INSIGHTFUL EVALUATION: THE DEVELOPMENT OF A THEORY FOR THE EVALUATION OF EDUCATIONAL ADMINISTRATORS

DENNIS JOSEPH WILLIAM O'DONNELL, Fordham University

Abstract

The quality of leadership in a school is acknowledged as one of the most important factors in determining its success or failure. Therefore, the methods used to evaluate leadership positions in a school should be one of the main concerns of educators. Over the past 15 years this concern has become evident in the many workshops, articles, lectures, and books discussing the subject of evaluating educational administrators.^ However, almost as numerous as the literature concerning the evaluation of educational administrators, are the criticisms of the current methods of evaluation. These current methods of evaluation can be categorized as the scientific method based in the philosophy of positivism, and the naturalistic method based in the philosophy of phenomenology. It is the contention of this thesis that the main reason for the criticisms of educational evaluation procedures stems from a failure on the part of the naturalistic and scientific methods to base themselves in a philosophy conducive to the needs of educational evaluation.^ This study will introduce insightful evaluation as a more appropriate method of evaluating educational administrators. Insightful evaluation is based in the transcendental method of Bernard Lonergan, a method whose primary purpose is the discovery of authentic knowledge.^ The transcendental method claims that during authentic inquiry a process of related but distinct operations occurs. By following this process one can achieve cumulative and progressive discoveries. It is the aim of insightful evaluation to identify, analyze, structure, and synthesize these operations in order that the inquirer might be better able to experience, understand, judge, and decide (the transcendental notions) about reality and its value in a particular situation.^ Within this context insightful evaluation may be defined as a theory for the evaluation of educational administrators that maintains that there is a normative cognative structure involved in all authentic knowledge, and when this structure is followed, valid and objective knowledge of reality will be acquired. It is the purpose of this thesis to provide the reader (theoretician, evaluator) with a theoretical method for understanding that structure in order that one may personally appropriate the structure to one's particular needs and practices in the evaluation of educational administrators.^ Although the theory of insightful evaluation is conducive to the needs of evaluation in general, this thesis will focus on the needs pertinent to the evaluation of Catholic educational administrators. ^

Subject Area

Educational administration

Recommended Citation

O'DONNELL, DENNIS JOSEPH WILLIAM, "INSIGHTFUL EVALUATION: THE DEVELOPMENT OF A THEORY FOR THE EVALUATION OF EDUCATIONAL ADMINISTRATORS" (1983). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8308488.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8308488

Share

COinS