Once again Associate Professor Scott Eacott is offering a Taste of Research Summer Scholarship for a high achieving under-graduate student to work on an ongoing interdisciplinary research program entitled Recasting Administrative Labour. The focus of the scholarship work is an analysis of the changing nature of school leadership in the contemporary policy environment. Further details and the application form can be found here.
The Summer/Winter Taste of Research Scholarships created by Associate Professor Scott Eacott are an exceptional research opportunity for undergraduate students to work with an established researcher providing insights into what studying for an Honours or Research Higher Degree is all about.
The Taste of Research Scholarships aim to provide scholarship awardees with:
- Experience in educational leadership, management and administration research;
- An insight into future opportunities in the area of educational research; and
- Encourage and attract high quality students interested in pursuing a career in research or academia.
For further details about the program contact Associate Professor Scott Eacott (Scott.Eacott@acu.edu.au).
The closing date for applications is 5:00pm 18 December 2013. Late applications will not be assessed.
This week, A/Prof Eacott and doctoral candidate Gladys Asuga are presenting at the 41st Annual Conference of the Australian and New Zealand Comparative and International Education Society (ANZCIES) in Newcastle. In their presentation ‘Bringing educational ‘leadership’ to life‘ they explicitly challenge the Anglophone origins of ‘leadership’ discourses and how supra-national agencies with facilitate its expansion and production of space. In doing so, A/Prof Eacott and Ms Asuga ask about the possibility of ‘leadership’. As a conclusion, they offer a (not the) path for developing comparative educational administration scholarship.
This week I have the very fortunate opportunity to contribute a guest post on Professor Pat Thomson’s (Nottingham) blog Patter. The post is part of a series Pat has going on ‘learning to supervise’ and takes as it’s focus the recruitment of research students. In an era of expanding metric of research performance and funding, combined with ever more pressure on individual and group of academics to build world-class research programs, the recruitment of quality research students to come along the intellectual journey is overlooked in the quest for student numbers. Hopefully my post on Patter generates dialogue, whether that be online or in School/Department meetings and forums.
This week, as his professorial provocation, A/Prof Eacott asked questions of the state of scholarship in educational leadership, management and administration in Australia (and arguably worldwide). This was not so much a critique but rather a recognition that for many within the boarder field of education research, and definitely the wider scholarly community, the value and significance of educational leadership management and administration as an intellectual discipline has been questioned and even exhausted. Working with the notion raised by Robert Donmoyer, and also Martin Thrupp and Richard Willmott, that educational leadership exists in a state of tacit agreement where those with whom we disagree, we treat with benign neglect, A/Prof raised questions around the relation between the discipline as a field of knowledge production and its interactions with the wider field of education research and the field of practice. His argument had three key markers: the construction of ‘leadership’ as a label; the proliferation of adjectives; and the role of context in the scholarly narrative. While this may seem like a critique, A/Prof Eacott saw this as an opportunity for educational leadership, management and administration as a discipline to re-engage with its purpose and provide new voices and new directions to advance research in new and fruitful directions. For a copy of the paper (which will form part of the book project currently underway) please contact A/Prof Eacott.
This week A/Prof Eacott attended the 6th International Catholic Educational Leadership Conference (#iccel2013) in Sydney, hosted by the Centre for Creative and Authentic Leadership at the Australian Catholic University. Engaging with the theme of ‘paradox and possibilities’, A/Prof Eacott’s paper proposed that the way to meaningfully engage with mainstream education policy – particularly that which privileges numbers and the pursuit of ‘quality’ – is to construct alternate narratives around the work of schooling. In doing so, he explicitly challenged school and system leaders to think differently about how they tell the story of the work they do and what this means for the perception of schools and schooling in public debate. For a copy of A/Prof Eacott’s PowerPoint slides click here.
This week A/Prof Eacott commenced a project with the Maitland-Newcastle Catholic Schools Office entitled ‘Building school leadership capacity through research: a pilot study’. This project is focused on the development and testing of an innovative school leadership preparation and development program that can ‘target’ a specific group (e.g. a school leadership team) and is ‘tailored’ to the individual needs of that group.
This project seeks to improve the quality of school leadership by generating insights into feasible, effective and research-informed options for schools and school systems that can be provided cost effectively at scale. This is an exciting project and if successfully, will hopefully be rolled out at a systemic level.
In recognition of A/Prof Eacott’s work on the edited book Empirical Leadership Research: Letting the Data Speak for Themselves (co-edited with Dr Richard Niesche), he has been awarded the Untested Ideas Center ‘Book Editor of the Year Award’. This edited collection brought leadership scholars together from Australia, the US, and Malaysia and across a number of disciplinary traditions.
This week A/Prof Eacott is presenting a paper at the Inaugural Untested Ideas Conference (Niagara Falls: New York). Explicitly engaging with, and challenging, the conference theme of Letting the Data Speak for Themselves, the argument of the paper is that data is generated and therefore a social construction. As a result data cannot speak for themselves. It is at once the product and producer of our ways of seeing and knowing the social world. To view a the PowerPoint for the paper click here. The paper will also appear as a chapter in the collection Empirical Leadership Research: Letting the Data Speak for Themselves edited by A/Prof Eacott and Dr Richard Niesche (Queensland).
Today A/Prof Eacott will be giving a keynote address at the Bondi / Port Jackson Primary Principals Association Annual Conference in the Blue Mountains. Working with the conference theme of metamorphosis, he will be engaging with how contemporary policy conditions are re-casting the image of the school. In doing so, rather than provide a doom and gloom critical account A/Prof Eacott will provide a productive way of viewing the work of schooling by challenging how we think of ‘time’ and ‘space’. This will be followed by a question and answer session with conference delegates. Click here to view the PowerPoint slides.
Leadership is arguably the central concept of interest in contemporary scholarship on educational administration. Within these scholarly discourses, there is an explicit assumption that leadership is a ‘real’ phenomenon that is not only important, but necessary for educational institutions. Few educational administration scholars engage with issues surrounding the confusion of a socially constructed label with an assumed empirical reality. However, in a paper entitled ‘Leadership’ and the social: time, space and the epistemic published in the most recent International Journal of Educational Management Scott Eacott directly engages with the mobilisation of ‘leadership’ as a label. In doing so, rather than developing another explanation of what constitutes leadership, Dr Eacott engages with the abstraction of ‘leadership’ as an educational administration concept. The question that this arises is whether leadership is a particularly useful concept for thinking through the administration of organisations.