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The principle of singularity: A retrospective understanding of losing a collaborative potential through the legislation process behind Sweden’s Education Act
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Law, Department of Law.
2017 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The sharing of a principal’s position by two people on equal footing is described as a way of decreasing an often heavy burden and as favourable to principals and schools. However, when Sweden’s current Education Act (2010:800) became operative in 2011, it wetblanketed the issue of shared principalship. The act states the principle of singularity in that there must be a person with the title of principal in each, so-called, school unit and that this principal must be one. Thereby the collaborative potential of joint principalship (i.e. complete cooperation, where formal hierarchic equality is in place and work tasks are merged) was extinguished. This paper aims to shed light on how and why this prohibition was introduced in the legislative process. The fact that the prohibition of joint principalship came into effect may be understood as a con­sequence of the length, forms of work, extent and political prestige of the legislative process; shared leadership was at most a marginal issue. In the cathedral-building project there was no intent to question traditional ideas about leadership. The important lines of argument concerned lack of trust in the way the municipalities organised their schools. Therefore, there was a wish for increased direct state control by going via the principals as the appointed responsible authority., This, together with the late invented school unit concept had unforeseen effects for the organising of the principal’s position. The principle of singularity ruled and a ban on joint leadership was the consequence – with­out consideration whether this favoured the overarching aim of the law: increased pedagogical re­sponsibility and leadership with a focus on the students’ learning, results and democratic upbringing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Keyword [en]
law, education act, principal, shared leadership, joint leadership
National Category
Pedagogy Law
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-149136OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-149136DiVA: diva2:1158238
Conference
Educational Governance and Leadership in Transition - Leading and organizing the education for citizenship of the world through technocratic homogenisation or communicative diversity?, Oslo, Norway, October 18-19, 2017
Projects
Delat ledarskap - en alternativ berättelse
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare
Available from: 2017-11-18 Created: 2017-11-18 Last updated: 2017-11-27Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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