Three orientations for understanding educational autonomy : School principals’ voices from Australia, Finland, and Jamaica
Heikkinen, H. L. T., Wilkinson, J., & Bristol, L. (2021). Three orientations for understanding educational autonomy : School principals’ voices from Australia, Finland, and Jamaica. Journal of Educational Administration and History, 53(3-4), 198-214. https://doi.org/10.1080/00220620.2020.1849060
Published inJournal of Educational Administration and History
© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
This paper reports on the findings from a multi-site case study conducted in Australia, Finland and Jamaica which explored the conditions that enabled and constrained the autonomy of school principals. Systematic data collection was carried out in the form of interviews of school principals and the data was analysed using a qualitative approach. The analysis indicates that: (1) school principals’ practices are prefigured by the peculiarities of historical trajectories and ideological traditions enmeshed in schooling sites; (2) these prefiguring arrangements in turn influence varying realisations of autonomous decision making practices across national sites; and (3) even in the expression of high/low levels of autonomy, there are contradictory and contested practices. Through the analysis, three different orientations to autonomy were found: a neoliberal market orientation, a professional practice orientation and an educational praxis orientation.
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Additional information about fundingThis study was funded by two successive Cygnaeus Scholarly Grants, awarded to Jane Wilkinson and Laurette Bristol in 2016 and 2017, by the Finnish Institute for Educational Research of University of Jyväskylä, Finland.
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