Examines the history of educational administration in the USA during the Progressive era (1890‐1940). Using Callahan's Education and the Cult of Efficiency as a starting point, examines school district‐based administrative practices that offered viable alternatives to the business‐oriented, “scientific management” reforms that tended to dominate much of the educational dialogue and innovation of the early twentieth century. Offers cases studies of three superintendents who creatively resisted the ideology of efficiency or who skillfully utilized administrative structures to buttress instructional reforms. Using archival records and other historical sources, first examines Superintendent A.C. Barker in Oakland, California between 1913 and 1918 and Superintendent Charles Chadsey in Denver, Colorado during the years 1907‐1912. Then analyzes the tenure of Jesse Newlon during his superintendency in Denver from 1920 to 1927. Using the conception of “authentic leadership” and the frameworks of the ethics of care, critique, and professionalism, argues that these administrators demonstrated how leaders grounded in notions of scholarly skepticism, democratic engagement, and the compassionate care of children were sometimes able to avoid the excesses of the ideology of “efficiency”.
Journal of Educational Administration – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 1, 2004
Keywords: Educational history; Values; Ethics; Education; United States of America
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