Professional Development for Educational Management

By Lesley Kydd; Megan Crawford et al. | Go to book overview

8
Some moral dilemmas in
educational management*

JORUNN MØLLER


Background

Major reforms on almost all levels in education are now taking place in Norway, as in most of the Western industrialized countries. In the public debate, a key word in these reforms is decentralization. But parts of the reforms can be identified as centralization (Karlsen 1993).

The policy statements on the Norwegian restructuring’ of schools are outlined […] in Parliamentary Report No. 37 (Ministry of Education 1990–1) ‘On organization and guidance in the educational sector’. The Norwegian Ministry of Education is decentralizing the regulation of education by law and is giving the local authorities more autonomy. At the same time it is centralizing the control of goals by means of a new national curriculum where the goals are more clearly articulated, and tied to a national evaluation programme. The principal or headteacher is being given increased formal power and a key role in implementing the curriculum and evaluation programme. The new role demands more active participation in issues concerning classroom practices, more supervisory activities, and emphasizes the employer role.

[…]

In this context, I chose to undertake research in collaboration with people in leadership positions at different levels in the school system. Although leadership is not necessarily connected with formal position, I wanted to examine how principals and superintendents experienced and conceptualized their leadership role in a specific political and cultural context. […] An action research approach (Kalleberg 1990) was chosen, although the choice was also inspired by Schön’s (1984) advocacy of an alternative approach to research on educational administration.

*This is an edited version of a chapter by Jorunn Møller’s (1996) entitled ‘Refraining educational leadership in the perspective of dilemmas’ originally written for School Administration: Persistent Dilemmas in Preparation and Practice edited by Stephen L. Jacobson, Edw. S. Hickcox and Robert B. Stevenson (Praeger Publishers, an imprint of Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc., Westport, CT, USA, November 1996). Reprinted with permission, all rights reserved.

-96-

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