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A study of the internal administrative forms used in selected secondary schools in British Columbia Kuhn, Alfred William

Abstract

Many school teachers and administrators are concerned by the burdensome demands of school forms. This study surveys the educational forms used in the internal administration of selected secondary schools in British Columbia. The study involves the classification of these forms, an evaluation of their design, and a consideration of administrative practices related to their use. During the investigation of the problem an intensive review of the related literature was made. On the basis of this literature, two survey questionnaires, a functional classification of internal forms, and an outline for rating their design were developed. Altogether 518 internal forms were collected from a random sample of eighteen secondary schools, and opinions on administrative practices were obtained from the principals and a number of teachers in these schools. The study sample was composed of two parts: (1) nine schools, teachers, and principals that were randomly selected from the greater Vancouver area; and (2) nine schools, teachers, and principals that were randomly selected from other parts of the province. The schools in the greater Vancouver area were visited personally. The principals of these schools and the teachers selected by the principals were interviewed. The schools, principals, and teachers from beyond the greater Vancouver area supplied information to comparable mailed questions. Eighty-five per cent of all the schools that were initially selected participated fully in the study. The nine schools from the Vancouver area formed one-half of the sample under study. Approximately one-quarter of the total number of secondary schools in British Columbia are found in this area. These schools, however, have significantly larger enrollments than do schools from the rest of the province. In this study sample several practices in the use of internal forms in secondary schools of British Columbia are judged "superior," many "satisfactory," and some others "unsatisfactory" and "inferior." The majority of schools use forms with "superior" design in terms of the following factors: identification, spacing, sequence, understanding, paper, and reproduction. Most schools, however, give "inferior" consideration to the combinations of related purposes into single forms. The practices of: (1) always retaining the duplicating stencils designed for forms, (2) having no forms-control authority in the school, and (3) not conducting a forms" survey in a school, are also judged "unsatisfactory." An average of twenty-nine different internal forms are used in each secondary school. Teachers complete approximately five internal forms each day and spend approximately ten minutes each day in filling out, filing, or using them. Forms serving organizational or administrative functions are completed most frequently by teachers, but forms related to student progress or development are considered by teachers and principals to be of greater value in education. More internal forms are used regularly in the larger schools than are used in the smaller schools. The internal forms used in the greater Vancouver area schools rated significantly higher in design than did those forms used in schools from the rest of the province. In general, this investigation disclosed that the use and design of the internal forms in the secondary schools of British Columbia are satisfactory, but that some specific aspects of form design and some individual school forms are unsatisfactory.

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