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EDU8311 Concepts and Theories in Educational Management

Semester 1, 2013 Online Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Education
School or Department : Further Education and Training
Version produced : 21 July 2014

Contents on this page


Examiner: Dorothy Andrews
Moderator: Marian Lewis


This course provides a critical introduction to some major paradigms and theoretical concepts in the field of educational administration and examines their relevance to the administration of educational institutions. The course is intended to serve a double function. It stands in its own right as a treatment of basic theoretical ideas and frameworks in educational administration. In addition, it serves as a backdrop to courses such as EDU8312 and EDU8314, other courses in the educational administration core specialisation of the Master of Education. Underlying the course is the assumption that an understanding of theoretical knowledge in the field of educational administration will assist administrators to become more effective in their roles. The complexity of the administrative role is such that practical experience needs to be augmented by an understanding of educational administration as a field of study. Students are encouraged to reflect on their own experience in the light of the theoretical knowledge to which they are introduced. Thus the course is intended to assist them achieve an integration of their experience with formal knowledge about educational administration. Such an approach, it is believed, will provide students with a firm foundation for their future professional development as educational administrators.


This course introduces the field of educational administration largely through perspectives drawn from the field of organisation theory. Students are introduced to the development of thought in the field of educational administration and to a study of the two major paradigms; the functionalist and interpretive paradigms. Students are then introduced to the concept of a post-modern organisation and explore the post-modernist perspective on organisation theory. NOTE: Minimum enrolment numbers apply to this offering. Should enrolments not reach the minimum number required for on-campus study, students may be transferred to the EXT or ONLINE offering and advised of this change before semester commences.


The course objectives define the student learning outcomes for a course. The assessment item(s) that may be used to assess student achievement of an objective are shown in parenthesis. On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. understand the historical evolution of educational administration (Assignment 1)
  2. understand the theoretical frameworks that have significantly influenced the evolution of educational administration (Assignments 1 and 2)
  3. assess the nature of the relationship between theories of educational administration and administrative practice (Assignments 1 and 2)
  4. appreciate the significance of educational administration as a field of academic study and professional preparation. (Assignments 1 and 2)


Description Weighting(%)
1. Development of Thought in Educational Administration 25.00
2. The functionalist paradigm 25.00
3. The interpretive paradigm 25.00
4. Social theory with specific reference to post-modernism 25.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Morgan, G 2006, Images of organization, Sage, Thousand Oaks, California.
    (updated edn.)

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Bolman, L.G. & Deal, T.E (2008), Reframing organizations: artistry, choice and leadership, 4th edn, Jossey Bass, San Francisco.
  • Hasenfeld, Y (ed) 2009, Human services as complex organizations, 2nd edn, Sage Publications, Newbury Park.
  • Limerick, D., Cunnington, B., & Crowther, F 2002, Managing the new organisation, Allen & Unwin, St Leonard's NSW.
  • Mintzberg, H 2006, Structure in fives: designing effective organizations, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs.
  • Murphy, J., & Seashore, K. (ed) 1999, Handbook of research on educational administration, Longman, New York.
  • Owens, R. G 2011, Organizational behaviour in education, 10th edn, Pearson, Boston.
  • Silver, P 1983, Educational administration: theoretical perspectives on practice and research, Harper & Row Publishers, New York.
  • Whether you are on, or off campus, the USQ Library is an excellent source of information

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 45.00
Directed Study 65.00
Private Study 55.00
Workshops 6.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 - 3000 WORDS 50 50 17 Apr 2013
ASSIGNMENT 2 - 3000 WORDS 50 50 05 Jun 2013

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To complete each of the assessment items satisfactorily, students must obtain at least 50% of the marks available for each assessment item.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without (prior) approval of the examiner then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded. No assignments will be accepted after model answers have been posted.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the weighted aggregate of the marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    There will be no Deferred or Supplementary examinations in this course.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. APA style is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use APA style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The APA style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide.