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Teaching educational leadership and administration in Australia


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Despite the ubiquity of programmes in educational administration and leadership little is known about the resources used to teach them. This article reviews the sources currently employed in such programmes in Australia by examining the textbooks, book chapters and journal articles specified for 53 separate units (papers) offered at 15 of the key institutions that responded to requests for copies of their reading lists. Surprisingly, few of the units prescribed textbooks (35), relying instead on book chapters (243) and journal articles (362). While there was a very eclectic spread of sources across institutions, 10 major themes emerged. However, there appeared to be little emphasis on Australian research on educational leadership and little reference to major Australian authors of the previous decades. This may be because the field has become global. The second part of the article therefore examines an audit of the contributions made by Australian authors to the global literature represented by leading journals in the field. The audit shows that during the period 1977-2007 an average of 12-13% of papers in key journals were contributed by Australian authors, perhaps more than might be expected given the comparative size of the Australian community.
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Journal of Educational Administration
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Teaching educational leadership and
administration in Australia
Richard Bates a & Scott Eacott b
a School of Education , Deakin University , Waurn Ponds Campus,
Victoria, Australia
b School of Education , University of Newcastle , Callaghan, NSW,
Published online: 18 Jul 2008.
To cite this article: Richard Bates & Scott Eacott (2008) Teaching educational leadership and
administration in Australia, Journal of Educational Administration and History, 40:2, 149-160, DOI:
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Journal of Educational Administration and History
Vol. 40, No. 2, August 2008, 149–160
ISSN 0022-0620 print/ISSN 1478-7431 online
© 2008 Taylor & Francis
DOI: 10.1080/00220620802210913
Teaching educational leadership and administration in Australia
Richard Batesa* and Scott Eacottb
aSchool of Education, Deakin University, Waurn Ponds CampusVictoria, Australia; bSchool of
Education, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW, Australia
Taylor and FrancisCJEH_A_321258.sgm10.1080/00220620802210913Journal of Educational Administration and History0022-0620 (print)/1478-7431 (online)Original Article2008Taylor & Francis402000000August
Despite the ubiquity of programmes in educational administration and leadership little is
known about the resources used to teach them. This article reviews the sources currently
employed in such programmes in Australia by examining the textbooks, book chapters
and journal articles specified for 53 separate units (papers) offered at 15 of the key
institutions that responded to requests for copies of their reading lists. Surprisingly, few
of the units prescribed textbooks (35), relying instead on book chapters (243) and journal
articles (362). While there was a very eclectic spread of sources across institutions, 10
major themes emerged. However, there appeared to be little emphasis on Australian
research on educational leadership and little reference to major Australian authors of the
previous decades. This may be because the field has become global. The second part of
the article therefore examines an audit of the contributions made by Australian authors
to the global literature represented by leading journals in the field. The audit shows that
during the period 1977–2007 an average of 12–13% of papers in key journals were
contributed by Australian authors, perhaps more than might be expected given the
comparative size of the Australian community.
Keywords: teaching; educational leadership; educational administration; Australia
The teaching of educational leadership and administration in Australia is quite widespread,
some 22 of the 36 universities offering units or programmes. It also has a long history,
beginning in the 1950s at the universities of Queensland and New England. Academics from
Australian universities have also made significant contributions to the international litera-
ture of the field. Given this amount of activity it would seem reasonable to ask if there is a
long-standing tradition, an ‘Australian perspective’, that would inform teaching in the field
or whether the field has indeed become ‘global’. There has, however, been little investiga-
tion of what is actually taught in university programmes, whether it constitutes a coherent
perspective or ‘voice’ or how that voice is incorporated into a global approach to the field.
This article examines, firstly, the material used in teaching the field in Australia and,
secondly, the contribution made by Australian scholars to the international literature in lead-
ing journals.
Two publications in particular stimulated the agenda for this article. In the first, Pat
Thomson1 examined a key Australian practitioner journal (The Practising Administrator,
now published as The Australian Educational Leader) as a source of the professional
definition of principals’ work, concluding that there was an overwhelming emphasis on
*Corresponding author. Email:
1Pat Thomson, ‘How Principals Lose Face’, Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education
22, no. 1 (2001): 5–22.
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150 R. Bates and S. Eacott
‘operational and technical matters’ while issues of policy, curriculum and pedagogy were
notable by their absence.2 Moreover, ‘pictures of principals as embodied moral subjects
dealing with complex and shifting situations’ were completely absent.3 In the second,
Bill Mulford provided An Overview of Research on Australian Educational Leadership
2001–2005 and concluded that there was a quite limited research literature on leadership
which constituted only 10–14% of published articles in four key Australian journals.4
As there are significant numbers of leaders and aspiring leaders undertaking
programmes in educational administration and leadership across Australia, the question of
what they are being taught is an important issue. Are programmes focused on Thomson’s
‘operational and technical matters’ or are they founded in the limited published research
discovered by Mulford? Have they yet developed a concern with policy, curriculum and
pedagogy? Do they now regard school leaders as ‘embodied moral subjects dealing with
complex and shifting situations?’
