Educational management

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An Overview of Educational Management

Educational management refers to the administration of the education system whereby a collective group combines human and material resources to supervise, plan, strategise, and implement structures to execute the functions of an education system.[1][2]

Education is the equipping of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, habits, and attitudes through learning experiences. The education system is an ecosystem of professionals situated in educational institutions such as Government ministries, unions, statutory boards, agencies, and schools. The education system comprises political heads, principals, teaching staff, non-teaching staff, administrative personnel and other education professionals working in tandem to enrich and enhance.[3][4] At all levels of the ecosystem in the education system, management is required. Management involves the planning, organising, implementation, review, evaluation, and integration of clear deliverables of the institution.

The function of educational management can be referenced to Henri Fayol's 14 Principles of Management.[5]


Co-curricular Activities[edit]

Co-curricular activities help students maintain a holistic education and are a key expression of students' interests and talents. These activities also help foster a sense of social integration and add an important sense of commitment and belonging to one's community and country. Co-curricular activities include science-oriented talent development programmes, clubs and societies, physical sports, uniformed groups, and visual and performing arts groups. Co-curricular activities could also include student interests groups such as advocacy groups, botany, personal care, innovation, research methodologies, and current affairs.[6][7][8]

Curriculum Planning and Development[edit]

Curriculum planning and development involves “the design and development of integrated plans for learning, and the evaluation of plans, their implementation and the outcomes of the learning experience”.[9] The role of this department is to design and review curriculum, promote teaching and assessment strategies that are aligned to curriculum frameworks, formulate special curriculum programmes, create clear and observable objectives, and generate useful assessment rubrics.[10]

Curriculum development can be described in a three-stage process, encompassing the planned curriculum, the delivered curriculum, and lastly the experienced curriculum.[9] The curriculum is often shaped by the pedagogical approaches contributed by theorists and researchers such as notable figures like John Dewey, Lev Vygotsky, Jean Piaget, Jerome Bruner, and Albert Bandura.[11]

Pre-school Education[edit]

Curriculum development as the pre-school education level is based on the different school of thoughts. They include but are not limited to:

  • The Froebelian Kindergarten was established by Friedrich Wilhelm August Fröbel when he set up the first kindergarten programme in Germany in 1837. Froebel described three forms of knowledge that he viewed as essential aspects that formed the basis of all learning.[12] Firstly, knowledge of forms of life, which include an appreciation for gardening, animals and domestic tasks. Secondly, the knowledge of forms of mathematics, such as geometry and the relationships with each form. Lastly, knowledge of forms of beauty, which include colour and shape, harmonies and movement.[12] The goals of the Froebelian Kindergarten are awakening the child's physical senses through learning experiences and providing common ground for all individuals to advance. The practices that have been adapted from the Froebelian Kindergarten include teaching materials and activities, as well as education preparation programmes for teachers
  • Margaret and Rachel McMillan were social reformers in England who spend their lives trying to address the problems poverty.[13] The established the Open-Air Nursery School and Training Centre in London. The goals of the Nursery School were to provide loving care, health support, nourishment and physical welfare to children.[14] Additionally, assistance was provided to parents to aid them in caring for and interacting with their children. Pedagogical models on how to engage and interact with young children were also provided. The pedagogical principles of the Nursery School can be found in educational frameworks that require teachers to nurture and teach a curriculum that covers the domains of an exploration of the world, aesthetics, music and movement and literacy.[12]
  • John Dewey formed the theory of Progressive education during the progressive movement.[15][16] The progressive education philosophy embraces the idea that children should be taught how to think. Dewey was opposed to assessments as they cannot measure whether or not a child is an educated person.[17] Therefore, the school community offers learning opportunities that are interesting and meaningful, and prepare individuals to live in a democratic society. Children learn through doing, cooperation, problem solving and collaborations with the teacher acting as a guide. For example, projects in the curriculum encourage exploration, self-discovery and sensorial experiences that translate to a holistic approach. The curriculum focuses on the children's interests and are developmentally appropriate.[18]
  • The Montessori approach was developed by Maria Montessori who believed that children go through sensitive periods, also known as 'window of opportunities'.[19] Every material in a Montessori classroom enhances and develops the child's growth. Materials consist of children's interests and found materials in the natural environment.[19] The whole learning environment is focused on the child, also known as the child-centered environment. The curriculum trains children to be responsive and promote the desire for skills mastery.[20]
  • Waldorf Education was created by Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner. In Waldorf education, there is a great focus on the whole child, in particular the body, mind, and spirit.[12] The curriculum is designed to provoke thought processes, create sensitivity in their feelings, and enhance fluency in creative and artistic representations.[21][22] The Waldorf curriculum consists of storytelling, aesthetics (arts), practical work, imaginative play, and discovery of nature.[23] Modern schools adopting the Waldorf Education are independent, self-governing schools due to the spirituality-based pedagogy.[12]
  • The Reggio Emilia Approach was created in a small northern Italian city of Reggio Emilia. It is influenced by constructivist theories and the progressive education movement, with a commitment to uphold the rights of individuals.[24] Key concepts in a Reggio Emilia school include the child's right to education, the importance of interpersonal relationships amongst children, teachers and parents, and children's interactions through work and play.[25][26] The curriculum emerges from the children's interest and developed through projects and inquiry.[27] Each individual plays an important role in the school and parental involvement is a key aspect of the child's learning and development.[25]

