Having the ‘presence’ and courage to see beyond the familiar: Challenging our habitual assumptions of school leadership

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Youngs, Howard
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2007
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Conference Contribution - Paper in Published Proceedings
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school leadership
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Youngs, H. (2007). Having the 'presence' and courage to see beyond the familiar: Challenging our habitual assumptions of school leadership. Proceedings of the 2007 ACEL and ASCD International Conference: New imagery for schools and schooling: Challenging, creating and connecting. 1-12. Sydney, Australia: Australian Council of Educational Leaders.
Abstract
Leadership in education is at a critical point in relation to practice and research; intensification of work and a preference to prescribe what works contribute to the privileging of formal, individual and task-based forms of school leadership. Consequently, our ability to conceptualise school leadership practice and research beyond what has become familiar can be undermined without us realising. This paper informs a workshop that is aimed at current and aspiring school leaders and researchers of school leadership; the popularisation of distributed forms of school leadership is the focus. Issues of premature popularisation mean that distributed forms of leadership may end up being yet another ‘fad’, potentially causing us to miss what lies beyond the field of school leadership where more relational and emergent conceptualisations of distributed leadership exist. Courage will be needed to suspend dominant views and grapple with what the implications of a broader meaning of leadership means for our schools, research and education policy.
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