London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

Cosmopolitan Leadership

Author(s) Rönnström, N.  
Publisher London: CiCe  
Year 2010  
Editor P. Cunningham & N. Fretwell, Lifelong Learning and Active Citizenship  
Age group -  
The aim of this paper is to discuss a cosmopolitan alternative to managerial traditions of leadership in education. The reason for this is that recent understandings and practices of educational leadership tends to be geared at the primacy of economic norms due to the re-contextualization of the public sector in terms of New Public Management. In part one; I argue that our children are growing into an increasing cosmopolitan social real-ity that changes nation states in economic, cultural, social, political and moral aspects. If schools should aim at children attaining the required knowledge and competencies to function well in society, it is somewhat misleading to shape education in relation to one-sided economic interpretations deriving knowledge and competencies primarily from market contexts. In part two; I argue that the increasingly cosmopolitan character of social reality calls for the development of dialogical attitudes, imagination and commu-nication. However, recent economic and managerial interpretations of educational lead-ership tend to shape leadership practise towards strategic coordination of action and one sided means-ends rationalization, and thereby bypassing the conditions of dialogue as well as qualities usually held important in education, that is, learning, moral respon-sibility and respect for cultural difference. In the third part; I sketch a cosmopolitan alternative to managerial traditions in education building on dialogical communication and coordination of actions, and a qualified conception of dialogue suitable for leader-ship practice in education at the level of actors

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