26 SES 12 B, Pedagogical Leadership
The continuing emphasis in the twenty-first century on student attainment and achievement has opened a number of debates in relation to what makes an effective educational organisation and how learning processes are scrutinised to meet targets and outcomes. In this context various leadership behaviours have been revisited in relation to a particular set of positions within the government agenda and a number of theories examining leadership constructs. This paper based on evidence of empirical research suggests that the terms Pedagogical Leadership would be used to describe leadership in educational organisations. This paper will offer an examination of the terms pedagogy and based on evidence from the case study it claims that pedagogy is the triangular relationship between teaching, learning and a set of social axes. It argues that the concept of leadership requires further explanation beyond the seeming current determinism that pedagogical leadership is only about supporting teaching and learning.
This paper is underpinned by empirical research undertaken by us with in two schools within England. Building upon a primary conceptual paper (Male and Palaiologou, 2012) and previous research undertaken with a number of leaders in educational settings (Male and Palaiologou, 2013), the authors undertook an in-depth analysis of leadership in action within two schools previously identified as having pedagogical leaders. In both instances we investigated how their leadership behaviour, and their ability to support the concept of pedagogical leadership, was perceived by others within the school community. Consequently we interviewed academic staff in senior, middle leadership or teaching roles, parents and students.
The data supports the view that leadership, and in particular pedagogical leadership, is praxis as it is concerned with the actions and the processes of constructing or deconstructing knowledge according to the context of the learning groups and individuals (ecology of the community) and recognising the set of social axes. Such a view offers an increasingly integrated conceptualisation which specifies relations between its elements: teachers, classrooms ecology of the community and the set of social axes and refuses the reductive “modelisiation” of leadership or clusters of relations between the elements of effective leadership models.
It is concluded that praxis as the locus for pedagogy is moving beyond the simplicity of actions impregnated in the learning process and draws attention to the creation of learning communities in which knowledge is the focus, but is situated in theory and supported by the set of social axes.
Freire, P. (1986) Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: Continuum. Male, T. and Burden, K. (forthcoming). Introduction of Personal Digital Devices into Schools: An Evaluation. Hull: University of Hull. Male, T. and Palaiologou, I. (2012a) Learning–Centred Leadership or Pedagogical Leadership? An alternative approach to leadership in education contexts, in International Journal of Leadership in Education , 15 (1) pp. 107-118. Male, T. and Palaiologou, I. (2012b) Pedagogical Leadership: An Alternative Approach to Leadership in Education Contexts, paper presented at: European Conference on Educational Research (ECER), Cádiz 17-21 September 2012. Male, T. and Palaiologou, I. (under review) Pedagogical Leadership in the 21st Century: Evidence from the field, paper submitted in Educational and Management Administration (January 2013).
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