The development of Richard Bates's critical theory in educational administration
For nearly two decades, in the field of educational administration, Bates's critical theory has been one of the most vigorous challenges to the value neutral approach of traditional theories. He has been a key voice claiming that such theories are ideological and mainly concerned with protecting vested interests and class divisions in society. Despite their theoretical endurance and practical implications, the main ideas advocated by Bates's critical theory have not been examined seriously in the field. This paper analyses the main ideas of Bates's critical social theory in three ways. First, the major intellectual influences that shaped Bates's theory are examined. Second, those areas where Bates and Greenfield shared similar views yet took different approaches are considered. Finally, the main arguments that critics raised against Bates are examined and evaluated.
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