The quality of scholarship in educational leadership has frequently been questioned both within and beyond the field. Much of the work in the field is limited to the analysis of either individual or structural influences on practice. The resulting lists of traits, behaviours and organizational structures provide little in furthering our understanding of leadership. Theoretically informed by the work of Pierre Bourdieu and building on a previous special issue edited by Lingard and Christie, in this paper I contend that insufficient attention has been devoted to the temporal features of leadership actions. Analogies provided by practising principals are used to highlight the directly unobservable features of school leadership. The central argument of this paper is that heightened attention to temporal elements of leadership as a social action has the prospect of elucidating that which is not directly observable and consequently move scholarship beyond the superficial measurement of what is directly observable to a thick description of educational leadership.
International Journal of Leadership in Education Vol. 13, Issue 3, p. 265-281
This is an electronic version of an article published in International Journal of Leadership in Education Vol. 13, Issue 3, p. 265-281. International Journal of Leadership in Education is available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/openurl?genre=article&issn=1360-3124&volume=13&issue=3&spage=265