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Iscrizione n.2165 - 13.02.2009 - Registro Stampa Tribunale di Padova

Direttore Responsabile: Giulia Golo

Discourses of Distribution: Anchoring Educational Leadership to Practice

TitleDiscourses of Distribution: Anchoring Educational Leadership to Practice
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsSerpieri R, Grimaldi E, Spanò E
Secondary TitleItalian Journal of Sociology of Education
Date PublishedOctober 2009
PublisherPadova University Press
Place PublishedPadova, IT
ISSN Number2035-4983
Keywordsdiscourses, Distributed Leadership, Educational Contexts

The paper deals with the fashioning idea of distributed leadership and the related issue of education ecology democratization. The analysis of distributed leadership theories is carried on using two interpretative dimensions: discourses as regimes of truth and ontological and epistemological presuppositions. This first dimension refers to the classical tripartition between welfarism (bureau-professionalism), managerialism and democratic-critical discourse. The second dimension recalls Seddon’s distinction between categorical and relational education contexts and, drawing on Bottery’s and Gronn and Ribbins works, exploites it in the light of a focus on both human and practice ontologies. The paper shows three conceptions of distribution. The first one is recognisable through the connection between the ontology of practice and the welfarist discourse (distributed leadership in practice). Another conception could be called delegated, more than distributed, leadership because it stresses this idea from a managerialist perspective grounding on a human ontological basis. The third one refers to different conceptions such as dispersed or ecological leadership or to the anchoring of leadership practices to the social division of labour and to the power relationships in the field of education. The anchoring of leadership theories to the ontologies of practice, it is argued, is crucial to ‘discuss’ the idea of distribution in a democratic perspective.