'The theory and practice of democracy and democratic leadership have implications for how we understand what ought to be counted as 'improving schools' In this book Woods focuses on the idea of democratic leadership, examining what is meant by democratic leadership, what forms it can take, and how it is relevant to school education and learning. He shows how the ideals and theories of democratic leadership can translate into practice, and sets out some of the challenges that democratic leadership poses in the context of contemporary education . Democratic Leadership in Education challenges conventional approaches to leadership and many of the assumptions inherent in educational policy. It is about understanding and exploring both the idea of democratic leadership and its practical relevance through examples drawn from practice and research. An enlightening resource for practitioners and students on professional development and academic courses, this book will be essential reading for all policy makers, academics and others (such as inspectors) who critically examine leadership and management of educational institutions.
Chapter 1: Meanings of Democratic Leadership
Meanings of Democratic Leadership
The essence of democracy is how people govern themselves, as opposed to how they are governed by others (Williams 1963: 316). It is a hotly debated issue that has generated a large variety of meanings concerning the nature of democratic societies, organisations and groups (Held 1996; Saward 2003). Different conceptions of democracy imply differing conceptions of the individual and of human purposes, of norms and values and, not least, of the aims and significance of education. Some conceptions of democracy are narrow, such as liberal minimalism, one of the models of democracy discussed below. Others are broad. Carr and Hartnett, for example, describe the classical conception as a ‘critical concept incorporating a set of political ideals and a ...