University of Tasmania
whole_AbellJillianD1988_thesis.pdf (2.58 MB)

Factors promoting information usage in effective curriculum decision-making

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posted on 2023-05-27, 08:28 authored by Abell, JD
Educational institutions invest greatly in the management of information. Apparently, they accept an underlying assumption that a relationship exists between information use and effective decision-making. The aim of the present study was to identify factors which promoted information usage (information acquisition, processing or dissemination) for effective curriculum decision-making. The rationale for the study derived from the operation of library and information services for Curriculum Services personnel within the Education Department of Tasmania. Curriculum personnel considered that the existing services had no impact on the quality of decisions made and there was evidence of great diversity of information use in curriculum decision-making. The study addressed three main questions: What are the information sources selected by middle management curriculum personnel to meet specific information needs? Is information usage related to individual or organisational characteristics, such as position held, length of experience or organisational climate? A related question concerned the extent to which \open\" or \"closed\" work environments enhanced information use. What factors such as library-based resource and information services tend to enhance or obstruct information usage in effective curriculum decision-making? The methodological approach was one of exploratory research. It was based on descriptive analysis via a questionnaire survey an interview schedule and a comparative review of organisational documentation. A small and well-defined sample of middle management officers were surveyed. They were personnel in the Education Department of Tasmania's Curriculum Services Section of both the Division of Educational Programs and TAFE. Twelve of the thirty questionnaire respondents were interviewed. Those interviewed provided recent examples or case studies of their own or the organisational documentation. The most frequently mentioned information sources were obtained through interpersonal communications with colleagues and ideas resulting from discussion. Individual characteristics such as position held and length of experience were insignificant factors in enhancing information use. Open work environments incorporating high levels of professional autonomy positively enhanced information use. Closed organisational climates inhibited information dissemination. Access to library and information services did not meet specific needs for information use in effective curriculum decision-making. Much of the information that was sought was treated in a surveillance rather than a decision mode. Two key factors appear to contribute to the effectiveness of curriculum decision-making. One is the value placed on the process of decision-making itself. Two is the factor of interpersonal communication and negotiation as part of that process. The study recommends a basic shift in the conception of library and information services. This means altering these services from mere access to information sources towards the provision of the information specifically meeting the identified needs of the individual personnel."


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Copyright 1988 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (M.Ed.Stud.)-University of Tasmania, 1989. Bibliography: leaves 61-63

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