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60 | septembre 2012
Le métier de chef d'établissement

Leading a school
El oficio de jefe de establecimiento
Edited by Ghislaine Matringe
Couverture n° 60
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ISBN 978-2-85420-595-4

Most countries now firmly believe that a bottom-up rather than top-down approach is called for if schools are to be reformed and move forward. Many have decided to give more responsibility to local authorities and more independence to schools. The methods and roles of leadership have become priorities in governmental action plans and a multitude of international studies and research projects are being conducted on the subject.
For all that, although effective leadership models are emerging from the analysis of professional practices, the diverse and changing reality of a school head's profession today is still difficult to grasp fully.
The Revue internationale d'éducation de Sèvres has therefore decided to let stakeholders working at different levels of the education system have their say: researchers, practitioners and school managers, all of whom are recognised experts on the subject in countries with different cultures and school traditions.
They describe the realities and questions of a profession that is still finding its feet with no taboos, by comparing its job description on paper with what it actually looks like in practice and from personal experience.
Is it a profession in its own right or merely a position? One profession or several? Head teacher, principal, rektor, senior staff … is it possible to pick out a single professional identity from among the diversity of titles and contexts?
How schools are managed is a complex question of genuine strategic importance in all countries, as it has to do with meeting the growing number of new requirements.
All of the authors stress that the current or future transformations will only mean something in relation to an explicit system of moral and ethical values. Without this, it would be illusive to hold school heads solely responsible for the success of schools – no matter how strong their commitment and convictions.
Case studies: Germany, Chile, United States, France, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden.