Thomas Hoerr wrote an article entitled “Who Decides What?” In light of our discussion of Pink’s book Drive this past week, this article caught my eye. Hoerr, a building principal, adresses how much autonomy to offer to teachers. He suggests a couple of general rules:
1. The more decisions teachers can make, the better it is for everyone.
2. Teachers earn autonomy.
3. Principals need to be clear in their mind about the amount of autonomy they are willing to give.
4. Confusion reigns in the absence of information, so there is a need to share thinking with the faculty.
Finally, he offers the “your decision, my decision, our decision” model.
I believe this is the reality. While Pink states that autonomy is mandatory for motivation, this isn’t always an option. Sometimes, the principal must make the decision.