Our Orientation to Educational Leadership
On the one hand, a brief survey of current affairs easily equips us with views of the human condition as in a dire state. Environmental catastrophes, surging wars and tribalist mentalities top a considerable list of challenges facing a growing population. We seem burdened to disentangle an endless list of problems, not of our making, but central to our survival and sense of hope. The world is crying out for leadership.
In most cases the response to this call is a form of leadership still underpinned by the hero metaphor. Bound in the neo-liberal ideology, this leadership sees us as individuals whose pursuit of self-interest allegedly improves the common good. Thus our histories, cultures and personal stories are pitted against one another in the quest for a place in a future of increasing homogeneity. The pace is fast, the goal unquestioned and the collateral damage incalculable.
Framings of leadership here, constructed through elitist epistemologies, demanding performative effort at all levels, drain our sense of humanity. Education is framed as for the individual good in preparation for participation as an economic unit in a global marketplace. Educational leadership therefor is necessarily about achieving that end in the most efficient and effective way possible. Thus we are all rendered as technologies whose purpose is to assist in the fight for a dominant place in the market.
On the other hand, amidst the litany of assessments that determine the current state of humanity as woven with grief, disaster and self-destruction, is a growing call for a hope-centred way of being-in-the-world-together. This call rests in the recognition that diversity is generative and it is through dialogue that we hold open possibilities. Our work is sustained by the ways we might live toward a growing sense of life and hope. In these ways, both learning and leadership are understood as always relational and contextual, and thus deeply humane.
Educational leadership takes local form as a vibrant, bespoke and richly meaning-full conversation among those who hold care as primal to our being-together-in-the-world. These conversations, expressed in research, learning and assessment are considered, diverse, strength-focused and outward looking.
What we do
We share a commitment to the ongoing formation of educational leaders, relational and strengths-based approaches to understanding and building sustainable organisations and innovating educational practices.
The Flinders Leadership and Management in Education (FLAME) research group conducts research and professional development in the areas of:
- Strengths based and relational approaches to leadership
- Culture change
- Educational governance and policy
- School Redesign
- Innovating and innovation
- Organisational learning
Our research sectors include:
- Government & NGOs
We also offer the Educational Leadership and Management program, which includes:
- The Doctor of Education or Philosophy
- The Master of Education (Leadership and Management)
- The Master of Education Leadership and Management (with Nankai University in China)
- The Graduate Certificate of Education (Leadership and Management)
- The Graduate Certificate in Organisational Learning