There is also concern with the individual quality which gives priority to the subjectivity and creative autonomy of students and faculty, as well as with the collective quality that gives priority to equity in the construction and distribution of socially valid knowledge. Finally, there is concern with the quality of the different types of inputs, processes, and outcomes of educational practice. Although analytically distinguishable, the different dimensions or perspectives of the quality of education are not exclusive; they are, rather, dialectically articulated dimensions or perspectives of a comprehensive concept of the quality of education.
In this sense, this essay adopts a comprehensive concept of the quality of education for all , which comprises the whole of educational practice as a political-cultural and techno-pedagogical process of social formation, committed to the construction and distribution of scientific and technological knowledge socially significant to citizenry. The strategy par excellence for promoting the quality of human life and education is that of citizen participation committed to attaining political democracy and the practice of social democracy able to face the economic, political, and cultural inequalities that threaten human development and collective security.
This strategy is based on the premise that democratic participation enhances the fair definition of the individual contribution to, and the right to benefit from, collective human effort. The strategy is also based on the conviction that democratic participation favors solidarity and the effective practice of social justice. At the same time, democratic management favors political consciousness and community self-management. Finally, democratic participation allows the adoption of significant political options on the part of citizens committed to the construction of human civilization based on the correct articulation of the values of freedom and equity.
In education, whose function is to construct and distribute knowledge, the argument is that citizen participation favors free construction of socially valid knowledge as well as its equitable distribution. Bearing in mind the preceding elements, it is possible to study one of the most important issues frequently pointed out in the scholarly work from different philosophical and sociological tendencies: that of educational management as a mediating process.
In fact, historical review of conceptual and analytical perspectives of educational administration enhances the examination of the role of administrative mediation 5 in schools and universities, the evaluation of the nature of the quality of life and of education, and the assessment of the application of the concepts of freedom, equity, participation, and democracy in educational management. What follows in the next two sections is an analysis of educational management as a mediating process according to the functionalist tradition and its interactionist antithesis in education and the social sciences.
The Functionalist Tradition of Educational Administration. In the history of scientifical thought, the functionalist tradition is a natural outgrowth of the positivist and evolutionist consensus theories in the social sciences and in education. These elements suggest a formal concept of the quality of life and education, according to which citizens are concerned with structural order, functional behavior, and social integration. The protagonists of functionalist administration found their original positivist and evolutionist concepts in Comte, Spencer, Pareto, and Durkheim, 7 and, more recently, in Lewin, Homans, Merton, and Parsons.
In North America, with subsequent repercussions in Latin America and other parts of the world, psychologists and social psychologists also played an important role in introducing and spreading the positivist and behavioral concepts that informed the traditional perspective of educational administration. These and other influential representatives of philosophical positivism and sociological functionalism in education and the social sciences are protagonists of administrative theories characterized by hypothetico-deductive models, precision, symbolic logic, functional behavior, and empirical research based on extensive use of methods borrowed from the natural sciences.
Positivistic theories of administration are primarily concerned with order and social progress, integration and social cohesion, satisfaction of social necessities, and the structural and cultural reproduction of society. To achieve these objectives efficiently and effectively, positivist theories of administration emphasize order and equilibrium; they tend to be realistic and rationalist. These administrative theories constitute the so-called traditional paradigm , which has prevailed in Western educational management research and practice for more than half a century.
Western pedagogical bibliographies contain many theoretical models and empirical studies about the structure and functioning of educational systems and of social organizations in general. Some theoretical efforts, among which the psycho-sociological model of Getzels and Guba 12 is prominent, reduce organizational behavior to the inter-relation of three dimensions: the institutional dimension , the individual dimension , and group dimension. In this context, administration plays a mediating role among the three dimensions, significantly determining the nature of organizational behavior according to the type of administrative mediation adopted.
Drawing significantly on the work of Getzels and his associates and interpreters, what follows is an analysis of the nature of the three functionalist constructions of administration, with their respective types of mediation, the objectives they seek, and the prevailing administrative criteria. Bureaucratic Administration. As a heuristic and praxeological construction of educational management, bureaucratic administration is conceptually derived from the sociological theories of the classical school of administration expounded by Taylor, Fayol, and Weber in the early twentieth century, at the time of the consolidation of the Industrial Revolution.
