A comparative leadership approach for decolonising educational leadership in Africa: The case of two headteachers in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in England

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Abstract

This research compares the accounts of two experienced urban
primary headteachers based in Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of
the Congo-DRC) with two others based in Sheffield/Doncaster
(England), in order to make sense of their leadership pathways,
challenges and approaches. Engaging these school leaders through
leadership conversations within a narrative research tradition, the
extracted data were analysed thematically and using
phenomenological interpretive analysis. Despite differences in their
stories of actions regarding the researched themes, a comparative
theory of context(s) emergences which adds to how school leaders
can think and act locally and globally and, in the case of African
school leaders, decolonise their practice of any dominant
normativity as they define what is best for their schools. This
involved headteachers being attuned to their personal, professional
and comparative dimensions of ‘the gospel according to the
headteacher’ metaphor and ultimately deploying their connect
comparative core values to rise above the subjective or objective
scope of one’s context in order to bring about change that primarily
benefits children.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)586-623
Number of pages37
JournalResearch in Educational Administration and Leadership (REAL)
Volume6
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sep 2021

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