This article attempts an initial assessment of what resources are currently being used to
teach educational leadership and administration in Australia and explores the sources,
themes and characteristics of the field as represented in textbooks, journals and readings in
use in some 15 of the key institutions that responded to my request for copies of their read-
ing lists. The data therefore incorporates material from two-thirds of the programmes
offered by large and small, metropolitan and regional universities in all states.
Some caveats must also be entered. The reading lists are in quite different formats and
are not always easily comparable. Some references were incomplete or inaccurate and were
therefore discarded. Some institutions provided broad reference lists rather than required
reading lists: some were so extensive as to provide an almost complete bibliography of the
field and were clearly not meant as prescribed reading.5 Such lists were used selectively and
references included only where there was evidence that particular sources were required
reading. Other lists provided references to material that was concerned with highly specia-
lised fields. General units in research methods were excluded from the list. There is clearly
an arbitrary nature to some of these decisions, but they seem to have had little distorting
effect on the findings of the survey as a whole.
Across the 15 institutions 53 separate offerings6 were identified and included in the
current study. Commonly, institutions offered up to four units within an educational leader-
ship and administration specialisation with only three institutions offering more than four
options within the field.
This article considers three main sources of teaching materials: textbooks, journal arti-
cles and extracts from books. Some institutions are clearly using websites and on-line jour-
nals as sources of readings. These are not, as yet, extensively in use but indicate a transition
in source material that will be included in a later version of the article.
The most obvious feature of the survey was that the prescription of textbooks seems to have
gone out of fashion. Only seven of the 15 institutions prescribe textbooks in 12 of the 53 units.
Of the 35 textbooks listed 15 were published in the USA, 10 in the UK and 10 in Australia.
2Ibid., 7.
3Ibid., 5.
4Bill Mulford, An Overview of Research on Australian Educational Leadership 2001–2005
(Winmallee, NSW: Australian Council for Educational Leaders, 2007).
5One such list for a single semester unit contained 32 books; more than two per week.
6Units of work.
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Journal of Educational Administration and History 151
Only three textbooks were used by more than one institution. One was American (Starratt,
2004) and two were Australian (Limerick et al., 2002 and Lingard et al., 2003). Notably,
texts that were once standard, such as Hoy and Miskel’s Educational Administration: Theory,
Research and Practice (2001), are no longer a feature of textbook lists, the current edition
being used by only one institution. Only two publishers (Allen & Unwin (four) and Open
University Press (three)) had more than two texts listed, while seven publishers (Lawrence
Erlbaum, McGraw Hill, NCSL, Paul Chapman, Teachers College Press, Thomson and
Jacaranda-Wiley) had two texts listed; 75% of the texts were published in the last five years
and none was more than a decade old.
Textbooks are no longer the main source of material in Australian courses on educa-
tional leadership and administration. It also seems clear that there is no consistent pattern in
their usage. Moreover, while there is a slight predominance of American texts (15), both
British (10) and Australian (10) texts are in use. There is little commonality in text adoption
across institutions.
Book sections
If textbooks have gone out of fashion, then readings taken from single and multiple authored
books have become very fashionable, perhaps because of the relative ease of copying result-
ing from new technologies and copyright laws which permit limited copying for research
purposes. Across the 53 units some 243 chapters or sections from books were prescribed
While multiple multi-national publishing locations and publishing conglomerates make
national identification somewhat difficult, the major sources of publication were the UK (84
readings), the USA (73), Australia (38) and Europe (24). The dominant publishers were
Springer (now including Elsevier and Kluwer, 24), RoutledgeFalmer (20), Sage (19), Jossey-
Bass (12), Paul Chapman (10) and Open University Press (10), with Allen & Unwin, Cassell,
Macmillan, Oxford University Press and Wiley contributing seven each. Surprisingly, given
their relevance to the Australian context, only one publication from the Australian Council
of Educational Leaders (ACEL) and one from the Australian Council for Educational
Research (ACER) appeared on the list.
The most widely used sources of such extracts were the International Handbook of
Educational Change (Hargreaves et al., 1998: 14 readings) followed some way back by the
Dynamics of Organizational Change and Learning (Boonstra, ed., 2004: five readings):
then Leadership in Crisis? (Ehrich and Knight, 1998), and Organisational Effectiveness and
Improvement (Harris et al., 1998), four each; then, Developing Teacher Leaders (Crowther
et al., 2002), Educational Administration: Theory, Research and Practice (Hoy and Miskel,
2001), Shaping School Culture (Deal and Petersen, 1999) and The Essentials of School
Leadership (Davies, 2005) at three each.
Across the full range of 243 extracts only one author’s writings were used 10 times
(Fullan), with Fink, Hargreaves, and Starratt being used four times each and Angus, Blasé,
Bush, Crowther, Deal and Petersen, Gronn, Hoy and Miskel, Mulford, Schein, and Silins
being used three times each. These 14 authors accounted for some 12% of the 164 authors
cited. Some 150 authors were used only once or twice.
