Perceptions of High School Teachers Related to Crisis Management in their Schools

Abdurrahman Tanrıöğen* and Sibel Savçı**
*Prof. Dr., Pamukkale University Faculty of Education
**Ministry of National Education

Problem Statement: Like all organizations, schools as well, have to be effective and efficient in order to survive. It becomes difficult to realise effective schooling when the individual himself doesn’t feel safe. To create that safe environment on school grounds is the responsibility of school management. Any event that hinders the teaching and training process at schools, and sometimes makes it stop working, is defined as ‘crisis’ and crises at schools can vary from a simple power failure or the accidents in science labs to a student’s getting hurt or even death because of the fall of the flagstaff, and shootings/assaults with weapons on school grounds or armed/unarmed intruders or trespassers. It is possible to experience an effective and productive teaching process and a safe school environment only by the whole staff’s being aware of the possible crises and by the effective management of these crises which may occur at schools. When considered that the school environment has certain effects on students’ achievement, it becomes more evident that researching the management of the crises met at schools is important.
Purpose of Study: The purpose of the study is to determine the perceptions of high school teachers in the city center of Denizli related to the effective management of the crises they come across in their schools and to develop proposes related to this subject.
Methods: In this study descriptive survey has been used. The sample of the study consists of 310 randomly chosen teachers working in public high schools during the 2007-2008 Academic Year. The 33 item scale developed by the researchers was administered to the subjects in order to collect data. The data was analyzed by using the techniques such as mean, standard deviation, t-test, and one way variance analysis.
Findings and Results: According to the perceptions of the teachers who work in the central high schools of Denizli, the most frequently seen crisis at schools is ‘violence towards a student by another student’; the crises observed at schools are managed ‘partially’ appropriately according to the academical management strategies and, the crises on which teachers have training needs most are ‘armed/unarmed intruder’, ‘bomb threat’, ‘drug addict students’ or ‘gang related attacks’.
Conclusions and Recommendations: Expansive seminars can be held upon reasons and results of violence at schools. Health controls can often be carried out at schools; infirmary sections at schools can be improved. If every school has its own generator, power failures affect school functions less. Obligatory in-service training courses entitled as crisis management for teachers and managerial staff should be given by specialists.
Keywords: Crisis, crisis management, high school, teacher