2019 Conference: Leadership across boundaries: Challenges for Educators and Teacher Educators
The 17th SCoTENs annual conference, Leadership across boundaries: Challenges for Educators and Teacher Educators, will take place on Thursday 17 and Friday 18 October in the Slieve Russell Hotel, Ballyconnell
Effective educational leadership is arguably more important now than ever before given the pressures and challenges resulting from the widening diversity of student needs, increasing accountability, performance measurement, reducing budgets, and a prescriptive policy context (MacBeath, 2012; Bush, Bell & Middlewood, 2019). These challenges require educational leaders to have vision, criticality, commitment and a clear sense of educational purpose built on strong ethical and moral foundations (Begley 2010).
Classroom teachers too are ‘leaders of learning’ and this has been reflected in policy developments on both sides of the Irish border. The Learning Leaders strategy for teacher professional learning in Northern Ireland sets out a vision of every teacher as a learning leader “accomplished in working collaboratively with all partners in the interests of children and young people” (DE, 2016, §2.2). Similarly, Ireland’s DES notes how ‘leadership is distributed throughout the school as a key support for pupil learning’ (DES, 2017, §1.2). Whether a school or a teacher education institution, how leadership is practised shapes the culture, ethos and identity of its community and its members.
The 2019 SCoTENS conference seeks to interrogate the kind of leadership needed for contemporary education and teacher education. It invites examination and discussion on the challenges facing educational leaders and teases out how these challenges can be met and boundaries crossed. In view of the reforms in teacher education, both curricular and institutional/structural, the conference provides a forum for reflection on matters of leadership in all levels of teacher education.
Bush, T., Bell, L. and Middlewood, D. (2019) The Principles of Educational Leadership and Management. London: Sage.
MacBeath (2012) ‘Stories of compliance and subversion in a prescriptive policy environment’ in M. Preedy, N. Bennett and C. Wise (Eds.) Educational Leadership – Context, Strategy and Collaboration. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.
Begley, P.T. (2010) ‘Leading with moral purpose: the place of ethics’ in T. Bush, L. Bell and D. Middlewood (Eds.) The Principles of Educational Leadership and Management. London: Sage.
Department of Education (2016) Learning Leaders: A Strategy for Teacher Professional Learning. Bangor: DENI.
Department of Education and Skills (2017) Leadership and Management in Primary Schools Circular Letter 0063/2017 Dublin: DES