The preparation of educational administrators for the 21st century: A changing paradigm

Donna Marie Narducci, Fordham University


Many university departments of school administration have begun the difficult process of overhauling the methods used to train prospective school leaders. One response to the calls for reform was initiated by the Danforth Foundation. This study analyzed how the four universities that participated in the fourth cycle of the Danforth Program for Professors of Educational Administration used the set of principles of the adopted Danforth Platform to transform their administrator preparation programs. Each process was then compared with the literature on change. The approach used for this research was qualitative. Interviews were conducted with the chairpeople from each of the four universities as well as with a program consultant for the Danforth Foundation. The findings were presented in the form of a descriptive narrative. The change process that took place at each university was in keeping with the literature. Change occurred over the course of several years. It was not an event that involved implementing a single, well-developed plan at one time. The importance of establishing partnerships during the change process was also a finding that emerged from the study. A third finding was that change is systemic. In order to accomplish their goals, each chairperson had to deal with system components and system culture simultaneously. Their continuous dialogue created a culture of collegiality, thus promoting positive risk and continuous improvement. This study underscores the need for prospective school leaders to be educated as transformative intellectuals who think critically about education as it exists while creating new possibilities for schooling. The importance of the chairperson in facilitating and supporting the process was highlighted throughout these findings.

Subject Area

School administration|Higher education|Educational theory

Recommended Citation

Narducci, Donna Marie, "The preparation of educational administrators for the 21st century: A changing paradigm" (1997). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9824345.