Primary Education[edit]

Curriculum development at the primary education focuses on the foundations of subjects. The curriculum covers the various aspects of Subject Disciplines, Knowledge Skills, and Character Development.[28] Subject disciplines comprise the various core and foundational subjects of Language, Science, Humanities, Arts, Technology, and Social Studies.[29][30][31][32] Knowledge skills involve personal skills and attributes such as communication, critical thinking, teamwork, and judgement. These skills are developed through unique learning experiences based on the school's pedagogical practices, which are aligned with the mission and vision.[33] Character development, according to Eisner, is defined as the implicit curriculum, otherwise known as the hidden agenda of the school.[34] Character traits and attributes include resilience, self-discipline, empathy, and compassion which primarily focuses on the social-emotional development of each student.[35] The curriculum development serves as a springboard towards personal and social capabilities, ethical and intercultural understanding, and sound moral judgement.[36]

Secondary Education[edit]

Curriculum development varies based on the course or stream the student is enrolled in.[37] Curriculum development primarily focuses on core subjects such as Language, Mathematics, Science, and Humanities.[38][39][40] The learning experiences, strategic goals, national frameworks, and school philosophy are also considered in curriculum development.[41] Schools also consider values and progressive skills in the development of a holistic curriculum.[42] Special elective and vocational programmes are also offered which includes social studies, art and music, design and technology and computer studies.[38][39][40] Specialized schools integrate programmes with corporate partners to include programmes such as Information and Communication Technology, Entrepreneurship, Art, Design, Media and Da Vinci.[43][44] Additionally, enhanced programmes in sports, arts, and language are offered in schools with specified goals in education and curriculum.[45]

Tertiary Education[edit]

Curriculum development at the tertiary education level involves specific course design and development. Griffith University describes planning as based on previously collected evidence; the process also involves assessment, technologically informed learning and discipline-based capabilities.[46] Thus, this process aims to prepare students for the workforce, while enhancing their understanding of the subject. Griffith University, for example, considers five key elements in curriculum development; specifically, Learning Analytics, External Peer Review, Peer-based Professional Learning and Professional Learning Workshops.[46]

Educational Technology[edit]

Educational technology involves the integration, planning, implementation and management of Information and communications technology (ICT) for effective learning and teaching.[47] The function of the educational technology branch in the education system is for conceptualization and development of ICT in education, integration into existing curriculum frameworks, staff development, and management.

In modern times, the focus of educational technology has shifted to online and web-based applications, learning portals, flipped classrooms and a whole variety of social networks for teaching and learning.[48]

Educational technology includes ICT but is not limited to the use of both physical hardware and educational theoretics. It encompasses several domains including collaborative learning, learning theory, linear learning, online portal learning, and where mobile technologies are used, m-learning. These domains contribute to a personalized learning model promotes self-directed learning as students take charge and are responsible for their own learning.

