The Emperor's perfect map: leadership by numbers

Article


Heffernan, Amanda. 2016. "The Emperor's perfect map: leadership by numbers." The Australian Educational Researcher. 43 (3), pp. 377-391. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13384-016-0206-7
Article Title

The Emperor's perfect map: leadership by numbers

ERA Journal ID20008
Article CategoryArticle
Authors
AuthorHeffernan, Amanda
Journal TitleThe Australian Educational Researcher
Journal Citation43 (3), pp. 377-391
Number of Pages15
Year2016
PublisherSpringer
Place of PublicationNetherlands
ISSN0311-6999
2210-5328
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1007/s13384-016-0206-7
Web Address (URL)http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13384-016-0206-7
Abstract

This paper establishes that system-generated data profiles are influencing the work of principals in three Queensland state schools. Drawing upon Foucault’s notions of governance, as well as research emphasising performative cultures and the importance placed upon numbers and data in education, this paper uses the tale of the Emperor’s map as a metaphor to explore the way principals’ work is being influenced by specific sets of data compiled by the department. These data profiles are representative of external accountabilities and high stakes testing regimes, as seen in systems that have adopted neoliberal policies which attempt to quantify the work being undertaken in schools. The paper demonstrates that principals are being constructed in part by discourses from a system that emphasises these system-generated performance data as a driver for school improvement.

Keywordsschool principals; school improvement; data; performativity
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390403. Educational administration, management and leadership
Public Notes

File reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher/author.

Byline AffiliationsUniversity of Queensland
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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