School Leadership: Essays on the British Columbia Experience, 1872-1995

 
9780969698579: School Leadership: Essays on the British Columbia Experience, 1872-1995

The changing character of school leadership in British Columbia is the subject of the essays found in this volume. Through these essays we see how provincial school leadership changed from the time of the gentlemen scholars who staffed schools and the government's small Education Office in the Victorian Era to the men and women who administer today's complex school system as superintendents, principals, and educational bureaucrats. The essays in the first part of the volume examine the character of school leadership in its oldest, most centralized, and most colonial form. Here we find provincial school superintendents and their inspectorial brigades struggling to bring some measure of order, standardization, and equality to schools scattered across an enormous provincial territory.

In the volume's second part, the angle of vision is decidedly different-reversed in fact. Here the school leadership activities of men and women outside the "inner circle" of government are investigated-trustees, locally-appointed superintendents, principals, teachers, and public representatives who often saw the needs of children and communities from a vantage point far different than that of the educational civil service, and who, in more than a few instances, withheld assent to the dictates of the Education Office. These narratives take a "bottom-up" rather than a "top-down" view of leadership, illustrating civic battles for educational independence, the vagaries of city and small-town politics, local indifference to the plight of rural teachers, and women's century-long struggle to gain access and recognition in school leadership's highest ranks.

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About the Author:

Thomas Fleming is a professor of educational history at the University of Victoria. He was born in Dublin and was educated in private, public, and parochial schools in Ireland and in the provinces of Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia. He studied history at the University of Victoria, where he completed B. A. and M. A. degrees, before undertaking further graduate study at Stanford University and the University of Oregon, where he earned a Ph. D. in the history of educational administration. No stranger to the real world of administration, he has managed several private-sector companies and served as Assistant to the President at both the University of Victoria and the University of British Columbia.

Dr. Fleming has written numerous articles on British Columbia school history and policy and was appointed as a research director and Editor-in-Chief of the 1988 British Columbia Royal Commission on Education. He co-authored the volume A History of Thought and Practice in Educational Administration, a study that has become a standard reference work in the history of school management in the United States. He is currently a professor of educational history at the University of Victoria where he recently received the Faculty of Education's inaugural "Excellence in Teaching" award.

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