Chapter 1 Problematizing the Dominant Discourses and Policies of Educational Leadership within the Mediterranean Basin

In: Enacting and Conceptualizing Educational Leadership within the Mediterranean Region

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Abstract

This introductory chapter sets the stage for this edited book that documents and deconstructs the concept of educational leadership within various education settings across the Mediterranean region, exploring the intersection of education, culture and geopolitics as shaped by the distinct social, religious, national, cultural and geographic contexts. Notoriously little agreement exists about how leadership may be defined – describe the field as characterized by ‘conceptual confusion and endemic vagueness’ (p. 369). This chapter problematizes the romanticization of leadership, as well as the concept of leader centrism, while deconstructing the search for a blueprint of competences that define leadership as an exceptional practice that can simply be simulated across situations, contexts and cultures. The authors further problematize the notions of universality and cultural contingency in educational leadership, given the recent unfolding of a cultural turn in educational leadership studies (). Consequently, this chapter paves the way for the presentation of an understanding of the effect of state policies, geopolitics and popular culture on leadership enactment within the diverse education landscapes constituting the Mediterranean basin.

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