De-centring the leader: using the theory of practice architectures in a postgraduate education course

Informa UK Limited
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Educational Administration and History, 2022, pp. 1-17
Issue Date:
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Much of the literature on leadership within education has centred on the heroic leader. Despite recent approaches moving away from trait and behavioural theories, the centrality of the individual leader persists. Recent practice perspectives have shifted the focus from leadership as an individual activity of a leader to leading as practices. This paper discusses how a practice perspective informed by the theory of practice architectures (TPA), has been used in the teaching of ‘leadership’ in an Australian Masterssubject to challenge conceptions of the heroic leader. It explores the use of the TPA to engage students in examining leading learning practices in workplaces and as a way of challenging their often deeply held beliefs and practices around leadership. In so doing, the approach decentres the leader and provides a lens for viewing leading learning as webs of interactions of practices rather than the traits and behaviours of an individual leader.
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