In order to determine the topics covered by these readings, titles, key-words, and unit
titles were used to provide a rough classification of content. The overwhelmingly most
common topic was Educational Change (46/243), a dominance that was further enhanced if
combined with Organizational Change (17). Next in frequency came Educational Policy (19),
Organizational Theory (19), Educational Leadership (18), Ethics and School Leadership (16),
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152 R. Bates and S. Eacott
Organisational Learning (13), Professional Development (11), Collaborative Leadership
(10), Leadership and Gender (eight), School Culture; School Effectiveness and Improvement;
and Strategic Leadership (seven each) and Leadership and Globalization (six). Other than
Educational Change, no topic was represented by more than 10% of the readings. Emotional
Management (three), School Choice (three), and Financial and Legal Management (two) were
addressed by single institutions.
The highest proportions of literature for particular topics came from particular publishing
sources. For instance, Collaborative Leadership was dominated by readings published in the
USA; Educational Change by Europe and the UK; Educational Leadership by the UK;
Educational Policy by Australia and the UK; Ethics and School Leadership by the UK and
the USA; Leadership and Gender by the UK; Leadership Theory by the USA; Organizational
Change by the USA; Organizational Culture by the USA; Organizational Learning by the
UK and the USA; Organizational Theory by the UK; School Culture by the USA; School
Effectiveness and Improvement and Strategic Leadership by the UK. Australian contribu-
tions were concentrated in Educational Policy, Organizational Change and Professional
Development, although if Australian authors published overseas, such as Crowther et al.
(USA) and Gronn (UK), were reassigned, significant contributions were made to Collabo-
rative Leadership and Educational Leadership, respectively.
Overall, the impression is one of considerable eclecticism. While there is some agree-
ment on the dominant themes, the sources of readings relating to those themes remain
widely dispersed in terms of authors, publishers and location of publication, with only one
area (Educational Policy) where anything approaching a majority of extracts are Australian.
Significantly, important sources of Australian monographs such as the ACER and ACEL
are notable for their absence.
Readings from journals
If Australian programmes in Educational Leadership and Administration are enthusiastic
about selecting readings from books, then they are even more enthusiastic about readings
from journals, where 362 papers are spread across the 53 units offered by the 15 institutions.
The International Journal of Educational Management was overwhelmingly the most
popular source with some 33 or nearly 10% of readings,7 followed by The Journal of
Educational Administration (20), The Practising Administrator/The Australian Educational
Leader (17), The Journal of Education Policy (15), School Leadership and Management
(14), The Harvard Business Review (13), Leading and Managing (12), The International
Journal of Leadership in Education (12), Educational Leadership (10), Educational
Management, Administration and Leadership (10) and Educational Administration
Quarterly (10). These 11 journals account for over 45% of readings, while the remaining
55% were spread over some 134 journal titles with no other journal contributing more than
six papers. Interestingly, while American journals dominate so many scholarly fields, five
of these 11 journals are published in the UK: four by Falmer and one by Sage. Three jour-
nals are published in the USA and three in Australia, two by the Australian Council for
Educational Leaders.
Once again, using key-words, paper titles and unit titles the 362 readings can be grouped
into a dozen major themes: Educational Change (46), Organisational Leadership and
Learning (46), Collaborative Leadership (32), Professional Development, Supervision and
Mentoring (30), Leadership and Organizational Theory (30), Ethics, Leadership and Social
7Although this figure may be skewed by one unit that used almost no other sources.
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Journal of Educational Administration and History 153
Justice (25), Strategic Leadership and Planning (19), School Effectiveness, Improvement and
Reform (19), Leadership and Gender (16), Leadership and Globalisation (15), Difference
and Diversity (14), Leader Careers (nine), Educational Policy (eight), Accountability (seven)
and School Culture (seven).
Authorship was, once again, widely dispersed, with no author represented by more than
10 papers – even where first authors of collaborative papers were included. Only three
authors were represented more than five times: Mulford (nine), Cranston (eight) and
Hargreaves (six). Only 15 further authors were represented by more than three papers:
Bottery (five), Senge (five), Thomson (four), Leithwood (four), Drucker (four), Dimmock
(four), Davies (four), Angus (three), Argyris (three), Blackmore (three), Calabrese (three),
Hallinger (three), Harris (three), Muijs (three) and Silins (three). Of these 18 authors seven
are Australian, seven American, and four British, although there is often collaboration
across borders, as in the case of Mulford, Leithwood and Silins.
Of the 362 journal articles, 132 are less than five years old, 137 between five and
10 years old and 93 more than 10 years old, some of them classics in the field.
As with the readings from books, readings from journals are eclectic and diverse, both
in source and author, but coalesce around a limited number of topics, even if the selection
of authors does not coalesce in a similar way. British and Australian journals predominate
in the main sources although in the more widespread variety of other journals a significant
number of US journals are represented, though seldom by more than one or two papers.
Overall themes and sources
Not surprisingly the top 10 themes that emerge from book sections and journal readings
overlap very considerably. However, somewhat different emphases in type of source change
the overall ranking of thematic priorities as Table 1 shows.
