Looking Back and Looking Forward

Kathy Snow, Kirk Anderson


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).

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