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ERIC Number: EJ814643
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jul
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 49
ISSN: ISSN-1363-2434
School Leadership for "Democratic Bildung": Fundamentalist Beliefs or Critical Reflection?
Moos, Lejf
School Leadership & Management, v28 n3 p229-246 Jul 2008
Many educational systems, like many public sectors, find themselves in the midst of rapid changes. In many cases, decentralisation is the order of the day, often alongside re-centralisation. The new relations between supra-national, national, local and organisational levels create novel conditions for leading schools and for establishing alternative relations within schools between leaders, teachers and students. New leadership and new relations will lead to the education and upbringing of the next generation to a level unanticipated by most policy-makers, practitioners and researchers. In line with some centralisation initiatives there are tendencies in educational policies towards demanding that educational systems as well as educational practice and leadership be based on rigorous evidence. The evidence that some of those politicians consider rigorous and preferable is evidence based on randomised, controlled tests: RCT studies. This kind of knowledge is often thought to be valid all over the world. This political attitude produces a special kind of relation between the political system, schools, school leaders, professionals and students, creating new conditions for the development of ethical and professional practices in schools. It also creates new conditions for schools, which try to further and develop a comprehensive and socially responsible education for active and participating citizenship in democracies: "Democratic Bildung" (see "The purpose of schooling: "Democratic Bildung"--participation and critique"). This article will discuss contemporary demands on educational leadership on the basis of notions of democratic education that can be traced back to the source of democratic thinking in the era of enlightenment: Can leaders contribute to building democratic communities in schools, where professionals and students participate in the interactions on the basis of inclusion in the community (participation) and in critical reflection and analysis (deliberation)? The background for the discussion is analyses from the Danish contribution to the "International Successful School Principal Project" (ISSPP). The Danish project started out with eight schools and ended up concentrating on three schools. In these schools the principal, deputy, teachers, students, parents and local educational authorities were interviewed and (followed closely) the principal, one teacher and one student were "shadowed" for a whole day. Teaching, meetings and the everyday life in three schools were also observed for more than a week each. (Contains 1 table and 1 note.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Denmark