26 SES 04 A JS, School Leadership and Quality Assurance
Paper Session Joint Session NW 11 and NW 26
The aim of the study was to better understand the actions of principals in secondary education in facing some dilemmas after the implementation of the French policy of accountability. Contrary to other European countries, the policy is just at its beginning in the French education context even if some frameworks and indicators were designed to support decision-making and the evaluation of the education system. The French education system is searching for a Third Way between accountability and decentralization (Derouet, Normand, 2011; Cohen, D. K., & Spillane, J. P., 1994).
At the difference of some of their European fellows, French principals view themselves as “administrators” or “representatives of the State” and they are very concerned to apply national legislation and ministry’s directives. Under this bureaucratic top-down hierarchy, the idea of leadership encounters some limitations (Derouet, Normand, 2009, Leithwood, 2001). Even if this notion is implicitly present within official instructions that define principals as “pedagogical and educative pilots” of schools, these executives lack real legitimacy to act on teaching and learning which remain in the hands of State inspectors (MacBeath, 2006).
Compared to other countries, leadership is recognized not as an official function, but rather through an implicit and blurred sense of professionalism expressed sometimes by professionals as “personal charisma”, “sense of dialogue”, “proximity”. “Authority” and “responsibility” are the main social representations common to executives, allowing them to define their “missions” as public servants (Normand, 2014).
However the implementation of the European key-competencies framework and the consequences of the PISA survey impact on the daily work of principals in secondary schools (Normand, 2012): they have to work with teachers to find ways to improve student success. For this, the legislation has created a “pedagogical board” to help principals bring teachers together regularly in order to talk and to make decisions regarding school improvement. Each principal has to design a school development plan to justify the use of resources and means, to fix targets related to national policy, and to be accountable on student achievement in national assessments and exams. And the role of principals as leaders has been recognized according to OECD recommendations.
Cohen, D. K., Spillane, J. P. (1994). National education indicators and traditions of accountability. In OECD (Ed.), Making education count: Developing and using international indicators (pp. 323-337). Paris: Centre for Educational Research and Innovation Derouet, J.-L., Normand, R, 2009, , ‘Devolution, Partial Decentralization of Education in France and Improvement in the Running of Schools’, in Centralization and School Empowerment from Rhetoric to Practice, ed. Adam Nir (Jerusalem: Nova Publishers, 2009), 31–44. Derouet, J.-L., Normand, R., 2011, ‘The hesitation of French policy makers in identifying a Third Way in Education’, Journal of Educational Administration and History, 43(2):141-163. Elmore R.F., 2004, School reform from the inside out, Cambridge, MA : Harvard Education Press. Hopkins, D. (2007), Every School a Great School, McGraw Hill/Open University Press,Londres. Leithwood, K. (2001), « School Leadership in the Context of Accountability Policies »,International Journal of Leadership in Education, 4 (3). Leithwood K., Jantzi D., 1991 “Transformational leadership : how principals can help reform school cultures” school effectiveness and school improvement, 1,3, 249-281 Leithwood, K., Jantzi, D. (1999a). The effects of transformational leadership on organizational conditions and student engagement with school. Journal of Educational Administration, 38(2), 112–129. MacBeath, J. (2006) School Inspection and Self-evaluation: working with the New Relationship London, RoutledgeFalmer Normand R., 2012, “School improvement and accountability in France: timid changes, big hopes” in in Lindqvist U. (coord.), Create learning for all – what matters? , CIDREE YearBook Normand R, 2014, (Forthcoming) Between civil service and republican ethics: the statist vision of leadership among French principals in Ärlestig H., Johansson O., and Day C., Principals’ at Work–school leadership research in 24 countries, Dordrecht, Springer, Spillane, J.P. (2006). Distributed leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Spillane, J., Halverson, R. and Diamond, J. (2004), « Towards a Theory of Leadership Practice: A Distributed Perspective », Journal of Curriculum Studies, vol. 36, nº 1,pp. 3-34. Stoll, L. & Fink, D. (1996). Changing our schools: Linking school eﬀectiveness and school improvement. Buckingham: Open University Press.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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