Restructuring Administrative Policy in Public Schooling


285 pages
Contains Bibliography
ISBN 1-55059-054-5
DDC 371'.00971




Edited by Yvonne M. Martin and R.J.S. Macpherson
Reviewed by Michael Kasoian

Michael Kasoian is an elementary-school principal in Burlington,


Drawing upon the 1989 Summer Seminar Public Lecture Series on
Educational Administration, conducted through the University of
Victoria, Martin and Macpherson have compiled a collection of works by
professors involved in studying the restructuring of administrative
policy related to educational change. The articles include a historical
look at education in Canada and both an international and a Canadian
perspective on administrative changes.

The Canadian cases reflect the uncertainty and instability that
surround the administration of schools. Change has resulted in struggles
for control and in conflicts among competing groups that espouse
different political views, economic needs, philosophies, social
influences, and family values.

The concepts of administrative reform, radical change, and
restructuring policy are outlined in the opening chapter of the book.
The 1990s have raised issues about public versus professional control of
schooling and about community versus individual values. There has been a
strong trend toward parental participation in the educational policy and
decision-making process.

Restructuring practices outside of Canada demonstrate the same
uncertainties and instabilities. In the United States throughout the
1980s, there were calls for a return to the basics, and for improvements
in the student/teacher learning process, governance, accountability, and
teacher working conditions. In Thatcher’s England, educational reform
was tied to political initiatives and ideologies. New South Wales based
change on promises to the disadvantaged, parents, children, teachers,
and communities, and tried to address questions of equality, quality,
efficiency, and choice. In New Zealand, social history directed
organizational changes in education.

This collection leaves unanswered many questions about the nature of
educational change and its relationship to politics, economics, society,
and ideology; the door is thus left open for further discussion of the
role that administrative restructuring policy plays in educational


“Restructuring Administrative Policy in Public Schooling,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 13, 2024,