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The Education of Urban Directors in Iran

Authors: Mahmud Saeedi Rezwani (PhD in Syllabus Planning and The Faculty Members of Ferdowsi University Mashhad)
Hadi Saeedi Rezwani Post-Graduate Student in Urban Development, University of Tehran.

Email: saeedy@um.ac.ir
Published in: Modiriyat Shahri (Urban Management) Quarterly Vol.4 No.15-16, autumn 2003 & Winter 2004 pp. 60-69.

This article while traversing in the changes taken place in educating the municipalities and the urban mangers in Iran from the past till present has endeavored to describe and evaluate this education. Serious activity of educating urban managers coincides with the inception of the activities of the Municipalities Union in Iran in the year 1958. After the victory of the Islamic Revolution this activity started after a lapse of many years by the Development Deputy of the Ministry of Home Affairs in the absence of the Municipalities Organization. Finally in the year 2002 the Municipalities Organization separated from this deputy office and continued its activities. The educational programs before the revolution were divided into two types 1) Education on the outset of duty and 2) In-service education.
The programs after the revolution are classified into three groups which are as follows: 1) Education with Culture building purpose; 2) Education for training the urban managers; 3) Short-term education. After critically evaluating the existing education systems the method of "In-service Research" is stressed and proposed as the strategy of the education.
Educating the municipalities, education on the outset of duty, in-service education, short-term education, modular education, work research

1)- Introduction
Urban management in the present world as a final functionary of the local powers has attained ever increasing importance. The urban management has become a complicated affair and the discussion regarding the education of the managers possessing the capability of management and the understanding of the present cities are projected very seriously. In Iran during the last years these discussions have attracted a lot of attention. The present work tries by looking at the past record of the education of the urban mangers in Iran and narrating their achievements from the past till present to know its different kinds, evaluating them and even proposing ways in this regard.
If we take into consideration the education of the urban managers in its general meaning which in a way is connected to the management of the city and municipality we can find its precedent during the period of the formation of the magnificent and great ancient cities of Iran like Hagmatanah, Shush, Elam, Silak and Shahr-e Sukhte (the Burnt City). But due to the lack of the sufficient and reliable documents and information about the urban management and the education of the urban managers of that period we cannot put forward our views about them. The available information about the urban management in the later periods are general and mostly deal with the type of the urban management in different phases of history and the education of the urban managers do not occupy and place in it. For example Minorsky states about the authorities of urban management during the Safavid period "Kalantar (Sheriff), Diwan Baigi (high court), Darugah (headman), Muhtasib (Police Superintendent), Mirab (Water Works Officer)" quoted from Rashidiyah, 1964, p. 158, or Muhammad Ali Furughi, considers the components of the Ihtisab (Commissioner) office which to an extent enjoyed the duties of the present municipality as "Muhtasib (Police Superintendent) was assisted by some assistants, some water suppliers and a few scavengers (Furughi, 1947, p. 137).
If the education of urban managers is taken in its special meaning to train persons in the subjects dealing with the urban management then the record of this topic goes back to the establishment of the Municipalities Union in the year 1958. The subject of education of the municipalities was mentioned in the constitution of the Union as one of its responsibilities and for the first time after that period education of the urban managers achieved a place in the responsibilities of the organizations.
In this article by describing the developments and ups and down in the education of the urban managers it is endeavored with the help of the existing documents to present the correct picture of this subject in the past and present. Likewise, taking into consideration the scientific fundamentals in planning the education it is attempted to evaluate this education and propose ways and suggestions to improve it.
The questions of this research are as follows:
1. When the efforts to educate the urban managers and the municipalities in Iran commenced and till now which ways it has traversed?
2. What was the rate of effectiveness of this education? In other way whether this education was able to solve the organizational problems? By taking into consideration the different objectives of this research basically two methods have been utilized in this research:
1. In the part which portrays the description of the education of the urban managers the documentation method is utilized.
2. In the part evaluating the effectiveness of the education of the urban managers the evaluation method is used in which the intended curriculums are evaluated.

