CHAPTER III

EDUCATIONAL MANAGEMENT AND THE QUALITY OF LIFE:
IMPLICATIONS FOR LATIN AMERICA

The study of educational administration is based on different theoretical perspectives and makes use of different analytical procedures. However, this chapter will not present a complete panorama of the organizational and pedagogical theories adopted in the study of school and university management, nor will it examine extensively the numerous analytical alternatives reported in the specialized bibliography of the field of educational administration. The purpose of this essay is to undertake a critical analysis of organizational and administrative theories historically adopted in education in light of two opposing philosophical and sociological traditions: (1) the functionalist tradition, rooted in the positivist and evolutionist consensus theories that have historically characterized Western scientific thought; and (2) the interactionist tradition, based on the liberation and critical conflict theories rooted in Marxism, existentialism, anarchism, phenomenology, critical theory, and the human action approach. Within the general limits which have historically characterized the two philosophical and sociological traditions and in light of the new international reality of the transition toward the twenty-first century, this chapter intends to lay the groundwork for renewed theory-building efforts in the field of educational administration.1

This essay is based on the premise that the critical evaluation of the great philosophical traditions of mankind, according to different historical times and geographic domains, may offer enlightening explanations of the educational reality, and may allow the generation of new perceptions and interpretations for the construction of superseding approaches to educational management. Within the overall economic and political context of current educational organizations, this critical and constructive exercise is particularly relevant today because of the importance of analyzing the nature and the scope of the social transformations which have taken place all over the world since the end of the cold war. The purpose of such an analysis is to establish new plans of collective action to build a free and equitable world, committed to the promotion of sustained human development and the quality of life.

Epistemological Background

In this essay, the concept of the quality of human life is the key criterion to guide the study of educational organizations and administrative phenomena. The controversy around the concept of the quality of human life in academic circles throughout the world leads us to the philosophy of science, the politics of knowledge, the model of society, and the concept of the human being. The definition of the quality of human life responds to a philosophical anthropology conceived in light of the ethical values and the political options of citizens in daily life. At the same time, as we are historically living in Latin America and politically committed to the construction of its present and its future, the definition of the quality of human life must also portray a social philosophy worked out from the cultural and political perspectives of Latin America, but set within the global context of the new international economic and political reality.

Based on different philosophical traditions and different praxeological stances, it is possible to think of different perspectives or dimensions of the quality of human life, such as: formal quality and political quality, instrumental quality and substantive quality, individual quality and collective quality. According to Demo, formal quality “refers to instruments and methods, while political quality, to goals and contents.”2 Along the same lines, instrumental quality refers to technical and material conditions of life, while substantive quality alludes to the degree of political excellence historically created by citizens within their own cultural environment. Finally, individual quality refers to personal well-being, while collective quality, to common well-being. Individual quality gives priority to freedom; collective quality to equity.3

If one thinks interactionally, the two components of the various dichotomies of the quality of life, although distinguishable, are not exclusive. They are, rather, dialectically articulated dimensions of a transcending concept of the quality of life. In other words, the formal, instrumental, and individual dimensions of the quality of life should be subsumed, respectively, by the political, substantive, and collective dimensions. It is in this sense that, this essay adopts a comprehensive concept of the quality of human life, in such a way that political quality comprehends formal quality, substantive quality includes instrumental quality, and collective quality is closely associated with individual quality.

For the purposes of this essay, this concept of the quality of life is based on the values of freedom and equity as they are historically constructed and reconstructed by means of citizen participation. This basis implies a social philosophy according to which human beings seek to be integrated into their concrete society, with the mission of participating in its organization and functioning based on a historically built concept of common well-being. The first value of the common well-being upon which the quality of life is established is freedom, which implies the development of subjectivity and a free human personality. However, the practice of individual freedom is socially involved, which introduces the second principle upon which the quality of human life is based: equity. It is in this sense that the construction of a free and equitable society capable of promoting effectively the quality of human life implies, on the part of citizens, a correct reconciliation of individual interest with social compromise.

The concept of the quality of human life maintains a close relationship with the concept of sustained human development, elaborated and re- elaborated in studies carried out since 1990 by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). In fact, “the paradigm of sustained human development values human life in itself.”4 The quality of life only exists in real terms when human rights are equally recognized by everyone and when the vital necessities of human beings are universally provided. So defined, the concepts of the quality of life and human development imply an ethical position committed to the following: the construction of a free and equitable world; the promotion of economic and social progress allied to ecological preservation and the regeneration of nature; the universalization of educational and cultural opportunities and the corresponding job offerings; the priority attention to the poor and to discriminated groups because of race, gender, religion and social origin; and the participation of the citizens in the decisions that affect their community destiny and human civilization as a whole.

Based on the concept of the quality of human life, it is possible to define the quality of education from different epistemological orientations and from different analytical and praxeological dimensions. In fact, within the field of education there is a concern about the quality of the cultural and political aspects of educational practice —that is to say, concerning the substantive dimension of education—, as well as about the quality of educational processes, procedures, and methods —that is to say, concerning the instrumental dimension of education. At the same time, concern focusses on the extrinsic aspects related to the economy and the political environment of the educational system, as well as on the quality of the intrinsic aspects involving cultural identity and the specific pedagogical activities of educational institutions. 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 mediation5 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.6 In educational management, the functionalist tradition is historically founded upon the classical and psycho-sociological theories of organization and administration which are primarily concerned with order, equilibrium, harmony, integration —in short, with consensus derived from general pre-established principles. 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.8 From the beginning, Western theory in educational administration was also significantly influenced by those logical positivists who founded the Vienna Circle in 1923.9 The influence of the anti-metaphysical and mathematical empirism of the neopositivism of the Vienna Circle was particularly decisive in the social sciences and in education in North America and Great Britain, as well as Germany, Austria and other countries in continental Europe. 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.10 Other important interpreters of the positivist and functionalist concepts in the field of educational administration in the Western world were protagonists of general theories of administration, such as Barnard and Simon, and scholars graduated in sciences, such as Griffith. 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 Guba12 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. Based on the priority placed upon one of the three dimensions, it is possible to think of three different constructions of educational management with their respective types of mediation and their corresponding prevailing criteria of administrative performance: (1) bureaucratic administration, in which mediation is normative, since it emphasizes the institutional dimension of organizational behavior; (2) idiosyncratic administration, in which mediation is personalist, since it emphasizes the individual dimension; and (3) integrating administration, in which mediation is ambivalent, since it emphasizes, simultaneously or alternatively, the institutional dimension and/or the individual dimension. 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.13

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. 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.

