Page images


At Cincinnati we have attempted to develop a philosophy of school administration through cooperative faculty discussion, in which the administrators of the Cincinnati school system frequently participate. In other words, both faculty and public school officers jointly react to the theory and philosophy of school administration in such conferences and groups as the following:

1. A seminar in school administration for graduate students which is attended by our staff members interested in administrative problems. 2. Through a faculty committee charged with responsibility for reviewing

the content and procedure of our graduate courses.

3. Through participation of administrative officers of the Cincinnati school system in our graduate work for the training of school administrators.

4. Through an annual university seminar conducted for the administrative officers of the Cincinnati school system.

5. Through a canvass of Cincinnati administrators concerning their interests in and reactions to graduate courses offered . . . on the campus.

6. Through participation in a discussion of the survey of the Cincinnati school system and the Cincinnati program of curriculum development.

2. Has such effort resulted in basic agreements which offer a framework of objectives for the development of your education program for administrators?

Forty-one affirmative responses were given, and of these, 20 said "partially." The number and nature of these responses would tend to raise some question as to the extent to which such efforts have been generally implemented in the direction of providing a framework of objectives for programs in administration. To be sure, most of the statements previously cited clearly indicate that such implementation has resulted from their efforts. These may not, however, be typical of the total group of institutions reporting.

3. Have these agreements been based upon researches and cooperations by the following groups? Faculty members, graduate students, local administrators, State administrators, and representative laymen?

Respondents were asked to check each of these groups if they had been involved cooperatively. The number of times that each of these groups was checked follows: Faculty members (35), Graduate students (25), Local administrators (26), State administrators (21), Representative laymen (5). It would appear that these groups are generally included with the exception of the layman. That the layman, especially the lay school official, has a contribution to make and should be involved in a sort of "partnership" relationship is apparently recognized and put into effect by 5 of the institutions

reporting, or about 9 percent. It would seem that the possibilities of lay cooperation might well be canvassed further.

4. Describe briefly any activities which you have undertaken in this area (I) which in your judgment have been of constructive value to you in providing a sound approach to curriculum and program planning in the education of school administrators. There was a total of 30 statements received in response to this invitation. The citations listed below tell their own story. They reveal an interesting variety of approaches to the general problem under discussion.


A two-day State-wide educational conference is conducted at this University each summer. A conference in Professional Relations was conducted here this past summer Two seminars attended by administrators and also by representatives of all Arkansas teacher-training institutions have recently been conducted at this University on "Problems and Issues in Teacher Education in Arkansas." All curriculum materials issued by the State Department of Education are developed and organized in our Curriculum Laboratory.


Because the approach to all curriculum building in this College has always been and remains entirely functional, it has been customary to maintain an appropriate subcommittee of our Curriculum Committee, charged with special responsibility in this area. This committee has always maintained close contacts with the public schools and particularly with the successful practitioners in school administration in this area. In addition, we have a follow-up service which regularly investigates problems in administration ... as they are developing in the field. It is a service which attempts to give guidance and to bring back the results of such experience to the Curriculum Committee.


Our agreements are based upon a long history of discussion among faculty members, graduate students, State and local administrators, and laymen. I feel that we have been particularly fortunate in having had intimate contact with more than 100 school systems varying in size from the smallest to the very largest and with State school systems spread pretty well over the United States. In at least 80 instances we have made intensive studies of State and local school systems.


The faculty held numerous conferences in order to arrive at a common point of view. After core courses were set up and taught, graduate students filled out questionnaires giving their reactions to the organization of the core courses. Conferences with advanced graduate students were held during the development of the courses.


During the summer of 1940 the School invited in for a survey and conference representatives of the State departments of the 6 New England States and a group of outstanding superintendents. This group had presented to

them a picture of the efforts and interests of the Graduate School of Education and were then asked to consider this picture in the light of their own experience and judgment and to offer whatever suggestions they had for the improvement of the program. The best of these suggestions have been or are now being incorporated into our curriculum for school administrators. A systematic and careful follow-up of our graduates from the program for school administrators is made. This follow-up involves two different inquiries: (1) going to individuals who know about the work of these graduates and asking of them their opinions concerning the quality of the work being done by these graduates; and (2) inquiring of the graduates themselves what, in the light of their actual field experience, they now feel were inadequacies in their training program.


