ERIC Number: ED199180
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr-13
Studying the Leaders of Classical Antiquity.
Moritz, Helen E.
This paper describes a graduate seminar for educational administrators, using works of ancient Greek and Roman literature as bases for the consideration of organization and leadership problems identified in theoretical literature. The seminar was team taught by professors from the Departments of Educational Administration and Classics at the University of Minnesota. The purposes of the seminar were: (1) to provide historical perspective on the problems of leadership and authority; (2) to provide for analysis and discussion "case studies" which could be approached with considerable objectivity by virtue of their distance in time and space; and (3) to introduce humanistic content for its own sake into the training of leaders in a field which is ideally the most humane of professions, education. The subject matter of the seminar consisted of works of ancient Greek and Roman literature, history, philosophy, and biography selected to illustrate concepts of organization and administration theory considered pertinent to the educational leader. Each seminar began with a lecture establishing the literary, historical, and theoretical contexts for the ancient material assigned for that day. A general discussion followed. In addition, students were required to make seminar presentations and to write papers. Some examples of topics covered in the course are provided in the paper. For example, the interaction of values and legitimation comes into play in the famous speech of Pericles. Plutarch's "Life of Themistocles" shows another Athenian statesman sagely controlling information to effect a successful alteration of policy at a crucial point in the Persian Wars. By managing the interpretation of oracles and therefore giving his proposals the authority of divine support, Themistocles persuaded his countrymen to abandon the city and risk all in a naval engagement--a strategy that proved successful. Evaluations indicate a high level of student satisfaction with the course. (Author/RM)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Los Angeles, CA, April 13, 1981).