23 SES 04 A, Leadership in Education
The school head has been the subject of scrutiny and formulation of high expectations regarding the effects of his action. First, there remains a literature that conveys to the educational field a set of scripts for action from the world of business and management, which aims to the identification of good leaders for more effective schools. In the political and administrative field, we point out the successive normative redefinitions that the role of the head has been suffering in a trend that crosses the public policies of education, in a number of geopolitical contexts (Power etal., 1997; Dupriez, 2005; Cattonar, 2006; Lessard & Brassard, 2007), taking place under the emergence of post-bureaucratic modes of coordination and control of public action, by which management functions are redefined in a managerial perspective (Maroy, 2005).
Also in Portugal, since the late 1990s, the debate about the direction of schools has been marked by the coexistence of ideas of strengthening school autonomy and of accountability. Moreover, we can see the coexistence of a plurality of scripts for the heads: the head as a representative of the state in school, the head as the guarantor of the protection of teachers pedagogical and professional interests, the head as the manager of a company, the head as a mediator of different interests of teachers, parents, students (Barroso & Carvalho, 2009). Regarding the intervention by public authorities, there are initiatives associated to the reorganization of school network, to the 'modernization' of management processes, as well as the concentration of the expectations of school leadership in the person of the school head. Two measures illustrate this trend: the replacement of a collegial body for a single body of school leadership; and the clustering of several education establishments in one single management structure, increasing the establishment size by number of students, teachers, staff and school spaces (Lima, 2011).
We took the perceptions of heads on their action in daily school life as an analyser of the effects of the interventions of the public authority and of its new modes of regulation, particularly in regard to the restructuring of school organization. We intend to describe and analyse how these changes are perceived within their contexts of action, and how they conceive and perform their function presently. In other words, we are interested in taking into account the experiences of individuals, and the way they negotiate the meanings and interpret their experiences (Psathas, 1973), by constructing and (re) constructing the social reality of daily school. We use the concept of autonomous regulation (Reynaud, 2003) to observe the way local actors appropriate and (re) adjust control mechanisms according to their interests, seeking to maintain or gain margins of autonomy. In parallel, the research addresses the contributions of the works of Bowe, Ball and Gold (1992), namely the contributions of the 'policy cycle approach', in order to analyse, in an articulated way, macro and micro processes and giving attention to the processes of reinterpretation of policies and singularity of the action in organizational contexts.
Barroso, J., & Carvalho, L.M. (2009). La gestión de centros de enseñanza obligatoria en Portugal. In J. Gairín Sallán (Coord.). La gestión de centros de enseñanza obligatoria en Iberoamérica (pp. 125-137). S.l.: Redage. Bowe, R.; Ball, S.; Gold, A. (1992). Reforming education & changing schools: case studies in policy sociology. London: Routledge. Cattonar, B. (2006). The evolution of the way of the school regulation and reestruction of the principle’s function. Educação em Revista, Belo Horizonte, 44, pp. 185-208. Dupriez, V. (2005). La transformation du métier de chef d'établissement en Communauté française de Belgique. Politiques d'Éducation et de Formation. Analyse et Comparaisons Internationales, Vol. 13, nº 1, pp. 11-25. Erickson, F. (1986). Qualitative methods in research on teaching. In M.C. Wittrock (Ed.), Handbook of research on teaching (3rd ed.). Old Tappan, NJ: Macmillan. Lessard, C. & Brassard, A. (2007). La “gouvernance” de l’éducation au Canada: tendances et significations. Education et sociétés, pp. 181-201. Lima, L., (2001). O agrupamento de escolas como novo escalão da administração centralizada. In L. Lima (org.). Administração escolar: Estudos. Lüdke, M., André, M. (1986). Pesquisa em Educação: abordagens qualitativas. São Paulo: E.P.U. Maroy, C. (2005). Vers une régulation post-bureaucratique des systèmes d’enseignement en Europe? Les cahiers de recherche en éducation et formation, n.º 49, pp. 1-30. Power, S. Halpin, D. & Whitty, G. (1997). Managing the state and the market: ‘new’ education management in five countries. British Journal of Educational Studies, 45 (4): 342–362. Psathas, G. (1973). Phenomenological sociology. New York: Wiley. Reynaud, J.-D. (2003). Régulation de contrôle, régulation autónome, régulation conjoint. G. Terssac, La théorie de la régulation sociale de Jean-Daniel Reynaud (pp. 103-113). Paris: Éditions Découverte. Ruquoy, D. (2005). Situação de entrevista e estratégia do entrevistador. In L. Albarello, et al., Práticas e métodos de investigação em Ciências Sociais. Lisboa: Gradiva, pp. 84-116.
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