The Practices: Leadership
The Professional Practices: Leadership
In his book ‘Hit the Ground Kneeling’, the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Stephen Cottrell, Archbishop of York, suggests that leadership requires stillness and composure. Whether or not we think of ourselves as leaders, he says, time spent in reflective attentiveness, what the Church calls ‘contemplation’, makes for healthier more fruitful living (Cottrell, 2018). In a neo-Aristotelian sense, professions such as teaching may consider leadership practices to be deeply ethical, moral, and virtuous and particular to the specific needs of the school’s context (Gootenboer and Hardy, 2017). This notion speaks to the conception of practice as ‘praxis’ – practices that are oriented towards the good for not only the individual in question but society as a whole, and including the most marginalised (Kemmis et al., 2014; Gootenboer and Hardy, 2017).
Over recent years, the role of the school leader (at every level) has become increasingly important (Neeleman, 2018) and, in the context of the Welsh Government’s national mission (2017a), it is clear that educational leadership is an integral component, central to the promotion and realisation of educational change in Wales. In embodying our mission – in realising our ‘intentions’ and ‘purposes’ – the role of leadership is implicit in articulating those aims and aspirations in forms that can effectively inform and guide the practice of teaching (Elliott, 2015), simultaneously promoting the Welsh Government’s pedagogic vision and national ambition for educational reform.
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