Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Higher Education Administration EdD

First Advisor

Edward A. Streeter

Second Advisor

George H. Akers

Third Advisor

Paul E. Hamel


Problem. There appears to be a growing uneasiness with much of current educational administrative theory and practice. It is hypothesized that this is largely due to inadequacies of the fundamental presuppositional platforms upon which these theories, practices, and methods are built.

Purpose. The primary purpose of this study is to discover and present the fundamental and broadly generalizable presuppositional platforms upon which the theory, methodology, and practice of educational administration should be built, and to develop and present a theoretical model for the educational administrative function that is built upon these presuppositional platforms.

Method. The method may be described as a creative historical dialogue where the construction of a thesis and the gradual elaboration of an idea takes the form of adeductive concept oriented synthesis. Larger meanings are developed from a wide variety of multi-disciplinary concepts. This deductive synthetic methodology is characterized by a high degree of autonomy, creativity, and individual effort.

Findings. By subjecting all of reality to a total of man's inquiry, the dimensions of reality are revealed. Therefore, every entity of reality is considered to have an origin (Whence?), to exist in time (When?), and space (Where?), plus an anticipated future destiny (Whither?). Additionally, every entity is characterized by three--physical (What? Who?), pattern (How?), and purpose (Why?)--intrinsic dimensions. This ternary concept of reality appears to suggest a perfect totality, where the origin of the physical materials and the patterns of organization and interaction in a purposive manner have their origin outside of these dimensions themselves.

Within this view, man has a ternary nature where the physical, pattern-mental, and purpose-moral-spiritual dimensions are interactively engaged in a developmental yet continuous and dynamic totality of living activity. The methodology of structuralism and a variety of selected disciplines appear to be supportive of this ternary view of man.

The educational social structure constitutes a specific structure located within a megaparadigm of social structures and is characterized by the ternary physical, pattern, and purpose dimensions and the internal relationships that exist among these three dimensions, together with the external relationships that exist between every entity and structure within the total environment. Central to these structures is theposition and ternary nature of man. The complex matrices of entities, persons, dimensions, and relationships, therefore, constitute the comprehensive and wide generalizable presuppositional features. It is within this view that educational administrative function may be viewed.

Conclusion. Educational administration is, therefore, a ternary function where physical, pattern, and the purposive dimensions of educational administrative situations, actions, and evaluations are located in a ternary educational social structure. These, in turn, are all located in a ternary megaparadigm of social structures which require an account of the total ternary environment. Therefore, the educational administrative function may be seen as flowing out from the complex matrices of the three-dimensional nature (physical, pattern-mental, purpose-moral-spiritual) of reality, man and his social structures, and the three correlated ternary components of situations, actions, and evaluations where quantitative and realistic, qualitative and effective, and purposive and responsible features of educational leadership and administration occur as a ternary function.

Subject Area

School management and organization, Universities and colleges--Administration


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