Silvio Scanagatta
Barbara Segatto

Executive Committee
Ursula Apitzsch, Jean-Louis Derouet, Luisa Ribolzi, Alison Taysum, Carlos Alberto Torres, Catherine Yan Wang

International Scientific Board

Management Staff
Managing editor
Anna Dal Ben


For Italian Law
Iscrizione n.2165 - 13.02.2009 - Registro Stampa Tribunale di Padova

Direttore Responsabile: Giulia Golo

A ‘war’ of discourses. The formation of educational headship in Italy

TitleA ‘war’ of discourses. The formation of educational headship in Italy
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsSerpieri R
Date Published02/2009
PublisherPadova University Press
Place PublishedPadova, IT
ISSN Number2035-4983
Keywordsdiscourses, head teachers’ formation, isomorphism, training

This article is about a massive process of “actorhood” formation that occurred in the Italian education system during the last ten years as a consequence of the renewal of head teachers’ role. The “triad [selection, recruitment and training] of institutionalised processes” took on a different shape and new training policies were implemented. This work illustrates how the process of designing the training activities was developed through the use of two institutional models and influenced by conflicting discourses. The contradictions embedded in the policies for designing new head teachers and setting the “core technology” to prepare them is commented upon, and the conflict between the ‘old’ bureaucratic and professional discourses and the ‘new’ managerialist discourse is analysed. The way these “discourses” have been in a constant struggle is illustrated adopting a neoinstitutionalist perspective. The war between discourses produced isomorphism in Italian education policies in two ways: i) in the case of the formal organizational structure, through the introduction of homogeneous head teacher training models, by looking at the experience of other educational systems; ii) in the case of the institutionalization of the head teacher’s role, by following a managerialistentrepreneurialist model. Evidence of the entrance of the managerialist discourse on the scene of Italian education policies is given. Moreover the old bureaucratic and professional discourses displayed all their strength in resisting the managerialist discourse.