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Applied to educational management, the bureaucratic construction related to bureaucracy, from the French bureaucratie , and from bureau , office, studio; and from the Greek krat , power, government takes the form of an administrative style that emphasizes the institutional dimension of the educational system and its schools and universities, and takes into account, primarily, organizational expectations, rules, and bureaucratic regulations. According to this orientation, the educational organization is structurally conceived as a closed system of functions or roles, to which correspond specific institutional rights and duties.
Functions or roles are defined in terms of the expectations or preconceptions held by people from within and outside the educational organization about how role incumbents should behave. In other words, the basic concerns of the bureaucratic administration are reduced to the institution, which is defined as a set of roles, bearing a set of respective behavioral expectations.
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Understood in this way, bureaucratic administration performs a role of normative mediation between the institutional and individual dimensions, seeking a type of organizational behavior that emphasizes regulation, hierarchical order, and rational progress, with the aim of effectively achieving the goals of the educational system, and of its schools and universities. It is in this context that one should examine the preparation and the activities of bureaucratic administrators. In terms of their training, bureaucratic administrators will seek a theoretical framework in organizational sociology, since bureaucratic administration reflects a predominantly sociological analysis of organizational behavior.
In daily management activities, bureaucratic administrators pay attention to the fulfillment of the laws and regulations that govern the functioning of the educational organization and to the defense of its interests as a system, with little consideration to the importance of its participants as human beings. Their concern is with creating an organizational climate that increases the effectiveness of the educational system in the attainment of its goals; meanwhile, the individual efficiency of the participants is relegated to a secondary place.
Effectiveness thus becomes the dominant criterion of administrative performance of bureaucratic administration. As a criterion of administrative performance, the central concern of effectiveness is the attainment of institutional objectives. If the educational system adopts bureaucratic management as its administrative style, institutional effectiveness takes precedence over individual efficiency. Subsequently, the efficiency of the participants of the educational system is furthered only on the basis of the effective fulfillment of institutional goals.
Idiosyncratic Administration. In keeping with this orientation, the educational organization is conceived as a partially- open system , based on the interpretation of the actions and interactions of its participants, promoting the development of an organizational climate adapted to subjective growth. Each person is conceived of as a unique individual with a distinctive personality. Personality, in turn, is defined as a specific configuration of need-dispositions that influence behavior.
In other words, the concerns of idiosyncratic administration are reduced to individuals, each with a unique personality, defined as a set of particular need-dispositions. Thus conceived, idiosyncratic administration functions as a personalist mediation between the institutional and individual dimensions, seeking a type of organizational behavior that emphasizes subjectivity and human relations for the satisfaction and self-actualization of the participants in the educational system, and in its schools and universities.
For theoretical foundations, idiosyncratic administrators turn to psychology, since idiosyncratic administration reflects a predominantly psychological analysis of organizational behavior. In their daily activities, idiosyncratic administrators are concerned mainly with the individual characteristics of participants as human beings, relegating to a secondary place the educational institution as a system.
They are concerned with creating an organizational climate which favors the efficiency of the participants in the educational system, while giving little attention to institutional effectiveness in the attainment of educational goals. Efficiency thus becomes the prevailing criterion of administrative performance in idiosyncratic administration. As a criterion of administrative performance, efficiency is reflected in the degree of individual satisfaction, where the supreme value is human productivity.
This definition, clearly influenced by industrial psychology, reflects an explicit concern with the psychological aspect inherent to the individual dimension of the educational system.
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If the educational system adopts idiosyncratic management as its administrative style, individual efficiency will precede institutional effectiveness. Integrating Administration. As a heuristic and praxeological construction of educational management, integrating administration conceptually derives from the psycho-sociological theories of administration formulated by Barnard and Simon and later developed by Argyris, McGregor, Halpin, Griffith, Getzels, and other behavioral interpreters. Integrating administration deals with the interaction between the institution and the individual, between role and personality, between bureaucratic expectations and idiosyncratic need-dispositions.
