International assistance to Third World educational management training : a case study of a materials development project
There is widespread recognition of the contribution of training towards strengthening Third World educational management, and international assistance in this area has been increasing. A range of strategies have been adopted by Third World governments and donor agencies to promote training improvement. The central aim of this thesis is to consider these strategies and the possible determinants of their success, with particular reference to one such initiative, the research and materials development project funded by the Overseas Development Administration of the UK 'Training Third World Educational Administrators - Methods and Materials'. The objectives of this project were to undertake research and develop training materials to help improve the quality of training provision for Third World educational managers and administrators. The case study is placed in context through a consideration of the literature of educational management in general and training in particular. The experience in related areas of public administration and business management training is also examined. Reference is made to literature on educational innovation, including western experiences of curriculum and materials development, and on international assistance to Third World educational development. The achivements of the project and the problems encountered are discussed and analysed, utilising a theoretical framework derived from systems theory and theories of change. The case study highlights a number of issues and constraints on international assistance in this area, particularly those concerning assumptions of commonality and cross-cultural influences on the content and processes of educational management training. It is evident that no global generalisations can be drawn, but certain success criteria for strategies involving the development and introduction of materials are identified. It would seem that materials development strategies can only be a partial strategy for training improvement; attention also needs to be given to institutional and staff development. The experiences of alternative strategies are examined, and these, together with the lessons from the case study analysis, suggest that a mix of strategies is desirable. There is a need for further research, and considerable caution is advocated in devising strategies for assistance in this area. The thesis concludes with suggestions as to the more general factors which should be taken into consideration by those concerned with formulating, selecting, adopting or implementing a strategy for international assistance in improving the quality of Third World educational management training.