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

As a heuristic and praxeological construction of educational management, idiosyncratic administration conceptually derives from the psychological theories of administration associated with the human relations movement developed by Mayo, Roethlisberger, and Dickinson during the worldwidwide Great Depression of the late 1920’s.15 Applied to educational management, the idiosyncratic construction (related to idiosyncracy, from the Greek idios, own, special, individual; and synkrasis, character, nature) takes the form of an administrative style which emphasizes the individual dimension of the educational system, and is oriented, primarily, toward the satisfaction of personal need-dispositions of its participants. 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. 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.16 Applied to educational management, the integrating construction (which produces integration, from the Latin integratione, the action of making a totality from complementary parts) deals simultaneously or alternatively with the sociological and psychological aspects of the educational system, and of its schools and universities. 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. In daily activities, integrating administrators are concerned with simultaneously or alternatively responding to institutional expectations and/or to individual need-dispositions. 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. The evaluation of these studies demonstrates that since the 1930’s, the authors sought their conceptual and methodological elements in the classical and behavioral theories of administration developed in Europe and the United States of America. 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 1930 and 1970 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.18

Criticisms of the functionalist perspectives of consensus administration target their positivist foundation.19 Due to the commitment of positivism to structural and cultural maintenance of society and of education, functionalist administration is characterized by its limited critical capacity. 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.20

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.21 The book reflects the intensity of the contemporary theoretical debate among American and European sociologists devoted to re-evaluating sociological functionalism and conceptualizing new alternatives. 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. 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. As applied to education, the structuralist perspective turns fundamentally on the institutional reproductivist interpretations of education and society advanced in the 1960’s and 1970’s by Althusser, Bourdieu and Passeron, Baudelot and Establet, and Bowless and Gintis. 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.

Besides Althusser, Bourdieu also tried to elaborate a structuralist model of sociological and educational analysis founded, mainly, on Durkheim and, to a lesser degree, on Marx and Lévi-Strauss, with the purpose of studying a great variety of questions on the relationship among culture, structure, and education. 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. This is also the case with Althusser’s economic reproductive model and of the economic approach developed by Bowles and Gintis in the United States.

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. For Althusser_s followers, the economic dimension determines all other dimensions of the educational system, such as the cultural and political ones. 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.

It is within this interdisciplinary and cross-fertilizing perspective that Greenfield’s thesis arose to undermine the foundations of organizational and administrative theories prevailing in education for more than half a century.39 Greenfield associates organization with ideology and adopts a perspective of educational administration that is, all at once, existentialist, anarchist, and phenomenological. He presents a biting critique of organization and administrative theories adopted in the field of education, particularly functionalist systems theory. In his opinion, structural-functionalism leads to “sterile research” and represents an “ideological hegemony” in administrative studies. He argues that there exists “a bond that is at once existential and moral” between social scientists and those whose lives they try to explain. His subjectivistic approach condemns the theory that seeks to control social reality instead of seeking to interpret and clarify the process through which “we create our social and organizational world.” Contrary to the universality and neutrality of science as defended by the advocates of positivism, he champions the coexistence of theoretical approaches, and postulates that social and organizational theories are expressions of ideology and of moral judgements about the world.

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. In the conceiving of the dialogical perspective (from the Greek dialogikós, related to dialogue, discussion, conversation), its protagonists resort to modern interpretations, which range from Marxism to functionalism, passing through critical theory, existentialism, and phenomenology. Gramsci and Habermas in Europe, and Freire and Saviani in Latin America are leading lights of this intellectual movement.41 Each of the four scholars made original contributions to contemporary philosophical and educational thinking.

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. It is within this perspective that is possible to interpret the dialectic vision of organizational theory introduced by Benson in the United States of America, Bates’ critical approach to educational administration in Australia, and Cury’s conceptualization of a critical theory of the educational phenomenon in Brazil. 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. The multiple contradictions that characterize the educational system require a paradigm of educational administration capable of performing a dialectical mediation, based on the thesis that “the category of contradiction is the basis for a dialectical methodology.” From this point of view, educational administration concretely and substantively mediates between the educational system and society with its economic, political, and cultural institutions; between the totality of the educational system and its component parts; between concrete realities and their theoretical abstractions; between the social context of pedagogical theories and the practical concerns of their creators; and among the different groups of participants in the educational system.

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. In sum, if an educational system adopts dialogical management as its administrative style, totality takes precedence over both individual subjectivity and institutional objectivity.

The Limits of the Interactionist Constructions

The three interactionist constructions of educational administration are different in terms of their types of mediation and their prevailing criteria of administrative performance. They are also different regarding the position of their protagonists and interpreters on the human condition in society, their definition of the quality of life and of education, and their concepts of freedom, equity, participation, and democracy.

Structuralist administration performs a determinist mediation and emphasizes objectivity in administrative practice. The structuralist perspective of administration is materialist, with static and self-regulating characteristics, and with reduced space for the practice of freedom and human interaction. The concern over objectivity, and over structural and material aspects of society implies a passive concept of human action to promote the quality of life and of education. Because of its determinist and self-regulating orientation, the structuralist construction inhibits the effective practice of democracy and the responsive participation of citizens in defining their individual and collective destiny.

Interpretive administration performs a reflexive mediation and emphasizes subjectivity in administrative practice. The interpretive perspective is intentional and existential. Freedom is its fundamental value. The concern over subjectivity and individual autonomy implies a liberating concept of human existence and of education. These characteristics reveal that although the interpretive construction favors individual human action, it inhibits the practice of participation as a strategy of collective human action in society, and in its schools and universities.

