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Leadership: Skilled Manager or Virtuous Professional?

Investing in our Education: Leading, Learning, Researching and the Doctorate

ISBN: 978-1-78441-132-9, eISBN: 978-1-78441-131-2

Publication date: 31 October 2014



This chapter looks critically at the changed language of education due to the adoption in the last two or three decades of a ‘business model’ for improving education. It briefly traces the history of these changes which have rarely been brought to the attention of the public.


This chapter delves more deeply beneath this language in order to explore the unacknowledged philosophical assumptions – referring to Wittgenstein’s aim which was to help people to pass from a piece of disguised nonsense to the recognition of it being patent nonsense.


This points out how, given the managerial language, this distorts our understanding of what it means to educate – there is an inappropriate ‘logic of action’.


The ethical dimension to educational leadership gets distorted or ignored. There is a need therefore to examine more carefully what is meant by an ‘educational practice’ – otherwise leadership coursed might be good at teaching ‘effectiveness’ in teaching to the test, but have little to do with education.



Pring, R. (2014), "Leadership: Skilled Manager or Virtuous Professional?", Investing in our Education: Leading, Learning, Researching and the Doctorate (International Perspectives on Higher Education Research, Vol. 13), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 59-73.



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