Overall it seems clear that there is some commonality in major themes within the field
of educational leadership and administration. Understanding, Managing and Leading
Change has become the dominant theme. Organisational and Leadership Theory follows
close behind. These themes are unsurprising and have been part of educational leadership
and administration programmes for some time. The next three themes, however, seem to
have emerged as more significant in such programmes in more recent years. Organisational
Table 1. Top 10 themes by book sections, journal papers and when combined.
Book sections Journal papers Combined
Theme Number Rank Number Rank Number Rank
Educational and organisational change 63 1 46 =1 109 1
Organisational and leadership theory 37 2 30 =4 67 2
Organisational learning 13 5 46 =1 59 3
Collaborative leadership 10 7 32 3 42 4
Ethics and leadership 16 4 25 6 41 =5
Professional development 11 6 30 =4 41 =5
Educational policy 19 3 8 9 27 7
School effectiveness and improvement 7 =9 19 =7 26 =8
Strategic leadership and planning 7 =9 19 =7 26 =8
Leadership and gender 8 8 16 8 24 10
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154 R. Bates and S. Eacott
Learning, Collaborative Leadership, and Ethics and Educational Leadership are topics that
have gained considerably more attention during the past decade. Professional Development
might also be argued to have emerged as a priority in successful leadership and as an essen-
tial component of School Effectiveness and Improvement. Educational Policy, and Strategic
Leadership and Planning clearly present contextual understandings for the field. Gender
issues in educational leadership and administration come quite low on the list, but at least
they are there in a way that they perhaps were not a decade ago.8
If Thomson was concerned about the emphasis on ‘operational and technical matters’ in
her assessment of the Practising Administrator’s definition of the principals’ role and about
the lack of emphasis on policy, learning and ethics, then perhaps this analysis indicates a
willingness in those who teach educational administration to move towards a more
academic and a more comprehensive definition of the field. When compared with the preoc-
cupations of a decade or two ago, some changes do appear to have occurred.
In terms of Mulford’s 73 references to Australian research on educational leadership,
however, only 10 appeared anywhere on the reading lists, giving some support to his conten-
tion that not only is there a shortage of Australian research in the area, but that Australian
researchers and teachers take little notice of it anyway. Again, if matched with the list of
recommended reading attached to the Australian Principals Associations Professional
Development Council Report Leaders Lead: Beyond the Lost Sandshoe,9 none of the recom-
mendations made there appear in textbook lists and only two of the recommendations appear
on journal or book section lists. There is a similar lack of congruence with Watson’s scan
of research findings on quality teaching and leadership.10
Again, one might ask, whatever happened to those Australian writers in the field that
contributed an Australian voice to the field internationally during the 1980s and 1990s:
Angus, Bates, Beare, Begley, Blackmore, Burford, Caldwell, Chapman, Cranston, Crowther,
Dempster, Dimmock, Dinham, Duignan, Evers, Gronn, Gurr, Keating, Kenway, Lakomski,
Limerick, Lingard, Logan, Marginson, Mulford, Rizvi, Silins, Smyth, Teese, Thomson,
Walker, among others? Of the 640 textbooks, book extracts and journal articles listed only
one author gets more than 10 mentions (Mulford, 13); only five are mentioned five or more
times (Angus, six; Crowther, six; Duignan, five; Gronn, five; Silins, six). It seems that the
rich tradition of debate is hardly referred to in contemporary discussions of leadership and
administration. It may be, of course, that the ideas developed by such scholars are incorpo-
rated into later writing. However, if this is so it would seem that there is little recourse to
original source material.
So what are we to say about the teaching of educational leadership and administration
in Australia? From the admittedly incomplete evidence presented here, there appears to be
some consistency in the themes currently presented to students. It also seems to be the
case that the teaching of these themes is derived from a very wide, eclectic reserve of
American, British and Australian sources in both books and journals. Unlike book
sections, journal papers are drawn from a more limited set of major journals, some 11
(mainly British and Australian) accounting for nearly half of the required readings.
8It is interesting to note the differences between this list and that employed in an American survey
of principal leadership programmes which were: managing for results, managing personnel,
technical knowledge, external leadership, norms and values, managing classroom instruction, and
leadership and school culture. Frederick Hess and Andrew Kelly, ‘Learning to Lead: What Gets
Taught in Principal-preparation Programs’, Teachers College Record 109, no 1. (2007): 244–74.
9Australian Principals Associations Professional Development Council (APAPDC), Leaders Lead:
Beyond the Lost Sandshoe (Hindmarsh, South Australia: APAPDC, 2003).
10Louise Watson, Quality Teaching and School Leadership (Canberra: Teaching Australia, 2005).
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Journal of Educational Administration and History 155
However, little attention is paid to even the small amount of relevant Australian research.
Finally, current teaching takes little account of preceding generations of scholarly work
produced by Australian authors, few of whom figure prominently in the use of textbooks,
book extracts or journal articles. Maybe it is time for us to start talking to each other
about both research and teaching.
