26 SES 12 A, The Art of the Deal? Coping with the Idea of More Power and Responsibility at the School Level
A great deal of research attention has been given to those school principals’ leadership practices which are proven to have a positive impact on student outcomes, under the new results-oriented steering paradigm of more efficiency and more effectiveness (Pietsch & Tulowitzki, 2017; Scheerens, 2012). However, little attention has been given to the effects of contextual and educational governance structures on school leaders’ perceptions of the external environment and the legal framework relating to their practices (Hallinger 2016). It is likely that contextual and educational governance structures, as interpreted by school leaders, influence the leadership styles adopted by them in their work. Patterns of centralization or decentralization as well as evaluation and accountability arrangements set the backdrop for each school leader. From an educational policy maker´s point of view it is taken for granted that school principals should care about this new output-oriented steering paradigm because those institutional reforms are supposed to lead to an expansion and intensification of the principal´s traditional role (Brauckmann, S. & Schwarz, 2015). Ignoring the existence of particular contextual and governance issues at play, is in effect similar to examining school leadership in vitro instead of in the particular conditions in which it is in fact taking place.
With regards to the school level, research shows that decentralization comes in different forms, according to the extent to which power is transferred. It is important to keep in mind that different models of decentralization mean different implications for the roles and functions of school leaders. Even more so, it is important to stress the fact, that the different measures and instruments dealing with school autonomy cannot be attributed only to one approach/political idea of autonomy. As a consequence one will face in reality hybrids of ideas on the one hand and instruments/measures on the other hand which cannot be clearly distinguished and thus increase the risk of not being fully understood or interpreted by the school leaders in a way that was not intended. This kind of polyvalent connectivity of single measures and instruments of autonomy with regard to different discussion contexts might be one explanation for the attractiveness of the political idea of school autonomy.
From a comparative perspective, it seems that the idea of school autonomy represents (to a great extent) an amalgam of different discursive ideas and interests (Mintrop & Klein 2017). As a consequence the contours of this new governance paradigm seem to be quite blurred. One might classify, according to the law, concrete measures and instruments of greater autonomy within the education system, but the interpretation of those innovations within a broader conceptual framework seems to be rather difficult (Altrichter, 2015).
Right now we cannot say if more autonomy at the school level is perceived as a stimulus for school development (strengthening the notion of educational leadership) or as an additional burden of new and extended management tasks (OECD, 2008). Against this background there needs to be a more elaborated level of awareness in our research field with regards to this newly rather prescribed than described role of school principals within the governance mix of more power and more responsibility (Cheong Cheng et al., 2016) .
Based on the above, this symposium addresses the question, if and how practitioners care, via their actions and reflections, about the (potential) relationship of more autonomy at the individual school level and their leadership practices as well as leadership duties? If the answer is yes, then how is this manifested in practice, with what tools and leadership styles?
Altrichter, H. (2015): Governance in Education: Conceptualization, Methodology, and Research Strategies for Analyzing Contemporary Transformations of Teacher Education. In: Kuhlee, D., van Buer, J., Winch, C. (Eds.). Governance in der Lehrerausbildung: Analysen aus England und Deutschland Governance in Initial Teacher Education: Perspectives on England and Germany. Springer VS. 9-30. Brauckmann, S. & Schwarz, J. (2015). No time to manage? The trade-off between relevant tasks and actual priorities of school leaders in Germany. International Journal of Educational Management, 29(6), 749-765. Cheong Cheng, Y., Ko, J. & Tai Hoi Lee, T., (2016),"School autonomy, leadership and learning: a reconceptualisation", International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 30 Iss 2 pp. 177 - 196 Hallinger, P. (2016). Bringing context out of the shadows of leadership. Educational Management Administration & Leadership, 46(1), 5-24. Mintrop, R. & Klein, E. D. (2017). Schulentwicklung in den USA. Nützliches Lehrstück für die deutsche Praxis? In V. Manitius & P. Dobbelstein (Hrsg.), Schulentwicklungsarbeit in herausfordernden Lagen (S. 63-81). Münster: Waxmann. OECD (2008). Improving School Leadership Volume I Policy and Practice.OECD Publications. Pietsch, M. & Tulowitzki, P. (2017) Disentangling school leadershipand its ties to instructional practices – an empirical comparison of various leadership styles, School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 28:4, 629-649, Scheerens, J. (2012). School Leadership Effects Revisited. Review and Meta-Analysis of Empirical Studies. Dordrecht: Springer.
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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