Dialogical administration performs a dialectical mediation and adopts the concept of totality as criterion of administrative performance. The dialogical perspective tries to explain the multiple contradictions that characterize human existence in society and its organizations. From the operational point of view, the dialogical construction is synthetic, trying to transcend both the economic and materialist objectivism of the structuralist perspective and the existentialist and anarchist subjectivism of the interpretive paradigm. The concern over social transformation and human emancipation implies a substantive concept of the quality of life and education based on solidarity and the search for common well-being. Philosophically, the dialogical construction identifies itself with the democratic socialism advanced by progressive forces involved in the reconstruction of the socialist perspective and the nature of human civilization which it implies in the postmodern age.46

The conflict tradition in education and organizational and administrative theory has had a penetrating influence in Latin America and the Caribbean since the 196’0s. Protagonists of the pedagogy of conflict in Latin America concentrate their criticism on educational management theory in capitalist society and try to formulate new conceptual and analytical alternatives to guide educational research and management. Along with these characteristics, there is the concern over social and educational inequalities, human emancipation, social transformation, and the role of ideology and power in school and society. Freire led the most important and influential political-pedagogical movement in the second part of the twentieth century, stressing his concepts of conscientization, liberating education, political pedagogy, and cultural action.47 Freire’s political message and dialogical approach have inspired an enormous number of research and educational projects in Latin America and in all parts all of the world.

Another influential political-pedagogical movement in Latin America is based explicitly on the European theories of institutional hegemony and social and cultural reproduction, as well as on the economic, sociological, and educational contributions of the so-called American left.48 For two decades, institutional and reproductivist theories imported from Europe and North America have invaded editorial offices and institutions of higher education in Latin America and the Caribbean, and their concepts have inspired numerous academic activities, seminars, dissertations, research, and publications.

Finally, in the 1980’s, appears a third political-pedagogical movement, committed to the re-evaluation of the Latin American experience in the international context and with the development of critical conceptual perspectives and participative practices of educational management able to meet, in a more responsive and relevant way, the necessities and aspirations of Latin American society.49 This political-pedagogical movement systematically critiques of institutional and reproductivist theories imported from industrialized countries during the last decades. The movement also adopts a critical position regarding functionalist and developmental theories. The purpose of this movement is to conceive new conceptual and praxeological educational perspectives in light of the aspirations and necessities of Latin America and the Caribbean within the new international context.

At the beginning of the 1990’s, the protagonists of Latin American thought face new challenges regarding the study and practice of education and educational management. In fact, the study of educational management in the conflict tradition is accompanied by a growing epistemological debate over its theoretical foundations, its methodological approaches and its praxeological applications. While some critics point out practical limitations to the interpretive construction of educational management, others question a number of contributions made by historical materialism to current educational administration. Due to the close links between education and society, the hypothesis is that conceptual and praxeological constructions of educational management can only succeed if they are part of a global struggle for political change in society. This fundamental issue continues to challenge the capacity and creativity of phenomenologists and existentialists, who face difficulties of a structural nature, because they have been unable to address major large-scale social problems that affect contemporary education. The concern over macro power structures of education and society is particularly accentuated in the structuralist paradigm of interactionist administration. However, current evidence confirms that many values and ideals advanced by Marxism could not generate the material correlates in the socialist countries of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. The result was the collapse of concrete socialism, which is accompanied by a renewed intellectual activity in the aforementioned countries, and an identity crisis among the forces traditionally defined at the left of the political spectrum in the Western Hemisphere.

In this international context, what are the contributions of the conflict scholars to Western education today? First, revelation of the contradictions of the capitalist world and the critique of its educational and social reality represent important contributions. In addition, their principal themes — such as the role of power and conflict, the search for equity and social justice, and the ideals of human emancipation and social change— have an undeniable current relevance. Another important contribution has been that of stimulating the imagination and of challenging the creativity of policy-makers and educators all over the world to overcome the limitations of their educational systems.

However, modern criticism also highlights the limited ability of the conflict tradition to explain comprehensively specific historical situations and to provide concrete solutions to educational problems within different geographical domains. Today this issue is of great importance due to the reform movements that have arisen lately in Eastern European countries and that question systems of political and educational organization which have been in force for many decades. The current international reconstructionist movements present a new effort to evaluate Latin American historical experience, with the purpose of constructing a new human civilization based on the correct articulation of the concepts of freedom and equity within the context of the new international economic and political order.

Conclusion:
Critical Thinking and Collective Human Action

As illustrated in the previous pages, functionalism and interactionism in educational management represent two opposing theoretical traditions founded upon different concepts of the human being, different theories of society, different philosophies of science, and different pedagogical orientations. For the purposes of this essay, each of the two grand traditions of educational management, reveals at least three different constructions of administration with their respective types of mediation, based on the corresponding emphasis given to the three following dimensions or strands of the educational system: institutional or objective dimension; individual or subjective dimension; and group or holistic dimension. In this sense, it is possible to conceive three major constructions of functionalist administration (bureaucratic administration, idiosyncratic administration, and integrating administration) and three major constructions of interactionist administration (structuralist administration, interpretive administration, and dialogical administration). Two constructions of educational management emphasize the institutional or objective dimension (bureaucratic administration and structuralist administration), two emphasize the individual or subjective dimension (idiosyncratic administration and interpretive administration); and two emphasize the group or holistic dimension (integrating administration and dialogical administration). Figure 3.1 contains a schematic presentation of these concepts.

FIGURE 3.1

CONCEPTUAL AND PRAXEOLOGICAL CONSTRUCTIONS OF
EDUCATIONAL MANAGEMENT

Theoretical Traditions:
Analytical Dimensions
Functionalist Tradition
of Administration
Interactionist Tradition
of Administration
Theoretical Traditions:
Administrative
Criteria
Institutional or
Objective Dimension
Bureaucratic
Administration:
Normative Mediation
Structuralist Administration:
Determinist Mediation
Effectiveness
Versus
Objectivity
Group or
Holistic
Dimension
Integrating Administration:
Ambivalent Mediation
Dialogical Administration:
Dialogical Mediation
Responsiveness
Versus
Totality
Individual or
Subjective Dimension
Idiosyncratic Administration:
Personalist Mediation
Interpretive Administration:
Reflexive Mediation
Efficiency
Versus
Subjectivity

In addition to describing and explaining the characteristics of the six constructions of educational management, it is enlightening to examine them comparatively, using as an analytical vector the dimension or strand of the organizational behavior that the constructions emphasize. Such a comparative account allows us to identify the similarities and differences among the various constructions of educational management.

