The Road to Promotion in Church Affiliated Schools in a Developing Country: Systemic Conflicts

By Jennifer Yamin-Ali.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The main focus of this research is the informal process evident in policy and practice in the context of promotion to senior management positions in Presbyterian Schools in Trinidad, West Indies. This analysis explores the conflicts that exist in the promotion system in this context. All major stakeholders are represented – decision-makers, candidates for promotion, and teachers. A qualitative approach is employed via interviews and questionnaires. The phenomenon of “insiderness” assumes a major role in this research since undergirding this exploration is the belief that to examine human activity is to engage in subjective exploration. ‘Conflict’ is treated as a major component of micropolitical activity in organisational life. The findings lead to the conclusion that ignorance and lack of training on the part of decision-makers in the promotion context do result in policy and procedure that are not clearly defined. This translates into a lack of transparency and accountability which gives rise to misconception, misinterpretation and misunderstanding. It was found that a variety of conflicts exist with regard to fundamental issues, suggesting that change can be realised through apolitical purpose, clarification of goals, and systems that promote transparency and accountability.

Keywords: Conflict, Promotion Process, Management Positions, Transparency

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 14, Issue 6, pp.187-198. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 587.557KB).

Dr. Jennifer Yamin-Ali

Lecturer, School of Education, Faculty of Humanities and Education, University of the West Indies, St Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago

I graduated from the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine with a B.A. in English and Spanish. As a practising teacher of mainly Spanish at the secondary school level I completed a postgraduate diploma in education and a M.Ed. in Teacher Education at U.W.I., St Augustine. I served for a short while as Acting Vice Principal of a church affiliated secondary school where I taught for over 20 years. I graduated with a Ph.D in Education from the University of Sheffield after which I spent a year in an administrative capacity at a tertiary institution, and then commenced my current career as lecturer at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine. My main area of pedagogical engagement is Foreign Language education. In addition to that focus, my other research interest is Micropolitics. I am also involved in the teaching of Spanish to adults, and in the evaluation of learning materials for the Ministry of Education.

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