Although traditional curriculum and instructional leadership frameworks have dominated educational administration training for almost thirty years, it has become increasingly clear that even the most recent frameworks have failed today’s leaders who struggle with the politics of curriculum decisions on a daily basis. Critical Curriculum Leadership is an examination of curriculum leadership in the wake of U.S. testing mandates and school reforms, all of which seem to support a particular set of conservative ideologies. Drawing from her own longitudinal ethnographic study and from existing literature and research in the field, Ylimaki explores the formation of curriculum leadership in relation to broader cultural and political shifts. She shows how traditional leadership frameworks have come up short, and makes the case for an alternative leadership theory at the intersection of educational leadership and curriculum studies. She provides analytical tools that inspire progressive education and offers critical theories, strategies, research examples, problem-posing cases, and research ideas essential for curriculum leadership in the present conservative era. Critical Curriculum Leadership will appeal to the many educational leadership scholars and practitioners who are interested in developing effective and socially just curricula in their schools and districts as well as curriculum scholars who are interested in leadership issues.
"This book brings much needed balance to scholarship on instructional leadership, which has focused on how we lead while neglecting curriculum content—or what we lead. In this insightful book, Ylimaki convincingly argues that in our obsession with test scores, we are failing to teach our children and youth how to think rationally and critically about the increasingly complex world they will inherit."
--Gary L. Anderson, Professor of Educational Administration, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, New York University
"Ylimaki introduces, explains, and illustrates a sophisticated, critically-informed definition of curriculum leadership that is vital to the future of democratic societies. This well-balanced, clearly argued, and carefully researched book presents an inspired vision for the future of leadership development and artistry in education."
--James Henderson, Professor of Curriculum Studies, Kent State University