Bureaucratic administration, founded on positivism and functionalism, resembles, in certain respects, structuralist administration, based on historical materialism as it is interpreted by the scholars of institutional reproduction. Even though they have different epistemological foundations, both constructions emphasize the institutional and the objective aspects of organizational behavior. Bureaucratic administration is mainly founded upon the rationalist concepts of the sociological functionalism of Weber and Parsons and their associates, while structuralist administration is founded primarily on the institutionalist and reproductivist interpretations of the materialist epistemology of Marx and Engels. Both constructions are primarily concerned with institutional expectations, both are normative, and both emphasize the objectivity of organizational and administrative practices. However, despite the similarities between the two constructions, differences arise in the nature of the norms and institutional expectations, in the meaning of objectivity, and in the concept of structure. Finally, the nature of administrative mediation and the types of participation are different in both constructions, since they are founded upon different concepts of human being, different theories of society, different philosophies of science and, as a consequence, they seek a different quality of life and education.

Equally enlightening is the parallel between the psychologically-oriented idiosyncratic administration and the anthropologically-based interpretive administration. Both constructions emphasize the subjectivity of organizational phenomena and administrative practices. However, the two constructions are intrinsically different, since they are founded upon different social philosophies and different philosophical anthropologies. Idiosyncratic administration is primarily founded upon positivism and functionalism, while interpretive administration is based on existentialism, phenomenology, anarchism, and the humanist interpretation of Marxism. This means that those who emphasize the individual or subjective dimension of organizational behavior assume different positions regarding the school and human condition in society. In fact, idiosyncratic administration is functional, utilitarian, and instrumental; while interpretive administration is actionalist, reflexive, and substantive.

Finally, it is revealing to examine how consensus and conflict scholars try to go beyond the previous constructions. Both the functionalist and interactionist traditions invoke an overriding synthesis within their own epistemological orientations. In the functionalist tradition, the synthesizing thread is that of integration of bureaucratic and idiosyncratic elements: of the institution and the individual, of role and personality, of nomothetic expectations and idyographic needs, of objectivity and subjectivity, effectiveness and efficiency. More than the criteria of effectiveness and efficiency, integrating administration emphasizes the criterion of responsiveness. Its administrative mediation is ambivalent, transactional, situational. Its approach is tactical, pragmatic, psycho-sociological. In the interactionist tradition, the synthesizing force is that of the dialogical contradiction between structuralist and humanist elements of educational systems, between the institution and the individual, between determinism and reflection, between objectivity and subjectivity. More than the criteria of objectivity and subjectivity, dialogical administration is concerned with the concept of totality. Its administrative mediation is dialectical. Its approach is strategic, liberating, socio-political. The protagonists of the two constructions identify themselves with progressive political forces in education and society: on one hand, the interpreters of social liberalism, open to social problems, and concerned with the role of equity; and on the other hand, the interpreters of democratic socialism, committed to redifining the role of freedom and of citizen participation in the reconstruction of the socialist perspective and the human civilization which sustains it.

This comparative account of the similarities and differences among the six constructions of educational management suggests three additional observations. First, the six constructions of administration can be considered as six alternative pathways used in the study and practice of educational management. Acceptance of the existence of the six constructions is based on a type of theoretical pluralism that values the coexistence of theories and practices based on multiple meanings and interpretations of social and educational phenomena. However, in order to avoid mechanical relativism and scientific neutrality, acceptance of the coexistence of the six constructions should be subordinated to a critical position and a political commitment to the furthering of the quality of human life in society and in education.

The second observation has to do with the risk that the six constructions may be too rigid. But, of course, the six constructions are heuristic elaborations and, as such, they do not exist in pure form in real life. In order to overcome the traditional dichotomy between theory and observation, the different analytical perspectives should be submitted to a permanent process of scientific construction and reconstruction. Only in this way they can be effective instruments to reach the essence of the changing educational process and to interpret correctly different forms of educational organization and administration.  

The third observation has to do with the nature of the professional performance of educational administrators, which cannot be evaluated exclusively from the point of view of philosophical orientations and the political interests associated with certain management perspectives. The fact is that, in any situation, there is always room for a continual deconstruction and reconstruction of education and society. In this context, current conceptual and analytical efforts increasingly attempt to study education and educational management within the economic, political, and cultural contradictions and diversities of postmodern society. These efforts are based on the cross-fertilization of contributions from different constructions or paradigms of current education and social sciences. The most creative studies are based on a new critical perspective to examine organizational life according to recent theoretical developments, mediated by an ethical orientation committed to promoting the quality of human life.50

These observations suggest the need to develop a renewed critical theory of educational administration capable of explaining comprehensively the administrative practices that occur in the school, the university, and the educational system as a whole, in light of the concept of the quality of human life. The assumption is that the correct utilization of the reflexive potential of critical inquiry would submit the different constructions of educational management to permanent epistemological analyses, with the aim of assessing the value and limits of their theoretical foundations and methodological procedures. Thus understood, critical thinking, reviewed in light of recent reconstructionist efforts in organizational sociology and educational management, becomes a transcending conceptual and analytical instrument in the field of educational administration. Critical inquiry deserves special attention on the part of educational administrators since it enhances the mediation between theory and practice, between reflection and the possibilities of human action.

However, vanguard critical efforts in the field of organizational sociology and educational management have spent more time and energy denouncing the social and educational situation than defining ways to improve the quality of life and education. In short, because of the reflexive characteristics of critical theory in education and its administration, the task of finding solutions has fallen by the wayside. Consequently, a comprehensive perspective by which to guide research and practice has yet to emerge. Therefore, the transition from critical evaluation to concrete proposals presents a great challenge to educational management as a mediating process. The way to meet this challenge is through citizen participation, conceived as a right and duty of every member of a democratic society.

Participation and democracy are two closely linked concepts. They make it necessary to conceive genuine democratic perspectives of educational management as processes of citizen participation in light of the concept of the quality of human life.52 Such an initiative insists that creating a relevant and effective educational system is a top priority in every project of social transformation. This priority is particularly important in Latin American and Caribbean nations because, in order to consolidate their political achievements, they need to establish effective systems of education and educational management, based on the conviction that schools and universities can be powerful means for constructing democracy as a political means of attaining sustained human development and improving the collective quality of human life.

