Creative dissent about school leadership: Co-construction in new settings

Year: 2005

Author: Peters, Judy, Cornu, Rosie Le

Type of paper: Refereed paper

School leadership has been a contested construct in recent years. Much of the dissent has centred around the competing constructions of transformative and managerial leadership Transformational leadership is focussed on "developing the organisation's capacity to innovate" and is "viewed as distributive in that it focuses on developing a shared vision and commitment to school change (Hallinger, 2003, pp. 330-331), while instructional or managerial leadership, is characterised by "strong, directive leadership focussed on curriculum and instruction from the principal" (Hallinger, 2003, p. 329). During 2004 and 2005 we conducted a qualitative study to capture the insights of eight school leaders who moved from one school to another, part way through their involvement in the Learning to Learn Project. The transition from schools in which they had developed transformational leadership, to schools in which some expectations were derived from a managerial perspective, created a number of paradoxes which were explored in an earlier paper (see Peters and Le Cornu, 2004). In this paper we revisit these paradoxes to explore the constructive solutions developed by these leaders to address the significant challenges of co-constructing leadership in new settings.