ERIC Number: ED170916
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Apr-12
Reference Count: 0
Inquiry in Educational Administration: A Time for New Directions.
Owens, Robert G.
The impact of the social and behavioral sciences in the 1950s led to a desire for a thorough rethinking of educational administration. Research emphasis was placed first on the internal organization of educational administration, was shifted in the late 1960s to interorganizational and extraorganizational relationships, and with the recent accountability movement has returned to the nature of the interior of the organization. Unfortunately, this research has had little effect on practice and has failed to produce any overarching "grand theories." One reason for this failure may lie in researchers' dependence on hypothetico-deductive reasoning drawn from the natural sciences. Such research follows a well-established pattern: the theory is stated, variables are assigned, instruments are designed to gather quantitative data, and the data are analyzed for compatibility with the theory. This technique presupposes a theory adequately grounded in empirical knowledge. It may be time to make an effort at increasing this knowledge by borrowing from social science research methodology. Qualitative studies of this type, involving detailed observation of actual educational practice through time, have been limited in number but have proved quite valuable for generating new theory. (Author/PGD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, California, April 8-12, 1979)