Smyth, John (2005) School leadership that is informed by students’ (and teachers’) voices: reclaiming our lost ways from an Australian perspective. The Journal of School Leadership, 15 (2). pp. 130-142.

This article provides both a critique and a more hopeful alternative to the current direction in school leadership. The central framing argument, written from an Australian perspective, is that dominant regimes of school leadership within current school reform approaches are failing because of their inability to listen to the voices of students and teachers. Illustrations are presented from Australian research indicating that when school leadership and improvement are conceptualized and enacted around student learning rather than around management, testing, fear, punishment, and accountability, then genuine change is possible, particularly for students from the most disadvantaged backgrounds. For this to happen, however, there needs to be a courageous paradigm shift and the development of a "vocabulary of hope" with which to conceive of, and think about, schools. For this kind of leadership reform to become widespread, there must be a willingness to confront and question for whom schools primarily exist.

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