Title page for ETD etd-11102005-141122


Type of Document Dissertation
Author Hare, David B.
URN etd-11102005-141122
Title Theory development in educational administration from 1947 to 1995
Degree PhD
Department Educational Administration
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Parks, David J. Committee Chair
Garrison, James W. Committee Member
McKeon, Donald W. Committee Member
Parson, Stephen R. Committee Member
Keywords
  • theory development
  • theory
  • Educational administration
  • administration
Date of Defense 1996-04-05
Availability restricted
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to trace the history of theory development in educational administration in the United States during the second half of the twentieth century. While this study deals with the history of theory development in educational administration in the United States, it should not be seen as an attempt to deny or minimize the developments in educational administration that were occurring in other countries. Each successive decade since the 1950s has witnessed an influx of new generations of theorists who have had a significant influence upon theory development in educational administration. During the past two decades especially, the introduction of alternative approaches to theory development and an unwillingness by some theorists to accept what they perceive to be a provincial definition of theory have contributed to the current state of theory development while raising questions about the direction of future theory development in educational administration.

A central thesis of this study is that forty years after the adoption of a theoretical foundation (which was intended to eliminate confusion and achieve agreement among professors, practitioners, and theorists), there is as much confusion and lack of agreement surrounding theory development in educational administration as there was at the inception of the Theory Movement. The author of this study has concluded that the history of theory development in educational administration supports that thesis.

A second thesis of this study is that theory development in educational administration could be enhanced by taking advantage of what Laudan (1977) referred to as a research tradition, which was imported into educational administration from the social sciences. In the author's opinion, the study provides sufficient support for this thesis.

The third thesis of this study is that scientific inquiry does not exist in isolation from cultural influences. While the study seemed to confirm the thesis, the author has acknowledged that much more research would need to be done before this thesis could be accepted.

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