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Decision Making for Educational Leaders: Underexamined by Bob L., Jr. Johnson, Sharon D. Kruse

By Bob L., Jr. Johnson, Sharon D. Kruse

A advisor to selection making for college directors.

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Extra resources for Decision Making for Educational Leaders: Underexamined Dimensions and Issues (S U N Y Series, Educational Leadership)

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The ideas of Simon provide a conceptual foundation on which many theorists have built. As noted in the opening paragraphs of this chapter, there now exists a theory or combination of decision-making theories to match a variety of cognitive and dispositional interests. Initial attempts by students to sort through these theories are challenging. The details and distinctions of each are difficult to keep separate. More often than not the result is more confusion than clarity. Thompson’s (1967) description of the decision process provides the basis for a second heuristic for distinguishing theories of decision at a general level.

Second, understanding the logic behind these heuristics and classifying theories accordingly can help demystify this literature for students. Demystification increases the accessibility of this literature and allows reflective practitioners to appropriate these theories as analytic tools. These decision theories and heuristics also provide the reflective practitioner with a reasonable platform from which to do his or her own theorizing about the decision-making process. This exercise in sense-making facilitates the theorizing of others.

A theoria epistemology promotes a pedagogy that focuses on the transmission and development of the accumulated knowledge of a given subject. For topics such as decision making, this means helping students master the knowledge, theories and technical-procedural algorithms that define the decision-making knowledge base. We suggest that this accumulated knowledge constitutes the science of decision making. As noted above and consistent with a theoria epistemology, mastery of this knowledge has emerged as a proxy for skill in decision-making.

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