Finance and Budget[edit]

This department oversees financial policies regarding the various educational institutes that provides administrative support to schools relating to financial assistance, revenue operations and school funds.[49] Financial assistance schemes include subsidies, allowances, and grants funded by the government, that are applied according to income levels and other factors, such as age or institution.[50] There are also scholarships and awards accorded by merit; however, these may also be reserved for some particular categories of students.[51]

Health and Physical Development[edit]

This department's primary role is to develop safe and effective programmes for educating students on healthy living and physical education. This involves a mastery in a certain sport and a focus on acquiring basic movement skills.[52] The department develops curriculum based on sequential key stage outcomes and the physical abilities of students.[52] An instructional model may be used as a plan for teaching that includes a theoretical foundation, learning outcomes, sequenced activities and unique task structures.[53] The department may promote parental involvement through partnerships with families and communities and may also rely on support from dieticians, physiotherapists, community health services and sporting associations.[54]

Human Resources[edit]

The primary goals of the human resources department are attracting, developing, and retaining staff in the education ministry. They formulate operational policies and systems that directly affect staff's performance and attitudes.[55] The objectives of the department include a review of organisational structures and procedures, staff skills development and enhancement, and leadership succession and transitions.[56][57] These are aimed at fostering greater staff involvement and expansion, eventually leading to the overall goals of the education system.[58][59]

Information Technology[edit]

Information technology refers to the harnessing of high-quality and calibre technology to facilitate efficient administration, management and hence education.[60] This requires the need for perpetual, up-to-date staff training to ensure educators of all levels are fully equipped with the skill sets needed; hence the managerial level has to identify and conceptualise relevant information that is needed to be taught to teachers for the implementation of these IT systems.[61] It is also essential to ensure that these IT systems are reliable, accessible and well assimilated by educators. The department faces numerous challenges as IT systems are vulnerable to perpetrators and hackers. A period of close examination during integration may be necessary to guarantee that educators are using the new applications relevantly and correctly. The information management team is also required to conduct surveys to reflect if the implications of new IT policies in the real-world scenario.


The department is at the forefront of ensuring that students with disabilities are able to participate in the student curriculum on the same basis as their peers.[62] It involves all schools including specialists schools and support classes.[62] This is key to contributing to fair and equal student diversity. Special support services include reasonable adjustments, consultations, and personalised learning. Allied educators are important in providing a high quality of interaction with each child.[63] In addition, a multidisciplinary team consisting of psychologists, special educators, and therapists, is crucial in fostering appropriate and meaningful learning.[64]

Special Education[edit]

Special Education is aimed to facilitate a healthy learning environment for children with special needs or disabilities so that all children can gain an insightful and fruitful learning experience.[65][66] Special Education can take place on two fronts, firstly, in mainstream schools and secondly, in specialised schools.[67][68] The appropriate choice of learning institution depends on the child's needs and the relevant services available. For example, children may display learning difficulties and/or require additional materials while learning. Relevant courses are designed for children with disabilities such as Autism Spectrum Disorders, Intellectual Disability, Visual Impairment, Hearing Loss and Cerebral Palsy.[69] Additional assistance may be provided by applicable social service organisations, non-government organisations, voluntary welfare organisations, and corporate partners.

Student Development[edit]

This department's primary role is to create curriculum and programmes that help promote character, arts, citizenship and moral education, and global awareness.[70] They operate on the mission of promoting individual student excellence, inciting collaboration and discovery, and challenge students to take responsibility.[71] This will equip students with future-ready qualities prepared with 21st-century competencies. Furthermore, schools adopt numerous guiding principles that focus on values, collaboration, culture, integration to approach student development programmes.[72][73] Overseas learning opportunities could be integrated to enable students to become more aware of diverse cultures and backgrounds, with the goal of global connectivity and collaboration.[74][75]


At the Ministry/Department Level[edit]

The ministries and departments of education are responsible for the "design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of educational legislation, policies, and programmes".[76] They provide structured support in strategic leadership, human resources, budget and administrative and management to ensure that the education system functions effectively and efficiently at the optimum levels.[77][78]

At the Institutional Level[edit]

The Board of Education and Principals are responsible for the management of daily operations of the institution.

