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THERE CAN BE no doubt that the problems, incident to providing adequate professional education for administrative personnel in our public schools, loom large in the thinking of all who are concerned with the quality of educational leadership in America. This has been especially true during the past few years. Witness the almost simultaneous attack upon these problems by universities and other training centers and by the American Association of School Administrators.
Three specific approaches to these problems on a national scale have been made in late years beginning in February 1937, when the then "Department of Superintendence" adopted a resolution at New Orleans authorizing the incoming president to appoint a committee of seven members to inquire concerning desirable qualifications for admission to the profession of school administration and to study the problem of the qualifications of future incoming members of the department. In 1938 the National Association of Colleges and Departments of Education authorized the appointment of a committee which was charged with the responsibility of studying the present practices used in the education of school administrators, and proposing a new program for consideration. It was believed that the work of the administrator was so important to the efficiency of the American school system, that the problem of how best to prepare this officer for his task was a matter of vital consideration to colleges and departments of education. Reports of the work of these two committees became available just before this present study was undertaken.1 These reports form important contributions to the literature in this field, which it is the purpose of the present study to supplement and expand in scope. Further reference will be made to their findings as they relate themselves to the various aspects of this study.
The American Council on Education published its preliminary study of the broad problems in teacher education in 1938. The establishment of its Commission on Teacher Education soon followed and its 5-year program got under way. In this preliminary study the problem of education for administration was identified as a part of the broad
1 Cocking, Walter D. and Williams, Kenneth R. The education of school administrators. Procedures used at selected institutions. Sponsored by the National association of colleges and departments of education and the Commission on teacher education of the American Council on Education. Washington, D. C., The Council, April 1940. 146 p. (mimeo.)
Standards for superintendents of schools. A preliminary report of the Committee on certification of superintendents of schools. American association of school administrators. The National Education Association. Washington, D. C., The Association, 1939. 63 p.
The superintendent of schools and his work. Final report of the Committee on certification of superintendents of schools. American association of school administrators. The National Education Association. Washington, D. C., The Association, 1940. 48 p.
field of teacher education. It was pointed out that "there must be those who teach teachers; those who experiment and carry on research in teacher education; those who develop policies, plans and programs; and those who administer. The field of teacher education should include leadership for all these tasks." Among the major problems in the education of teachers was listed the following: "What should be the amount, nature and organization of graduate work in the education of teachers and administrators?"
This present study was undertaken following an extensive field trip in May 1940. Contacts were made with the staff members of schools and departments of education in 13 selected institutions and with a considerable number of representative city and State administrators. There seemed to be very general interest in the possibilities of such a study for several reasons. Institutional staff members were interested in an exchange of information concerning practice and experimentation in other institutions, in addition to the 15 reviewed in the Cocking and Williams study. School administrators were equally concerned with the identification of problems related to the education of school superintendents and principals and in efforts which might stimulate extension of opportunities for additional training as well as extension of cooperations with State departments in setting up criteria for certification. Altogether it seemed an appropriate time for such a general survey.
A schedule of information was therefore prepared, designed to elicit information as to current practice, theory, and opinion with respect to graduate programs in education for school administrators in five important problem areas. The questions asked reflected interests which had been expressed in conferences and conversations held with staff members in education, with city school administrators, and with officials in State departments of education. The schedule of information and covering letter are reproduced in appendix A.
This document was distributed to all institutions which were known to offer programs in school administration at the graduate level. Since full information was not conveniently available with respect to the offerings of all institutions listed in the Educational Directory, the mailing list was expanded to be inclusive rather than exclusive. This list finally included 146 institutions and the schedule of information was mailed on October 1, 1940. Seventy-nine institutions responded. Of these, 62 provided answers to all questions and generously furnished supplementary information and materials requested. The remaining 17 reported that they offered no program at the graduate level. The 62 cooperating colleges and universities are distributed geographically
Major issues in teacher education. American council on education studies. Washington, D. C., The Council, February 1938. Series I, vol. II, p. 2.
Ibid., p. 4.
in 35 States, the District of Columbia, and Hawaii. They include in representative numbers all types of institutions concerned with professional education for school administration. A complete list is provided in appendix A.
