ERIC Number: ED207225
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr-14
Educational Administration: A Forty-Year Perspective.
James, H. Thomas
The past 40 years have witnessed changes in the characteristics, training, and social setting of the school superintendent. A 1939 survey showed that superintendents tended to be male, white, married, Protestant, upwardly-mobile, Republican, and from non-urban backgrounds. Most held masters' or baccalaureate degrees. A 1974 survey of Wisconsin superintendents indicates these characteristics remain much the same, although more superintendents now have masters' degrees. Administrative training for educators expanded greatly after World War II because of new federal and private funding and the proliferation of public and private educational administration. By the 1960s, the oversupply of qualified administrators had led to a decline in the economic return to superintendents from their training and to an increase in subordinate administrative positions. While administrative training has become more theoretical, educational administration researchers and theoreticians have tended not to become superintendents. In the last 40 years superintendents have also had to adjust to four major social changes, including increased family mobility, desegregation and its controversies, renewed conflict between science and religion, and teacher unionism. Further, school business management has become more professional and school boards more democratic. State legislatures, however, have reduced school boards' policy-making powers. (RW)
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 (Los Angeles, CA, April 13-17, 1981).