ERIC Number: EJ1151487
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Abstractor: As Provided
Generating Change from Below: What Role for Leadership from Above?
King, Fiona; Stevenson, Howard
Journal of Educational Administration, v55 n6 p657-670 2017
Purpose: In recent years the benefits of distributed leadership have often assumed the status of an unchallengeable orthodoxy. There is a general acceptance that leadership is best when it is dispersed. In reality this is often little more than a form of "licensed leadership" in which those working in subordinate roles can only exercise their leadership in tightly prescribed contexts. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the contribution of teacher professional development to promoting a more optimistic vision of teacher leadership and, ultimately, organisational change. It explores the role of leadership "from above" in supporting classroom teachers to engage with and sustain change. Design/methodology/approach: The study, which was situated in the Republic of Ireland, employed a case study approach with 20 participants in five urban disadvantaged schools. Findings: The paper seeks to demonstrate how a professional development initiative was used to promote significant and sustained change in four of the five case study schools. Research limitations/implications: It argues that in order to understand sustained change in schools it is necessary to better understand the complex ways in which leadership from above can generate change agency from below. Originality/value: This paper offers a critical perspective in relation to mainstream distributed leadership theory and practice.
Descriptors: Leadership Role, Administrative Organization, Participative Decision Making, Transformational Leadership, Teacher Leadership, Organizational Change, Case Studies, Disadvantaged Schools, Urban Schools, Faculty Development, Performance Factors, Qualitative Research, Program Implementation, Sustainability, Elementary Secondary Education, Foreign Countries, Evidence Based Practice
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ireland