Ethical Foundations for Educational Administration: Essays in Honour of Christopher Hodgkinson

Ethical Foundations for Educational Administration: Essays in Honour of Christopher Hodgkinson

Ethical Foundations for Educational Administration: Essays in Honour of Christopher Hodgkinson

Ethical Foundations for Educational Administration: Essays in Honour of Christopher Hodgkinson

Synopsis

Christopher Hodgkinson is one of the most important contributors to the field of educational administration. This collection of essays open up the philosophical foundations of ethical educational administration by reviewing his writings and exploring the ethical theories of major philosophers, as they apply to administration and leadership. Ethical Foundations of Educational Administration is published in honour of the work of Christopher Hodgkinson. It is divided into two sections. The first comprises biographical essays and a critical evaluation of Professor Hodgkinson's work, focusing on his personal and intellectual contributions to a moral theory of educational administration and leadership. The second section looks at how his moral philosophy can inform administrative practice. The work of a broad range of philosophers is discussed, from the pre-20th century theories of Aquinas, Adam Smith and Kant to the pragmatists Peirce, James and Dewey, Heidegger, MacIntyre, Bourdieu, Churchland and Thagard. Christopher Hodgkinson's definition of administration as 'philosophy-in-action' is now famous within the field. This collection illustrates the essential truth of that maxim, showing that moral philosophy, approached in the spirit promoted by Hodgkinson has both practical and critical purpose when brought to bear upon educational administration and leadership.

Excerpt

One measure of the maturity of a discipline is having major contributors to honour through biographical works and Festschriften. Educational Administration has begun to achieve this status, evidenced recently, for example, in Peter Ribbins's co-editing of many of Thom Greenfield's more significant articles in Greenfield on Educational Administration (Greenfield and Ribbins 1993). This collection of essays, following the traditional mode of Festschriften, is written to celebrate the 75th birthday of another major thinker-and a friend of Thom Greenfield's-Christopher Hodgkinson.

Chris's impact has been of international scope in the English-speaking world of educational administration and leadership. Throughout his major works, Towards a Philosophy of Administration (1978), The Philosophy of Leadership (1983), Educational Leadership: the Moral Art (1991) and Administrative Philosophy: Values and Motivations in Administrative Life (1996), he has challenged the field, perhaps more than any other single individual, to examine its philosophical roots. He may perhaps be 'the more dangerous opponent philosophically,' as Greenfield noted in his discussion of Colin Evers and Gabrielle Lakomski's review of major theories in the field in Knowing Educational Administration (Greenfield and Ribbins 1993:263). Chris's influence has taken two forms. First, he has provided a substantive foundation for educational administration by situating questions of value as central to theory and practice in place of managerial technique. Secondly, he has introduced to educational administrative theory major figures in philosophy and social and political theory whose works provide a touchstone in identifying and formulating the architectonics of a mature and grounded discipline. One can only hope that in a field necessarily professional and applied, this substratum prepared by Chris will make philosophical work in educational administration respectable over subsequent decades as both a scholarly pastime and academic qualification. And, as he intended, as necessary to administrative life, a quality captured in his often-quoted definition of administration as 'philosophy-in-action'. Greenfield summed up Chris's importance as demonstrating 'that a social science of organization can never replace an understanding

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