Educational leadership has a rich history of epistemological debate. From the ‘Theory Movement’ of the 1950-1960s, through to Greenfield’s critique of logical empiricism in the 1970s, the emergence of Bates’ and Foster’s Critical Theory of educational administration in the 1980s, and Evers’ and Lakomski’s naturalistic coherentism from1990 to the present time, debates about ways of knowing, doing, and being in the social world have been central to advancing scholarship. However, since the publication of Evers’ and Lakomski’s work, questions of the epistemological preliminaries of research have become somewhat marginalised. This is not to suggest that such discussions are not taking place, but rather that they have been sporadic and piecemeal.
In New Directions in Educational Leadership Theory, the contributors sketch possible alternatives for advancing scholarship in educational leadership. The coherence of this volume comes not from the adoption of a single theoretical lens, but rather from its engagement with epistemology, ontology, and methodology. The choice of the plural ‘alternatives’ is deliberate, and its use is to evoke the message that there is more than one way to advance knowledge. The approaches adopted across this collection offer fruitful directions for the field and hopefully will stimulate substantive dialogue and debate in the interest of advancing knowledge. This book was originally published as a special issue of Educational Philosophy and Theory.
Table of Contents
Introduction – New Frontiers in Educational Leadership, Management and Administration Theory 1. Problematising the Intellectual Gaze of the Educational Administration Scholar 2. Toward an Ontology of Practices in Educational Administration: Theoretical implications for research and practice 3. Practice Theory: Viewing leadership as leading 4. Thematic Approach to Theoretical Speculations in the Field of Educational Administration 5. Advocating a Post-structuralist Politics for Educational Leadership 6. Leadership in a Performative Context: A framework for decision-making 7. Naturalism and Educational Administration: New directions
Scott Eacott is Senior Lecturer, and Director of the Office of Educational Leadership, in the School of Education at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Educational Administration at the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada.
Colin W. Evers is Professor of Educational Leadership in the School of Education at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.