Now in its Second Edition, The School Superintendent: Theory, Practice, and Cases provides reflective summaries, pertinent questions, and case studies at the end of each chapter to encourage the reader to engage in reflection by linking content with personal experiences. The text provides a comprehensive analysis of the evolution of the school district superintendent position and a blend of theory and practical knowledge pertaining to contemporary practice. 

Role Characterizations

Role characterizations

Key Facets of the Chapter

  • Evolution of role expectations
  • Superintendent as organizational manager
  • Superintendent as democratic statesman
  • Superintendent as applied social scientist
  • Superintendent as communicator

As far back as the late 1800s, prominent scholars recognized the office of school superintendent had become the most influential position in public education. Noted scholar-physician Joseph Mayer Rice (1892) declared that “the importance of the position cannot be overestimated” (p. 11). Charles Thwing (1898), president of Western Reserve University, wrote that many superintendents in the late 1800s were “rendering a service to the people far greater than that which any other citizen was rendering” (p. 30). Despite such accolades, officeholders subsequently were subjected to myriad political and social forces that refashioned their normative roles and ...

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