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Liljenberg, M., Nordholm, D. & Ärlestig, H. (2024). The need for recognised educational infrastructures to support superintendents’ professional development. Professional Development in Education, 50(2), 333-346
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The need for recognised educational infrastructures to support superintendents’ professional development
2024 (English)In: Professional Development in Education, ISSN 1941-5257, E-ISSN 1941-5265, Vol. 50, no 2, p. 333-346Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article aims to explore educational infrastructures for superintendents’ and deputy superintendents’ professional development and to analyse what kind of professional development these infrastructures bolster. The article builds on a qualitative case study focusing on the central municipal level in Sweden. Findings are based on data from digitally conducted interviews with superintendents and deputy superintendents. The results show that prevailing infrastructures mainly emphasise rational understandings of knowledge and people and practical skills, making it possible for superintendents to carry out their everyday tasks. To a lesser extent, infrastructures support questioning the taken-for-granted understandings on school leadership and challenge and reshape collective professional knowledge in partnership with other professionals. Therefore, the results indicate that theory and research are seldom used as a basis for professional development. In addition, the analysis also showed that superintendents’ professional development is more linked to personal initiatives and motivation rather than planned initiatives the municipal and/or state-level administration designed. The article concludes that infrastructure design, at different levels of the school system, must consider different approaches for professional development given the complexity of and expectations on superintendents’ work.

Keywords
Educational infrastructure, superintendent, professional development, Sweden
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
educational leadership; education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-199416 (URN)10.1080/19415257.2022.2081249 (DOI)000800526000001 ()2-s2.0-85131207480 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2022-09-15 Created: 2022-09-15 Last updated: 2024-05-10Bibliographically approved
Brauckmann, S., Pashiardis, P. & Ärlestig, H. (2023). Bringing context and educational leadership together: fostering the professional development of school principals. Professional Development in Education, 49(1), 4-15
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Bringing context and educational leadership together: fostering the professional development of school principals
2023 (English)In: Professional Development in Education, ISSN 1941-5257, E-ISSN 1941-5265, Vol. 49, no 1, p. 4-15Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Policy makers increasingly acknowledge that problems and challenges arising at the school level should be resolved on site. At the same time, the political expectation to delegate more responsibility to the individual school is rather heavily contrasted with the weak knowledge about how this new public management approach can be translated into successful leadership practices. Thus, considering that there is a close relationship between context and leadership, principal preparation programmes should be guided by a deeper examination of contextual factors. Against this background, we aim to critically examine existing views of practitioners and researchers on the challenge of establishing more context-sensitive school leadership preparation programmes in an era of New Public Management in Education. In doing so, we introduce the Swedish Model of principal preparation as an example for a more context-sensitive leadership preparation program. To that end, we argue that a differentiated perspective about contextual conditions and their role as facilitators or obstacles to effective leadership must be further explored. Moreover, school leaders should be encouraged to consider the relevance of such approaches to their own needs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2023
Keywords
Professional development, school leaders, autonomy, context, Sweden, new public management, effectiveness, leadership preparation
National Category
Educational Sciences Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-170166 (URN)10.1080/19415257.2020.1747105 (DOI)000524766100001 ()2-s2.0-85082949137 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2020-04-28 Created: 2020-04-28 Last updated: 2023-01-11Bibliographically approved
Liljenberg, M., Ärlestig, H. & Nordholm, D. (2023). For what purpose?: Swedish superintendents' perspectives of professional development for principals. Journal of Educational Administration, 61(4), 325-340
Open this publication in new window or tab >>For what purpose?: Swedish superintendents' perspectives of professional development for principals
2023 (English)In: Journal of Educational Administration, ISSN 0957-8234, E-ISSN 1758-7395, Vol. 61, no 4, p. 325-340Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: The purpose of this article is to expand knowledge on Swedish principals' professional development (PD) from the perspectives of superintendents. In particular, the article analyzes how superintendents understand and organize PD for principals.

Design/methodology/approach: Empirical data are derived from a strategic sample of ten (n = 10) superintendents. Transcribed interviews were analyzed in two steps. The first step was carried out inductively to identify prominent aspects of PD for principals. In the second step, the detected themes and categories were analyzed more deductively through the theoretical lens of learning in organizations.

