J.B. Sears on School Principals Then and Now–i.e. 1918

The occasional principal. An occasional principal feels called upon to exercise his authority at every turn, and is satisfied with his accomplishment only when teachers fear him. The principal hews exactly to the line. If his curriculum calls for compositions of three paragraphs in the sixth grade, then three it must be or the teacher will receive a demerit mark.

Such principals are rapidly giving place to a new type of educational director who rules by virtue of a scientific understanding of his work, and by personal qualities of leadership, rather than by authority which has been delegated to him. Such a principal deals with facts and with personalities; gives directions, rather than orders; leads, rather than drives; and expects his teachers to think for themselves.”

Excerpted from: Sears, J.B. Classroom Organization and Control. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1918.

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