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ERIC Number: EJ942987
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 3
ISSN: ISSN-1540-9392
Social Inquiry and Social Action: Priorities for Preparing School Leaders
Gale, Trevor
Scholar-Practitioner Quarterly, v4 n4 p316-318 Win 2010
Schools are uniquely placed in democracies. Among other things, they are sites of learning about things democratic, including learning "through" as one (important) way of learning "about." There are other sites in which to learn about and through democracies but schooling's uniqueness is that it is a site through which all must pass. So positioned, schools also provide models of democracy for other sites. They are formative of bodies: of young hearts and minds, and of what those hearts and minds (will) make of institutions. And yet, in democratic terms, the universal imposition of schooling on the young can be seen as its greatest shortcoming. There is much to learn about the enactment of democracy through compulsory school attendance, as there is from compulsory voting (which is less widespread). This is democracy's greatest conundrum: the legitimacy of imposing an ideal when the ideal is self-determination, albeit determined in collectives. Leaders are strategically positioned in schools. They are positioned as leaders "of" schools while some are also leaders "in" schools. For the most part, they do not come to their position through some democratic process even though some adopt a democratic stance. In this respect, they are democracy's instruments. They have a moral contract with society, not just with those in their school, to be leaders of learning about and through democracy. They have a responsibility to produce the citizens that democracies need and desire in a context of what is possible, and to balance this with the needs and desires of their students, also in relation to what is possible. They can carry the official title of leader--of principal or head teacher--or they may go by other names (e.g., deputy principal and even teacher, teaching assistant, school counselor, etc.). They have a sense of where they are going and carry others with them, which defines their leadership. In this article, the author discusses two major priorities that should guide the preparation of school leaders in democratic societies: (1) Cultivate a "researcherly" disposition: educate leaders for social inquiry; and (2) Cultivate a "teacherly" disposition: educate leaders for social action.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A