According to this interdisciplinary perspective, the educational institution is conceived as an open system , which implies a decrease in the sociological reductionism of bureaucratic administration and of the psychological reductionism of idiosyncratic administration. Thus conceived, integrating administration performs a role of ambivalent mediation between the institutional and individual dimensions, emphasizing, on one hand, the bureaucratic expectations and, on the other, individual need-dispositions, depending on the specific circumstances in which administrative actions occur.
The circumstances are generally associated with the behavior of the working group, that is to say, to the group dimension of the educational system, and of its schools and universities. In fact, integrated activities of the working group facilitate the mediation between bureaucratic expectations and personal motivations and, in concrete situations, leads to the combination of institutional role and individual personality. With respect to the theoretical background, integrating administrators seek their frame of reference in the hybrid discipline of social psychology, since they undertake a psycho-sociological analysis of organizational behavior.
They are concerned with creating a pragmatic organizational climate that is suited to effective administrative action, through maintaining a dynamic equilibrium between institutional effectiveness and individual efficiency. Thus responsiveness becomes the predominant performance criterion of integrating administration. As a criterion of administrative performance, responsiveness relates pragmatically to the degree of congruence between institutional expectations and individual need-dispositions within a set of given situations.
For the protagonists and interpreters of integrating administration, pragmatic responsiveness according to established goals takes precedence over institutional effectiveness and individual efficiency. The Limits of the Functionalist Constructions. The three functionalist constructions of administration differ in terms of their types of mediation and their predominant criteria of administrative performance. They also differ regarding the position of their protagonists and interpreters of the human condition in society, their definition of the quality of life and education, and their concepts of freedom, equity, participation, and democracy.
Bureaucratic administration performs a normative mediation and emphasizes institutional effectiveness of administrative practice. The bureaucratic construction tends to be authoritarian and legalistic, which limits the space for promoting individual freedom and social equity. The concern with institutional effectiveness, hierarchical order, and material progress implies a concept of the quality of life and education extrinsic and formal in nature, and reveals a commitment to the structural reproduction of society and its organizations. The cult of technocracy and instrumental quality is a central concern of the bureaucratic perspective.
Its normative and hierarchical character impedes citizen participation in society and its organizations. Even though bureaucratic administration favors the formal adoption of political democracy, it inhibits the practice of a social democracy capable of facing the structural inequalities in society, and in schools and universities. Idiosyncratic administration performs a personalist mediation and emphasizes individual efficiency in administrative practice.
The idiosyncratic construction tends to be individualistic, which reduces the space for promoting equity and the practice of social democracy. The concern with individual competitiveness and the search for personal satisfaction imply a concept of the quality of life and education individualistic and evolutionist in nature, and reveals a commitment to individual growth without social cohesion and solidarity. These characteristics reveal that idiosyncratic administration does not favor collective participation in society and education, thereby impeding the building of a social system dedicated to the common well-being.
Integrating administration is situationist and performs an ambivalent mediation, emphasizing the pragmatic responsiveness of administrative practices. From an operational point of view, the integrating construction of administration adopts a tactical behavior, trying to overcome both the selfish individualism and the bureaucratic authoritarianism of the traditional models of administration.
The integrating perspective favors the participation of organized groups in the decisions that affect the quality of life and freedom and equity in society and education. Philosophically, the integrating construction identifies itself with the social liberalism adopted today by progressive liberal forces, open to the promotion of social equity. Due to the positivist heritage of Latin American and Caribbean societies, functionalist perspectives of public administration and of educational management prevailing in Europe and North America have been extensively adopted in the Hemisphere.
The fact is that the studies on the evolution of administrative theory in Latin American education provide valuable aid for analysing how to use positivist concepts and practices in educational management. It was precisely under the reign of positivism in Latin American history that the more influential studies on educational management and public and business administration were completed. Fayolism, Taylorism, poscorbianism, Weberianism, behaviorism, evolutionism, pragmatic instrumentalism, and systemism had a decisive influence in the theory and practice of educational administration in Latin America.
This is obvious, for example, in the most well-known books on school administration written between and by the historical protagonists of educational administration and applied social sciences in Latin America. To a great extent, this orientation finds its conceptual roots in Europe, especially in France, Spain, Portugal and, on a smaller scale, in England and Germany. With the questioning of the positivist and functionalist foundations of the traditional theories of educational administration in Latin America and in the Western Hemisphere in general, during the last decades an increasing number of conceptual and analytical perspectives have emerged for the study of education and of its administration, as will be developed later.
