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ERIC Number: ED461930
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Apr
Pages: 27
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Capturing Complexity in Educational Leadership.
Christie, Pam; Lingard, Bob
Although the study of educational leadership has gained in prominence in the last 2 decades, leadership as a concept remains as elusive as ever, prompting some authors to argue that the search for a general theory of leadership is futile. This paper argues that further conceptual and empirical work on educational leadership is useful in avoiding frequently occurring misconceptions, and in understanding the possibilities and constraints for leadership in school operations and change. "Leadership" is defined here in relation to management and headship and should be understood as a complex interplay of personal, organizational, and broader social contexts rather than as attributes of persons or positions. Variants of leadership theory discussed include the "great man" or trait theory, the contingency and situational approach, and transformational leadership theory. Positive and negative aspects of educational leadership are illustrated in South African case studies where different schools show organizational resiliency or dysfunction. Current challenges for educational management and leadership are also discussed. If schools are to meet the goals of providing high-quality teaching and learning for all students in the most equitable way possible, educational leaders and theorists of leadership need to work creatively with complexity. (Contains 92 references.) (RT)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa