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La Educación
Número: (118) II
Año: 1994


The new international reality at the beginning of the decade of transition toward the twenty-first century is accompanied by a renewed concern about the promotion of the quality of life and education, about the application of the principles of freedom and equity, and about the adoption of democracy as the political pathway for the permanent construction and reconstruction of human civilization. In the light of these concepts and based on the premise that every civilization process is associated with the creation and incorporation of values, knowledge and educational practices, the immediate objective of this study is the presentation and critical interpretation of organizational and administrative theories adopted in contemporary education. In this context, the study analyzes three funcionalist perspectives of educational administration (bureaucratic, idiosyncratic and integrationist) and three respective interactionist management perspectives (structuralist, interpretative and dialogical). The comparative analysis of the various perspectives reveals that they are different in terms of their types of administrative mediation and performance criteria, and in terms of the position of their leaders and interpreters about the human condition in society, their definition of quality of life, and their concepts of freedom, equity, participation and democracy. The author makes specific reference to the influence of international educational management traditions in Latin America and the Caribbean. The study concludes with the defense of critical theory and participatory action in society and in education as effective instruments for the construction of a free and equitable world based on a comprehensive concept of quality of human life.