'Outsiders within'? Deconstructing the educational administration scholar

Jane Wilkinson, Scott Eacott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we weave the auto-ethnographic narratives of the two authors with Bourdieu s key concepts of habitus, field and capital, as we seek to bring to a level of explicitness the reflexive lens which has shaped our scholarly work. In particular, we examine the process of becoming educational administration academics who share a scholarly disposition towards critical approaches to theory and practice. Such a location positions our work as marginal at best in educational administration scholarship and research, for it is a field characterized primarily by an orientation towards problem-solving and scientific rationality. We explore how our positioning as `outsiders within the field, combined with our multiple positions in fields such as feminism, unionism, schools and academia, has shaped a disposition towards critical scholarship. We suggest that the resources, which a disposition towards the critical may engender, are urgently required forms of capital at a time when there may be a powerful political investment in ignoring or overlooking the moral, ethical and political life force of educational administration scholarship as a potentially fertile site of intellectual activity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191 - 204
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Leadership in Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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