Re-centering the Critical Potential of Nordic School Leadership Research

Fundamental, but often forgotten perspectives

  • Lejf Moos
  • Elisabet Nihlfors
  • Jan Merok Paulsen

Part of the Educational Governance Research book series (EGTU, volume 14)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xx
  2. Introduction

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Lejf Moos, Elisabet Nihlfors, Jan Merok Paulsen
      Pages 3-33
  3. Challenges in Policy Context and Reality: Perspectives on Research

  4. Dilemmas in School Leadership

  5. Data-Informed Decision Making in School Leadership

  6. Impact on School Leadership

  7. Discussion

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 231-231
    2. Lejf Moos, Elisabet Nihlfors, Jan Merok Paulsen
      Pages 233-247

About this book


This volume contributes significantly to the ongoing international and Nordic paradigm shift in educational leadership research. It advocates for going from a contemporary, mainstream functionalist paradigm to a reflexive paradigm, based on educational values and knowledge. The volume is built on the shared basis, that the purpose of education is, and must be, fundamental for school leadership practice. However, that is often forgotten in educational governance and policy. The basis of the argument is, that educational leadership needs to change from focusing on effectiveness and narrowly defined accountabilities towards focusing on leadership that is contributing to the general education of students. That entails that leadership research need to focus on complex perspectives like context, relations, trust, sense making and social and human values, and less on control, outcomes, accountability and testing. The volume reminds readers about the need to raise awareness of the contexts of education and research, be they political, cultural, economic or ideological. Chapters analyze, discuss and compare research from Nordic educational leadership research systems: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. The cross-system insights clarify the fundamental relations between policy/governance and research/practice are and discuss forgotten dependencies and opportunities.


educational professionals knowledge production neoliberal governance ideas study environments mindful leadership history of public schooling in the US collective trust between principals leadership in upper secondary schools traditions of the teacher profession educational decision making databased leadership Nordic school leadership research dilemmas of professional practice intellectual history governance and discourses superintendents in school governance data-informed decision making principals decision making collective trust and accountability

Editors and affiliations

  1. 1.Danish School of EducationAarhus UniversityCopenhagenDenmark
  2. 2.Department of EducationUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden
  3. 3.Teacher EducationOslo Metropolitan UniversityOsloNorway

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Education Education (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-3-030-55026-4
  • Online ISBN 978-3-030-55027-1
  • Series Print ISSN 2365-9548
  • Series Online ISSN 2365-9556
  • Buy this book on publisher's site