Is a Science of Educational Leadership Possible?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Since the foundation of educational administration as a field of study around 150 years ago, its scholars have employed varied strategies to gain a scientific legitimacy among the social sciences. The aim of this chapter is to debate the meanings of science in EA and the kind of science EA field can be based on an analysis of science constructions and of historical debates in the field’s discourses throughout the last several decades. It is suggested that EA researchers seek new knowledges related to educational leadership and management and attempt to understand the educational reality from organizational and managerial stances. They acknowledge the limitation of objectivity and universality and combine both positivistic and naturalistic methodological paradigms. But, EA is, first and foremost, an applied field of study whose major orientation is to improve EA practice and support the work of educational leaders. Some implications of this type of science are discussed at length in the second half of the chapter.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of Educational Leadership and Management Discourse
EditorsFenwick W. English
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9783030396664
ISBN (Print)9783030396664
StatePublished - 2020


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