In this report these returns will be analyzed to reveal trends in practice with a sampling of descriptive accounts of activities and expressions of opinion that seem especially interesting and suggestive. While little emphasis is given generally to the quantitative aspects of the study, tabulations are offered for the group as a whole to emphasize an apparent wide range of variation in practice or opinion in some important areas. It is hoped that perhaps the problem areas which are high-spotted in this report may suggest break-downs within which, ultimately, evaluative criteria may be developed. The reader should bear in mind throughout that this study is devoted primarily to factfinding with respect to current practice and opinion for whatever informative and stimulative value it may have to institutions, agencies, organizations, and individuals concerned with these and related problems.
The Development and Implementation of a Philosophy of School Administration
AS INDICATED by Cocking and Williams,1 "it seems that nothing would be more conducive to the improvement of programs of education for school administration than a study by the staff members of the place of administration in the educational scheme and development of a program aligned to the philosophy growing out of such a study . . there is no reason why there cannot be basic agreements in the most desirable program of education in school administration. Basic philosophy plus its implementation is one of the areas which holds great promise for the improvement of the education of school administrators, if vigorously attacked."
In the report cited above the authors provide a very excellent analysis of the several significant variations found in the philosophies of school administration which serve as bases of the programs offered in the 15 institutions studied. It is not the purpose here to provide a review of these findings, but rather to emphasize one aspect of this general problem which was not given major consideration in the report referred to, namely, the nature of the cooperations involved in the development of a basic philosophy of administration. In the aforementioned report as quoted above, "study by the staff" was indicated as necessary. In other sections there were references to necessities for a cooperative attack on the problem.
In this present inquiry emphasis is given to the following questions, all of which relate to specific means for developing and implementing a philosophy of school administration:
1. Have systematic efforts been made in your institution toward the the cooperative development and faculty acceptance of a philosophy of school administration?
a. Describe these efforts briefly.
To this question 39 institutions of the 62 responding gave an affirmative answer. One institution reported that "the faculty is initiating a study of our program. . . attention will probably be given to defining a theory of school administration." Three of these responses were
1 Cocking, Walter D. and Williams, Kenneth R. The education of school administrators. Procedures used at selected institutions. Sponsored by the National association of colleges and departments of education and the Commission on teacher education of the American council on education. Washington, D. C., The Council, 1941. 146 p. (mimeo.) p. 11-12.
qualified by a questioning as to whether their efforts could be referred to as "systematic." Twenty-three institutions provided a fairly complete description of the nature of the efforts reported. An analysis of these reveals that relatively few have approached this problem in any very systematic fashion. Faculty and faculty committee discussions are reported but in few cases, apparently, have these discussions been specifically planned for the purpose indicated. For the most part the development and faculty acceptance of a philosophy of school administration has been an incidental byproduct.
The following citations present some interesting variations of practice and approach which appear to be the outcome of definite planning: UNIVERSITY Of Georgia
A series of meetings has been held during the past four years, involving the faculty of the College of Education, graduate students, members of the State Department of Education, and certain county and city superintendents of schools, in which the whole problem of School Administration in Georgia and the southeast has been attacked. Special attention has been given to the purpose, place and function of school administration, and the job to be performed. Out of these discussions has come a rather definite and dynamic philosophy. Of course, it will continue to change with changing conditions. UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA
The entire practice at the University of Minnesota is an illustration of the cooperative development and faculty acceptance of a philosophy of school administration. The University . . . has had for many years a democratic type of university administration and many examples of systematic efforts to develop such a type of administration could be enumerated. The chief of these would be: (1) faculty participation in the nomination of new faculty members and administrative officers; (2) participation of the faculty in research, not only in matters related to instructional and scientific problems, but on matters relating to the general conduct and administration of the university; (3) a large number of faculty committees giving consideration to problems in practically every phase of the university administration; (4) a very splendid example by the president of the University of Minnesota of the use of leadership in the coordination of the activities of an institution rather than reliance on organizational patterns and commands. The same type of administrative philosophy has been illustrated in the activities of the College of Education. Here, participation of graduate students in a discussion of problems of administration, particularly as they relate to the work of graduate students in education, supplements faculty activities.
UNIVERSITY OF Oregon
About two faculty meetings a month for approximately two years were used by the faculty of the School of Education in a consideration of the philosophy of our graduate work, which is predominantly work for those majoring in school administration. The decision was unanimously reached that something like the "job analysis" method should be used; that we would abandon the use of all "formal" requirements if they had nothing but the force of precedent behind them, and attempt to plan for each type of man the kind of a graduate curriculum that seemed to his committee and to him would best contribute toward preparation for the kind of career he had in mind.