This field study is the result of observations of stress and disquiet among educational administrators. Two survey instruments, one to a population of A.C.E.A. members in five states and two territories of Australia, and a refined survey to administrators in two Metropolitan West Inspectorates in N.S.W. were employed. An attempt was made to look at perceived deficits, in areas considered necessary skills for educational administrators, over variables of state, sex, age, level of institution, government/nongovernment systems, status, tenure and educational administration qualifications. From the outset it was realized that the nature of the study would have to be essentially to generate directions of future specific research since there was little Australian research in the areas being surveyed. This became more obvious as data was collected and possible causes for stress, perceived deficits, and the related poor morale multiplied with each set of comments received. The only conclusion that could be unequivocal was that the areas of administrator morale, training, selection, support, style and role perception are urgently in need of in-depth research as are the effects on educational institutions of policy processes, socio-political factors and community expectations. Even with a wider literature search it becomes obvious that there is a need for researchers to rethink theory in terms of social realities and human and socio-political possibilities rather than continue building theories which have little or no effect on the education received by an Australian student in the 1980's. It is equally evident that the solution for the obvious administrator malaise and powerlessness expressed by respondents is in their own hands via a quest for excellence in education, relevance to society and socio-political understanding.
|Date of Award||1982|