This article argues that a major review of the theory of educational administration is required if it is to regain a credible role in academic and practical circles. It does this by considering the case of regional directors in Victoria, Australia, a role similarly endangered on present assumptions and trends. The argument has four major parts. First is a brief summary of some reasons why the dominant theoretical perspective of the field is losing the credibility it once had. Second is a description of the context of a case study about what it is, or was, to be a regional director of education (RDE). Third are some of the major practical and theoretical implications of the case study and how they relate to other recent research projects. Four, on these bases, it is proposed that a new practical theory of educative administration will require a non‐foundational epistemology, a Deweyan moral theory as well as an economic‐political and sociological imagination.
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