26 SES 05 B, Communication and Relations
Recent understandings of education and educational leadership tend to focus primarily on economic dimensions and interpretations. Nussbaum (2010) believes that education has merely become a tool for economic growth, and a means for improving people’s capacities to act in their roles as economic agents. Educators all over the world do in fact experience increasing demands to educate children and young people for flexible labour and entrepre-neurship in knowledge-based economies (Hargreaves, 2003 and European Commission, 2002). Education is not only geared at improving people as economic agents, it is also in-creasingly governed by economic norms. The introduction of New Public Management (NPM) rests on the assumption that economic norms should have primacy in the governance of the public sector (Christensen and Laegred, 2002). Educational researchers frequently report how the primacy of economic norms in education shape and change the roles, identi-ties and relationships of school actors at different levels (eg. Bagley, 2006, Ball, 2009, Lindblad and Popkewitz, 2004, McInerney, 2003, Oplatka et al, 2007). However, educational change motivated by the primacy of economy is highly problematic, or so I will argue in this paper in relation to educational leadership.
The aim of this paper is to discuss a communicative alternative to managerial or economic traditions of educational leadership introduced in education over the last two or three decades. The first part of the paper is mainly inspired by cosmopolitan and critical sociology (Fine, 2007, Kendall et al 2009) and communication theory, and I argue that changed conditions for national education and the nature of educational institutions and processes are hardly captured by the dominant primacy of economic aims, norms and worldviews. In the second part, I discuss how assumptions of rationalization, action-coordination and conditions of success built into NPM can shape educational leadership and communication in highly problematic ways (Eriksen, 2001). I argue that the primacy of economic norms can shape communication processes in such a way that they bypass aspects one can count as essential to education and to educational leadership, such as learning, cooperation, democracy, autonomy and motivation based on reasons rather than sanctions. In the final part, I discuss how and why a communicative leadership based on communicative rather than instrumental rationality (Davidson, 2001, Habermas, 1998) can offer a fruitful alternative to managerial leadership in education. Such a leadership is essentially dialogical and it takes seriously rather than bypass crucial aspects of education, as well as the challenges increased cosmopolitanization constitutes to national education.
Bagley, C. (2006). School choice and competition: a public-market in education revisited. Oxford Review of Education, Vol. 32, No. 3, July 2006, 347-362. Ball, S. J. (2009). Hidden privatization in public education. Education Review, Vol. 21, No. 2, Spring 2009, 73-83. Beck U. (2009). The World Risk Society (Cambridge: Polity Press). Beck, U. (2006). Cosmopolitan Vision (Cambridge: Polity Press). Bush, T. (2003) Theories of Educational Leadership and Management. 3rd ed. London: Sage Publications. Bush, T. (2007) “Educational leadership and management: theory, policy and practice”. In South African Journal of Education, Vol. 27, No. 3, 2007, pp. 391-406. Christensen, T. & Laegreid, P. (2007). Transcending New Public Management (Surrey: Ashgate). Davidson, D. (2001). Subjective, Intersubjective, Objective (Oxford: Oxford University Press). Eriksen, E. O. (2001). Leadership in a Communcative Perspective. In Acta Sociologica, no 1, vol. 44, 2001, 21-35. European Commission (2002). Education and training in Europe: diverse systems, shared goals for 2010 (Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities). Fine, R. (2007). Cosmopolitanism (London: Routledge). Habermas, J. (1998) The Pragmatics of Communication (Cambridge. MA: The Mit Press). Hargreaves, A. (2003). Teaching in the Knowledge Society: Education in the Age of Insecurity (New York: Teachers Collage Press). Kendall, G., Woodward, I. & Skribs, Z. (2009). The Sociology of Cosmopolitanism. Globalization, Identity, Culture and Government (Basingstoke: Palgrave). Lindblad, S. och Popkewitz, T. (2004) Educational Restructuring: International Perspectives on Traveling Policies (Charlotte: Information Age Publishing). Lubiensky, C. (2006) ”School Diversification in Second-Best Education Markets. International Evidence and Conflicting Theories of Change”. In Educational Policy, no. 2, vol. 20, 2006. Sage Publications, pp. 323-344. McInerney, P. (2003) “Moving into dangerous territory? Educational leadership in a devolv-ing education system.” International Journal of Leadership in Education, Vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 57-72. Nussbaum, M. (2010) Not For Profit. Why Democracy Need the Humanities (Princeton University Press). Rönnström, N. (2006) Communicative naturalism: On the conditions of communication in education. Stockholm Rönnström, N. (2010) Cosmopolitan Communication and the Broken Dream of a Common Language. In Educational Philosophy and Theory. Special Issue, published online (march 2010) Rönnström, N. (2012) ”From Globalist to Cosmopolitan Learning – on the Reflexive Modernization of Teacher Education. In Ethics and Global Politics, vol 5, No 4, 2012. Rizvi, F. (2008) “Education and Its Cosmopolitan Possiblities.” In Lingard, B., Nixon, J. and
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