The school board formulates policies and has decision-making powers.[79] Furthermore, their responsibilities include the regulation of the budget for school expenditure, formulation of strategic vision and mission for the school, and review and enhancement of school policies.[79] Additionally, the school board monitors school performance and report to key stakeholders such as the Director-General and parents. They are also important in build collaborations with community partners such as parents, government and non-government organisations.[80] It is also important to note that the Board of Education can make legal decisions on behalf of the school such as entering contracts and the provision of land.[80]

The principal serves a professional and administrative role in the function of the school.[81][82] Together with the school board, they chart the strategic goals of the school which reflect the mission, vision, and philosophy of the school. The professional duties of the principal are to supervise teaching and non-teaching staff to coordinate and manage day-to-day operations.[81] They are also in charge of the procurement of necessary resources for the school to achieve its strategic goals, and ensuring the staff are trained and equipped with specialised skills (e.g. first-aid, pedagogical practices). Principals are also required to engage parents and community partners and communicate Key Performance Index with the Ministry of Education.[83]

Principals "build school culture" to sustain enhancement programmes and campaigns within the institution.[84]

The strategic goals of a school include achieving excellence and engagement in learning, building character and leadership, develop staff competencies, collaborative partnerships, holistic education, quality student outcomes, lifelong learners, and future-ready.[85][86][87][88]

At the Educator Level[edit]

Teachers plan and implement lessons based on pedagogical practices in educational frameworks.[89] They are also required to manage and update student portfolios to recognise, and assess the diverse domains of development. These domains of development include social, emotional, intellectual, physical, moral and aesthetic. Pedagogical practices are supported by the curriculum philosophy, the goals and objectives of the subject matter, the individual student learning and developmental needs, as well as the teaching profession.[90] The processes involved in educational management at the educator's level are similar to that of the educational ministry.[91] However, the planning, managing, developing and monitoring focuses on individual students specifically.[89] Teachers also adopt classroom management strategies, incorporate instructional approaches that promote independence, discipline, and positive learning mindsets. The teacher's classroom management style influences many aspects of the learning environment. The four styles of classroom management include Authoritarian, Authoritative, Permissive and Disengaged.[92][93][94] Furthermore, teachers utilise a variety of positive guidance and discipline strategies to refocus the student's attention or manage conflicts and disagreements.[95]

Organisation by Country[edit]

Organisational Structure of Education System By Country[edit]


The structure of Australia's education system is bureaucratic in nature. The national and state departments of education are responsible for the regulation of funding of education.

The education system in Australia is governed by the Department of Education and Training which is responsible for national policies and programs. Each state is responsible for the delivery and coordination of their state run programmes and policies.

Organisational Structure of National Department of Education and Training[96][edit]

The department reports to two Ministers, while the secretaries are responsible for the delivery of the department's services. These services include corporate strategy, early childhood and childcare, school and youth, higher education, research and international, and skills and training.

Departments of Education by State[edit]


The structure of Finland's Education System is bureaucratic in nature.[97]

Departments and units of the Ministry of Education and Culture[edit]

The Ministry of Education and Culture comprises[98]

  • Department for General Education and Early Childhood Education
  • Department for Vocational Education and Training
  • Department for Higher Education and Science Policy
  • Department for Art and Cultural Policy
  • Department for Youth and Sport Policy
  • Unit for Upper Secondary School Reform
The Ministry’s common functions are attended to by[edit]
  • Administrative Unit
  • Finance Unit
  • Secretariat for International Relations
  • Communications Unit


The structure of Singapore's education system is functional in nature. Education in Singapore is managed by the Ministry of Education (MOE).[99]

The organisation structure consists of:[83]

