Probably no very highly specialized class can be strong in this intellectual quality because of the intellectual isolation incident to specialization; and yet administration or generalization is not only the faculty upon which social stability rests, but is, possibly, the highest faculty of the human mind.We are now in the midst of the greatest period of change in school administration since its origin in American education. Through the energizing role of the Cooperative Program in Educational Administration, the whole profession has undergone the most penetrating examination and revision of practice. The underlying concepts of the functions and process of administration have also been critically examined. As a result, school administration now is quite different from what it was ten years ago. In all probability, it will be much, much different fifty years from now.
It is our purpose, of this paper, to discuss school administration in relation to the findings of this critical examination and revised practice. The approach will not be very familiar to those who are acquainted with the traditional texts on the subject. It is, however, the normal outgrowth of some of the newer books that have put increasing emphasis on the process and the personnel aspects of administration.
This emphasis accomplishes a dual service: (1) it presents the changing and improved practices in the field, and (2) it gives impetus to the swing toward the newer concepts of administration.
The Tridimensional Concept
The concept of school administration, particularly of the role of the chief school administrator, advanced by Davies, deals with three components: the administrator's job, the man he is, and the social setting in which he functions. Defined very briefly, the job includes the administrator's tasks and responsibilities, which vary in importance and emphasis as time passes, and encompasses all that is relevant to the administration of today's schools. The man brings to the job certain capacities of body, mind, emotion, and spirit. He has beliefs, values, expectations, behavior patterns, energy reserves, and skills. While the job shapes him, he also shapes the job. The social setting encompasses the pressures and compulsions of society. These not only establish and set limits for the job but influence the thinking of the man and set values by which he adjusts himself and is judged.
Probably the chief contributions of this concept of the job, the man, and the social setting are the convenience in categorizing and the ease of locating other important concepts. In examining this concept further, we will find that each of these three major components is subdivided into three dimensions: content, process, and sequence. Taken together, these constitute what is known as the tridimensional concept of educational administration.
The Job. In looking at the content of the job of the school administrator we find that it can be conveniently divided into four areas:
Maintaining effective interrelationships with the community
Improving educational opportunity.
Obtaining and developing personnel
Providing and maintaining funds and facilities
These areas of content are not arranged in order of importance; in fact, it is claimed that each has equal importance in the job of the administrator. From one point of view this is probably correct; that is, the chief school administrator is the only person who can see the educational enterprise as a whole. All others have responsibility for small segments and do not view their segment in relation to the whole enterprise. On the other hand, it does seem that in relation to t