A/Prof Scott Eacott is relational theorist in the School of Education at the University of New South Wales, and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Educational Administration at the University of Saskatchewan. He previously held positions at the University of Newcastle, Australian Catholic University and the New South Wales Department of Education. His work has provided important insights into understanding educational leadership, management and administration through a relational approach.
Scott Eacott’s work is a welcome departure from rational approaches that oversimplify the practice and theorising of leadership in and for schools. Howard Youngs (AUT University)
A/Prof Eacott belongs to a group of scholars in educational administration who could be called meta-sociologist. This group blends sociology, historical revisionism, managerial theories and general philosophy to emphasize the relevance of sociological analysis in the field of educational administration. Proposing a relational turn, Eacott’s work outlines a methodological agenda for constructing an alternative approach to educational leadership, management and administration scholarship that might be persuasive beyond the critical frontier.
Eacott does not seek to prescribe how leadership research should be carried out (for example, through particular qualitative, quantitative approaches), but rather that there needs to be an epistemological shift in how we seek knowledge, what is worth knowing and what is relevant. Richard Niesche (UNSW)
His relational research program is arguably the most ambitious agenda in educational leadership, management and administration coming out of Australia since Colin Evers and Gabriele Lakomski‘s natural coherentism and Richard Bates‘ Critical Theory of educational administration. As a research agenda, it engages with: the centrality of administration in constructions of the social world; the legitimation of popular labels such as ‘leadership’; the inexhaustible and inseparable grounding of organizing activity in time and space; and overcomes contemporary tensions of individualism/collectivism and structure/agency to provide a productive – rather than merely critical – space to theorize educational leadership, management and administration.
Eacott’s reworking of the ‘unit of analysis’ away from individuals and instead to their relations, is extremely helpful in breaking away from the stagnation that is the current, fruitless literature on leadership. Donald Gillies (University of West Scotland)
He is a Fellow of the Australian Council for Educational Leaders (NSW), former convenor of the Educational Leadership Special Interest Group of the Australian Association for Research in Education, a member of the National Advisory Board for the Australian Applied Management Colloquium, and an expert commentator for the Australian Council for Educational Leaders. He is also on the Editorial Board of Journal of Educational Administration and History, International Journal of Leadership in Education, International Journal of Educational Management, International Journal of Educational Administration and Policy Studies , Leadership and Policy Quarterly and Perspectives on Educational Leadership. He is regularly sought for commentary on current issues for school leaders by a range of Australian professional journals and systemic authorities.
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