This intellectual fervor is evident in recent research and publishing activities, in graduate programs of education and the social sciences, and in the initiatives of the professional educational associations. Criticisms of the functionalist perspectives of consensus administration target their positivist foundation. Consequently, it reaches the limits of its possibilities when it emphasizes the description of organizational and administrative practices without assuming a critical stance. At the same time, because of their underlying rationalist and objectivist principles, functionalist constructions of administration have not been able to define adequately the determining power of human intentionality in the educational system, and in its schools and universities.
Meanwhile, the phenomena of power and conflict receive a tactical treatment, devoid of historical perspective and political explanations. Neither the issues of scientific neutrality nor those of instrumental operationalization of theoretical concepts has found a satisfactory resolution on the part of the interpreters of traditional administration. Finally, from a methodological point of view, the empirical orientation that characterizes the studies of traditional administration requires careful re-evaluation since its underlying positivist concepts have not managed to explain the dichotomy between theory and observation.
Despite the limitations revealed by modern criticism, positivism has played an important role in the history of the philosophy of science and education. This importance has been pointed out by Suppe when he claims that today positivism truly belongs to the history of the philosophy of science, and its influence is that of a movement historically important for developing a much different contemporary philosophy of science.
Functionalism has also played a historically important role in Western social science. An updated critical re-evaluation of the limitations and potentialities of functionalism offers new elements for the construction of scientific knowledge. There is in fact an emerging neofunctionalist movement in Western social sciences, as one can deduce, for example, from the book, Neofunctionalism, edited by Alexander, from the American Sociological Association. Based on the historical contribution of orthodox functionalism and in efforts to overcome its limitations, neofunctionalism emerges as a new trend within the dominant sociological theory.
Neofunctionalism may, in fact, represent a new epistemological break within the Western sociological tradition, incorporating new elements into its conceptual frame of reference and revisiting the accepted ones. It is expected that there will be a growing cross-fertilization of concepts and ideas from different epistemological orientations, but articulated in such a way that they preserve the essential functionalist orientation and its underlying positivist inspiration. Within the neofunctionalist perspective, ideological criticisms of society and of organizations take place within a multidimensional understanding of social differentiation, conflict interactionist theories are intertwined with liberal theories of integration and societal solidarity, and materialist reference is associated with personality and cultural systems.
However, it is important to point out that despite the circumstantial and instrumental concessions made by neofunctionalism, it has never changed its philosophical point of view or its political commitment to liberal ideals. This commitment is reinforced today in the context of the neoliberal offensive after the decline of concrete socialism in Eastern Europe. In the specific field of education, theories rooted in positivism and functionalism also occupy a historically important place.
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Just as they did in sociology, positivist and functionalist theories in educational management are undergoing a process of scientific deconstruction and reconstruction. Future influence of such theories will depend on the creative capacity of their interpreters and supporters within the context of the new economic and political international reality.
On the other hand, neofunctionalist theories of educational organization and management have to compete with those conceived by progressive forces committed to the reconstruction of human civilization on the basis of different concepts of the human being, different philosophies of science, and different theories of society.
The Interactionist Tradition of Educational Administration. In the history of scientific thought, the interactionist tradition encompasses the critical and liberation conflict theories in the social sciences and education. The first alternative educational organization and management perspectives formulated by critical conflict scholars in the applied social sciences are based on the critique of the positivist and functionalist foundations and assumptions of traditional administration.
The fact is that critical scholars conceived interactionist perspectives of administration as an antithesis of the functionalist perspectives, claiming that the traditional perspectives of management had not been able to adequately explain the phenomena of power, ideology, change, and the contradictions that characterize the educational system within the context of contemporary society.
Related to these elements, a political concept of society and of the quality of life and education implies a fundamental concern for human freedom and social transformation. The initial foundations of interactionist administration come from the political economy of Marx; the existentialism of Kierkegaard and Sartre, coupled with the idealism of Kant, Fichte and Hegel; the phenomenology of Husserl; and the anarchism of Proudhon.
