• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

`If there in one word to describe the issues addressed by Peter Gronn in The New Work of Educational Leaders it's "timely" And if there is one book that education policy makers, system CEOs and education ministers should find the time to read, this is it' - Educare News `This book is essential reading fro those involved in educational leadership and policy development. This work is also valuable for those interested in the locally organized and interactionally achieved context of institutional work' - Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics if Education `Though based in Australia, Peter Gronn shows familiarity with the British education system, and this boo is relevant to those in the compulsory and post-compulsory sectors interested in the themes of education leadership' - Learning and Skills Research In The New Work of Educational Leaders, Peter Gronn provides a new framework for understanding leadership practice. The work of leaders will increasingly be shaped by three overriding but contradictory themes: design; distribution; and disengagement. These are the `architecture' of school and educational leadership. Designer-leadership is the use of mandatory standards of assessment and accreditation for school leaders, such as the National Qualification for Headship (NPQH) in the United Kingdom and the (Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) standards in the United States. Distributed patterns of leadership have developed in response to the intensification of school leaders' work under policy regimes of site-based and school self-management. Disengagement describes a culture of abstention, in which school systems anticipate leadership succession problems, such as projected shortages and recurring recruitment difficulties.

A Distributed View of Leadership
A distributed view of leadership

In education and the social sciences, the study of leadership has been dominated since its inception by the notion of focused leadership. At the core of this understanding, with which the design systems considered in the previous chapter are conceptually aligned, is a deeply entrenched commitment to a unit of analysis comprising a solo or stand-alone leader. Confirmation of this claim can be found in Rost's (1993) recent comprehensive review of the literature. Rost (1993, p. 70) noted that, despite signs of an incipient challenge to mainstream analyses of leadership at the end of the 1970s (on which see Gronn, 2002d), more than 130 books published in the next decade reinforced the conventional message that ‘leadership ...

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