An increasingly popular argument proposes that the problems in public schooling may be solved through stronger, more morally imaginative leadership. School administrators ought to set forth a vision growing out of this moral responsibility, and may be trained to utilise moral imagination in directing teachers and students towards certain moral visions. A critique of the argument is presented and alternative (and conflicting) meanings of “moral imagination” surveyed. Four models of moral imagination are located: as discovery; as moral authority; as faculty of mind, and as super science. It is argued that each of these conceptions has inherent difficulties. The logical relationship of these views is explored. The notion of “school leadership” is traced in the literature as it has been attached to “moral imagination”. The work of W. Greenfield is examined and a philosophy of school administration, with certain assumptions, regarding values and authority, that reveal key difficulties for the unfettered use of “moral imagination” in school administration, is found. It is concluded that “moral imagination” ought to be replaced with “critical imagination”, coupled with “democratic value deliberation” and by so doing a richer leadership will result, leading to the empowerment of teachers and a fuller serving of the public good.
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