This paper aims to investigate the role of an under‐graduate educational leadership in introducing students to the complexity of school leadership practice.
Theoretically informed by Bourdieuian social theory and drawing on a questionnaire with a cohort of students, the paper evaluates a course in relation to achieving its outcomes.
An analysis of student responses indicates that the course did introduce students to school leadership practice and assist in the construction of a school leadership disposition.
The theoretical resources used in the paper have significant implications for how researchers conceive of school leadership practice. Therefore, this paper may be the basis of further work.
The findings of this work have implications for teacher educators and specifically universities. From this paper, the inclusion of an educational leadership course in under‐graduate programs should become more the norm rather than the exception.
This paper has value in two unique ways. First, there has been very little work undertaken on the role of educational leadership courses in under‐graduate programs and in the context of increased political attention and no formal pre‐requisites for the principalship in Australia, this work is both timely and significant. Second, this paper works with a sophisticated notion of school leadership practice and its location using social theory, a perspective that is uncommon in much of the literature on educational leadership.
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