The field of educational administration (EA) is characterized by loose scholarly boundaries that enable the permeation of new sorts of knowledge, resulting in some intellectual confusion. The purpose of this article is to probe into the kind of knowledge base in the field that every new scholar should know and read in order to become an expert in the EA field, one who contributes to its knowledge production and academic programs. What is the basic knowledge every emergent scholar in the EA field should be familiar with, regardless of his/her main discipline? In other words, I wonder what sort of knowledge a new field member whose education is in business administration, psychology of organizations, or sociology of education should acquire in order to be competent enough to teach in EA programs or supervise PhD students in this field. My rejoinder is built on the following steps. Emergent EA scholars should realize that the connections between input-process and output are weak in the instructional aspects of the school organization. Emergent scholars trained in another discipline may continue teaching and analyzing educational administration from theoretical and conceptual perspectives that are alien to the basic characteristics of the school organization. Emergent scholars should not only know how to apply models such as transformational and participative leadership to educational institutions, but also comprehend the distinctive meanings of these models in schools. Emergent scholars should be familiar with models that seem to be particular to educational organization such as moral leadership, shared leadership, leadership for social justice, and distributed leadership.
Ethnographic research in innovative education settings and initiatives has shown the practical impact of modern digital life culture and conditions on both research and professional development of curriculum and teaching strategies. Following the process of digitization, themes that are high on political and institutional agenda include “IT-enhanced learning” and the necessity of synergistic organizational and pedagogical development. Ethnographic methodology enables ongoing interpretation of school development as reflected and discussed by professionals and teacher teams, thereby facilitating elucidation of changes and consequences at technical, organizational and pedagogical levels. The general question addressed can be expressed as: How can a digital platform, associated on- and/or off-line learning processes, and the context be understood, described and explored in a practical sense? Against this background, ethnographic research is challenged to go beyond the rhetoric to explore the practical implications of the digital transformation and associated discourse. The challenge has been approached in terms of practice-oriented research facing the digital culture and renewing the ethnographic approaches across the spectrum from policy- and organizational-level to practical learning-level ethnographic investigation. The challenge is also seen as embedded in research which illustrates the potentials for ethnographic multisite studies contributing to that which I express as mapping the field of practice or paradigm, and cross-case studies crossing different learning contexts. The common highlighted theme is that changes in educational systems and practices are necessitating changes in ethnographic practices.