 

NOTES

1. This essay incorporates revisions of conceptual and analytical developments published earlier by Benno Sander, “Consenso e Conflito na Administração da Educação,” Revista Brasileira de Administração da Educação, Porto Alegre, vol. 1, nº 1, 1983, pp. 12-34; B. Sander, ”A administração da Educação como Processo Mediador," Revista Brasileira de Administração da Educação, Porto Alegre, vol. 2, nº 1, 1984, pp. 38-62; B. Sander, Consenso e Conflito: Perspectivas Analíticas na Pedagogia e na Administração da Educação, São Paulo and Niterói, Editora Pioneira/Universidade Federal Fluminense, 1984; B. Sander, Educación, Administración y Calidad de Vida, Buenos Aires, Ediciones Santillana, 1990; B. Sander “Gestión Educativa y Calidad de Vida,” La Educación, Washington, DC, year 38, nº 118, 1994, pp. 237-264.

2. Pedro Demo, Avaliação Qualitativa, São Paulo, Cortez Editora, 1987, p. 15.

3. Benno Sander, Educación, Administración y Calidad de Vida, Buenos Aires, Ediciones Santillana, 1990, p. 10.

4. United Nations Development Program, Informe sobre Desarrollo Humano, 1994, México, DF, Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1994, p. 15.

5. For a discussion of mediation as a formal and concrete analytical category, see Benno Sander, Educación, Administración y Calidad de Vida, Buenos Aires, Ediciones Santillana, 1990, pp. 143-145; Guiomar Namo de Mello, Magistério de 1º Grau: Da Competência Técnica ao Compromisso Político, São Paulo, Cortez Editora, 1982, pp. 22-34; Carlos Roberto Jamil Cury, Educação e Contradição: Elementos Metodológicos para uma Teoria Crítica do Fenômeno Educativo, São Paulo, Cortez Editora, 1985.

6. For a more extensive discussion of the functionalist tradition of consensus administration, see Benno Sander, Educación, Administración y Calidad de Vida, Buenos Aires, Ediciones Santillana, 1990, chapter 10, pp. 159-176.

7. Auguste Comte, Cours de Philosophie Positive, Paris, 1830-1842; Herbert Spencer, System of Synthetic Philosophy, London, 1862-1892; Vilfredo Pareto, Tratatto di Sociologia Generale, 1916; Émile Durkheim, The Rules of the Sociological Method, Chicago, The University of Chicago Press, 1938.

8. Kurt Lewin, A Dynamic Theory of Personality, New York, McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1935; George Homans, The Human Group, New York, Hartcourt, Brace and Company, 1950; Robert K. Merton, Social Theory and Social Function, New York, The Free Press of Glencoe, 1957; Talcott Parsons, The Social System, New York, The Free Press of Glencoe, 1949; Talcott Parsons and Edward Shills, eds., Toward a General Theory of Action, Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 1951.

9. A recent review of the impact of logical positivism on the development of administrtive theory in Western education is found in Jack A. Culbertson, Building Bridges: UCEA’s First Two Decades, University Park, Pennsylvania, University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA), 1995, pp. 34-46. See also the discussion on the foundations of logical positivism in Viktor Kraft, The Vienna Circle: The Origin of Neopositivism, New York, Philosophical Library, 1953; P. Achinstein and S. F. Barker, eds., The Legacy of Logical Positivism, Baltimore, The Johns Hopkins Press, 1969; O. Neurath, Le Développement du Cercle de Vienna et l’Avenir de l’Empirisme Logique, Paris, Librerie Scientifique Herman et Cie., 1935.

10. A. P. Coladarci and J. W. Getzels, The Uses of Theory in Educational Administration, Stanford, California, Stanford University School of Education, 1955; Andrew W. Halpin, Theory and Research in Administration, New York, McMillan, 1966; Andrew W. Halpin, ed., Administrative Theory in Education, Chicago, Midwest Administrative Center, University of Chicago, 1958; John K. Hemphill, “Personal Variables and Administrative Styles,” Behavioral Science and Aducational Administration, Sixty-Third Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education, Part II, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1964; Jacob W. Getzels and Egon G. Guba, “Social Behavior and the Administrative Process,” School Review, nº 65, 1957, pp. 423-441; Jacob W. Getzels, James L. Lipham, and Roald F. Campbell, Educational Administration as a Social Process: Theory, Research and Practice, New York, Harper and Row Publishers, 1968.

11. Chester I. Barnard, The Functions of the Executive, Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 1938; Herbert A. Simon, Administrative Behavior, New York, McMillan, 1945; Daniel E. Griffiths, Administrative Theory, New York, Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1959.

12. Jacob W. Getzels and Egon G. Guba, “Social Behavior and the Administrative Process,” School Review, nº 65, 1957, pp. 423-441; Jacob W. Getzels, James L. Lipham, and Roald F. Campbell, Educational Administration as a Social Process: Theory, Research and Practice, New York, Harper and Row Publishers, 1968.

13. The three functionalist perspectives of consensus administration are conceptual constructs developed on the basis of the leadership styles conceived by Guba and Bidwell and by Moser, in the light of the initial formulations advanced by Getzels and Guba. A description of the three styles, originally defined as nomothetic, idiographic, and transactional, can be found in Egon G. Guba y Charles E. Bidwell, Administrative Relationships, Chicago, 1957; Robert P. Moser, “The Leadership Patterns of School Superintendents and School Principals,” Administrator’s Notebook, nº 6, September 1957, pp. 1-4. See also Jacob W. Getzels, James L. Lipham, and Roald F. Campbell, Educational Administration as a Social Process, New York, Harper and Row, 1968, pp. 145-150; Wayne K. Hoy, and Cecil G. Miskel, Educational Administration: Theory, Research and Practice, New York, Random House, 1982, pp. 68-71; Paula Silver, Educational Administration: Theoretical Perspectives on Practice and Research, New York, Harper and Row Publishers, 1983, pp. 239-268.

14. See Frederick W. Taylor, Principles of Scientific Management, New York, Harper and Row Publishers, 1911; Henri Fayol, Administration Industrielle et Générale, Paris, Dunod, 1916; Max Weber, The Theory of Social and Economic Organization, New York, The Free Press, 1964.

15. Elton Mayo, The Human Problems of an Industrial Civilization, New York, McMillan Book Company, 1933; Fritz J. Roethlisberger and William J. Dickson, Management and the Worker, Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1939.

