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Theories of Educational Leadership and Management (4th Edition)

| October 14, 2011 | 0 Comments

Author: Tony Bush
Publisher: Sage Publishers
ISBN: 978-1-84860-191-8
Reviewed by: Brent Davies, Professor Emeritus at The University of Hull, Yorkshire, UK

This book, now in its fourth edition, has established itself as the predominant text for reviewing key perspectives that underpin theories of educational leadership. As in previous editions, Tony Bush writes in an accessible and informative way. It is to his credit that he can encompass a review of divergent theories with balance and impartiality. So many writers rather tediously paraphrase Bourdieu as the answer to all theoretical issues!

Really excellent first chapter The first chapter is really excellent as it is a consideration of the nature and dimensions of educational leadership and management. This should be a ‘must read’ for all those undertaking a Masters course in educational leadership and management. It draws out all the key ideas and distinctions in a clear and concise way and is followed, in chapter two, by a critique on the nature of theory as applied to educational leadership and management. This is an equally outstanding read for those embarking on a study of the subject area. At the end of this chapter, in figure 2.1, Bush draws up a typology of management and leadership models which serves as a framework for the rest of the book:

A comprehensive account There then follow six chapters, one on each of the management models: formal, collegial, political, subjective, ambiguity and cultural. Each chapter explains the key elements and the leadership dimensions of each model. Bush draws on his considerable experience and expertise to pull together a wealth of research from writers in the field to present a comprehensive account of each model. He also sketches the limitations of each model and frames a critical analysis of their usefulness. This book is unique, as its comprehensive account is brought together in one volume and is written in such a clear and understandable way.

In the final chapter, Bush sets up the conclusion as a means of comparing the management and leadership models; to this end, he is reasonably successful. The attempt to synthesise all the perspectives into one model is fraught with problems and this is not achieved. It could be that this is actually an impossible task. However, in the final part of this chapter, a discussion of using theory to improve practice is well argued and discussed. This is a key text in the educational leadership field and, as such, is highly recommended for students and practitioners in educational leadership and management.

Category: Book Reviews, Spring 2011

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