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This paper seeks to engage the field of educational leadership in a methodological conversation. It outlines a methodological position taken by the author (a focus on leadership practice using Bourdieu) in a currently funded project and seeks discussion with the wider field. The paper is structured to provide the reader with background to the theoretical position of the author and the implications this has for the study of school leadership practice. The discussion highlights the need for multi-layered descriptions of leadership and the dual purpose of leadership research. This provides for a greater understanding of the phenomenon of leadership, and the subsequent implications for leadership practice and, potentially, preparation. The intent of this paper is not merely to critique existing works in the field, nor to create a modernistic binary between the positions of others and those presented here. Rather, the value of this work is its potential to intervene in the scholarship of the field and disrupt the status quo, highlighting the benefits of embracing the complexity, ambiguity and moment-by-moment contestation that defines the social practice that is school leadership.


School of Education

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Open Access Journal Article

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Open Access

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.