ERIC Number: ED320212
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Case Records: A Means To Enhance Knowledge Base in Educational Administration?
Osterman, Karen F.
This study assesses the usefulness of case records in significantly expanding the base of knowledge in education administration. Forty-six school personnel case records were examined in regard to: how respondents perceive and describe problem situations; whether or not alternative strategies are reported and, if so, what types; and what kind of differences, if any, exist between successful and unsuccessful strategies. Although not a comprehensive or conclusive analysis, the study suggests that case records' most valuable contribution is the link they provide between theory and practice. Findings indicate that educators function primarily within a single theoretical model, at a conscious, cognitive level in which structural considerations are predominant. However, many cases show a contradiction between espoused theory and theory-in-use. If the central goal of effective administrative education is to work successfully with people in a "growth-enhancing" organization, the rational, controlling strategies of the prevalent institutional theory-in-use are an important issue, particularly because these cases document the negative impact that results when such strategies are employed. Secondly, the case records do provide information not readily accessible or apparent; they also illustrate theoretical concepts in behavioral and experiential terms. Finally, case records can define a new role for practitioners as creators, rather than consumers, of knowledge. Viewing practitioners as intentional actors in the development of knowledge, or "knowledge-in-action," helps to bridge the gap between theory and practice. (11 references) (LMI)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the University Council for Educational Administration (Scottsdale, AZ, October 27-29, 1989).