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‘It's like we’re in two different schools’: Contrasting stories of teacher and leader autonomy within a distributed approach to leadership

journal contribution
posted on 2022-11-21, 05:32 authored by Amanda KeddieAmanda Keddie, Jillian BlackmoreJillian Blackmore, Katrina MacDonaldKatrina MacDonald
The articulation of school autonomy into practice nationally, regionally and locally is highly situated in terms of what it enables or impedes with regard to the professional autonomy of principals and teachers. Principal autonomy does not necessarily mean greater teacher professional autonomy. In this paper, we draw on a three-year qualitative study investigating the social justice implications of school autonomy reform in Australia. We present interview data from a case study of a large secondary college to present two conflicting stories of autonomy. Supported by a managerial restructure reflecting distributed leadership, we juxtapose the positive account of autonomy expressed by the leadership team with the negative one expressed by teachers. We explore the justice implications of this disjuncture and argue the importance of critically examining the complex ways in which the intentions and enactments of distributed leadership can be differently articulated and understood within the context of school autonomy reform.

Funding

School autonomy reform and social justice: a study of public education in Australia | Funder: Australian Research Council | Grant ID: DP190100190

History

Journal

Educational Management Administration and Leadership

Pagination

1-16

Location

London, Eng.

ISSN

1741-1432

eISSN

1741-1440

Language

English

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Publisher

SAGE Publications