2)- Theoretical Framework
In the traditional approach in the vocational education, after assessing the needs, the necessary contents of education are constituted and presented in the form of systematic and classic phases. This way met with a serious challenge in the 1990's. Probably the first thinker who seriously and systematically criticized the traditional approach was Donalds A. Schon (1987). He in his work entitled "Educating the Reflective Practitioner" criticizes traditional approaches of training professionals and quoting skills states "Technical intellect is a type of epistemology of action with positivist philosophy as its source."
The advocates of technical intellect believe that practitioners are the tools for solving issues who use technical tools for the ascertained special purposes. (Schon, 1987: 3). But Schon believe that "Mostly the problematic positions are counted as unique instances" (ibid: 5).
The other issue which Schon remarks is the contradiction and comparison between the values in a special situation. He generally considers three factors like uncertainty, uniqueness and value conflict for creating situations which cannot be solved by possessing past technical knowledge (ibid:6). He introduces the designing professions like architecture, urban planning, laws and management as possessing the above-mentioned characteristics.
Schon believes that due to the below-mentioned reasons the professions related to planning like architecture, urban development management, cannot be taught but can be learned and guided:
1-Skilled planning of a type of knowledge in action.
2-Planning a type of holistic skills.
3-Skilled planning is dependant on the capacity of the planners to differentiate between desirable and invalid plans.
4-Planning is a creative action (ibid),
According to this basis two famous intellectual theories have been doubted. (ibid: 9). The mentioned theories as follows:
A-Academic research can bring about the technical knowledge of the environment.
B-Professional knowledge imparted in the schools and universities can prepare the students to the needs of the practical world.
The professional training on the whole has been criticized and the professional training of the managers in particular has faced criticism.
Elliot and Reynolds (2001) in the introduction of "The Critical Movement in Management and Manager-Educator Relations" say: the critical movement in management studies in both the domains of theory and manager training action are centralized in three areas.
1) Management Syllabus (like Alson and Wilmot 1992);
2) Management Educational Method (like Friekh and Gerry, 1996);
3) Quantitative research in management [1] (Alson and Ditz, 2000).
Critical experts not only sufficed to criticism but have also introduced new approaches as an alternative for the traditional approaches.
For example Eisner believes that for suitable work and activities in the field of art, the second persons in education should possess eight fundamental characteristics:
1) Knowing relations;
2) Paying attention to intricacies;
3) Knowing the complexity of the issues;
4) Ability to change the purpose during the process;
5) Ability to take decisions in the absence of formulated rules;
6) Employing imagination
7) Training the capability of taking action in the limits of a media;
8) Trading aesthetic framework.
Another approach is the approach of training the reflective practitioner which was introduced by Schon (1987). He especially in the architectural profession based on his research and expertise endeavored to propose suitable ways of education for training reflective practitioners. In his book regarding the training of the architects he had presented reports about the activities and experiences of learning based on his research and observance. In reality, the essence of his educational approach is his "action research" suggestion which will be described in the other part. The point which has to be deliberated are the examples, precedents and case studies which Schon have introduced and it is regarding the subjects in which the real situation is created in class room. Is this possible in the management education? It is a fact that an architecture student while drawing up the map of a building or a student of urban planning while planning an axis or the body of an avenue finds himself in a position resembling its real position but it does not look that the student of urban management will find himself in that situation.
Here an old question arises that "Is the education management payable?" to scrutinize this question, it is better to differentiate between the terms "manager education" and "manager training". Manager training is a process which provides non-managerial person the managerial capability. For example, a group graduates selected to pass post-graduation in management course, here the education of manager means "in-service education" which includes different types of education which can increase the services of the resent managers.
This question acts as an observer in manager training but there is no doubt in the necessity and possibility of increasing the services of the managers by the in-service education. In answer to this question Litterell (1998) doubts the knowledge base of management. In his view the knowledge base of management should include a complex of formulated theories accepted and examined in the organizations and management. He by analyzing the academic knowledge of management believes that management with the knowledge base does not possess the three aforesaid characteristics (Litterell, 1998:33).
Litterell from other aspect analyzes the academic knowledge of management and believes that according to precedent basis regarding the management application in scientific fields, the scientific utilization from the knowledge of management in the working spheres have been doubted to a large extent. Fiedler in this regard believes "Still the percent of the success in selecting and educating managers is far below the acceptable level."(Fielder, 1998:335)
Bas (1998), Bark Weedy (1986) and Parter McKesson (1986) also confirm the views of Fiedler. Fiedler considers ignorance from the effect of the position of the manager in his functioning as the most important reason for this failure. He says "The issue which cannot be predicted is the situations the management will face and these situations are permanently in the state of changing (ibid: 335).
Fiedler considers the selection and education of managers in the present form (by utilizing the analyzing approach of the profession) to possess two basic theories:
1) If a manager is successful in a situation will be successful in other situations;
2) The managers can fully utilize their identifying sources including speculative capability, analyzing and identifying their responsibilities and skills. He clarifies that " The research of our team demonstrated that both these theories were not correct and the present ways of selecting and educating the managers did not yielded suitable results (ibid 336; 338).
The aim of explaining the mentioned views is to stress this point that the managers should always attain education. The officials and planners of educating the managers before planning the every educational course of urban management should get a clear answer to this question "Whether management education creates changes in the styles and functioning of the managers?"
In analyzing the issue of the possibility of evaluating the training of the urban mangers the issue of the learners in the educational courses should be paid attention. How often urban manger training courses for a group which possess necessary individual qualities for management like creativity, assertiveness, good memory and high intellect can be beneficial but those persons who do not have inherent competency defined as the "art of management", the academic knowledge do not play an important role in training successful managers.