It is, of course, possible that the study and teaching of educational leadership and admin-
istration has become global to such an extent that local literature and traditions are less rele-
vant. If this is so then it would be reasonable to expect that, as well as drawing predominantly
on the global literature in the field, Australian authors would be found publishing widely
within the global literature. In order to examine this possibility an audit of publications by
Australian-based academics was conducted.
Auditing the Australian voice
To compile the data for analysis in this audit, the table of contents of each issue of leading
educational administration and leadership journals were searched for the period 1977–
2007. Unlike other fields (for example, MacMillian’s11 work in the field strategy), there
currently exists no list of leading journals for educational leadership. Mayo et al.12
produced a list entitled ‘Which Journals Are Educational Leadership Professors
Choosing?’, however, the list contained both refereed and professional journals, and only
those from the USA. To overcome this situation, early analysis of the ‘Journal Banding
study’ conducted by the Centre for the Study of Research Training and Impact (SORTI) at
the University of Newcastle, Australia, and the Australian Association for Research in
Education (AARE) was used. In this study, over 900 education journals were identified.
The journals were broken into 26 different fields. The most appropriate field for this audit
was ‘Administration, leadership, educational management and policy’. It consisted of 49
journals (see Table 2). For each journal a QScore (quality score) was calculated from three
sources of information; survey responses (esteem measures, N = 628, 83% Australian, 82%
employed by universities), the journal’s ISI score (if it had one) and whether the journal
has an international editorial board (for more information on the study see http://
To make the list workable, it was decided to reduce the list to the top 20 journals. The
highest scoring journal in the field was the Journal of Education Policy with a QScore of
18.56. The five highest scoring journals in the discipline were the American Educational
Research Journal (29.33), British Educational Research Journal (29.30), Review of
Educational Research (29.21), Teachers College Record (28.54) and Harvard Educa-
tional Review (26.04). While being number one in the field, the Journal of Education
Policy was ranked 56th overall in the discipline. This would be consistent with the work
of others who have suggested that educational leadership has a relatively weak quality
profile within the already weak quality profile of educational research.13 However, it is to
11Ian MacMillian, ‘The Emerging Forum for Business Policy Scholars’, Strategic Management
Journal 12 (1991): 161–5. Previous versions of the same analysis appeared in Strategic
Management Journal in both 1990 and 1989.
12Russell Mayo, Perry Zirkel, and Brian Finger, ‘Which Journals Are Educational Leadership
Professors Choosing?’, Educational Administration Quarterly 42, no. 5 (2006): 806–11.
13Dan Griffiths, Administrative Theory in Transition (Victoria, Australia: Deakin University, 1985);
Steven Gorard, ‘Current Contexts for Research in Educational Leadership and Management’,
Educational Management Administration and Leadership 33, no. 2 (2005): 155–64.
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156 R. Bates and S. Eacott
be noted that the Journal of Education Policy was ranked second (behind Oxford Review
of Education) in a ranking study conducted in the UK by Wellington and Torgerson.14
The International Journal of Educational Management was not included in the field in
the SORTI/AARE study. Rather it was included in the field of ‘Economics, accounting,
business and management’. The decision to include it in this audit was based on the fact that
the journal featured prominently in the earlier stage of this study and in Eacott’s15 discourse
analysis on the use of the term strategy in education. Seven of the 20 journals are published
in the USA. The UK and Australia publish five and four, respectively. Two are from the
Netherlands and one from both Canada and Cyprus. Interestingly no journals from the sub-
continent or Asia (such as the Journal of Educational Planning and Administration – India)
appear in the SORTI/AARE list.
Using the journals identified in Table 2, the tables of contents were searched for original
articles (book reviews, editorial comments and research notes were excluded) where one of
the authors was affiliated with an Australian educational institution. Despite appearing in
the SORTI/AARE study, articles from The Australian Educational Leader and Educational
Leadership were omitted because they had not been subject to peer-review processes.
Having established the criteria for inclusion, a final sample of 981 articles out of a total of
14Jerry Wellington and Carole Torgerson, ‘Writing for Publication: What Counts as a High Status,
Eminent Academic Journal?’, Journal of Further and Higher Education 29, no. 1 (2005): 35–48.
15Scott Eacott, ‘An Analysis of Contemporary Literature on Strategy in Education’, International
Journal of Leadership in Education (forthcoming). Currently available at online first, http://
Table 2. Educational administration and leadership journals from SORTI/AARE study.
Journals QScore Location
Journal of Education Policy 18.56 UK
International Journal of Educational Management 15.84 UK
Educational Administration Quarterly 15.74 USA
Educational Management, Administration and Leadership 15.31 UK
Journal of Educational Administration 15.31 Australia
School Effectiveness and School Improvement 14.10 The Netherlands
Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management 14.08 Australia
Educational Policy 13.95 USA
International Journal of Leadership in Education 13.31 USA
School Leadership and Management 12.37 UK
The Australian Educational Leader 12.30 Australia
Journal of Educational Change 12.01 The Netherlands
Education Policy Analysis Archives 11.61 USA
Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 11.61 USA
Educational Leadership 10.53 USA
International Studies in Educational Administration 10.14 Cyprus
Policy Futures in Education 10.14 UK
Leading and Managing 9.70 Australia
International Electronic Journal for Leadership in Learning 9.52 Canada
Journal of Educational Administration and History 9.52 UK
Note: A further 29 journals were identified in the study with scores ranging from 9.36 to 0.00.
