'We value the individual': Resisting performative policy influences through a strong school vision.

Amanda Heffernan

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


    In the current climate of education, principals must reconcile their vision of their role with increasing demands and policy expectations that govern their work from a distance. In Queensland, Australia, principals are explicitly required to focus on school improvement, as measured in data profiles disseminated by the department throughout the year (Heffernan, in press). One of the potential effects of the policy ensembles in this particular context, which espouse high external accountabilities, high-stakes testing, and public and transparent school data (Hardy, 2015; Lingard, Thompson & Sellar, 2015; Niesche, 2011), is a narrowed focus of education. In contrast, moving beyond test scores, ‘Judy', an experienced primary school principal, sees her role as leading with an emphasis on holistic education. This paper presents a case study of Judy’s work, theorised through a lens of performativity (Lyotard, 1984, Ball, 2005), to demonstrate how a central vision (Kose, 2011; Kurland, Peretz & Hertz-Lazarowitz, 2010) guides her work and enables her to lead strategically towards a long-term goal that may differ from the narrow measures of achievement currently emphasised by many systems. It contributes to the field of educational leadership and policy research by examining how the introduction and enactment of new policy ensembles (Ball, Maguire & Braun, 2012) in Queensland in recent years has influenced principals’ conceptualisations of their roles and their leadership practices.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 29 Nov 2016
    EventInternational Conference of the Australian Association for Research in Education 2016 - Melbourne Cricket Ground Function Centre, Melbourne, Australia
    Duration: 27 Nov 20161 Dec 2016


    ConferenceInternational Conference of the Australian Association for Research in Education 2016
    Abbreviated titleAARE 2016


    • Leadership
    • Policy
    • Performativity

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