3- The Phase of Urban Managers Education in Iran; from the past till present
3-1- Urban Managers Education before the Islamic Revolution
3-1-1- Urban Mangers Education before the establishment of the Municipalities Union.
Before the establishment of Municipalities Union discussion regarding the urban managers' education can be traced in its general meaning. These measures generally included the publication of periodicals and reports related to the management of the cities.
Sometime before the formation of Tehran's Municipal Association, "Roznamah Baldia" was published in 1907 from Tehran which mostly published news about the city management. After the establishment of Tehran's Municipal Association this periodical acted as an organ of the association. Related periodicals like "Balad al-Amin" Mashhad (1910) and "Baldia" Tabriz (1910) (2) commenced their publications. The contents published in these periodicals were related to the issues of the city association and confidently related to urban management and unintentionally and unofficially played its role in urban mangers education.
In the contemporary period the first step in the field of municipalities and urban mangers education was the publication of the book "City Planning Education for the Municipalities in Iran" written by Engineer L.C.Gibbs who was one of the officials of the fourth Truman doctrine organization in Iran. This book was a type of technical and scientific guide for the municipalities in Iran to solve the problems of urban development But this book was written in English and was not translated into Persian thus it did not have any practical impact in solving the problems of the municipalities in Iran. (Rashidiyyah, 1964: 180).
3-1-2- Education of the municipalities and urban mangers after the establishment of the Municipalities Union.
"The Municipalities Union of Iran" was established in the year 1956 and started its activities in the year 1958. This union in the form of different committees like translation department, census and information, publication, management and education and improvement of financial affairs started the education for the municipalities (Shafi'ee, document number 1).
It is enshrined in the constitution of the union " The objectives of the union are to guide the municipalities to maintain new administrative methods and its conformity with the prevalent fundamentals in the advanced countries of the world by implementing the below-mentioned measures:
A) Conducting annual and monthly conferences, publishing useful periodicals and establishing educational classes and library;
B) Collecting and centralizing information regarding the municipalities in Iran and the world and exchanging the needed information;
C) Encouraging people to participate more in the local affairs;
D) Creating cooperation between the municipalities and governmental organizations to bring about the welfare of the citizens, (ibid, document number 4 dated 8/9/1961). After this period the topic of educating the municipalities and the urban mangers seriously and objectively become the part of the program of the organization.
The educational measures of the Municipalities Union can be classified as follows (3):
1) Education before Service: It dealt with the training of the employees who later on were employed in the financial and technical affairs of the municipalities. In this regard about 300 persons underwent education for a period of one year in the fields of financial, water works and electrical affairs of the municipalities. These courses were conducted with the cooperation of the Ministry of Home Affairs, University of Tehran and Polytechnic School of Tehran for the person holding pre-university diploma. (ibid, document number 17 dated 2/5/1966).
2) Municipality Management and Financial Management Classes: The first course of these classes was conducted in the autumn of the year 1963 in the Administrative Sciences College of the University of Tehran. The expenses of these classes were paid till the year 1965 by the Planning and Budget Organization. From the year 1963 till 1966 nine educational courses of municipality management were conducted and the ninth course was conducted from 22/10/1966 till 15/3/1967 and 17 mayors and urban mangers of the country participated (ibid, document number 29 dated Shahrivar month, 1967).
On the whole 235 persons were educated in these nine courses (The Year Book of the Municipalities Union, 1966, p 559). Likewise from the year 1963 till March 1967, seven courses in the financial affairs of the municipalities were conducted and about 180 persons participated (ibid).
The first course of the urban management for graduates was conducted in the year 1966 and from among the 274 candidates after conducting entrance competition by the National Psychological Institute 55 candidates were selected for the interview and the practitioners participated in a ten-week course. Finally 20 persons were graduated from these courses as experts of the Municipalities Union of Iran and were recruited and officiated as mayors and deputy mayors. In the second course among the 334 candidates after undergoing entrance examination and interview 40 persons were selected to participate in the course (Shafi'ee, document number 29, dated Shahrivar month, 1967). Hadi Mubarkha, managing director of the three terms of the Municipalities Union of Iran in the years, 1965, 1968 and 1973 says "In these courses about 1000 persons holding pre-university diploma participated in various courses and about 150 graduates were selected for three courses and underwent urban management education." [4]

