01 SES 08 C, Developing school leaders and teacher leaders
Our research questions how the self-concept held by a school leader changes as they are expected to operate more and more in the role of a Chief Executive. It is contended that the business model of running schools is brings a de-humanising consequence to their leadership. We explore whether or not school leaders are becoming less humane and if this is being generated by the system and neo-liberalising (Ball, 2008) policy context or by the leader.
The contention addressed is about the psychology of how the school leader can lead at both the executive and pedagogical level. Can a Principal be both the “master teacher”, who is “chief instructional officer”, and chief executive? Can they have students and their learning as the purpose of their leadership when they have an evolving professional identity of being a chief executive running a corporation that is similar to many medium sized businesses?
Data from the views of school leaders ‘coping with’ this transition in education systems informs the discussion of this research. In a period of austerity, when school leaders are expected to increase productivity with less income, their identity as pedagogical leaders is transitioning. Questions of what should be their responsibility of school leaders for and their power over resource deployment become pertinent. The discourse becomes contentious about what should be the paradigm of their authority.
The theoretical framework for exploring these questions draws on theories of professional identities which propose professionals understandthe boundaries of their profession, are guided by a set of beliefs, attitudes and knowledge about their roles, and how these allow them to interact with others as part of a system (Miller, 2013). The research also draws on the theory of thefree market whichproposes that educational change occurs as schools compete for excellence.
The debates illuminated by this exploration include a discourse about the extent to which the alleged freedoms of the market place contribute to the generation of knowledge. Notions of ‘school-led self-improving systems’ are seen as being about increasing the engagement of leaders in schools in the mobilisation of knowledge about improving the system (Hargreaves, 2010). This workshop will explore if the ‘corporatisation’ agenda of bringing executive behaviours into schools (leadership) supports or hinders the emergence of new knowledge necessary for addressing the challenges of the times. Does the neoliberal agenda contribute to finding the fundamental values and adequate means to make education as a form of transition that best serves human beings and societies?
Ball, S. (2008) "The Education Debate" Bristol: Policy Press Hargreaves, D. (2010) "Creating a self-improving school system" Nottingham: NCSL Miller, P. (Ed) (2013) "School Leadership in the Caribbean: perceptions, practices and paradigms" Didcot:Symposium
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