The Evolution of Educational Administration

The Evolution of Educational Administration

  • Arya Vishwaroop
    Arya Vishwaroop

Introduction

Education has been imparted to learners from different institutions since time immemorial. With time, the educational sector has witnessed some drastic changes. Yet, some of these changes are more recent brought about by the sociopolitical landscape. It did not take long for the entire education scenario to change - the factors that affected it was multi-dimensional. All these innovations have resulted in the evolution of educational administration as well. After all, those working in the educational administration domain are responsible for bringing about changes that are vital for providing students with quality education.

What is Educational Administration?

It is also necessary to understand what educational administration is and its roles in facilitating a quality teaching environment. Educational administration can simply be defined as the process of combining different human resources and other vital counterparts to provide an ideal environment for teaching.

In this context, the term administration does not necessarily refer to a specific process. Instead, it can include a wide variety of processes that are essential to the optimal operation of an educational institution. These processes generally include:

  • Planning
  • Organizing
  • Directing
  • Coordinating
  • Controlling, and
  • Evaluating

This is how an educational institution, whether it is a school, college, or university, can create a freely functioning ecosystem for imparting education. Just like any other domain, educational administration has also witnessed various changes in the last millennium. Education became increasingly business-oriented, which posed a revolutionary step forward in the field and changed the landscape of educational administration forever.

The Development Stages of Educational Administration

Educational administration did not develop overnight. There was a gradual process that led up to it - a slow, yet a transformational journey that culminated in the creation of the contemporary educational administrative system. Since most of the educational reforms and epistemological practices that came along with it originated in the West, this article will mostly focus on the changes that resulted from the broader Western narrative. Each country has its own story to tell when it comes to the evolution of education administration, but since a lot of countries were colonized by the West, this evolutionary process is more or less the same because this process took place simultaneously across these countries.

Pre-1900

This era is generally accepted as being the most experimental phase in the evolution of educational administration. During this period, there was no proper systematic study or research into the subject. Almost all of the decisions made during this period regarding administration were empirical and arose from the philosophical standpoint of the individual administrator. This could be applicable to each individual school or college, or all the colleges and schools that came under the administrative jurisdiction of the university. However, just because the administration was localized to each university or institution did not mean that there was utter chaos. In fact, some administrators became quite well known for their administrative abilities and made significant contributions to education. Among them were:

William T . Harris

  • Became Superintendent of the St. Louis School System in 1868
  • Later became U.S. Commissioner of Education

William H. Payne

  • Became Superintendent of Schools, Adrian, Michigan in 1875
  • Wrote the first book that dealt with educational administration, โ€˜Chapters on School Supervisionโ€™,
  • Later became the Professor of Education at the University of Michigan in 1879
  • Taught what has been claimed to be the first college-level course in school administration

Other Administrators Who Made an Impact in This Era

  • Emerson E. White
  • W. N. Hallman
  • Francis W. Parker

1900-1950

The turn of the millennium marked a significant shift in the way educational administration was carried out. The philosophical, largely empirical model was slowly replaced by a more scientific and business-oriented approach. This radically changed the way in which schools, colleges, and universities operated and governed themselves. The Principles of Scientific Management, authored by Frederick W. Taylor, became so instrumental in the constructive renaissance of educational administration that he is known as the Father of Scientific Management. The marriage of the principles of scientific management to the management of an educational institution led to the quantization of the institution of school management.

1950 - Present

The last major period when it comes to educational administration is from 1950 to the present. During this period, there was a significant influx of theories from several disciplines into educational administration. Private business, psychology, and sociology are just a few of the areas that have had a great role to play in educational administrative theory.

Computer technology and systems theory expanded the administrator's horizon with the amalgamation of the same with related theoretical models and challenged the foundation of educational administration like never before.

Some of the chief contributors to this field in this era were:

  • D. McGregor
  • G. Homans
  • A Maslow
  • C. Argyris
  • H. Simon
  • J. Getzel
  • E. Guba
  • A. Halpin
  • A. Etzioni
  • P. Blau
  • R. Campbell

The Role of Technology in the Evolution of Educational Administration

As mentioned above, the role of technology was paramount for the paradigm shift in the institution of administration. With the advancement of technology, people started preferring automated means of administration to reduce the paperwork associated with management. This shift towards paperless means of management meant that administration as a whole became completely systematic and automated. This paved the way for online education infrastructure to emerge. This new wave of administrative infrastructure proved to be extremely effective in maintaining records and easy documentation across the various subdivisions within the administrative process. Teachmint is the perfect example of the immaculate convergence of educational management and technology, offering a wide range of tools to make institution management seamless and effective.

Education infrastructure, or EdInfra as it is referred to today, is the latest innovation in the evolution of educational administration. It caters to each and every part of the education ecosystem. ย It aims at helping everyone from the individual student in the classroom all the way up to edtech companies. It is at the forefront of making the entire system of education. If not for the innovation offered by technology in this field, the laborious tasks of maintaining records, fee management, admission management, attendance management, and so on would still be done through a grueling paper trail that is both strenuous as well as prone to errors.

Conclusion

Hence, the evolution of educational administration as mentioned above took place over the course of more than a century, leading to the changes in the education sector you see today. This has been beneficial for both students and educators as now the admins can focus on their respective duties better with fewer errors than ever before. The fundamental reason why educational administration became this easy is because of the forward momentum that was brought about by this exact evolution.

This evolution will continue to go on with even more vigor as technology becomes more and more advanced and more and more managerial processes can be taken over by more powerful computers. The use of online education infrastructure can pave the way to consistent improvements in the daily lives of everyone in the institute. This will eventually establish a culture where students can gain knowledge about different domains with relative ease and pursue their interests while also allowing the administration to keep track of the day-to-day activities of the institution. Hence, it can be concluded that as long as this evolution of educational administration continues at the same or an accelerated pace, there will be a lot of opportunities for improvement of the system.

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