Date of Submission
Sutherland, K. A. (2019). Leadership in a binational, bicultural and bilingual school (Thesis, Australian Catholic University). Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.26199/5de0572bb8d79
This study explored how leadership develops and is practised in a binational, bicultural and bilingual school. The study focused on the joint leadership (Australian and French) of Telopea Park School Lycée Franco-Australien de Canberra, located in Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), Australia. The school is a binational, bicultural and bilingual school. The study sought to understand some of the conceptual, professional and practical aspects of leadership development and practice with regard to the distinctive phenomena of leadership in a binational, bicultural and bilingual school. Further, the study aimed to generate theoretical ideas and practical recommendations for further research and practice relevant to the exercise of leadership in a binational, bicultural and bilingual school. Evolutionary epistemology, qualitative and interpretive theory and a grounded theory approach to data collection and analysis formed the research framework for the study. Qualitative data sources included archival documents, artefacts, and semi-structured interviews which gathered the perceptions of those who had held senior leadership positions and who were, or had been, close to critical episodes in the school’s history. Others associated with the school including teachers and parents, participated in focus group interviews. Observation and journaling were used by the participant–researcher in documenting her experiences in, and of leadership in the school. Data were analysed using grounded theory methods. The findings of the study into the nature of leadership in a binational, bicultural and bilingual school confirmed that the school was multifaceted and complex. The findings indicated that two key categories of dynamics were central to the development and practice of leadership in the school. The first category of dynamics was classified as general dynamics, those dynamics which might be found in schools in general: time, savoir-être (knowing how to be), communication and problem-solving. The second category of dynamics was classified as specific dynamics, those derived from the particular nature of the school: the dynamic of duple and the dynamic of diplomacy. The thesis chose an Indigenous Australian concept of “ganma” as a metaphor that might illustrate the various dimensions of the leadership culture in the binational, bicultural and bilingual school and the ways in which the dynamics and their constant, multi-dimensional interactions within this complex and multi-faceted leadership context might be conceptualised. The thesis concluded by making a number of recommendations for future research into leadership in binational, bicultural and bilingual schools and for the practice of leadership in these complex international, intercultural endeavours.
School of Education
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Faculty of Education and Arts