Understanding Educational Leadership: People, Power and Culture

Understanding Educational Leadership: People, Power and Culture

Understanding Educational Leadership: People, Power and Culture

Understanding Educational Leadership: People, Power and Culture

Synopsis

This book shows how school leaders at all levels -- from the most senior manager to the classroom teacher -- can help to build learning communities through collaborating and negotiating with their colleagues, students and students' parents and carers, as well as with external agencies and local communities, to sustain and develop the enjoyment of successful learning among the members of a school. It looks at how positive cultures can be constructed that support inclusive and exciting teaching, enthusiastic teachers and engaged students, parents and carers. Drawing on research, the book examines topics such as the nature of leadership, especially distributed and teacher leadership; the politics of education management; the construction of inclusive cultures in schools; school improvement; and the construction of collaborative and inclusive work groups. It uses a range of critical perspectives to examine processes of change and the relationships of people in school communities to each other and to their social, economic and policy contexts. The book argues that it is essential to develop inclusive education in order to promote student engagement, social justice and equity within formal education. Understanding Educational Leadership is key reading for teachers, headteachers, school leaders, policy makers, Education students and practitioners, and others who have an interest in improving schooling.

Excerpt

This book began as part of a modernist project to consider and refine how schools could be developed to create positive cultures that would foster successful learning through the support of exciting teaching and enthusiastic teachers. However, fascination with the political processes of bringing about change in schools, and the chance remark of a teacher, once a student and then a co-researcher of the author – oh, the poli-tics of this place! – have led to the project taking on a distinctly critical and post-structuralist hue that not only questions the ways in which power flows around schools but also the values attached to it by people trying to access and use it to achieve their agenda, whether for what they claim are altruistic purposes or for reasonable self-interest.

This focus on power, its uses and projection and the values and purposes for which it is used, stands at the core of this book as it attempts to balance modernist and critical agenda by considering how leaders at all levels in schools – from the most senior manager to the classroom teacher – negotiate and work with their colleagues, students and their parents and carers, as well as with external agencies and the local social communities in which a school's students live, to construct, sustain and improve successful learning and promote a sense of community among the students and staff who are members of a school. The book's conceptual framework is drawn from a literature on the nature of leadership, especially distributed and teacher leadership, education management, school improvement and the construction of collaborative work groups, and on critical perspectives of the micro-political processes of change and the relationship of people in school communities or organizations to their social, economic and policy contexts.

Hugh Busher . . .

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