspects of program or policy within an organization or institution. It involves innovative thinking, out-of-the-box approaches, and imaginative solutions to various challenges. Examples are developing new curriculum, introducing alternative assessment methods, etc.

Steps Involved in Decision Making

  1. Identifying the Problem or Opportunity: Recognize and define the issue or opportunity that requires a decision-making process. Clearly articulate the objectives and outcomes desired.
  2. Gathering Information: Collect relevant data, facts, and information related to the problem or opportunity. Consider the sources of information and their reliability.
  3. Generating Alternatives: Brainstorm and create a list of possible solutions or alternatives to address the problem or capitalize on the opportunity. Encourage diverse perspectives and consider various approaches.
  4. Evaluating Alternatives: Assess and analyze each alternative based on predetermined criteria such as feasibility, effectiveness, cost, risks, and alignment with the objectives. This step might involve quantitative and qualitative analysis.
  5. Making the Decision: Select the most suitable alternative based on the evaluation process. Choose the option that best aligns with the established criteria and objectives.
  6. Implementing the Decision: Develop a plan for executing the chosen alternative. Allocate resources, assign responsibilities, and create a timeline for implementation.
  7. Monitoring and Evaluation: After implementation, monitor the outcomes and effects of the decision. Assess whether the chosen alternative achieves the desired results. If necessary, adjust the course of action based on feedback and new information.

Importance of Decision Making

  • It improves resource allocation
  • It fosters collaboration and teamwork
  • It empowers innovation and growth
  • It enhances efficiency and productivity
  • It helps in managing risks and uncertainty

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