The role of structure and interaction in teachers' decision making during allocation meetings

Authors Janneke Sleenhof, Marieke Thurlings, Maaike Koopman, Douwe Beijaard
Published in Teaching Education
Publication date 18 May 2021
Research groups Vocational Education
Type Article


This study focuses on teachers’ group decision making during Dutch allocation meetings. A previous interview study showed that teachers question the objectivity of decisions due to negative interaction experiences and a lack of structure during these meetings. To characterize the structure and interaction of these meetings, 33 student allocations were observed. Results showed a variety of structures and interactions, including differences in the degree to which the meetings met criteria relevant to achieving objective allocation decisions. It can be concluded that – based on the criteria of acceptance, fairness, and transparency as used in this study – allocation meetings need to be well-prepared and substantiated, to allow for every teacher’s opinion to be heard, and follow a procedure that is clear to everyone. In view of students’ future school careers, it is important to pay close attention to functional interaction and structured discussions that ensure transparent, acceptable and fair decision-making.

On this publication contributed

  • Maaike Koopman | Researcher
    Maaike Koopman
    • Researcher
    • Research groups: Vocational Education, Working in Education

Language English
Published in Teaching Education
Key words allocation decisions, teacher interaction, meeting structures, objective decisions, group decision making
Digital Object Identifier

Vocational Education