16. Chester I. Barnard, The Functions of the Executive, Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 1938; Herbert A. Simon, Administrative Behavior, New York, McMillan, 1945; Daniel E. Griffiths, Administrative Theory, New York, Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1959; Jacob W. Getzels and Egon G. Guba, “Social Behavior and the Administrative Process,” School Review, nº 65, 1957, pp. 423-441; Jacob W. Getzels, James L. Lipham, and Roald F. Campbell, Educational Administration as a Social Process: Theory, Research and Practice, New York, Harper and Row, 1968; Chris Argyris, Integrating the Individual and the Organization, New York, Wiley, 1964; Douglas M. McGregor, The Human Side of Enterprise, New York, McGraw-Hill, 1960; A. W. Halpin, Theory and Research in Education, New York, McMillan, 1966.

17. See Carlos Corrêa Mascaro, A administração Escolar na América Latina, Salvador, Bahia, ANPAE, nº 4, 1968; Benno Sander and Thomas Wiggins, “Cultural Context of Administrative Theory: In Consideration of a Multidimensional Paradigm,” Educational Administration Quarterly, vol. 21, nº 1, winter, 1985, pp. 95-117; B. Sander, “Gestion et Administration des Systèmes Éducatifs: Problématique et Tendances,” Perspectives, Paris, vol. 19, nº 2, 1989, pp. 249-266; Carlos E. Olivera, The Administration of Educational Development in Latin America, Paris, UNESCO, International Institute of Educational Planning, 1979.

18. Among the main professional associations committed to knowledge construction in educational management in Latin America and the Caribbean are: the Brazilian National Association of Professionals in Educational Administration (ANPAE), the Inter-American Society for Educational Administration, the Brazilian National Association of Educational Research and Graduate Studies (ANPEd), and the Caribbean Society for Educational Administration (CARSEA). The cooperative action between the Brazilian National Association of Professionals in Educational Administration (ANPAE) and the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) from the United States was the fundamental institutional bridge for the creation of the Inter-American Society for Educational Administration in 1979 and for the development of inter-American cooperation in the field of educational administration. See Jack A. Culbertson’s chapter “Reach Across the Seas” of his recent book Building Bridges: UCEA’s First Two Decades, University Park, Pennsylvania, University Council for Educational Administration, 1995, pp. 177-207.

19. Professional literature presents a number of critical studies of the twentieth century organizational and administrative theory in education. Among recent studies, see for example, Benno Sander, Educación, Administración y Calidad de Vida, Buenos Aires, Ediciones Santillana, 1990; Jack Culbertson, Building Bridges, University Park, Pennsylvania, University Council for Educational Administration, 1995; Daniel E. Griffiths, “Theories: Past, Present, and Future,” Paper presented at the International Intervisitation Program in Educational Administration, Niegria, 1982; Richard Bates, “Towards a Critical Practice of Educational Administration,” Studies in Educational Administration, CCEA, nº 27, september, 1982; Thomas B. Greenfield, “Theory about Organizations: A New Perspective and its Implications for Schools,” in Meredidd Hughes, ed., Administering Education: International Challenge, London, The Athlone Press, 1975, pp. 71-99; José Camilo dos Santos Filho, “Administração Educacional e Desenvolvimento Social,” Revista Brasileira de Administração da Educação, Porto Alegre, vol. 1, nº 1, 1982, pp. 46-64.

20. Frederick Suppe, The Structure of Scientific Theories, Urbana, University of Illinois Press, 1977, p. 632.

21. Jeffrey Alexander, ed., Neofunctionalism, Beverly Hills, California, Sage Publications, Inc., 1985.

22. The epistemological movement committed to the study of the limits of the positivistic foundations of educational organizational and administrative theories and to the examination of superseding possibilities is reflected in the intellectual turmoil that characterizes recent publications, such as: D. C. Phillips, “After the Wake: Postpositivistic Educational Thought,” Educational Researcher, vol. 12, nº 5, 1983, pp. 4-12; Elliot W. Eisner, “Anastasia Might Still Be Alive, but the Monarchy is Dead,” Educational Researcher, vol. 12, nº 5, 1984, pp. 13-24; Flora Ida Ortíz, “Response to the Phillips-Eisner Papers,” Organization Theory Dialogue, vol. 4, nº 1, 1984, pp. 2-4; William Foster, “Some Comments on Logical Positivism,” Organization Theory Dialogue, vol. 4, nº 1, 1984, pp. 4-9; Alberto Guerreiro Ramos, A Nova Ciência das Organizações: Uma ReConceituação da Riqueza das Nações, Rio de Janeiro, Fundação Getúlio Vargas, 1981; Donald J. Willower, “Educational Administration: Some Philosophical and Other Considerations,” Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 19, nº 2, 1981, pp. 115-139; C. J. B. McMillan and James W. Garrison, “Using the New Philosophy of Science in Criticizing Current Research Traditions in Education,” Educational Researcher, vol. 13, nº 10, december, 1984, pp. 15-21; Jeffrey Alexander, ed., Neofunctionalism, Beverly Hills, California, Sage Publications, Inc., 1985.

23. Karl Marx, El Capital, México, Fondo de Cultura, 1966.

24. Soren A. Kierkegaard, Filosofiske Smuler, 1844; Jean-Paul Sartre, L’Étre et le Néant, 1943; Immanuel Kant, Kritik der reinen Vernunft, 1781.

25. Immanuel Kant, Die Metaphysik der Sitten, 1797; Johann Gettlieb Fichte, Darstellung der Wissenschaftslehre, 1801; George W. F. Hegel, Vorlesungen über die Philosophie der Geschichte, 1837.

26. For a discussion of phenomenology as a method of scientific knowledge, see Edmund Husserl, Ideen zu einer reinen Phänomenologie und phänomenologischen Philosophie, 1913.

27. For an overview of specialized literature on anarchism as a philosophical doctrine and a revolutionary movement, see George Woodcock, Anarchism: a History of Liberation Ideas and Movements, Middlesex, Harmondsworth, 1963. The concepts of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon are particularly relevant in administrative theory as demonstrated, for example, by Jean Bacal, Proudhon: Pluralisme et Autogestion, Paris, Aubier-Montaigne, 1970, and by Fernando C. Prestes Motta, Burocracia e Autogestão, São Paulo, Editora Brasiliense, 1981.

