Educational Leadership and Hannah Arendt: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Educational Leadership and Hannah Arendt

1st Edition

By Helen M. Gunter


160 pages

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The relationship between education and democratic development has been a growing theme in debates focussed upon public education, but there has been little work that has directly related educational leadership to wider issues of freedom, politics and practice. Engaging with ELMA through the work of Hannah Arendt enables these issues of power to be directly confronted. Arendt produced texts that challenged notions of freedom and politics, and notably examined the lives of people, ideas and historical events in ways that are pertinent to the purposes and practices of education.

This significant volume examines the main texts in the Arendt library and explains each of the key ideas and how they can enable critical thinking about knowledge production and practice in educational leadership. The analysis draws upon a range of exemplars and empirical projects from the field of educational leadership, investigating utility issues regarding Arendt’s ideas, and engaging with the debates concerning her insights and contribution.

Included in the book:

-using Arendt to think about ELMA

-the relationship between policy and practice, and organisation and leadership

-critiques of the vita activa and vita contemplativa

-thinking with and against Arendt.

Gunter uses the work of Arendt to challenge the purposes and practices of intellectual work, with a view to developing perspectives on the responsibility for research and ideas. The book will be of value to all those working and researching in the field of Educational Leadership, Management and Administration.


“This book is not an easy read, and it is not intended to be. It deconstructs the globalization of educational philosophies and curriculum driven by what Gunter (Univ. of Manchester, UK) and associates term, 'Transitional Leadership Package' (TNP), which is being delivered through interrelated educational leadership, management, and administration (referred to in text as "ELMA"). … well worth reading. Summing Up: Recommended.” - D.D. Bouchard, Crown College, in CHOICE, April 2014

Table of Contents

1: Introducing Hannah Arendt 2: Hannah Arendt and the Study and Practice of ELMA 3: Using Arendt to Think About ELMA: Politics and Totalitarianism 4: Using Arendt to Think About ELMA: The Vita Activa 5: Using Arendt to Think About ELMA: The Vita Contemplativa with Dave Hall 6: Thinking With and Against Arendt 7: Annotated Bibliography

About the Author

Helen M. Gunter is Professor of Education Policy at the University of Manchester, UK.

About the Series

Critical Studies in Educational Leadership, Management and Administration

This series brings major theorists from the social and political sciences to critical studies of educational leadership, management and administration. The books provide accessible introductions to key theories combined with explanations of what they offer that will deepen, enliven and enrich studies of schools, further and higher education and adult and community education settings.

Topics covered are those which affect the everyday practices of leaders - social justice, media, markets, surveillance, values, communication, entrepreneurialism, risk management and accountability. The series provides theoretical and methodological resources for those who engaged in formal study of educational leadership, management and administration. It also offers alternative approaches to naming, framing and acting for those who are engaged in the practice of educational leadership, management or administration, or who are providing training and policy for practising educational leaders.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Leadership
EDUCATION / Philosophy & Social Aspects