22 SES 14 A, When Educational Leadership and Management Falls Short: Three Cases from European Higher Education Contexts
Joint Session with Network 26
During the last 20 years teacher education has changed noticeably in Cantone Ticino, the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland. The last step was the creation of a new department, called DFA (Dipartimento della formazione e dell’apprendimento), at the SUPSI (Scuola universitaria professionale della Svizzera Italiana). Three distinct styles of leadership, enacted by three deans, followed one another with different outcomes. The last of them, who was also the first in managing the DFA, was dismissed after two years, since the situation was judged unsatisfactory by the SUPSI board and by a vast majority of teachers and researchers. This paper tries to analyse the whole situation, for a better understanding of the dynamics leading to this failure, taking into account previous published work on this topic (Berger & Ostinelli, 2011) and the debate about leadership in education . The findings show that among the main factors acting in the situation, the incongruity between the dean’s project and the culture of the department played a very important role. The final analysis examines the soundness and applicability of assumptions about distributed leadership. Reference Berger, E., Ostinelli, G. (2011) Évolution de l’enseignement supérieur en Suisse Italienne: risques et opportunités, in Dutercq, Y. (Ed.) Où va l’éducation entre public et privé ? Bruxelles: DeBoeck.
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