Drawing upon these intellectual streams and on some progressive proposals of neoliberal orientation, such as those of Dahrendorf, the goals of interactionist administration are human consciousness, the critical interpretation of reality, the achievement of human emancipation, and the structural and cultural transformation of schools and society.
To achieve these goals, interactionist theories of organization and administration tend to be critical, reflexive, interpretive, and dialectical. The examination of alternative organizational and administrative theories reveals that, in general, their authors, besides beginning their formulations from the critique of the functionalist perspectives of organization and administration, adopt explicit philosophical orientations.
A more detailed analysis of the alternative theoretical constructions reveals that, despite each protagonist adopting a dominant philosophical orientation, the formulations are generally based on the intersection of different conceptual and analytical contributions. Because of the variety of the conceptual and analytical foundations of interactionist administration, specialized bibliography highlights a host of new attempts to elaborate administrative and organizational theories. Some of the new constructions emphasize the rational or objective dimension of organizational behavior, and other theoretical constructions favor the subjective or non-rational strand.
In efforts to overcome the reductionism of both the human subjective approach and the structural objective view, other scholars are committed to conceiving of dialogical or synthetic paradigms. In this context, it is possible to think of three different constructions of interactionist administration, with their respective types of mediation, based on three different epistemological orientations: 1 structuralist administration , in which mediation is determinist since it emphasizes the institutional or objective dimension of organizational behavior; 2 interpretive administration , in which mediation is reflexive , since it emphasizes the individual or subjective strand; and 3 dialogical administration , in which mediation is dialectical , emphasizing totality and multidimensional contradiction.
In practical terms, each one of the three interactionist constructions implies a corresponding position on the school and the human condition in society, as follows. Structuralist Administration. As a heuristic and praxeological construction of educational management, structuralist administration derives conceptually from the material reproductive epistemology of Marxism and other determinist interpretations.
Structuralist administration from the Latin structura, order and inter-relation of the parts in the whole pays attention to the regulatory power of the different parts or dimensions of the educational system within the overall context of society, emphasizing economic determinism over human action and interaction. It is important to point out that structuralism involves much more than its association with one or more Marxist epistemologies. In fact, structuralism, as a theoretical body and a heuristic method, assumes many varied forms in different fields of knowledge and epistemological orientations.
However, rather than presenting a general view of structuralism as a theoretical perspective and scientific method, this study focusses on the historical association between structuralism and the materialist epistemology of Marxism. The most prominent advocate of a structuralist and materialist analysis of the work of Marx is Althusser. He emphasizes the economic conditions and the objective institutional structures of historical materialism, rejecting the humanist interpretation of early Marxism.
In his structural analysis of the influence of the whole over its component elements and viceversa, he attributes to the economic basis the determining power in society, which implies a passive view of education and the human being. This issue presents a fundamental challenge for educational management, which is called upon to perform a mediating role between society and education, between the totality of the educational system and its component parts, between the school as institution and its participants as unique individuals.
One problem that Bordieu was unable to avoid in his institutional functionalist analysis of social and cultural reproduction is the relatively static and self-regulating character of his model. Even though structural-reproductive and institutional-functionalist scholars did not conceive a specific theory of educational administration, their interpreters and followers have drawn several conceptual and analytical conclusions in their writings aiming at a structuralist perspective of educational management.
According to the determinist epistemology of Althousser, the educational system has been conceived of as a structural whole with different dimensions or practices which reflect a reality characterized many contradictions. This matrix of relations suggests that educational administration is economically determined in the performance of its mediating role among the different dimensions of the educational system. The same regulating role of the economy also drives the theory of correspondence developed by Bowles and Gintis, and the study on social and cultural reproduction developed by Bourdieu and Passeron.
In sum, according to the structuralist epistemology of the reproduction scholars in Europe and the United States of America, the internal structure of the educational system reproduces the external social structure shaped by the economy. Within this context, structuralist administration plays a role of determinist mediation , since it is essentially guided by infra-structural mechanisms of an economic nature, while human subjectivity and cultural aspirations are relegated to a secondary place.
