Whatever it takes! Using a component theory approach with public secondary school principals ‘doing schooling differently’

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    4 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose: The research seeks to capture the ‘special character’ of schools as seen through the eyes of the Principal and to introduce alternative understandings of ideological praxis’ to challenge and unsettle the dominant ideology and logics of secondary schooling with consequent school design implications in South Australia. Design/methodology/approach: Using an ideological framework based, the research focussed on the common shared understandings across each school pertaining to each ideology. Data were gathered through semi-structured interviews and analysed through interpretive and hermeneutic processes. Findings: The findings show the tensions, subtleties and nuances of two dominant and competing ideologies: a dominant discourse of individual schooling purpose for student mobility and economic productivity and an emerging public purposes ideology of education for good citizenship, sustainable futures and the public good. The dominant neoliberal public policy ideology and the associated historical design logics of conventional schooling is challenged and reconstituted by the experience, expertise, courage, determination and moral purpose of the principals in this research. Originality/value: This article opens specific ideological understandings held by the Principals that have moved all of the schools towards pedagogical excellence and a repurposing of their organisations for the students’ sake.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)188-211
    Number of pages24
    JournalSchool Leadership and Management
    Issue number1-2
    Early online date2017
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2017


    • educational ideology
    • educational leadership
    • Organisational change
    • organisational storyline
    • schooling purpose
    • South Australia


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