28. See Ralph Dahrendorf, Class and Class Conflict in Industrial Societies, Stanford, California, Stanford University Press, 1959.

29. The most comprehensive conceptualization of conflict pedagogy and of its foundations and objectives belongs to Moacir Gadotti, Educação e Poder: Introdução à Pedagogia do Conflito, São Paulo, Cortez Editora, 1981.

30. Louis Althusser, et al., Lire le Capital, Paris, 1967; Pierre Bourdieu and Jean- Claude Passeron, La Reproduction: Élément pour une Théorie du Système d’Enseignement, Paris, Les Éditions de Minuit, 1970; C. Baudelot and R. Establet, L’École Capitaliste en France, Paris, Maspero, 1971; Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis, Schooling in Capitalist America, New York, Basic Books, 1976.

31. It is important to keep in mind that the controversies over Marx’s contribution to the social sciences has generated different epistemological interpretations, ranging from humanist idealism to economic materialism. “Marxist” epistemology of Marx could better be described as a synthesis of the materialist orientation and the idealist interpretation. Such a dialectic epistemology characterizes the critical and constructive thought of many contemporary scholars.

32. See Louis Althusser et al., Lire le Capital, Paris, 1967. For a penetating critique of the structuralist epistemology of Marxism, see Raymond Aron, Uma Sagrada Família e Outra, Brasilia, Editora Universidade de Brasilia, 1970.

33. Pierre Bourdieu and Jean-Claude Passeron, La Reproduction: Éléments pour une Théorie du Système d’Enseignement, Paris, Les Éditions de Minuit, 1970.

34. The humanist epistemology of Marx is based on his early writings, clearly influenced by Hegel’s philosophical idealism, as revealed, for example, in his 1844 Economic and philosophic Manuscripts, discovered in 1932 and later published in Moscu.

35. Soren A. Kierkegaard, Filosofiske Smuler, 1844.

36. Karl Jaspers, Existenz-Philosophie, 1937; Martin Heidegger, Sein und Zeit, 1927; Albert Camus, L’Homme Révolté, 1954; Jean-Paul Sartre, L’Existencialisme est un Humanisme, Paris, 1946; Jean-Paul Sartre, Marxisme et Existencialisme, Paris, 1962.

37. An interesting collection of papers on educational phenomenology is found in Bernard Curtis and Wolfe Mays, eds., Phenomenology and Education, Mehuen, 1978.

38. See Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Systèmes des Contradictions Économiques: Philosophie de la Misère, Paris, Éditions Marcel Rivière, 1923; P. J. Proudhon, De la Création de l’Ordre dans l’Humanité, Paris, Garnier, 1849. For a discussion of self-management based on Proudhon’s intellectual contribution, see Jean Bancal, Proudhon: Pluralisme et Autogestion, Paris, Aubier-Montaigne, 1970; Fernando C. Prestes Motta, Burocracia e Autogestão, São Paulo, Editora Brasiliense, 1981.

39. Thomas B. Greenfield, “Theory about Organizations: A New Perspective and its Implications for Schools,” in Meredidd Hughes, ed., Administering Education: International Challenge, London, The Athlone Press, 1975, pp. 71-99; T. B. Greenfield, “Organization Theory as Ideology,” Curriculum Inquiry, vol. 9, nº 2, 1979, pp. 97-102; T. B. Greenfield, “Research in Educational Administration in the United States and Canada: An Overview and Critique,” Educational Administration, vol. 8, nº 1, 1980, pp. 207-245. For a critical assessment of Greenfield’s academic contribution to educational management, see Donald J. Willower, “Educational Administration: Some Philosophical and Other Considerations,” Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 19, nº 2, summer 1981, pp. 115-139; Daniel E. Grittiths, “Some Thoughts about Theory in Educational Administration,” UCEA Review, vol. 17, nº 1, 1975; Daniel E. Griffiths, “The Individual in Organization: A Theoretical Perspective,” Educational Administration Quarterly, nº 13, 1977, pp. 1-18; Daniel Griffiths, “Intellectual Turmoil in Educational Administration,” Educational Administration Quarterly, vol. 15, nº 3, 1979, pp. 43-65.

40. Thomas B. Greenfield, “Organization Theory as Ideology,” Curriculum Inquiry, Vol. 9, nº 2, 1979, p. 100.

41. Jürgen Habermas, Theory of Cmmunicative Action (Vol.1), Boston, Beacon, 1984. See also Beno Siebeneichler, Jürgen Harbermas: Razão Comunicativa e Emancipação, Rio de Janeiro, Tempo Brasileiro, 1989; Antonio Gramsci, Os Intelectuais e a Organização da Cultura, Rio de Janeiro, Civilização Brasileira, 1979; Paulo Freire, Educação como Prática da Liberdade, Rio de Janeiro, Editora Paz e Terra, 1967; Paulo Freire, Pedagogia do Oprimido, Rio de Janeiro, Editora Paz e Terra, 1968; Dermeval Saviani, Educação: Do Senso Comum à Consciência Filosófica, São Paulo, Cortez Editora/Autores Associados, 1982. For an overview of Saviani’s influence in Brazilian education, see Celestino Alves da Silva Junior, org., Dermeval Saviani e a Educação Brasileira, São Paulo, Cortez Editora, 1994.

42. J. Kenneth Benson, “Organizations: A Dialectical View,” Administrative Science Quarterly, vol. 22, nº 1, march 1977, pp. 1-21.

43. Richard J. Bates, “Towards a Critical Practice of Educational Administration,” Studies in Educational Administration, CCEA, nº 27, september, 1982, pp. 1-15.

44. Carlos Roberto Jamil Cury, Educação e Contradição: Elementos Metodológicos para uma Teoria Crítica do Fenômeno Educativo, São Paulo, Cortez Editora, 1985.

