A Consideration of Crazy Ideas in the Contested Terrain of Educational Leadership

Year: 2017

Author: English, Fenwick

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Contemporary educational leadership practice lies at the contested intersection of logical empiricism, neoliberalism and managerialism as the dominant discourse for both research and current notions of what comprises "best practices" and how to "improve" them. Gunter (2016) calls this intersection a regime of practice (pp. 110-114). All of these ideologies have histories of how they have come to be the dominant narratives in the field. The proposed presentation will outline the trajectories of these ideologies and indicate how they have become the dominant metanarratives. It will indicate the crossover linkages between these three perspectives and illustrate how they are tightly interwoven and how they work to negate and invalidate alternative perspectives. One hope for creating viable alternatives to the present lies in formulating what Niels Bohr called "crazy ideas" when he remarked, "Your theory is crazy, but it's not crazy enough to be true." What might be some of the crazy ideas that may pose some hope for advancement of the field in a different direction? The presentation will highlight and assess the perspectives of Evers and Lakomski's (2016) "naturalistic coherentism" (p. 96); Lakomski's leadership as cognitive ecology, and English and Ehrich's (2016) notion that leadership is a form of connoisseurship, that is, an aesthetic construct. The presenter will then ask whether these alternatives might be "crazy enough to be true"?