Purpose: This article’s first objective is to establish the need for elevating the quantity and quality of practice-based research in school administration. The requirement is addressed in relation to (a) persisting social demands for school reform, (b) heightened demands for evidence-based practice in all professions, and (c) persistent criticisms indicating that field’s knowledge base and practice protocols are fragmented and weak. The second purpose is to propose that the need should be addressed at the level of individual preparation programs; specifically, faculty should assume responsibility for identifying and eradicating barriers to practice-based research.
Proposed Conceptual Argument: In the context of an information-based society, practitioners in all professions are expected to access and analyze empirical data when addressing problems and making decisions. In school administration, the failure to respond to this anticipation presents both a social challenge (improving school effectiveness) and a professional challenge (legitimizing the need for practitioners to be licensed), and both are magnified by philosophical and epistemological dissonance among faculty.
Implications: Reliance on external accountability in the absence of internal accountability will neither foster school improvement nor build social authority in school administration. Specifically, persistent indifference toward practice-based research and evidence-based practice will fuel doubts about the efficacy of professional administrators and the need to license them.
Kowalski, Theodore J.; Place, A. Will; Edmister, Julie; and Zigler, Ted
"Need for Practice-Based Research in School Administration,"
Mid-Western Educational Researcher: Vol. 22:
4, Article 2.
Available at: https://scholarworks.bgsu.edu/mwer/vol22/iss4/2