Political Culture of Schools

Manila Bulletin, August 15, 2009 | Go to article overview
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Political Culture of Schools


Some years back I did a study of the political culture of teachers in nine private high schools in Manila. I viewed political culture as the attitudes and beliefs held communally by a group of school personnel, forming the basis and guidance for how they behave in work in relation to the attainment of their goals.Specifically, I examined how the high school teachers ratde the political culture of their schools and themselves through the Political Culture Scale (PCS) dimensions of orientation towards the administrative system, orientation towards others in the political system, and orientation towards one’s own political activity. I also wanted to find out whether there was a significant difference in the ratings of the participants on PCS based on whether they taught in sectarian or non-sectarian schools and based on their gender, civil status, and length of service.The PCS was divided into two sections, the participant profile section and the questionnaire section.The first section asked for information about the gender, civil status, length of service, group affiliation (faculty, administrator, head faculty, and allied staff), and academic qualification of the participants.The questionnaire gathered data on the political culture of the participants, i.e., they rated their orientations towards administrative structures, towards others in the political system, and towards their own political activity.I found that the teachers viewed their school management as capable. They thought positively of the policies and symbols that seemed to enact the political power of management. However, they did not agree that management met their expectations regarding the exercise of authority to address their needs. They were also critical of certain acts of management. They saw themselves cooperating with less enthusiasm to the changes instituted by people who occupied positions of power over them. This could be related to weak political trust, an aspect observed in the PCS.Worthy of note is that the teachers displayed knowledge of resources that could be a source of political power, and knowledge of the means to avail of them to meet their needs and goals.

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