Date of Conferral







Cheryl Keen


In post-conflict Liberia, more students are returning to schools and moving to urban areas resulting in overcrowding and class sizes that surpassed recommended and legally-sanctioned limits. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore educational stakeholders' perceptions of the factors (e.g., organizational leadership, social, and environmental) contributing to overcrowding and the challenges and opportunities of overcrowding. The conceptual framework was based on Bolman and Deal's theory of reframing organization and Bertalanffy's theory of general systems. The research questions centered on educational stakeholders' perceptions of the effects overcrowding has on elementary school students' achievement and the opportunities available for reducing overcrowding. Twelve participants, all stakeholders connected to a single school, were purposefully selected for the study. Data collected included individual interviews, a focus group discussion, and documents. A constant comparative analysis of the coded data was undertaken to identify themes and patterns. Participants stated that the national government's statutory and constitutional responsibilities obligate it to provide services including equitable education to its citizens. They also expressed willingness as community stakeholders to form partnerships with other private and public organizations to ensure that the issue of overcrowding is addressed. The findings may contribute to positive social change by providing evidence of stakeholders support for government initiated school construction and by informing leaders of the possible role that engaged stakeholders, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, can undertake in enforcing class size policy.