chapter  13
12 Pages

The leader and the team: emotional context in educational leadership


The emotional dimension of educational leadership is brought into particularly sharp focus when considering teams. The work of educational leaders is distinct from other forms of leadership because it deals with the hearts and minds of young people and those in the wider community context. Educational leadership is thus deeply concerned with teaching and learning, but it cannot ignore relationships and how adults work and learn together. Law and Glover note that educational leaders ‘are expected to help others make sense of a complex world in which there is less predictability and more uncertainty – a major challenge which requires high-level skills, knowledge and understanding’ (2000: 263). Educational leadership is, at one and the same time, about a social function, education, and also individuals who perform that function. In other words, educational leadership is contained both in personal roles, such as ‘senior teacher’, and as a function within a social setting. Ogawa and Bossert argue that: ‘leadership flows through the network of roles that comprise organisations . . . with different roles having access to different levels and types of resources’ (1997: 19). Leadership is related to the distribution of resources through social networks, and it is educational leaders who help create the conditions in which people will want to work to the optimum levels of their energy, interest, and commitment (Whitaker 1997).