Development of the Department of Philosophy of School Administration (in reality it is the Department's philosophy of the role of graduate education in the training of selected graduate students for educational leadership) has these special values: 1. The faculty has reached its agreements as to point of view as the result of the combined study and discussion of the entire faculty. 2. Graduate students and former graduate students have been called upon to participate in arriving at the Department's point of view.

Limited as these questions have been to a consideration of means and efforts directed toward the development and implementation of a philosophy of school administration the documentation provided by many of the participating institutions does, however, reveal the nature and pattern of the philosophy developed. It is clear that the schools which have more recently directed their efforts toward the development of programs reflecting cooperative researches and consultations concerning a philosophy have accepted a democratic concept of school administration. Such a concept has been outlined so clearly and so challengingly by Cocking and Williams that it bears repetition here:

In such a philosophy of school administration the primary task of the administrator is to create the rule of freedom rather than the rule of discipline; to develop personalities rather than systems; to lead to cooperation rather than to induce competition; to measure his work by nonmaterial growth rather than by material increments. In such a philosophy there is insistence of respect for the personality of all the personnel of the system and of the recognition of one's creativity. The philosophy of democratic school administration is based on the concept that teachers are persons who are influenced in their personal developments by elements similar to those affecting child growth and development. Those who hold this philosophy of school administration insist that in the organization and administration of the school, teachers must share cooperatively in planning and evaluating the program. For a relatively long period cooperative action has been accepted as basic in establishing relations between teacher and pupil. Only recently has it been admitted as fundamental in establishing relationships between administrators and other personnel in the school system."

In concluding the analysis of returns in this section devoted to problems incident to the development and implementation of a phil

Ibid., p. 10.

osophy of school administration it seems appropriate to discuss briefly an assumption which is generally implicit in the statements cited thus far. This assumption is that schools, colleges, and departments of education have primary responsibility for the development of suitable programs of professional education for school administrators. This would account for the fact that a considerable number of institutions apparently have confined their deliberations, researches, and studies to their own faculty groups and have called upon representatives of other interested extra-mural groups and agencies more for the purpose of providing a check upon their own deliberations and conclusions than for the purpose of involving these groups and agencies in a joint responsibility and participation in any vital way in all stages of the process. The fact that the problem of developing programs of teacher education in the past has generally been left in the hands of the teachers colleges and the universities would account for the prevalence of the assumption referred to. More recent developments, however, have brought this assumption into question. Some State departments of education, for example, in the development of certification requirements have set these up in terms of specific subject matter areas and courses. Such requirements place a compulsion upon the colleges to provide such preparation and thus freeze into the educational pattern certain prescribed emphases and content. More recently the interests of professional groups of practitioners in administration are being given expression in ways that suggest the development of professional activities and controls comparable to those developed by the older professional groups.

It would seem, in the light of possible conflicts of interest and concern and resultant confusion growing out of these varied activities and approaches to the problem, that the whole issue can best be resolved by waiving considerations of primacy of interest and responsibility and the adoption of an approach which gives due recognition to all interests and involves all groups and agencies concerned, actively, in a cooperative attack upon the total problem. Such an approach and formula for activity is exemplified in the cooperative activities now under way under sponsorship of the Teacher Education Commission. It is to be hoped that the soundness of these efforts will be established undisputably and will become common practice when the support of the Teacher Education Commission is no longer available.

One practical question remains unanswered at this point, namely, where rests the responsibility for taking the initiative in setting in motion such a process of cooperation in any given situation? The Teacher Education Commission activities referred to were set up in response to invitations extended by the Commission. Several


of the activities described by respondents in this study were initiated by the universities and colleges. In some cases State departments of education have initiated cooperations of the kind described. The answer seems to be that responsibility and power of initiative rests within that group or agency or institution where consciousness of need and urgency, and the will to do, are most acute. The important consideration is not so much who starts the ball rolling, but rather that once it starts to roll everybody concerned does his part in the process of keeping it rolling.

« PreviousContinue »