In the objective-subjective strand of organizational behavior, structuralist administration emphasizes objectivity as its major criterion for evaluating organizational phenomena and administrative practices. As an administrative criterion, objectivity is concerned with the structural and material aspects of the educational system, which implies a passive view of human action and interaction. This means that if an educational system adopts structuralist management as its administrative style, institutional objectivity takes precedence over individual subjectivity.
Interpretive Administration. As a heuristic and praxeological construction of educational management, interpretive administration finds its conceptual roots in existentialism, phenomenology, anarchism, and the anthropological interpretation of Marxism. When applied to education, interpretive administration from the Latin interpretare , to judge the intention or to explain its meaning is concerned with individual consciousness, subjective meaning, and human action, emphasizing intentionality and freedom in education and society.
Although the humanist epistemology of Marxism contributed significantly to interpretivism, it was exisentialism that most inspired radical humanism developed during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Conceived as an anti-systemic and anti-organizational philosophy, existentialism starts out from the notion that the human being determines his or her own destiny.
Rooted in Kierkegaard in the nineteenth century and branching out in the work of very different thinkers, such as Jaspers, Marcel, Heidegger, Camus and Sartre, existentialism is primarily concerned with human existence, consciousness, freedom, subjectivity, intentionality, and human action.
Initial efforts to conceive of a humanist interpretive theory of educational administration have advanced some formulations based on the cross-fertilization of existentialism, anarchism, and the phenomenological method. Phenomenology emphasizes the importance of individual consciousness and tries to capture the essence of the pedagogical process by means of a direct approach to existing phenomena and a critical interpretation of the relations that take place within the educational system.
Anarchism, as a philosophical theory and liberation movement, provides the bases for the conceptualization of self-management as a model of autonomous administration, as opposed to the hierarchical and bureaucratic hetero-management which has characterized administrative thought ever since the classical school. Finally, as explained before, existentialism emphasizes subjective consciousness, intentionality, and human action in society and its organizations. He presents a biting critique of organization and administrative theories adopted in the field of education, particularly functionalist systems theory.
According to the interpretive approach, the educational system is an intentional creation of the human being. In this context, educational management performs a role of reflexive mediation between intention and action, between theory and experience, between education and society, and between the individual and his or her social environment. Within the objective-subjective strand of organizational behavior, interpretive administration emphasizes subjectivity as the leading criterion for the study and practice of administration.
As a criterion of administrative behavior, subjectivity is related to the degree of consciousness and intentionality attained by educational management. The supreme value of interpretive administration is human existence and freedom rather than material institutional structures and goals. Therefore, if an educational system adopts interpretive management as its administrative style, individual subjectivity takes precedence over institutional objectivity. Dialogical Administration.
As a heuristic and praxeological construction of educational management, dialogical administration is a conceptual elaboration based on the interpretation of the multiple contradictions that characterize the relationship between human action and the concrete circumstances in which the educational system functions. Gramsci and Habermas in Europe, and Freire and Saviani in Latin America are leading lights of this intellectual movement.
When applied to education, dialogical administration emphasizes the concepts of totality, contradiction, praxis, and the transformation of the educational system, its schools and universities. In the context of the conflict tradition in sociology and education, dialogical administration offers an alternative to both structuralist and interpretive administration. It tries to override both economic and anthropological determinism in educational organization and management theory.
From the point of view of its intrinsic content, dialogical management is concerned with power and social change, with social justice and human emancipation in the school and in society. From the analytical point of view, dialogical administration uses the dialectic as its scientific method. Contradiction is its basic organizational phenomenon.
gelatocottage.sg/includes/2020-05-12/4072.php These three scholars have provided valuable conceptual and analytical tools for constructing a dialogical perspective on educational administration. The concept of contradiction has important implications for the conceptualization of a dialogical perspective of educational management as a mediating process. In the objective-subjective strand of organizational behavior, dialogical administration departs from the contradiction between objectivity and subjectivity as two particular processes, with the aim of transcending them in multidimensional totality.
Synthesis or totality becomes then the prevailing guiding criterion of dialogical administration. As a criterion of administrative performance, totality is concerned with the dialectical unity of institutional objective structures and individual subjective actions. The adoption of totality as a guiding principle of administration will avoid the subjectivist reductionism of interpretive administration and the objectivist reductionism of structuralist administration.
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