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

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.

In: Enacting and Conceptualizing Educational Leadership within the Mediterranean Region
Chapter 7 Digitally Equipped

Abstract

In this chapter, we will focus on the digital turn in educational leadership in Italy. After a long-lasting period when educational reforms were oriented to introduce methodologies, tools and practices from the New Public Management (), there has been recently a decisive turn towards the introduction of ‘The Digital’ as the new molar agency () around which educational practices are organized. Educational leadership does not get out of this tendency and has again become a privileged object of government reforms. By drawing on ANT and Foucauldian perspectives, our work envisages tracing how the New Public Management and the digital turn are reshaping practices of educational leadership and management. The chapter is based on an extensive set of empirical researches on education reform (; ; Grimaldi & Serpieri, 2013; ) and recent investigations on the introduction and the impact of the digital governance of education in Italy.

In: Enacting and Conceptualizing Educational Leadership within the Mediterranean Region
Volume Editors: Denise Mifsud and Paolo Landri
This edited volume focuses on the cultural situatedness of educational leadership in countries in the Mediterranean basin (Malta, Israel, Spain, Algeria, Portugal, Italy, Cyprus) featuring chapters that explore the reception of the leadership concept and its enactment in education settings within one or more countries of the Mediterranean; consider how both local and global policy discourses work on education leaders who translate this in a distinct school context; focus on the interplay of leaders, followers and context as a complex and ambiguous social construction within the Mediterranean context; study leadership via a combination of a theoretical definition and a consideration of what a particular group means by ‘leadership’, with a specific openness to local meanings; explore the unfolding of education reform as either a top-down or bottom-up process; consider the various cultural, religious, social and local factors that ‘dictate’ both leadership enactment, in addition to the power flow among leaders and followers; argue how the territorial, political and religious conflicts affect educational leadership, and thus the implementation of education reform to either conform to or converge from globalized discourses.

This book is targeted for post-graduate and doctoral students, as well as scholars, interested in the study of educational leadership, policy and politics of education, Mediterranean studies, and sociology of education. It is also of interest to those who feel the need to address the ‘missing-what’ of educational leadership in the Mediterranean region, an area of study that is largely dominated by Western models.