contexts of schools
Leaders are mediators of the social and curriculum contexts of schools for staff, students and parents (Busher and Barker 2003) to make teaching and learning relevant and appropriately differentiated, as Krechevsky and Stork (2000) found, as well as compliant with internal and external policymakers' demands and values. Making choices about values and actions involves leaders and their colleagues in moral decisions about the nature of the learning community they want to construct. It means that values are central to the field of educational administration (Willower 1992). Ribbins (1999) remarked that privileging some values over others is a political act – applying power to sustain some actions in preference to others. Moos (2000) points out the impact on schooling and education of globalization; of the OECD emphasizing decentralized finances in the 1980s; and of models of New Public Management (NPM) emphasizing systems thinking, personal mastery and tight hands-on management, explicit standards and measures of performance. Woods (1996: 15) complained that a narrow and ‘distorted view of consumerism, that can only be found in the unreal world of the perfect market, has dominated the rhetoric and shaped the educational debates’ of the last two decades of the twentieth century in the UK. Kazmi (1998: 86) points out that there are similar problems and tensions in India between ‘the demands of materialistic values imitated from western societies’ and his own cultural heritage. In Saudi Arabia, this macro-cultural framework for education is made explicit. There the purposes of education were said to be
basically reflected in the maintenance of its faith, security and sta-
bility, besides achieving the development according to the broad
concept as well as its economic and social dimension.
Consequently the objectives of higher education in the Kingdom
have been designed in a way to interpret this concept … as follows: