26 SES 12 C, Theories, Evidence-Based Knowledge and Principals' Practice
From transformational leadership to distributed and systemic leadership, international research has produced a large range of findings on the importance of extending roles and responsibilities in schools and networks for school improvement and student achievement (Leithwood & Jantzi, 2005, Spillane, 2006, Hopkins & Higham, 2007). The share of vision and values between the principal and its staff has been underlined. However, modalities of judgment and action related to this dimension of leadership have not so intensively worked out as how agents from the educative community reach agreements on a definition of the same common good (Woods, 2005). The research we led on French secondary schools and the work of principals allows us to propose a theoretical framework to contribute to the improvement of knowledge on school leadership and its related conceptions of justice (Normand, 2012). If schools can be a space of discussion and deliberation, it seems relevant to question the processes of agreement and the elaboration of a compromise entailing principals but also teachers to position themselves and act as leaders (Moos, Kofod, Kerjser, 2008). In France, the professional ethos of educators is strong and it is defended against the market and performance Derouet, Normand, 2011). But it reveals at the same time an attachment to a diversity of principles of justice (respect, solidarity, neutrality, effectiveness, equality, etc.) which are supported by discourses of justification but also denunciation towards reforms and their implementation (Bachelard & Normand, 2013, Bastrenta et alii, 2013).
The theoretical framework is inspired by the works of Luc Boltanski and Laurent Thévenot and taken over by Jean-Louis Derouet in education in France Boltanski, Thévenot, 2006, Derouet, 1992)). It shed light on a grammar of principles of justice in the management of schools and leadership of principals (innovation, hierarchy, opinion, civism, effectiveness, market, project). It shows the way social skills are activated through the gathering of instrumental and cognitive resources. This framework explains the emergence of disagreements and agreements on values related to a school organization but also the work of enrolment of its members through arrangements and compromises in order to build a common good.
Bachelard O., Normand R., 2013, Le leadership : une mise à l’épreuve du service public, Paris, CNDP/ESEN, Collection « Profession cadres ». Bastrenta M.,, Normand R., Nouis A., 2013, Les pouvoirs du chef d’établissement. Autorité, légitimité, leadership, Paris, CNDP, Collection « Chefs d’établissement ». Boltanski, L., Thévenot, L. 2006, On Justification. The Economies of Worth, Princeton, Princeton University Press. Derouet J.-L., 1992, Ecole et justice. De l’égalité des chances aux compromis locaux ?, Paris, Métailié. Derouet J.-L., Normand R., 2011, « The hesitation of French policy makers in identifying a Third Way in Education” in Journal of Educational Administration and History, 43(2), 141-163. Derouet J.-L., Normand R., 2009« Devolution, partial decentralization of education in France and improvement in the running of schools” in Nir A., (ed.) Centralization and School Empowerment From Rhetoric to Practice, Jerusalem, The Hebrew University, Nova Publishers. Hopkins D. & Higham R., (2007), « System Leadership: Mapping the Landscape », School Leadership & Management, 27(2), pp. 147-166. Leithwood K. & Jantzi D., (2005), « A Review of Transformational School Leadership Research 1996-2005 », Leadership and Policy in Schools, 4:3, 177 — 199. Leithwood K. & Louis K.S. (eds). (1998). Organizational learning in schools. Lisse, The Netherlands: Swets & Zeitlinger. Moos, L., Kofod, K., & Krejsler, J. (2008). Successful Principals: Telling or selling? - On the importance of context for school leadership, International Journal of Leadership in Education, 11(4), 341-352. 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 Spillane, J. P. (2006). Distributed Leadership. San Fransisco: Jossey-Bass. Woods, P. A. (2005). Democratic Leadership in Education. London: Paul Chapman.
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