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What if we flipped curriculum leadership?

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Presentation at the Australian Curriculum Studies Association (ACSA) annual conference 'What if ...' at Shore (North Sydney).

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What if we flipped curriculum leadership?

  1. 1. WHAT IF WE FLIPPED CURRICULUM LEADERSHIP Dr Scott Eacott
  2. 2. #EDST5433
  3. 3. OVERVIEW Objective • To articulate an approach to school leadership that flips the narrative for what counts. Quality criteria • You will have greater clarity as to the focus of your work; • Demonstrate your level of coherence against that focus; and • Be able to craft a narrative for your work. Tasks • Front loading with a quasi-lecture from me; • Work through a relational methodology; and • Collaboratively bring it altogether to productively contribute.
  4. 4. MY APPROACH TO TEACHING Overview • Relations, dialogue, debate, critique, justification, social epistemology Today • No single approach (sometimes we need to accept that others are working towards a goal different to our own) • A relational methodology • No theory and practice separation Core message • Clarity; Coherence; and Narrative
  5. 5. MY CLAIMS • Schools are good at what they prioritize • Education is political • Contested – but do we contest? • Clarity | coherence | narrative
  6. 6. Good at what we prioritize
  7. 7. THE VACUOUS ORTHODOXY
  8. 8. DISTINCTIONS Eacott, S. (2011). Leadership strategies: reconceptualising strategy for educational leadership. School Leadership & Management, 31(1), 35-46.
  9. 9. THE LPEM PROJECT Insights from Amy* a primary school principal We are a really good school. We are effective. We say we will educate the kids in a holistic manner, and that is what we do. Although we are answerable to our political masters, at the same time you have to be true to yourself and enact what we see as a good education. (Eacott, 2013, p. 27) Eacott, S. (2013). Asking questions of leadership: using social theory for more than critique. Leading & Managing, 19(1), 18-31. 9
  10. 10. CURRICULUM, PEDAGOGY, ASSESSMENT, and LEADERSHIP • Separation of mechanics of schooling from education • Reforms based on systems thinking Should we break down the work of educators to constantly smaller parts for the purpose of intervention/manipulation? What if we flipped curriculum leadership? • Teachers as curriculum workers (Mockler, 2017)
  11. 11. THE WORK OF EDUCATORS
  12. 12. 1897 TEACHERS’ EXAMINATION
  13. 13. FOR FULL TEXT SEE HERE
  14. 14. MORE THAN … • Not about playing the game better, but asking questions about the rules of the game and its formula for success (Thomson, 2010). • The only way to change the world is to think differently about it. Eacott, S. (2011). Preparing ‘educational’ leaders in managerialist times: an Australian story. Journal of Educational Administration and History, 43(1), 43-59.
  15. 15. THE PET PROJECT • Investigating principals’ experiencing temporality What we have come to know as the school and the administration of schooling is constituted through the operationalisation and privileging of clock time. The temporal rules of schooling construct the school day, terms, semesters, the school year, class schedules and the notion of progression based on time. (p. 96) • Many tensions have a temporal foundation • Tensions of education and administration Eacott, S. (2013). Leadership and the social: Time, space and the epistemic. International Journal of Educational Management, 27(1), 91-101.
  16. 16. ONTOLOGICAL COMPLICITY • What do we mean ‘curriculum leadership’? • What is curriculum? • What is leadership? • How are we complicit in advancing the orthodoxy? Relational theorizing • Curriculum and leadership as organizing activity • We are auctors generating organizing activity
  17. 17. PROBLEMATIZING LANGUAGE Key question: • How do others use ‘curriculum’ and ‘leadership’? Relational theorizing • Knowledge is always in relation • As auctors we generate spatio-temporal conditions @ScottEacott
  18. 18. SPATIO-TEMPORAL CONDITIONS • What do it look like here? • How we think of ‘curriculum’ and ‘leadership’ shapes how we see, act, and judge organizing activity. • This is where coherence matters Relational theorizing • Spatio-temporal conditions are shaped by and shaping of the image of organizing activity
  19. 19. BEYOND ANALYTICAL DUALISM To think relationally about curriculum leadership is: • Not about structure or agency • It is neither universal nor particular • It is not individual or holist Relational theorizing • Understanding is relational and not static
  20. 20. PRODUCTIVE THEORIZING • This is not about critique • It is about having a defensible position • This means being able to justify your decisions, actions, and so in the face of critique • It is not about blind alignment but coherence • This coherence is built on clarity • Most importantly, you generate the narrative
  21. 21. CURRICULUM MAPPING Objective • To articulate an approach to school leadership that flips the narrative for what counts. Quality criteria • You will have greater clarity as to the focus of your work; • Demonstrate your level of coherence against that focus; and • Be able to craft a narrative for your work. Tasks • Front loading with a quasi-lecture from me; • Work through a relational methodology; and • Collaboratively bring it altogether to productively contribute.
  22. 22. KEY TAKEAWAYS • Effectiveness begins with clarity • You are judged in relation to coherence • YOU construct the narrative of your school
  23. 23. DIALOGUE AND DEBATE Paper presented to: Australian Curriculum Studies Association Annual Conference What if? Embracing complexity through curriculum innovation Shore Sydney Church of England Grammar School Blue Street, North Sydney NSW AUSTRALIA 06 October 2017
  24. 24. Contact Details Dr Scott Eacott PhD MLMEd GradCertPTT BTeach/BSocSci FACEL Director, Higher Research Degree Programs School of Education University of New South Wales Sydney NSW AUSTRALIA 2052 P: +61 2 9385 0704 T: @ScottEacott E: s.eacott@unsw.edu.au W: http://scotteacott.com

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