Purpose – Schools often vary in how they balance teacher autonomy (TA) and administrative control, and research suggests that there may be several context-specific variables which may be influential. The purpose of this paper is to determine the influence of program variables on the level of TA, administrative coordination, and administration-staff collaboration in English as a second or other language (ESOL) programs. Design/methodology/approach – Administrators from 130 ESOL programs completed an empirical questionnaire aiming to understand the influence of variables on the level of TA, coordination, and collaboration. The following five variables were hypothesized to be influential based on the literature review: complexity/size; the variability of students’ needs; external pressures; teacher qualifications; and feasibility. Findings – Top-down coordination was significantly influenced by four of the five of the program variables, and collaboration was predicted by two. However, program complexity/size was the only significant variable influencing the reported level of TA. Research limitations/implications – Teachers were not surveyed in this stage of the research. Follow-up research is planned to involve teaching staff. Practical implications – Administrators may benefit from reflecting more on how they coordinate their program by considering the potential influence of context-specific variables highlighted in the research. The findings could influence administrators to adapt their management style potentially leading to a better working environment and improved student learning outcomes. Originality/value – Previous research has looked at the influence of situational variables on leadership style, but research has not explicitly analyzed the effect of context variables on the level of TA and administrative coordination in educational programs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Administration