The importance of context
Author: Simon R. P. Clarke,Thomas A. O'Donoghue
How do different contexts influence the nature and character of school leadership? This book is predicated on the simple, yet profound, observation that school leadership can only be understood within the context in which it is exercised. The observation is particularly valid in relation to post-conflict societies especially when they have eventuated from new-wars. Schools in these contexts face highly complex circumstances and a level of environmental turbulence requiring different kinds of leadership from those operating in less complicated and relatively stable situations. By assembling an impressive array of international experts, this book investigates a much neglected area of research. Each chapter highlights the importance of context for understanding the realities of school leadership, and reveals the challenges and influences that school leaders face as well as the strategies they adopt to deal with the complexities of their work. In particular, valuable insights are provided into how intractable problems faced by schools can affect student, professional and organizational learning agendas. There are also important glimpses of the progression that can be made in schools by: -Enhancing the curriculum -Energizing teaching capacity; and -Optimising leadership capacity. Depictions of post-new war environments include Angola, Ghana, Sri Lanka, Rwanda, Kenya, Solomon Islands, Lebanon, Kosovo, Timor-Leste and Northern Ireland. The book will be key reading for undergraduate and postgraduate students studying educational leadership, comparative education and education policy.