Monday, March 7, 2011

School Daze: Junta Directiva

A Junta Directiva is like a board of directors. Among the first things I saw in my first week of observation in school was the process of electing the Junta for each grade in the Básico school (which was also each classroom, essentially a student council).

Political geek that I am, their method of voting was curious to me. The kids shouted out names of classmates in a verbal nomination process. No one needed to second the motion; say a name and it gets on the board. Then each person nominated was written on the board and numbered. As soon as there were as many nominees as positions on the Junta, nominations stopped.

One student went around the room asking each classmate to vote verbally, and then would call out the number across the room for another person to tally on the board. They were told not to call out names, just numbers. But since the whole room is watching and listening, it’s not like that creates any secrecy. It’s a time consuming process as well. The person with the most votes becomes President, the next gets VP, then Secretary, Vice Secretary, Treasurer, Vice Treasurer, and after that Delegates. There was no sense of tailoring the person nominated to the role... they just went straight down the line of titles. During a parents meeting later, the parent Junta Directiva (I think something like the PTA) was chosen the same way.  

Why it's done this way, I don't know. They could easily have done a show of hands for each nominee and counted. They could have asked people to write their preferences on a slip of paper. They could have dropped beans into a jar for their preferred candidate. As it is, it means that those voting toward the end of the process can see who is ahead. It means everyone knows who is voting for who. Perhaps it's something about valuing each person's input that they vote one at a time? Perhaps it's important to vote publicly? But if that's true, why use the numbers? Clearly (and per usual), I have more questions than answers.  

No comments:

Post a Comment