Leadership in education: "what works" or "what makes sense"?

SIMKINS, T. J. (2005). Leadership in education: "what works" or "what makes sense"? Educational management administration and leadership, 33 (1), 9-26.

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Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1177/1741143205048168


This article explores some aspects of current thinking about leadership in education. It argues that ideas about leadership which are predicated upon the assumption that ‘what works’ can be identified, prescribed and replicated are at least an inadequate way of conceiving the concept and often may be inappropriate and unhelpful. It also argues that in the leadership world ‘making sense of things’ is at least as important as ‘seeking what works’. The argument proceeds in four stages. First, the article outlines two approaches to the conceptualization of leadership that it terms the ‘traditional’ and ‘emerging’ approaches. Second, it considers the policy context within which leadership is today located, both in education and more widely within the public sector. Third, it explores some implications that these ideas about leadership and this policy context raise for leadership and leadership development in education. Finally, it draws conclusions, identifying six dimensions of a sense-making agenda for educational leaders.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: educational leadership, leadership, leadership development, managerialism, sense-making
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Institute of Education
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1177/1741143205048168
Page Range: 9-26
Depositing User: Ann Betterton
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2008
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 23:30
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/144

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