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.
A ‘war’ of discourses. The formation of educational headship in Italy
Serpieri R. (2009) "A ‘war’ of discourses. The formation of educational headship in Italy " Italian Journal of Sociology of Education, 1(1), 122-142. DOI: 10.14658/PUPJ-IJSE-2009-1-10
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Italian Journal of Sociology of Education
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