45. Carlos Roberto Jamil Cury, Educação e Contradição, cit., p. 24.

46. An analysis of the reconstructionist movement of the socialist perspective based on the historical explanations of the recent colapse of concrete socialism is found in Eric Hobsbawm, História do Marxismo, Rio de Janeiro, Paz e Terra, 1992; Francisco de Oliveira, Uma Alternativa Democrática ao Liberalismo, 1992; Carlos Nelson Coutinho, Democracia e Socialismo: Questões de Princípio e Contexto Brasileiro, São Paulo, Cortez Editora, 1992; Gaudêncio Frigotto, “Trabalho e Educação Face à Crise do Capitalismo: Ajuste Neoconservador e Alternativa Democrática,” Dissertation presented to the Universidade Federal Fluminense, Niterói, Rio de Janeriro, 1993.

47. Paulo Freire, Educação como Prática da Liberdade, Rio de Janeiro, Editora Paz e Terra, 1967; Paulo Freire, Pedagogia do Oprimido, Rio de Janeiro, Editora Paz e Terra, 1968; Paulo Freire, Ação Cultural para a Liberdade, Rio de Janeiro, Editora Paz e Terra, 1981.

48. The following European and North American authors of the conflict tradition in education had a penetrating influence in Latin America: Antonio Gramsci, Il Materialismo Storico, Roma, Editori Riuniti, 1973; Louis Althousser, “Idéologie et Appareils Idéologiques d’État,” Pensée, Paris, june 1970; Pierre Bourdieu and Jean-Claude Passeron, La Reproduction: Éléments pour une Théorie du Système d’Enseignement, Paris, Les Éditions de Minuit,1970;  Michael Young, ed., Knowledge and Control: New Directions for the Sociology of Education, London, Collier-MacMillan,1971; Michael W. Apple, Ideology and Curriculum, London, Routledge and Kegan Paul,1979; Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis, Schooling in Capitalist America, New York, Basic Books, 1976; Martin Carnoy, Education as Cultural Imperialism, New York, Mckay, 1974; Henry M. Levin, “A Radical Critique of Educational Policy,” Stanford, California, Occasional Paper of the Stanford University Evaluation Consortium, 1977; Martin Carnoy and Henry M. Levin, Schooling and Work in a Democratic State, Stanford, California, Stanford University Press, 1985; Stanley Aronowitz and Henry A. Giroux, Education under Siege: The Conservative, Liberal and Radical Debate over Schooling, South Hadley, Mass., Bergin and Garvey Publishers, 1985; Henry A. Giroux, Theory and Resistance in Education, South Hadley, Mass., Bergin and Garvey Publishers, 1983.

49. This critical and constructive orientation is found, for example, in the writings of Juan Carlos Tedesco, El Desafío Educativo: Calidad y Democracia, Buenos Aires, Grupo Editor Latino-Americano, 1987; Guiomar Namo de Mello, Magistério de 1º Grau: Da Competência Técnica ao Compromisso Político, São Paulo, Cortez Editora, 1982, cap. 1; Cecilia Braslavski, “Un Desafío Fundamental de la Educación Durante los Próximos 25 Años: Construir su Sentido, La Educación, Washington, DC, year 31, no. 101,1987, pp. 67-82; Pedro Demo, Avaliação Qualitativa, São Paulo, Cortez Editora, 1987; Walter E. Garcia, ”Educación en los Años 90: Ajustes o Desajustes," UNESCO, Congreso Internacional sobre Planeamiento y Gestión del Desarrollo de la Educación, México, march 26-30, 1990; Benno Sander, Educación, Administración y Calidad de Vida, Buenos Aires, Ediciones Santillana, 1990.

50. See, for example, the recent book of Colleen A. Capper, Educational Administration in a Pluralistic Society, Albany, NY, The State University of New York Press, 1993. In the light of a multiparadigmatic perspective informed by poststructuralist and critical theories, this book presents eight studies on educational management concerned with different non-dominant groups in today’s society.

51. The human action approach is identified with a reflexive and ethical sociology which gives a central role to the human being as the determining actor in organizational life and in society. Leading writers of the movement are: Alain Touraine, Sociologie de l’Action, Paris VI, Éditions du Seuil, 1965; Michel Crozier y Erhard Friedberg, L’Acteur et le Système: Les Contraintes de l’Action Collective, Paris VI, Éditions du Seuil, 1977; David Silverman, The Theory of Organizations: A Sociological Framework, New York, Basic Books, 1970; Alberto Guerreiro Ramos, A Nova Ciência das Organizações: Uma Reconceituação da Riqueza das Nações, Rio de Janeiro, Fundação Getúlio Vargas, 1981; Henry Giroux, Theory and Resistance in Education, South Hadley, Mass., Bergin and Garvey Publishers, 1983.

52. For a discussion of a democratic perspective of educational administration as a process of collective participation, see Benno Sander, Educación, Administración y Calidad de Vida, Buenos Aires, Ediciones Santillana, 1990, pp. 201-216; B. Sander, Management and Administration of Educational Systems: Major Issues and Trends, Paris, UNESCO, International Institute of Educational Planning, Booklet nº 2, 1989; B. Sander, “Educational Administration and Developing Countries,” in Coleen A. Capper, ed., Educational Administration in a Pluralistic Society, Albany, NY, The State University of New York Press, 1993, pp. 238-266; Maria Beatriz Moreira Luce and Marisa Timm Sari, “A Educação para Todos Exige uma Nova Ética de Gestão: Participação e Corresponsabilidade,” Em Aberto, Brasilia, year 13, no. 59, july/september, 1993; José Camilo dos Santos Filho, “O Recente Processo de Descentralização e de Gestão Democrática da Educação no Brasil,” Revista Brasileira de Estudos Pedagógicos, Brasilia, vol. I, no. 1, july, 1994, pp. 219-241; Vitor Henrique Paro, “Gestão da Escola Pública,” Revista Brasileira de Estudos Pedagógicos, Brasilia, vol. 1, no. 1, july, 1994, pp. 255- 290. For a discussion of education for democracy and citizenship in modern society, see Emilio Tenti Fanfani, “Escuela y Política: Formación del Ciudadano del Año 2.000,” in Daniel Filmus, ed., Para qué Sirve la Escuela, Buenos Aires, Tesis-Grupo Editorial Norma, 1993, pp. 51-66; Pablo Latapi, “Educación para la Tolerancia? Equívocos, Requisitos y Posibilidades,” in Boletin del Proyecto Principal de Educación en América Latina y el Caribe, Santiago, UNESCO, OREALC, no. 34, december 1994, p. 59-66.