Looking Back and Looking Forward


  • Kathy Snow University of Prince Edward Island
  • Kirk Anderson Memorial University of Newfoundland


Many of us began our study of educational administration seeking to reflect an objective reality to support equity, as such we sought to examine leadership and decision-making processes that were “neutral and objective.” Critiquing the objectivist reality, Greenfield (1986) described this ensconced approach to educational administration as a process “…whose experts claim that an objective view of the social, world enables them to conduct value-free inquiry. They claim to possess knowledge that enables them to control organizations and to improve them” (p. 47). Outlining what he believed to be the fallacy of neutral objectivity within educational administration he further argued that “…such large claims appear increasingly unsound, for the science that justifies them rests on methods and assumptions that dismiss the central realities of administration as irrelevant. Those realities are values in human action. If administrative science deals with them at all, it does so only in a weakened or spuriously objective form” (p. 47). This ontological approach was supported by the epistemological view of an “objective truth” wherein we are free from “… the anxiety of decision making and remove the administrator’s sense of responsibility for his decisions” (p. 57).

Author Biographies

Kathy Snow, University of Prince Edward Island

Kathy Snow is the academic lead of the Certificate in Educational Leadership in Nunavut (CELN) program at the University of Prince Edward Island as well as a Professor in the Faculty of Education. As a non-Inuit, originally from Nunavut, she endeavours to implement research as an act of reconciliation. Her work focuses on the factors impacting Inuit student success, persistence and well-being in formal education towards policy and curriculum change.

Kirk Anderson, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Kirk Anderson has a PhD focused on Educational Administration and is a Professor of Educational Administration, Memorial University of Newfoundland. His research is focused on leadership, schools effectiveness, and Indigenous success in schools. He is also a member of the University of the Arctic Indigenous Issues Committee.