Title

A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF THE PERCEIVED HUMAN, TECHNICAL AND CONCEPTUAL COMPETENCIES OF SELECTED ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PRINCIPALS, COMMUNITY SCHOOL DIRECTORS, HUMAN SERVICE AGENCY DIRECTORS AND HUMAN SERVICE AGENCY PROJECT ADMINISTRATORS

Date of Completion

January 1980

Keywords

Education, Administration

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

Background. Katz (1954, 1972) advises all leaders perform tasks requiring human, technical and conceptual abilities. Many leadership training programs have been premised upon this belief. Training administrators in community education is a fairly recent occurrence. Most of this training is occurring in the field of educational administration. However, DeLargy (1975) suggests leaders in community education perform different duties than other educators. Literature implies community educators may perform duties similar to those required by human service administrators. Past research is not available to support nor reject this inference. Therefore, this study was conducted to determine if the perceived human, technical and conceptual skills of community education administrators were more similar to the group they are trained with or to a group that performs similar tasks. The variables: sex of administrator, academic training and past administrative experiences were considered in analyzing the data.^ Sample. Administrators in nine Massachusetts cities with 50,000 to 100,000 inhabitants and one certified community school were identified. From the pool of available administrators, 30 Elementary School Principals; 30 Community School Directors; 30 Human Service Agency Directors and 30 Human Service Agency Project Administrators were selected. One research assistant per city was employed. 100% of the data was collected and deemed usable in the analysis of data.^ Statistical Procedures. A questionnaire was utilized for data collection. Content validity and reliability of the instrument were determined by utilizing the KR 20 process. One-way analysis of variance was utilized to compare the perceived levels of competencies of each group. Each null hypothesis was rejected at the .01 level of significance. Two-way analysis of variance was utilized to determine differences in perceptions of males and females. Each null hypothesis failed to be rejected at the .05 level of significance. Tukey's post hoc comparison test was utilized when significant differences occurred. Frequency distributions were utilized to describe academic training and administrative experiences.^ Findings. Community School Directors and Elementary School Principals perceived their human skills more similarly than both groups of Human Service Agency Administrators. Community School Directors, Elementary School Principals and Human Service Agency Directors expressed similar levels of perceived technical and conceptual competencies. However, Community School Directors cited such technical skills as: oral and written communications; finance and marketing more frequently than the other groups. Conceptual skill scores for all groups were distinctively lower than the other competencies. However, community education literature strongly implies leadership based on sophisticated abilities to conceptualize. There was no significant difference in perceived competencies between sexes. However, the ratio of female community education administrators appears to be distinctively greater than females in other educational administrative positions. Community Educators represented about half the past administrative experiences and significantly less academic training than other groups included in this study. Similar levels of perceived skills indicate: Community Educators perform administrative tasks similar to Principals and Agency Directors; or it may infer that it is the profession and not the academic or administrative experiences that effect the perceptions. Human Service representatives and Elementary School Principals were trained in a field allied to their profession. Conversely, Community School Directors exhibited diversified academic backgrounds. There may be a link between varied academic background, minimal administrative experience and School Superintendents understanding of community education's leadership requirements. ^