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The Legacy of Educational Administration

A Historical Analysis of an Academic Field

Izhar Oplatka

In light of attempts to trace the philosophical and historical foundations of educational administration as an academic field of study that is concerned with the management and operation of educational organisations, this book aims at reviewing important epistemological developments in this field since the early 1960s. Specifically, the author poses several questions, such as what counts as the field of educational administration and what is this field in each decade since the early 1960s? What is the knowledge base of educational administration? What is its unique identity? And what are the types of publications and the methodological tools used throughout the years by the field’s members? Based on a qualitative content analysis of the field’s various academic journals since the appearance of the first journal, the author identifies six legacies – empirical, practical, evaluative, training, ideological and critical that the field leaves behind in our time.

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Introduction .................................................................................................. 9 Chapter One: Identities and boundaries: The structure of academic fields ... 15 The essence of the university .................................................................... 15 From ‘pure’ to applied knowledge ............................................................ 18 The discipline: An intimate arena of knowledge production .................... 21 Disciplinary boundaries: An artificial or a real identity? .......................... 24 Summary ................................................................................................... 27 Chapter Two: The foundation and development of EA as a field of study ... 29 From foundation to ‘scientification’ ......................................................... 30 Epistemological issues in the field ............................................................ 38 The search for a knowledge base .............................................................. 42 Summary ................................................................................................... 45 Chapter Three: The period of academic institutionalisation ......................... 47 Core areas of study ................................................................................... 51 Prominent areas of study ........................................................................... 65 Marginal topics/areas of study .................................................................. 72 Summary: The legacy of the 1960s and 1970s ......................................... 75 Chapter Four: The years of epistemological expansion ................................ 77 Core areas of study ................................................................................... 81 Prominent areas of study ........................................................................... 94 Marginal areas of study ............................................................................. 102 Summary: The legacy of the 1980s ........................................................... 105 Chapter Five: A time of knowledge explosion .............................................. 107 Core areas of study ................................................................................... 111 Prominent areas of study ........................................................................... 123 Minor areas of study ................................................................................. 135 Summary: The legacy of the 1990s ........................................................... 138 8 Chapter Six: Leadership, leadership and more leadership ............................ 141 Core areas of study ................................................................................... 145 Prominent areas of study ........................................................................... 161 Marginal areas of study ............................................................................. 164 Summary: The legacy of the 2000s ........................................................... 166 Chapter Seven: The dynamics, identity and legacies of the field ................. 169 The dynamics of the field ......................................................................... 169 What is EA anyway? ................................................................................. 173 The distinctive identity of EA: Present and future .................................... 181 References .................................................................................................... 185 Sources .......................................................................................................... 193

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