4-Conducting Archives Classes:
From 13-8-1965 till 1-9-1965 to train the archivists of the municipality of Tehran classes were conducted in which 44 persons participated. From the month of October 1966 till February 1967 six educational courses of two weeks duration were conducted for the archivists throughout the country and totally 161 persons participated (ibid).

5)- Organizing Fire-Fighting Classes:
On 14 January 1966 first course of fire-fighting classes for the municipalities was organized with the participation of the 16 directors from the fire-fighting units of the major Iranian cities in the Directorate General Office of Fire –Fighting Department of the Municipality of Tehran (Year Book of Municipalities Union. 1966, p. 560).

6)- The Scholarships of Municipalities Union:
The period of these scholarships were from one to six months. Some of its examples are as follows:
A) Deputing 10 persons to USA with the help of the International Development Organization of USA
B) Sending a delegation of 10 persons to England for a period of one month in March 1965
C) Deputing a person to France with the scholarship of the cold-storage of the municipalities for a period of one year
D) Sending two persons to India for a period of six months to study the local governments. (Ibid).

7)- Publishing the Journal of the Municipalities:
This journal was published with educational approach to highlight the scientific know how and world's experiences in urban management and used to analyze the issues of urban management in scientific way. This journal started its publication from 1956 in the form of a monthly magazine and used to be distributed among the municipalities and its employees (Shafi'ee, document number 48 dated 12-4-1977). 109th issue of the Municipalities journal was published in November 1967. (Ibid, document number, 62).

8)- Relationship with International Union of Local Authorities (IULA): (4)
With the help of relationship with IULA which a research and information organization in the municipalities affairs most of the world's experiences in the field of municipalities were transferred to Iran and some of the received information was published in the journal of the municipalities. In 1975 IULA Conference which is the gathering of the mayors of all the cities in the world was hosted by the Municipalities Union of Iran in Tehran, which was considered as a great achievement for the union. Most of the scholarships were awarded to the union with the channel of IULA. (5).

9)- Publication of the Two Issues of the Year Book of the Municipalities Union:
These two year books were published in the years 1966 and 1967 and contained elaborate census and information regarding the municipalities affairs as well as research articles and the regulations of the municipalities were published in them (Ibid, document number 22).

