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ERIC Number: EJ870786
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Nov
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0620
A Feel for the Game--A Bourdieuian Analysis of Principal Leadership: A Study of Queensland Secondary School Principals
Addison, Bruce
Journal of Educational Administration and History, v41 n4 p327-341 Nov 2009
Educational leadership discourse has for sometime been the major intellectual pillar of what was once known as the field of educational administration. An examination of the postgraduate coursework programmes available to aspiring principal leaders at every Australian university supports such a contention. While this discourse does shed light on the ubiquitous concept of leadership, it does little to explain the context in which leadership theory is supposed to contribute to the operational environment of schools. This is where Bourdieuian scholarship is particularly helpful. By shedding light on the complex social space in which principal leaders function, Bourdieu's concepts of habitus, field and capital are particularly helpful thinking tools. For a variety of reasons the economic field has held philosophical dominance for much of the last 30 years. This has impacted significantly on the work space of principal leadership and needs to be understood if the familiar narratives of leadership theory are to be of contextual use. When investigating the social space of contemporary principal leadership, my recent study of two sets of Queensland-based principals will be used. The emergence of enterprise bargaining into the workspace of these principals will be used as a means by which to demonstrate the cross-field contagion of the economic field on to the field of schools. The paper contends that the field of educational administration must endeavour to view leadership theory critically and contextually if the complexities associated with contemporary principal leadership practice are to be understood. (Contains 56 footnotes.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia