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What Happened to Intelligent Judgment?

by Margie Carter
May/June 2011
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/what-happened-to-intelligent-judgment/5019938/

"Bureaucratization is a state in which employees work increasingly by fixed routine rather than through the exercise of intelligent judgment. With bureaucracy, narrowness in thinking emerges. There is a proliferation of hard-and-fast rules and fixed procedures wrongly thought to contribute to efficiency and quality control. . . . All organizations, even small ones, have a natural tendency toward stagnation. This includes a tendency to lose sight of their original goals, a tendency to begin to serve those who operate it rather than
those it purports to serve."
(Richard Paul & Linda Elder, 2002)

We all know the dilemmas of accountability to a bureaucracy, a growing reality with increased standardization and regulations in the early childhood field. Everywhere I go I hear early childhood leaders complaining with examples of the nonsense they feel subjected to in documenting their adherence to particular requirements. Trying to maintain a sense of humor about it, program coordinator Joan Newcomb said,

"I propose that any agency requiring anything more of a child care center be required to file an environmental impact statement about their requirement. Having returned to the world of child care after 10 years in a school, what strikes me most is that everyone's time ...

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