Last week I was fortunate enough to be awarded the Hedley Beare Award for Educational Writing by the Australian Council for Educational Leaders. Previous winners include John Hattie, Viviane Robinson, Peter Ribbins, Pat Duignan, Frank Crowther, Neil Cranston, Neil Dempster, Paul Brock. One thing that does stand out is that since the award’s inception in 2002, only once has it be won by a woman (Chris Cawsey – 2009), who incidentally was the person who read my citation at the ceremony.
The official citation read:
Dr Scott Eacott is a generous and active contributor to ACEL in his writing, use of social media and commitment to extending the debate about educational leadership. His most recent book, Educational leadership Relationally (Sense, 2015), is arguably the most ambitious research agenda in educational leadership, management and administration coming out of Australia in recent years. His work provides important insights into understanding social relations for theorising educational leadership, management and administration.According to other academics, Scott’s work is a welcome departure from rational approaches that oversimplify the practice and theorising of leadership in and for schools. By reframing the unit of analysis away from individual leaders to focus instead on their relationships, is extremely helpful in moving the research on educational leadership forward.Blending sociology, historical revisionism, managerial theories and general philosophy, Scott provides an innovative approach to the analysis of the work of educational leaders. Proposing a new set of ideas, namely a relational turn, his work represents an alternate theoretical resource that is persuasive for engaging with the messiness of contemporary schooling.The ideas Scott has offered in Educational Leadership Relationally have been published extensively and have achieved national and international reach. His ideas have been debated in a Special Issue of Journal of Educational Administration and Foundations by academics from six other countries and they have also been used by other researchers studying in areas as diverse as research methods, school accountability, teacher education and school autonomy.Educational Leadership Relationally is a challenging text for those thinking about the leadership of educational organisations and his contributions to ACEL debates always make us think. This is consistent with the work of Hedley Beare and makes Scott a worthy recipient of the award named in Hedley Beare’s honour.
I am very humbled to be recognized by my peers for my work.