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Leading as emotional management work in high risk times: the counterintuitive impulses of performativity and passion

journal contribution
posted on 2004-01-01, 00:00 authored by Jillian BlackmoreJillian Blackmore
This paper explores, through a case study of educational restructuring in Victoria, Australia, how school leaders in a public education system in Australia mediate reform discourses emphasizing managerial and market accountability and the emotional and messy work of teaching and leading. These accountability exercises were often seen by teachers and principals to be distractions; more about reporting and recording, rather than addressing substantive educational issues. They simultaneously distanced teachers and leaders from the 'real' and 'passionate' work of education while appropriating and commodifying teachers' and leaders' emotions and desires to do well. School leaders were expected to manage the emotional performances of their students, parents and colleagues as well as themselves. They also managed the emotions arising from the dissonance between teachers' professional and personal commitment to making a difference for all students based on principles of equity and the performativity requirements based on efficiency and narrowly defined and predetermined criteria of effectiveness and success that often undermined improvement for many students. In that sense performativity ('being seen to be good') and passion (for 'doing good') often produced counterintuitive impulses.

History

Journal

School leadership and management

Volume

24

Pagination

439-459

Location

London, England

ISSN

1363-2434

eISSN

1364-2626

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2004, Taylor & Francis

Issue

4

Publisher

Routledge

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