ERIC Number: ED420922
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997
Administrators in Wonderland: Leadership through the New Sciences.
Recent theories associated with physical reality have increasingly been adapted as social-science paradigms. Chaos Theory and Perceptual Control Theory (PCT) are two advances that are applicable to the educational administration field. According to Edward Lorenz's Chaos Theory, profound changes in outcome can arise from small variations of input. Perceptual Control Theory, deriving from Harold Black's 1927 engineering experiments with closed-loop control systems, was applied to social systems by William T. Powers in 1973. According to Powers, individual control systems facilitate behavior by controlling perceptions. Gregory Bateman's Double Description concept is coterminous to viewing multiple realities, since, as PCT ascribes, we are unable to enter another human being's version of reality. By using PCT and Double Description together, an administrator can gain multiple insights into the socio-historic, temporal, or environmental aspects of school policy or teaching. Chaos Theory, PCT, Double Description, and the sense-and-respond paradigm allow administrators to fulfill their critical administrative responsibilities: goal attainment, cultural maintenance, internal integration, and external adaptation. Through this integration procedure, administrators can operate as adaptive, enlightened professionals capable of interpreting external changes while remaining true to their organization. (Contains 12 references.) (MLH)
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A