1st Edition

Paradoxes of Democracy, Leadership and Education Struggling for Social Justice in the Twenty-first Century

    250 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    250 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Paradoxes of Democracy, Leadership and Education engages both critically and creatively with important social, political and educational issues, and argues that the organisational forms of contemporary schooling are caught up in politically significant contradictions. Highlighting the inescapable paradoxes that educators must grapple with in their thought and practice as they seek to reconcile democracy and leadership in education, this book addresses the question of whether socially just democratic futures can be realised through education.

    Divided into two parts, the first part explores theoretical frameworks and concepts, presenting theory and raising issues and questions, while the second shares diverse examples of practice, renewing and reanimating the links between education, leadership and democracy, and providing models of alternatives. Studying a number of global developments that can be seen as potentially threatening, such as a growing inequality in wealth and income and the declining participation and trust in democratic processes, this text is at the forefront of international innovations in educational theory and philosophy.

    A fascinating and vital read for all researchers and students, Paradoxes of Democracy, Leadership and Education considers the opportunities and challenges that are confronting and threatening education in the modern world.

    John Schostak, Matthew Clarke and Linda Hammersley-Fletcher

    Part I: The Scenes of Debate: How theory opens avenues for action

    Chapter 1: Power, Schools, Schooling and the Perversions of Democracy
    John Schostak

    Chapter 2: Towards a Society of Equals: Challenging the Neoconservative-Neoliberal Alliance
    John Schostak

    Chapter 3: Leadership: Living with and working through Paradox
    Linda Hammersley-Fletcher and John Schostak

    Chapter 4: Democracy and education: ‘In spite of it all’
    Matthew Clarke

    Chapter 5: Inscribing Discourses of Capitalism, Co-operation and Education on the Body and/or Mind
    John Schostak

    Chapter 6: A Crisis of Modernity? The implications for educating the public for socially just futures
    John Schostak and Andonis Zagorianakos

    Chapter 7: From Competition to Collaboration to Cooperation?
    Matthew Clarke, John Schostak and Linda Hammersley-Fletcher

    Part II: The Struggle to Develop Alternatives Within the Contemporary Scenes of Practice

    Chapter 8: "Democratic commoning schools": First notes on producing democratic schools through commoning practices
    Jordi Collet-Sabé

    Chapter 9: Working towards a democratic home-school imaginary
    Charlotte Haines Lyon

    Chapter 10: Leadership, the Vanishing Mediator and Organisation
    Linda Hammersley-Fletcher, John Schostak and Usama Darwish

    Chapter 11: Democracy in the Classroom
    Tony Leach

    Chapter 12: Against Reconciliation: Constituent power, ethics, and the meaning of democratic education
    Noah De Lissovoy

    Chapter 13: Populism, Democracy, Education and Freedom: Creating a world without walls
    John Schostak, Matthew Clarke and Linda Hammersley-Fletcher




    John Schostak is Emeritus Professor at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK.

    Matthew Clarke is Chair Professor of Education at York St John University, UK.

    Linda Hammersley-Fletcher is a Reader in Educational Leadership and Management at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK.

    A hugely important, timely response to contemporary dilemmas in education, democracy and society. Not only does it eloquently and incisively challenge contemporary norms, it explores grounded, inspiring alternatives that have the wisdom, imagination and power to help us develop new practices and possibilities. A deeply thoughtful, thought-provoking book; a book of integrity, power, possibility and occasional beauty. A book which, in its own words, helps us ‘Create the conditions for young people to write the poetry of their own futures’.

    Michael Fielding, Emeritus Professor of Education at the Institute of Education, University College London, UK

    This important and compelling book is a much-needed challenge to the contemporary neoliberal framing of education. Richly theorised and convincingly argued, it presents a lucid and insightful analysis of the current disquieting state of play in education, before clearly setting out the possibilities for real democratisation of education and wider society. This book is a must-read for all those concerned about growing inequalities in education and what we need to do about them.

    Diane Reay, Visiting Professor, London School of Economics, UK, and Emeritus Professor of Sociology of Education, University of Cambridge, UK.

    Contemporary educational leadership is curiously poised between the promise of ever greater freedoms and the sober realisation of tighter regulation and control. The book is eloquent in its consideration of the inescapable paradoxes that beset educational policy and practice. Of how we are first tempted towards the possibility of a better future, espousing greater equality, liberty and inclusivity, before becoming unavoidably compromised through the pervasive exercise of power that both violates democracy and serves to naturalize instrumentalism. Such tensions and contradictions are not easily resolved and while the authors make no claim to do so they otherwise offer a sophisticated account of radically rethinking the formation of future educational practices: relations, institutions and leadership.   

    Dean Garratt, Editor of Power and Education Journal.