26 SES 14 A, Rethinking Educational Leadership: Perspectives from Social Theory
This paper considers how Nancy Fraser’s widely debated theorizing of social justice can contribute to, if not revitalize, the field of educational leadership and administration (Olson 2008). Based on Fraser’s conceptualisation of redistribution, recognition and representation as three key interconnecting principles of social justice, the paper undertakes an analysis of two policy issues: school choice and women’s under/ misrepresentation in leadership(Fraser 1997). Evidence arising from school choice policies and women’s positioning in leadership in the UK, Australia and the USA indicate increasing inequality, thus raising questions as to the role of the state in democracies. Fraser provides a strong normative framework of social justice that seeks to resolve tensions between modernist and poststructuralist theories, while realizing tensions between forms of difference such as gender and race. Fraser provides analytical tools to unpack embedded assumptions in the school improvement and effectiveness research to highlight wider social, political and economic relations of power and provides a theoretical frame from which to rethink leadership and governance for a socially just education. Fraser, N. (1997) Justice Interruptus: Critical Reflections on the "Postsocialist" Condition. Routledge Olson, K. (ed)(2008) Adding Insult to Injury: Nancy Fraser debates her critics. Verso
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