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Journal of Educational Administration and History 157
8521 were identified (11.51% of published works). Several patterns emerge from the data.
Three journals standout as the dominant outlets for publication: Leading & Managing (N =
66, 58.93%), Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management (N = 249, 50.40%) and
the Journal of Educational Administration (N = 209, 28.59%). No other journal has greater
than 13.98% of articles written by Australian-based authors. Not surprising is that all three
of these journals are based at Australian universities (Southern Queensland, Monash and
Wollongong, respectively). If we remove these journals from the data, Australian authors
are associated with 446 out of a total of 7184 articles, representing 6.21% of the sample.
Although not holding a large percentage of published works, as a relatively small country
(when compared with the population and economies of the USA and UK), it is possible to
argue that Australia is fighting above its weight in the international literature.16 In addition,
educational leadership does not get the attention in Australia that it does receive in other
nations such as the USA and UK.
All that being considered, the purpose of this audit in this article is to investigate
whether or not there is a body of literature produced by Australian-based academics for
educational administration educators to call on in their teaching. To attempt to answer this
question, analysis was completed on the number of articles linked to Australian-based
Figure 1 displays the percentage of articles linked to Australian-based authors in the
time period 1977–2007. As would be expected in any such analysis, the percentage of
publications experienced a series of ebbs and flows during the 30-year period. The peak
result was in 1980, however only five journals were in operation at that time and two were
16Richard Bates, ‘Phelan’s Bibliometric Analysis of the Impact of Australian Educational
Research’, The Australian Educational Researcher 30, no. 2 (2003): 57–64.
1977 1982 1987 1992 1997 2002 2007
Figure 1. Percentage of articles by Australian-based academics in educational leadership journals.
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158 R. Bates and S. Eacott
housed in Australia. The lowest point was 2002 with 7.60%. The average percentage for the
time period is 12.13% and the last two years have been 13.00%. Overall, the percentage of
publications by Australian-based authors has remained relatively constant over time.
Figure 1. Percentage of articles by Australian-based academics in educational leadership journals.
To further support this claim, the descriptive data from time periods was compared.
Table 3 shows the descriptive data of authorship over time. Of particular interest was
whether authors were making continued contributions or merely contributing one-off arti-
cles. Although the average number of articles per author has steadily increased over the last
30 years, it is still less than two and over 70% of authors contribute only one article. Further-
more to this situation, when viewing the sample from a first-author standpoint, 129 out of
the 981 (13.1%) were based at Australian educational institutions that are not universities.
While it is beyond the scope of this audit, it is proposed that many of these articles are written
by research higher degree students based in schools. From reading this data, it is suggested
that very few Australian authors are making a continued contribution to the existing body
of knowledge in the field. The high prevalence of single contributions significantly limits
the potential use of work in the teaching of educational administration and leadership.
It is not, however, all doom and gloom for the Australian educational administrative
voice. While most authors have contributed few articles, a core group of academics have
established a research track record. Table 4 shows the 10 most published authors in the time
period 1977–2007. Not surprising, all bar one author had a publication period in excess of
a decade (Macpherson is an exception).
Despite concerns raised in other works and the earlier phase of this study that the Australian
educational leadership voice is diminishing, the data from this audit shows that the contri-
bution of Australian-based authors in the field has remained constant over time. However,
Table 3. Descriptive data of authorship over time.
per author Range
article authors Leading author
1977–9 46 42 1.10 1–2 38 4 Many
1980–9 280 203 1.38 1–6 162 41 P.A. Duignan
1990–9 471 310 1.52 1–12 226 84 R.J.S. Macpherson
2000–7 610 386 1.58 1–21 291 95 B. Mulford
1977–2007 981 792 1.77 1–25 570 222 B. Mulford
Table 4. Most published authors, 1977–2007.
Author Publication period Associated articles
Mulford, B. 1984–2007 25
Gronn, P. 1982–2005 15
Dimmock C. 1987–2002 15
Wildy, H. 1992–2006 15
Macpherson, R.J.S. 1989–1996 14
McCormick, J. 1996–2007 14
Blackmore J. 1992–2006 12
Ehrich, L.C. 1994–2006 12
Smyth, J. 1977–2006 11
Duignan, P. 1980–2005 11
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Journal of Educational Administration and History 159
the Australian voice in the field has remained the domain of a few key contributors who publish
in a limited number of journals. Many of the names (such as Mulford, Dimmock and
Blackmore) overlap in the audit and readings for courses, although there are signs of a
new group of scholars entering the dialogue (such as Ehrich, Wildy, Clarke, Cranston and
McCormick). Arguably if this audit was done in 12 months’ time more names may be added.
