Leading with students: relational focus of leading practices in alternative settings

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This paper explores how students can be positioned as contributors to leading practices that shape the nature of their schooling experiences. Student voice and agency agendas have grown in popularity over recent years but understanding the possibilities and boundaries of the ways that students can contribute to their educational experiences requires continued exploration. This paper presents a case study of an alternative learning setting where previously disenfranchised learners were productively contributing to leading practices that shaped their school experience. Using the theory of practice architectures, the relational arrangements that supported students to shape the practices that influenced their re-engagement with schooling are examined. Through the prioritisation of authentic connections between educators and students, practices of leading were established that disrupted normative experiences of schooling and positioned students as empowered agents in their own education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-71
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Educational Administration and History
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • alternative schooling
  • disengagement
  • Leadership
  • leading practices
  • practice architectures
  • relational

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