ERIC Number: EJ871003
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Abstractor: As Provided
From Heroes and Heroines to Hermaphrodites: Emasculation or Emancipation of School Leaders and Leadership?
School Leadership & Management, v29 n4 p353-371 Sep 2009
In the fast paced, fluid contemporary world, and in a headlong rush to invent the future, there is a tendency to jettison aspects of the past as flotsam and jetsam, unworthy of a place in steerage into the future. This paper argues that is some respects the ordinary heroes and heroines who enact school leaderships, and from their practice contribute to contemporary leadership literature, are short changed by a tendency towards collective cultural amnesia that denies them ordinary hero status; a tendency towards emasculation of ordinary heroes and heroines. While situating more contemporary concepts of leadership within a longer trajectory of leadership archetypes, myths and legends, the paper argues that some valuable aspects of more traditional conceptualizations of leadership have been debased, marginalized by a tendency towards celebrity in academic discourses that values more fashionable notions of teacher and distributed leadership where claims to authenticity outstrip available evidentiary warrants, as well as silence more enduring aspects of leadership literature. This is not a denial of incremental contributions to contemporary leadership by more recent emphases on more democratic and participative or distributed approaches to leadership so much as a call for a more considered recapitulation of the field whereby ordinary people doing extraordinary work are given due recognition for their sterling contributions with some potential also to render school leadership more attractive to teachers. Thus a more perspectival rendering of leadership literature is more likely to have an emancipatory impulse, while recognizing that individual agency, no matter how carefully choreographed in the dance of distributed leadership practices, continues to be indispensable.
Descriptors: Instructional Leadership, Teaching Methods, Misconceptions, Leadership Qualities, Administrator Characteristics, Participative Decision Making, Teacher Leadership, Educational Policy, Teacher Collaboration, Cooperative Planning, Work Environment
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A