The challenge for scholars in the field appears to be making a substantial contribution. Many
write an article or two and disappear. Whether they pursue their research programmes in other
fields is unknown.
This audit has taken a single lens to the contribution of Australians to the educational
leadership voice. It is beyond the scope of this article to further elaborate on the wider
range of questions being investigated in the audit. Many of these questions will be taken up
in further works. Also to be noted is that many Australian are working in overseas institu-
tions and continuing to make contributions to the wider field (for example, Begley and
Walker). Additionally, this audit has only included publication outputs and not the impact
of such publications. While a difficult process to undertake in the discipline of education, a
further extension of this work may be to survey the perceived value or impact of publica-
tions by Australian authors. While providing valuable information in a quality assurance
environment, such an investigation would also help to answer some of the questions
surrounding the lack of building on and using Australian educational leadership work by
fellow scholars.
This article set out to investigate the teaching of educational leadership and administration
in the Australian context through course reading lists. The sample investigated demonstrated
commonality in the themes addressed and shows a tendency for educators to adopt an
academic (as opposed to operational) focus. However, despite a long and rich tradition, the
use of Australian research and contributions by Australian-based academics were relatively
limited. Initially this was thought to be a result of a decreasing presence of Australian-based
academics in the field, but after conducting an audit of Australian contributions to the field’s
discourse, it appears to support Mulford’s notion that Australian scholars and practitioners
overlook each others’ contributions, although it is unclear as to whether this is a deliberate
or unintended action. But what does this mean for the teaching of educational leadership and
administration in Australia?
For the educator, we suggest that courses be based in both the historical and contemporary
discourse of the topic under discussion. This enables the student to develop an understanding
of the topic with an appreciation of where the discussion has been and sets the foundations
for where the discussion is heading next. As such, it is important to draw on both the local
(Australian) and global contributions to the discussion to make informed conclusions.
Contemporary (and arguably historical) discourse in the field argues for establishing a local
perspective or context-specific interpretation of global issues, therefore why does the teaching
of the field not adopt the same approach?
For the scholar, we suggest a greater focus on acknowledging the contributions of other
Australians both past and present. This does not suggest that we want everyone to agree,
rather, a more coherent discussion that takes into consideration the work of others and
continues to move the field forward. Nobody, practitioner or scholar, benefits from a field
that is littered with loosely related contributions that do not acknowledge one another.
Contributions of this nature, while frequently interesting (although this could be debated
elsewhere), offer little to the paradigmatic development of the field.
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160 R. Bates and S. Eacott
The teaching of educational leadership and administration in Australia is in a good posi-
tion with many talented people working in the field. However, with the forthcoming turn-
over of staff (as in the majority of Western educational settings) in the educational
leadership and administrative community of scholars, we would arguably benefit from
listening and working with each other to further establish the unique Australian perspective
within the global educational leadership and administration field. This would make our
work as both educators and researchers of greater value within the global field.
The authors would like to acknowledge the research assistance provided by Yanping Lu (a doctoral
student at the second author’s institution) in the collection of the data for the audit of publication. Her
tireless work was invaluable in getting this article prepared on time.
Notes on contributors
Richard Bates is Professor of Education (Social and Administrative Studies) in the Faculty of
Education at Deakin University. His scholarly work has been concerned with the Sociology of
Education (where he contributed to the debate over the new sociology of education in Britain in the
1970s) and Educational Administration (where he contributed to the emergence of an alternative
‘critical’ theory during the 1980s). His work as Dean (1986–2000) drew him into debates over teacher
education and his Presidency of the Victorian and Australian Councils of Deans of Education led him
to contest official views regarding teacher supply and demand, and challenge the marginalisation of
teacher education programmes. He is past President of the Australian Teacher Education Association,
a past President of the Australian Association for Researchers in Education and a Fellow of the
Australian College of Education and of the Australian Council for Educational Administration. He is
currently writing about morals and markets, public education, ethics and administration, the impact
of educational research, and social justice and the aesthetics of educational administration as well as
global teacher education.
Scott Eacott is a lecturer in the School of Education, the University of Newcastle, Australia. He has
primarily written on the strategic role of the educational leader (the focus of his doctoral work),
however more recently Scott received a Teaching and Learning Fellowship through the Centre for
Teaching and Learning at the University of Newcastle and is conducting a series of studies on the
instructional practices of educational leadership programmes particularly in the online environment.
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... Globally, the past few decades have witnessed a growing emphasis by educational leadership and management (EDLM) scholars on the link between school effectiveness and the preparation and training of school leaders (Bates & Eacott, 2008;McCarthy, 2015;Murphy, Moorman, & McCarthy, 2008). Such emphasis is accompanied by intense criticisms of existing leadership preparation programmes that focus on the content as well as systems of delivery adopted by leadership preparation providers (Hess & Kelly, 2007;Kanan & Baker, 2006;Levine, 2005;McCarthy, 2015;Murphy, 2001;Murphy et al. 2008). ...