10)- Formulating Three-Years Education Program for the Municipalities Cadres:
This program was formulated keeping in view the organizational needs of the municipalities and its personnel. It was decided according to that program 4500 cadres of municipalities and the job seekers in the municipalities should undergo educational courses. The classes of these courses include:
A) Urban Management (General Course);
B) Municipality Management (Specialized Course);
C) Accounting and Financial Affairs of the Municipality;
D) Auditing;
E) Archives and Management of Records;
F) Supplying and the Properties and Storage Offices. (Ibid, document number 29 dated September 1967).
This program and its scattered courses in urban management and the financial and archives affairs of the municipalities gave the municipalities a systematic and planned shape.
The Municipalities Union since the year 1974 started new measures for the education of the municipalities and intended to establish an institute for higher education in municipal services. According to Mubarkha "During these years the union was on the verge of establishing a college for urban management." Meanwhile using computers in the major municipalities was under process. (Ibid, document umber 1/40 in the year 1974)
The documents of the Municipalities Union reveal that in the later half of 1970's the Union's network was being expanded throughout the country and was being regionalized and in the cities like Shiraz, Mashhad, Ahvaz, Kerman, Isfahan and Karaj lands were provided to the union by the municipalities of the se cities.(6). In the letter of Asadullah Isfahani (the home minister of that period) addressed to Ali Qadeemi Mahani (the managing director of the Municipalities Union during that period) regarding the establishment of the educational centers for the ecployees of the municipalities it is mentioned: "According to the Article 108 of the Municipality Law, the education affairs of the personnel of the municipalities have been designated to the Municipalities Union. Thus, it is agreed in order to establish educational centers according to the approved plans and maps of the ministry of Home Affairs land will be kept at the disposal of this union" (Ibid, document number 55, dated 16/9/1977).
Other than the activities of the Municipalities Union in the field of education of the municipalities and urban manager, the publication of three volumes book "The Management of the Municipalities" written by Dr Ali Niyam in the year 1970 was one of the effective and lasting efforts in the field of urban management during that period.
3-2- Education of the Urban Managers after the Islamic Revolution
After the Islamic Revolution, the Municipalities Union was dissolved in the year 1980 and its educational activities came to a halt. But in the second half of the 1990's some effective developments took place in the field of urban management.
1) Conducting post-graduation courses in urban management in the shape of executive management field by the Ministry of Sciences and Research and urban management courses were also conducted by Government Management Organization. These courses are being regularly conducted uninterrupted since the year 1999.
2) Conducting the first term of the elections of the Urban and Rural Islamic Council throughout the country in the year 1998.
3) Establishment of the Municipalities Organization in the year 2002.
The chapters of the lessons in the post-graduation of urban management were approved on 20/2/1999 by the Supreme Council of Planning of the Ministry of Sciences and this curse is being taught in the humanities department. According to the contents of the examination booklet for the post graduation course in the year 2004, this course is being taught in the humanities department. According to the contents of the examination booklet for the post graduation course in the year 2004, this course comes under the category of executive management field and the condition of joining this course is five years experience in the fields dealing with city and urban management field and the condition of joining this course is five years experience in the fields dealing with city and urban management. Till now this courses were conducted by the College of Management of Allamah Tabatab'i University in Tehran. The admission of students to this course was not regular and yearly but was irregular and interrupted. The duration of this course is six semesters of sic months each. The specialized units of this course contain 24 units, 4 seminars and the dissertation consists of 4 units.
According to the "Role and Capability" clause of the above-mentioned course the passing graduates from this course will be the persons with their thinking and capability will woven their urban services activities with the major model regional and national plans of development and will also expand the culture of citizenry and participation.
The urban management courses of the Industrial Management Organization were conducted in limited way and were mostly attended by the directors and employees of government organization. The motivation of getting enhancement in their jobs most of the participants in these courses were not connected to urban management in their professions. Thus, these courses were not fruitful and effective in the urban management of the country.
It has to be mentioned that measures have been taken to start new course at post-graduation level in urban management as one of the fields in urban building. This course will be of four semesters of six months each. It has been decided that departments of urban building of the universities will execute this courses. The first group of students in this, course may be admitted in the academic year 2005-2006.
With the establishment of councils throughout the country the urban management system has been transformed and a new element has been added into the urban management organization. This development has its own needs and prerequisites which naturally effects the education of the urban directors. One of the useful measures in this field is the publication of an educational booklet in simple language regarding various fields of rural and urban management which have been published by the efforts of deputy office of the propagation of people's participation affiliated to the Ministry of Crusade for Agriculture and the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Since the year 1986, the deputy for coordinating the building affairs in the Ministry of Home Affairs in the absence of the Municipalities Organization carried out this duty on behalf of this organization.
The Office of Building Planning and the Urban Studies and Planning Center of this deputy office has carried out effective research and publication in the fields of urban planning and urban management. Finally in the year 2002, the Municipalities Organization independently started its activities.
The formation of Office for Education and Expansion of Human Resources in the Municipalities Organization is the proof of the special attention of this organization to the topic of education in the municipalities and promises new activities in this field. According to the document reporting the activities of this office in the year 2003 totally 37 short terms educational courses and educational seminars have been planned and by the end of March 2004 the below-mentioned workshops have been conducted:
1) The Workshop for the Collection of Taxes;
2) The Workshop for Investment by the Municipalities;
3) Workshop for preserving the urban green spaces;
4) GIS education workshop.
Other measures of Municipalities Organization in the field of education of municipalities is reactivating the publication of the magazine "Shahrdariha" (Municipalities) in the year 1999 and till January 2004 56 issues of this magazine were published which contains educational matter related to urban issues and urban management. Likewise, quarterly journals "Urban Management" and "The Culture of Security" have also been regularly published by this organization since the year 1999. In addition, the organization till now has published tens of volumes of books in the fields of urban management and urban planning.
4- Evaluation of the Educational Programs of the Urban Managers
4-1- Evaluation of the Educational Programs of the Municipalities Union.
The educational activities of the urban managers before the revolution can be divided into two types
1) The Education before joining the service (like the 10 week courses conducted in the year 1966):
2) Inservice Education
The inservice education can be divided into two types;
1) Education imparting information with the purpose of enhancing the level of information of the urban managers with the help of the publication of books and journals:
2) The classical education related to the internal issues of the organization like financial and fire-fighting courses.
With the lapse of time and absence of evaluation reports about education and evaluation of the effect of this education, we cannot express our scientific views about the results of these courses. Meanwhile, the inclusion of these education and the degree for he availability of the books and journals for the urban managers and ways of its utilization are also unclear. Over looking the way of implementation and its results, the efforts to create variety in the education, not sufficing to one special way of education and stressing on semi-official short-term courses instead of official course for obtaining degrees can be considered as the points of strength of this education.
With the absence of the documentation of these educational reports unfortunately it is not known whether this education was planned on the basis of the evaluated needs or not.
On account of the absence of these evaluations we cannot learn lessons from these past activities. The most important lesson of evaluating the past record of urban management in Iran is the need of paying attention to the element of "educational evaluation" which can be considered as the inevitable stage in the educational planning.
4-2- The Evaluation of the Educational Programs of the Urban Managers after the Islamic Revolution.
Urban management education after the Islamic revolution can be divided into three parts:
1) Education with Culture building purpose;
2) Education for training the urban managers;
3) Short term education. The first type of education is conducted by organizing conferences, compiling and publishing specialized and semi-specialized books and journals and the reports about the management and urban management. The utility of this type of education in the view of the scientific sources related to education have been recognized by the organizations, But the basic defect of this education is the difficulty in evaluating it.
The second type of education is the official long-term educational course (post-graduation degree in urban management) approved by the Supreme Council of Planning. Here it is endeavoured to give more importance to this course as a official long-term educational course.
The first issue in the intended curriculum of the post-graduation course in urban management is that it is approved in the humanities department. According to the policy of the Ministry of Sciences educational courses have been classified into two groups (1) theoretical and (2) scientific-applied framework. (The Supreme Council of Planning, Scientific-Applied department, 19999).
Second main issue is not following the curriculum model based on skills and modular education. If it is intended to train persons to occupy jobs in urban management then according to the scientific basis of curriculum planning instead of utilizing from separate subjects the curriculum based on training skills and modular education should be adopted.
It has to be clarified that the curriculum model based on training skills depends on the official job and the analytical approach in formulating the curriculum as follows:
1) Knowing all the duties and works and preparations should be made for them.
2) The person while implementing the duties and works should know necessary things for its implementation.
3) To include the know-how and capabilities in suitable learning units.
Modular education consists of a complex of contents for educational activities so that special and independent skills and capabilities are developed in the persons being imparted with education and besides other modular it should result in a course of study. Modular, independently or by a group of component brings about necessary and needed capabilities for the job and professions (Bainaqi, 2001)
To utilize the modular approach it is necessary to define the duties of the urban managers. Then the smaller responsibilities and other works should be fixed and after fixing the tools, contents, standards and the conditions for the implementation of the work or some of the work, its related objectives should be extracted. In the next stage the objectives are analyzed so that the needed skills, methods and views can be formulated. Keeping in view the specifications of the post graduation course in urban management none of these stages have been accomplished and according to speculation only a part of it has been performed. Reliable report on which decision can be made is also not available.
The third main issue is the basic doubt in the traditional approach in professional training [8] which has been described in detail in the theoretical framework section. This doubt is seriously mooted that in the fields like management it is not possible to create the real situation of management and solving the issue in the class, and training a capable manager to a large extent depends on the personality and personal characteristics like innovative skills, decisiveness and high memory and can the academic knowledge of management play its role in training a successful manager or not.
The third group of education is the short-term courses and educational conferences which are organized by the concerned offices of the municipalities, university centers and other similar centers.
Choosing the general strategy of the short-term educational courses and due its low expenditure than the long-term courses and proximity of the trainees with the real working environment and composition of education with working issues it has been approved. But we have to know that on account of financial and time limitations, the planners are obliged to plan, execute and evaluate the most suitable courses which are in accordance with the needs.
Today the approach of providing diverse and various courses by different authorities is the approach which is stressed due to the expansion of the communications. In the websites like www.apa.com and www.modestogov.com. We can select different types of workshops of virtual education in this regard.
Thus, there is no difficulty in getting access to these various courses. But if investments are made in the courses where the students should be present then the issue of limitations in the resources is highlighted in the next part suggesting some educational courses and short-term workshops are discussed.
5- The Suggested Educational Courses and Short-Term Workshops
In this part presenting some educational courses whose need is analyzed by experts in urban management are discussed. If the educational need is evaluated then it can be proved that these courses have more precedence than the present courses.
1) Workshop Related to Assertiveness Skills:
Assertiveness is to stand by correct opinion and its object is to solve the difficulties and bring about best results (Educational Workshop 2004 in the website of the University of Toronto www.oise.utronto.ca)
2) Leadership and Team Building Workshop:
In this course the managers get acquainted with the methods related to the establishment and expansion of the teams and learn how to utilize these teams in give effect to the organization (Ibid).
3) Stress Management Workshop:
Evaluation is like a double-edged sword which can on one hand act as a powerful method in expanding the human resources and increasing their capabilities and if it is not properly implemented then it will result in ethical difficulties and decrease the performance of the employees (Ibid).
4) Stress Management Educational Course:
In addition to normal working conditions in the cities which are full of stress and in the special situation of crisis like the occurrence of great natural disasters like earthquake the control of urban mangers over themselves achieves great importance. (Ibid).
5) Time Management Educational Course:
Time management means to know how to control ourselves for better utilization of the time. Planning daily routine, planning meetings, managing sessions and the like affairs are important factors in learning the time management (Ibid).
6) Educational Course to Train Innovative Skills:
Implementing innovative skills in urban management is very important. It is expected that the urban managers should de3velop innovative skills in themselves in particular learn how to create innovations in the organization. Techniques like speculative thought and innovative imagination can solve the problems in the management process (FayzBaksh, 2002)
7) Group Dynamics Psychology Educational Course:
In this course the mangers with the help of the method can understand their team, the criteria of selection of team members, team leadership group discussion process, official and unofficial groups (Asghari Nikah, 2002)
6- Epilogue
This part once again put forwards the questions of research and strives to get its answers. In the answer to the first question in which it was asked about the direction and phase of the education of urban managers in Iran, briefly it can be mentioned that the education of the urban managers in Iran commenced with the start of the functioning of the Municipalities Union in the year 1958.
After the Islamic revolution till end of the first half of 1990's there were no special activities in this field but after the formation of the councils special attention was paid to the education of the municipalities and the measures of the Municipalities Organization which in some way is the forerunner of the Municipalities Union this activity was once again revived. With the activities of Education and Human Resources Development Office in the Municipalities Organization and formulation and implementation of program of post graduation in urban management it can be asserted that in the near future great development and more progress in the field of educating the municipalities and the urban mangers in Iran can be achieved.
The answer to the second question in which it was asked about the effectiveness of this education it can be said that the activities of the Municipalities Union before the Islamic revolution had one of merit of providing diversity to this education and stressing on semi-official short-term courses. Regarding the post-graduation course of the urban management below-mentioned criticisms were put forward:
1) Approval of this field in the humanities category instead of scientific-applied category.
2) Not following the curriculum model of obtaining skills and modular education
3) Not responding to the basic criticisms leveled against the traditional approach of training skills and not taking these criticisms into consideration.
Regarding short-term education the merits of this type of education were stressed as below:
1) Its low expenditure in comparison to the long-term courses;
2) Composition of education with the working issues.
In this field in order to strengthen the short-term courses special courses were suggested.
On the whole it can be said that due to the beginning stages of education of urban management after the Islamic revolution we cannot scientifically and exactly evaluate its degree of effectiveness because the post graduation courses till now have accepted students for very limited courses and the short-term courses have been started from the end of the year 2002 and the reports evaluating them have not yet been published.
In end we have to stress the need of utilizing the "action research" method in the inservice education. The traditional way of evaluating the needs in which the experts outside the organization assess the educational needs have lost it utility and instead the "action research" method is recommended to know the difficulties of the organization and resolving them. According to the experts (like Guya, 1998) the action research have two basic objectives:
1) To grapple with the situation and become a part of the research process;
2) Improving the situation and the organizational education objectives is mostly to improve the situation.
1- It is necessary to point out that criticisms leveled against positivist research approach do not mean that the quantitative research should be changed. But the relative ineffectiveness of this method in producing beneficial knowledge to solve the intricate problems of the present world necessitates to give attention to other methods.
Thus, the interpretive research approach to obtain the criteria of evaluation for creating the foundations for progress and improving action, the action research approach with the objective of improving the action by developing the individual, the critical research approach with the objective to formulate the injustices and put forward liberation actions and conduct are given more attention.
2- Rehana Rezazadeh Moqaddam, From Baldia to Municipalities, "Shahrdariha" monthly, issue number 4, 1999).
3- For more information refer to the Municipalities Union of Iran, year Book, 1996, pp. 554-561.
4- Taken from the interview with Hadi Mubarakha on
5- International Union of Local Authorities (IULA): It is an international organization to the municipalities in the world and its headquarters is based in The Hague, The Netherlands and most of the municipalities in the world are its members. This organization provides information link to the municipalities in the world so that the municipalities through out the world can utilize their experiences. This organization comprises of a powerful research branch.
6- Taken from the interview with Hadi Mubarakha dated
7- Shafi'ee, document number 1/55 in the year 1977.
8- In the course which has evaluated the classical precedence to train skills and basis of traditional curriculum planning no attention has been paid to the programs of education of the professions.


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Translated from Persian into English by
Dr Hyder Reza Zabeth. PhD
Islamic Research Foundation
Astan Quds Razavi
Mashhad, Iran.

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