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Educational Leadership Theory

Paradox and the School Leader

The Struggle for the Soul of the Principal in Neoliberal Times

Authors: Dolan, Chris

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  • Proposes an original approach to the study of school leadership using a paradox conceptual framework
  • Examines fifteen paradoxes representing the complexity in the lives and work of principals
  • Adopts an inductive approach, with decisions about theory originating from empirical data drawn from fieldwork conducted in schools
  • Investigates existing structures of power and control by critiquing pervasive assumptions about the fixed and natural qualities of leadership
  • Focuses on emancipatory possibilities, democratic practices and political participation of school leaders
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eBook $84.99
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-981-15-3086-9
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
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  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $109.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-981-15-3085-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This book proposes that paradox, as a theoretically rich and historically enduring concept, has significant potential for researchers in the field of critical leadership studies. By enriching its general form and infusing it with added complexity and theoretical influence, it is argued that paradox can be legitimately applied as a lens for examining and as a pedagogy for realising new learning possibilities.
The book takes paradoxes as formed out of the constitutive practices of discourse rather than as representations of conflict or complexity. Using fifteen paradoxes derived from theoretical and empirical analysis, it provides insights into the competing forces that contradict simplistic positivist accounts of contemporary school leadership and reveal the presence of a political struggle for the soul of the principal in the neoliberal era. It considers these paradoxes in three categories: (1) principal subjectivity and authority, (2) neoliberal policy and (3) managerial practice. 
The book advocates critique, counter-conduct and agonistic thought and practice as resources for principals participating in such a struggle, and employs Foucault's 'care of the self' and 'practices of freedom' to promote more active involvement of principals in authoring their ethical and political selves.

About the authors

Dr Chris Dolan has significant experience as a teacher, principal and system leader, having worked in a wide variety of roles and educational settings during a long and successful career with the South Australian Department for Education. With an ongoing interest in school leadership and a broad professional network, he moved into consultancy work from 2013-2016, with an emphasis on improving curriculum and instructional leadership by providing professional learning for leaders and supporting a range of regional and whole-of-school processes and strategies. He has recently completed a PhD at the University of South Australia, with research focused on the constitutive forces that are shaping school principals in the current policy environment.

Table of contents (9 chapters)

Table of contents (9 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $84.99
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-981-15-3086-9
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $109.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-981-15-3085-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Paradox and the School Leader
Book Subtitle
The Struggle for the Soul of the Principal in Neoliberal Times
Authors
Series Title
Educational Leadership Theory
Copyright
2020
Publisher
Springer Singapore
Copyright Holder
Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.
eBook ISBN
978-981-15-3086-9
DOI
10.1007/978-981-15-3086-9
Hardcover ISBN
978-981-15-3085-2
Series ISSN
2510-1781
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XVII, 234
Number of Illustrations
3 b/w illustrations
Topics