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Rhetoric, Reality and Research: The rhetoric of systemic reform, the reality of leadership development and current trends in school leadership research in the United States

TitleRhetoric, Reality and Research: The rhetoric of systemic reform, the reality of leadership development and current trends in school leadership research in the United States
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsSpicer DEddy
Secondary TitleITALIAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY OF EDUCATION
Volume4
Issue1
Pagination305-320
Date Published02/2012
PublisherPadova University Press
Place PublishedPadova, IT
ISSN Number2035-4983
Keywordseducational reform, leadership development, school organisation, United States
Abstract

This paper considers a central puzzle of educational reform in the United States: the problem of developing and supporting a strong system of schooling and system-wide leadership at the district level, a unit of organizing equivalent to the former Local Educational Authority in England. In the United States, the problem of developing the system of schooling at this level has come into focus as a result of efforts to enact federal and state policy that aims to bring about dramatic improvements in instructional practice and student learning, particularly in large urban districts. I invoke the four arenas of policy, practice, theory and research to understand the need for theories of organizing and organization around this middle tier and to sketch the broader systems encompassing systems of schooling and systems of research. I apply these four arenas to the analysis of three exemplary recent research and leadership development projects in the United States. The conclusions from this review highlight the paucity of robust theories about organizing and organization at the middle level and the lack of incentive structures that might contribute to expanding foundations of knowledge for the field.

URLhttp://ijse.padovauniversitypress.it/2012/1/12
DOI10.14658/pupj-ijse-2012-1-12
Paper: