ERIC Number: ED210824
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Biological Systems and Career Analysis.
Thiemann, Francis C.
Neither a review of the literature nor three data displays (showing career paths, general influence patterns, and predecessor and successor influence patterns) yield a generative or explanatory theory by which to understand data collected on the professional career paths of Alberta (Canada) educational administrators. The data came from a survey of 1,243 administrators and from over 100 interviews. Alternative models, however, can be derived from the application of wave theory to the biology of slime mold. After slime mold has been starved for eight days, certain cells begin pulsating. The pulsations spread in waves and cause the mold to form either "cloud" or "galaxy" patterns or a primordial slug pattern that eventually leads to spore dispersion. Application of wave theory to the Alberta data indicates that, just as only starving slime mold begins pulsating, in all administrative structures the leaders come from one of the poorest units. Wave theory may also explain the rise of specific structures, through one individual whose "pulsations" meet the needs of the group and attract other individuals to the pulsator. Further research is needed to test the usefulness of wave theory for career path analysis. (Author/RW)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Alberta; Career Paths
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Conference of Professors of Educational Administration (33rd, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, August 12-16, 1979).