Date of Award

8-1980

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Department

Educational Leadership, Research and Technology

First Advisor

Dr. Uldis Smidchens

Second Advisor

Dr. Richard Munsterman

Third Advisor

Dr. Georgia VanAdestine

Fourth Advisor

Dr. James Stevenson

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to provide information which will stimulate a forecasting of educational problems and encourage a review of administrative training programs.

The purpose of the study was operationalized through three objectives: (1) to determine whether incongruencies existed between qualifications administrators perceived themselves having and educational problems they identified; (2) to investigate whether administrators and the public perceived the same educational problems; and, (3) to determine if the training needs administrators expressed were related to the educational problems they identified.

The study focused on administrative perceptions of problems and qualifications for the periods 1978-79, 1979-80 and 1980-85. Problems perceived by the public during 1978-79 were also a focal point of the study. Sixteen hypotheses were tested.

Subjects for the study were superintendents and central office-level administrators in the Michigan Association of School Administrators' Region 9 (Wayne, Oakland and Macomb Counties). Data used in the study were generated by two questionnaires mailed to Region 9 members. In addition, the Eleventh Annual Gallup Poll of the Public's Attitudes Toward the Public Schools was used to provide information about educational problems perceived by the American public.

The self-perceived qualifications of school administrators were matched against problems they had encountered or anticipated encountering. For all periods investigated, administrators had qualifications in significantly less than 75 percent of their problem areas.

Administrators were asked what they thought the American public would have identified as the single biggest problem facing America's public schools during the 1978-79 school year. A Spearman rank order correlation coefficient was computed which indicated that the administrative perceptions matched those of the public. However, this finding could not be verified because of tied ranks and the non-mention of 15 of 23 problem areas by administrators.

It was also discovered that administrators desire additional training in their areas of perceived qualification. At the same time, administrators expressed a need for additional training in problem areas they anticipated facing.

For superintendents no support was found for the existence of a relationship between the level of self-perceived qualifications and degree status. The same finding was obtained for central office-level administrators.

The mean Qualification Index score of superintendents with five-six years' experience was significantly greater than all length of service groupings except the group reporting less than one year's experience. Central office-level administrator data did not support the existence of a relationship between levels of qualification and length of service in position.

The study underlines the need for a systematic forecasting of potential educational problems. These forecasts are recommended for use by those responsible for administrative training programs.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

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