Download full text
Download full text
ERIC Number: EJ1066793
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 25
Hope Replenished: Exceptional Scholarship Strides in Educational Administration
Mullen, Carol A.
International Journal of Educational Leadership Preparation, v1 n1 Jan-Jun 2006
For decades now, critics have viewed educational leadership and administration as sorely lacking in many respects--including as a field of scholarly inquiry. Murphy, Hawley, and Young (2005) cite numerous studies that have "assessed the profession and judged it to be in poor health" (p. 49). Thomas Sergiovanni, another leading scholar, has recognized that "one shortcoming of ours in educational administration is that we're still working on becoming a rigorous science. We need to produce lines of inquiry and people who can commit to a set of ideas over the long haul" (as cited in Author, 2005, p. 41). The Joint Research Taskforce on Educational Leadership Preparation (2005)--sponsored by the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA); American Educational Research Association/Administration, Organization, and Leadership (AERA, Division A); AERA Teaching in Educational Administration Special Interest Group (SIG); and National Council of Professors of Educational Administration (NCPEA)--acknowledges that, despite its shortcomings, the educational leadership profession has made "important strides" (para. 1). Notably, faculty throughout the United States have been aligning "program content with national leadership standards, providing strong practical experiences, researching their practice, and building a base of knowledge on leadership education" (Joint Research Taskforce on Educational Leadership Preparation, para. 1). Accordingly, this article takes a modest step. The purpose of this discussion is to highlight some of the best scholarly practices in our field as determined by empirically developed themes and peerbased feedback. I hope that the structure provided for grouping best practice exemplars will stimulate readers to add others that similarly follow rigorous standards for selection, enabling a comprehensive resource of current developments of some magnitude to result. Before continuing, I wish to acknowledge the critical insight I received after having solicited the exemplars, nationwide, from faculty. A professor from a premier research institution briefly addressed the absolutism implied in "best practice": I'm not a believer in "best practice" because it implies there is one best way, which takes us right back to Frederick Taylor. There is no one "best" way to do anything. And most of what we think are best practices have not really been empirically validated. They just seem to work. My request for a single best practice produced, from many faculty, not one but rather numerous examples that function in conjunction with one another. Further, some survey respondents indicated that the best practice they wished to highlight resided upon the pioneering efforts of others. Faculty also asserted that not only research and publication but also teaching and program redesign initiatives that support student development and success constitute an important aspect of scholarship. Honoring all of these perspectives, I have folded them into the "best practice" scholarship typology presented here.
Descriptors: Educational Administration, Scholarship, Teacher Surveys, Educational Practices, Mentors, Best Practices, Educational Development
NCPEA Publications. Web site: http://www.ncpeapublications.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A