DEVELOPMENT OF THE ROLE OF SUPERINTENDENT
Early in the 19th century Horace Mann developed a style of educational leadership and administration. It was a practical approach to large scale education where a senior teacher utilized aides or advanced students to teach groups of other students. This was economical since only one teacher was paid, and also proved to be efficient. This practice of monitorial education was not practical in most areas and the practice eventually died out, however, it did serve as a model for late 19th century schools in the United States.
Educational administration was brought about in the mid 19th century following the development of principal teachers. Educational administration was too important to be left to teachers to manage. People felt that leadership needed to be centralized. Trends in education can be linked to those of society. A good example of this is at the turn of the century when the main goal of education was to prepare european immigrants to assume jobs in our booming industry. This drew attention to the field of administration. Educational institutions have grown large and complex to the point that a separate area of study is necessary. The first training program for administrators was not established until the early years of this century at Teachers College of Columbia University. Until then administration was a part of teaching.
The term "Superintendent of Schools" grew out of the teminology of the times, e.g., Superintendent of the Railroad and (Indistrial) Plant Superintendent.
Administration is an applied field which combines business and education, and until recently did not require a definitive training program.
Campbell, Fleming, Newell, Bennion, A HISTORY OF THOUGHT AND PRACTICE IN EDUCATIONAL ADMINISTRATION
Prepared by Lisa S. Schroeder