This book probes the intellectual foundations of scholarly inquiry into educational administration, policy, and politics. The question of whether, and if so how, social science theories and methods contribute to an understanding of these issues is hotly debated today. Is there really a scientific basis for evaluating and/or improving educational administration, politics and policy? The contributors—all recognized scholars in the fields of educational organization, administration, policy and politics—tackle the question of epistemology directly, addressing anew what rules of scholarly conduct should guide research and practice in the field, and how those rules of inquiry should guide the training of scholars and education professionals. The Introduction places the chapters in a common intellectual framework for rebuilding confidence in social science inquiry and of the legitimacy of the university as an arbiter of scientific knowledge claims.
New Foundations for Knowledge in Educational Administration, Policy, and Politics: Science and Sensationalism is directed to research scholars, faculty, graduate students, and policy agency staffers in the fields of educational policy, politics, and administration; educational evaluation; and educational foundations. It is well suited as a text for graduate courses in these areas.
"There has been much gnashing of teeth through the years about the roles of theory in educational leadership…and of universities in offering wisdom for social/organizational endeavors. This volume goes far beyond the usual angst and offers much deep, enormously helpful analysis that may well spur readers toward more meaningful engagement in the larger project of rethinking the field."
—Iowa State University
Contents: Preface. D.E. Mitchell, Introduction: Dreary Ideas and Exhausted Patience. Part I: Attacks and Rebuttals: The Controversial Status of Social Science Knowledge. M. Nash, The Relationship Between Academic Social Scientists and Educational Policymakers: A Brief Historical Overview. F.I. Ortiz, The Evolution of Educational Administration: The Daniel E. Griffiths' Legacy. B. Rowan, Truth or Consequences? Reflections on the Theory Movement and Its Aftermath in Education. P. Green, Legal Inquiry and Equal Opportunity. Part II: Changing Conceptions of Administration and Policy. R. Heck, Scholarship in Educational Administration: At a Crossroads? G. Furman, "Scientific" Research and Moral Leadership in Schools. Part III: New Directions in Education Politics and Policy Research. K. Wong, The Changing Landscape in School Governance: Proposing a Framework. D. Shipps, The "Science" and Politics of Urban Education Leadership: Toward a Reorienting Narrative. Part IV: Science and Sensationalism: Renewing the Foundations. D.E. Mitchell, Sensational Science. D.E. Mitchell, Coherent Knowledge and Confident Professional Practice.