  • Political Heads
  • The Academy of Singapore Teachers is intended to build a teacher-led culture of professional excellence centered on the holistic development of the child. The function of the academy is to champion the ethics of the profession, foster a teacher-led culture of collaborative professionalism, build a culture of continuous learning and improvement, and strengthen the enablers of professional development.[83]
  • The Communications and Engagement Group is split into two divisions, communications division, and engagement and research division respectively. The communications division proactively manages strategic messaging and promotes effective communication of education policies and programmes to local and international media as well as the general public.[100] The engagement and research division interacts directly and indirectly with, and engage MOE's key stakeholder groups. It will also build broader MOE capabilities for effective engagement and sense-making which feeds into MOE's policy and implementation process.[83]
  • The Curriculum Planning & Development division develops a curriculum with the goal to meet the needs of the nation, community and individual. The responsibilities include syllabus design and review, teaching approaches and assessment modes, programmes, resources, library services, language centers, and consultancy services.[101]
  • The Curriculum Policy Office functions to develop and review policies involved in the national curriculum. Additionally, the office facilitates sound, balanced, purposeful and effective curriculum, pedagogy, and assessment practices.[102]
  • The Educational Technology division provides the strategic direction, leadership, conceptualization and development of effective integration of ICT in the ICT Master-plan in Education.[103]
  • The Finance & Procurement division is split between the finance department and the procurement department. The finance department manages the ministry's budget and oversees and formulate policies. The procurement department oversees policies and manages contracts and tenders in the procurement process.
  • The Higher Education Group formulates, implements and reviews policies relating to tertiary institutions such as universities and polytechnics.
  • The Human Resource Group "oversee recruitment and appointment, management of establishment matters for Education Officers, Executive & Administrative Staff, Allied Educators (EO/EAS/AED), employee engagement and HR partnerships with schools and HQ Divisions".[104]
  • The Information Technology Branch is the operations department to integrate technology in the different levels of education, including administration and management.[105] They provide expert advice and support on the distribution of information and communication technologies for the purpose of teaching and learning. Additionally, they serve and provide the MOE HQ with the relevant processes and procedures to implement IT infrastructure strategically and effectively.
  • The Infrastructure & Facility Services consists of four branches.[106] The first branch School Campus Department deals with infrastructure planning through the various building and upgrading programmes.[106] They are also in charge of monitoring and reviewing the Urban Redevelopment Authority's policies and plans for land use. The second branch consists of the HQ services branch which oversees policies and planning of the physical infrastructure in the MOE's HQ purview.[106] They also provide administrative policy support for services offered in schools.[106] The School Campus Department is the third branch that manages the school building and infrastructure work. Furthermore, it reviews and develops policies for existing and new schools. The last branch is the Safety, Security and Emergency Branch oversees the system and emergency operations and procedures of schools and the MOE HQ. They are also responsible for the development and implementation of a 'safety culture' in school programmes.[106]
  • The Internal Audit Branch ensures checks and balances in the Singapore education system and ministry. They operate independently to monitor and handle financial and operational audits.[107] Special investigations and reviews are a few of the numerous functions the Internal Audit Branch serves.
  • The Planning department main role is to "manage and analyse key MOE data to support MOE management in decision-making".[108] They function through the Education Policy Branch, Corporate Planning Office, and International Cooperation Branch.
  • The Research & Management Information department conducts research and analyses data that are essential for MOE strategic goals. It consists of the Management Information Branch, Psychological Assessment Research Branch, Research & Evaluation Branch, and Corporate management Branch.[109]
  • The Schools department ensures that there is leadership is of a good standard in schools. It comprises the Schools Division; School Branch North, South, East & West; Pre-school Education Branch; School Appraisal Branch; School Cockpit Administration Centre. Each branch serves a management, administrative support, implementation and consultancy, and an integration role respectively.[110]
  • The Special Educational Needs serve and support students in inclusive environments, as well as special education institutions. They chart the direction for MOE in supporting students with special educational needs.[111] Also, they develop and review curriculum to enrich the learning experiences for students with special educational needs.[111]
  • The Student Placement & Services Division primary role is the management and administration of admission and scholarship matters. They are also responsible for managing the MOE HQ's Customer Service Centre through the strategic implementation of services to "improve the quality of service delivery across all MOE public touch points".[112]
  • The Student Development Curriculum delivers a curriculum that meets the desired goals and vision of Singapore's education system.[113] They oversee the formal curriculum and co-curricular programme, collaborate with key stakeholders to review and revise curriculum, ensure successful implementation of national programmes, and enhance student talent and development.[113]

See also[edit]


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Further reading[edit]

The Difference Between Educational Management and Educational Leadership and the Importance of Educational Responsibility in Educational Management Administration & Leadership by Michael Connolly, Chris James and Michael Fertig.

Theories of Educational Management and Leadership: A Review by Majid Ghasemy and Sufean Hussin.

What is Educational Management? by

Universal Concepts, Nature, and Basic Principles of Educational Management: Implication for Present Day School Management by Nwachukwu Prince Ololube, Erebagha Theophilus, Ingiabuna Ii, and Comfort N. Agbor.