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... Despite the emergent nature of educational administration and leadership as an academic discipline (Bridges, 1982;Donmoyer, 1999), extant literature in the field has provided solid evidence of the link between leadership and school effectiveness and the crucial role leadership preparation plays in achieving this effectiveness (Bates & Eacott, 2008;Bush, 2012;McCarthy, 2015;Murphy et al., 2008;Walker et al., 2013). Effective school development hinges on the vital role the school leader plays in "promoting change, acting as an internal change agent, overseeing the processes of growth and renewal" (Huber & West, 2002, p. 1072. ...
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... A growing body of research has been conducted on the preparation and development of school leaders in different contexts (e.g. Asuga et al. 2015;Barnett 2004;Bates and Eacott 2008;Yan and Ehrich 2009;English 2006;Gurr and Drysdale 2015;Guerra and Pazey 2016;O r r2006). Studies focused on the aims, content, and systems of delivery of leadership development programmes. ...
This chapter seeks to expose the challenges and promises faced by educational leadership and management (EDLM) scholars in Arab societies as they strive to establish an indigenous knowledge base that is connected to the global international scholarly discourse. We examine this issue and consider its implications for leadership development in the Arab context. Given the relative scarcity of Arab-related EDLM literature published internationally, our intention is to engage our international colleagues in the dialogue, hence responding to the multiple calls of international scholars to expand the cultural bases of the existing knowledge base in the field. In this chapter, we embrace a broad conception of leadership preparation that goes beyond initial preparation to encompass induction programmes and in-service training. The chapter engages with current international trends in educational leadership development and proposes future directions for research and practice in the Arab region.
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This paper is a response to Richard Niesche’s recent JEAH paper claiming a ‘theory turn’ in educational leadership. Bringing Niesche’s argument into conversation with recent work on social epistemology in the field, I argue that any claim for a theory turn is premature and arguably requires further nuancing of enduring issues. Framed around the relational methodology, the argument articulates my own complicity with the proposed theory turn, before problematising the idea of a turn and highlighting the importance of time and space. Importantly, I seek to go beyond the analytical dualism of theoretical and atheoretical categories for the purpose of offering a productive contribution for advancing understanding in the field. This is not to refute Niesche’s argument, rather to highlight some of the problems and possibilities it identifies and to the push the ideas further in the interest of scholarly dialogue and debate. © 2018
On a global scale, contemporary public policy formulations have placed education at the center of attention. Armed with research pinpointing schooling as a key policy lever to improve national prosperity, both economic and social, policies driving education reform are now focused on the improvement of schools and schooling in a way never before seen.
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The epistemological vigilance argued for in the previous chapter establishes a rationale to problematize, or at least engage with, the contemporarily popular labels of any given disciplinary space.
Research in education, and in educational leadership and management, has been heavily criticized in the UK for lack of quality and relevance. The criticism has led to a number of initiatives intended to ameliorate the situation, of which this special issue focusing on methods of investigation is a part. The article briefly considers the range of evidence for this critique, both in general and as it relates specifically to the field of education management, and concludes that there is a case to answer and ethical pressure on us to improve. However, some of the purported ‘remedies’ for improvement appear misjudged, and the article argues that the concern about methods is, for the most part, one of these. In summary, a considerable improvement in research could come about simply by us doing more actual research with our existing methods to answer genuine questions, by an increase in appropriate scepticism and by being prepared to put our cherished beliefs and ideas at risk.
Higher education faculty members in educational leadership are members of an intellectual community that stress scholarly activity, yet they serve preservice and in-service school leaders who value applications of knowledge to problems of practice and policy. The professional periodicals that professors rank highest in terms of quality and greatest usage reflect this balancing of interests. This recent exploratory study addressed four questions. First, which professional periodicals do educational leadership professors in member institutions of the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) rank as the "best"? Second, which criteria do these educational leadership professors use as the basis for these rankings? Third, which professional periodicals do these educational leadership professors read most often? Finally, which periodicals outside of education do they read regularly? (Contains 4 tables.)
This monograph analyzes transition in educational administrative theory. A brief introductory section describes the theoretical movement, the substance and repercussions of Thomas Greenfield's critique of educational administrative theory in 1974, and emerging qualitative approaches. Seven readings, all written by the volume's author, view administrative theory from a variety of past, present, future, ideological, and behavioral perspectives. The readings are: (1) "Theory in Educational Administration: 1966"; (2) "Another Look at Research on the Behavior of Administrators"; (3) "Theories: Past, Present, and Future"; (4) "Evolution in Research and Theory: A Study of Prominent Researchers"; (5) "Can There Be a Science of Organisations?"; (6) "The Individual in Organization: A Theoretical Perspective"; and (7) "Intellectual Turmoil in Educational Administration." A list of references concludes each reading; an annotated bibliography is appended. (CJH)
The Emerging Forum for Business Policy Scholars Previous versions of the same analysis appeared in Strategic Management Journal in both
  • Ian Macmillian
Ian MacMillian, 'The Emerging Forum for Business Policy Scholars', Strategic Management Journal 12 (1991): 161–5. Previous versions of the same analysis appeared in Strategic Management Journal in both 1990 and 1989.