Findings: The analysis revealed that the purpose of PD for principals and the principal leadership that must be nurtured from the perspective of superintendents spans a scale, from knowing what is already required to critically examining and exploring the unknown. In addition, the understanding of learning stretches from an individual enterprise to a collective activity. However, noteworthy differences between the superintendents were detected and organized into three ideal types.

Research limitations/implications: Despite a profound research design and a careful selection of superintendents, the sample sets some limits because of the plurality within the decentralized Swedish school system.

Practical implications: The results can support strategies from superintendents, principals and educational authorities to build infrastructures that foster PD at different levels of school systems.

Originality/value: This article offers a novel perspective by analyzing principals' PD from the perspectives of superintendents.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2023
Keywords
Leadership, Learning, Principals, Professional learning, Superintendents
National Category
Pedagogical Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-204917 (URN)10.1108/JEA-08-2022-0121 (DOI)000930690900001 ()2-s2.0-85147595161 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2023-02-16 Created: 2023-02-16 Last updated: 2023-09-05Bibliographically approved
Gunnulfsen, A. E., Storgaard, M. & Ärlestig, H. (2023). Introduction. In: Ann Elisabeth Gunnulfsen, Helene Ärlestig, Merete Storgaard (Ed.), Education and Democracy in the Nordic Countries: Making Sense of School Leadership, Policy, and Practice (pp. 1-9). Cham: Springer
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Introduction
2023 (English)In: Education and Democracy in the Nordic Countries: Making Sense of School Leadership, Policy, and Practice / [ed] Ann Elisabeth Gunnulfsen, Helene Ärlestig, Merete Storgaard, Cham: Springer, 2023, , p. 9p. 1-9Chapter in book (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cham: Springer, 2023. p. 9
Series
Educational Governance Research, ISSN 2365-9548, E-ISSN 2365-9556 ; 21
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-212726 (URN)10.1007/978-3-031-33195-4_1 (DOI)2-s2.0-85166027336 (Scopus ID)978-3-031-33194-7 (ISBN)978-3-031-33195-4 (ISBN)
Available from: 2023-08-16 Created: 2023-08-16 Last updated: 2023-08-16Bibliographically approved
Gunnulfsen, A. E., Ärlestig, H. & Storgaard, M. (2023). Making Sense of Nordic School Leadership – Four Perspectives on Similarities and Variations. In: Ann Elisabeth Gunnulfsen, Helene Ärlestig, Merete Storgaard (Ed.), Education and Democracy in the Nordic Countries: Making Sense of School Leadership, Policy, and Practice (pp. 173-182). Cham: Springer
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Making Sense of Nordic School Leadership – Four Perspectives on Similarities and Variations
2023 (English)In: Education and Democracy in the Nordic Countries: Making Sense of School Leadership, Policy, and Practice / [ed] Ann Elisabeth Gunnulfsen, Helene Ärlestig, Merete Storgaard, Cham: Springer, 2023, , p. 10p. 173-182Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This book can be regarded as a follow up to the series of Springer-editions about the Nordic perspectives on studies in educational leadership. Lejf Moos is a prominent forerunner with the first “Nordic” edition of Transnational Influences on Values and Practices in Nordic Educational Leadership: Is there a Nordic Model? published 10 years ago. In his edition, Moos (2013) stated that the Nordic countries are similar in many respects. The similarities are expressed through their differences from the UK and USA, where democratic thinking is built upon so-called liberal democracy, which values the idea that the purpose of society is to advantage the individual in her/his development (Louis, 2003). In contrast, Nordic social democracies focus on the welfare state perspective of social rights and equality (Andersen et al. 2007), a unified society where democracy and social welfare systems build on the necessity of a strong state that is willing and able to redistribute some of the wealth. This is combined with ideas of free speech and participation where citizens in a society are expected to participate in conversations on matters of mutual interest as a mean to strengthen all individual’s rights and well-being. This current book aimed to examine perspectives of contemporary school leadership practices and thinking based on the premise that schools play a vital role in forming societies. Moreover, the purpose of this book is to address and discuss principal prerequisites and work within democratic welfare states in Nordic countries.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cham: Springer, 2023. p. 10
Series
Educational Governance Research, ISSN 2365-9548, E-ISSN 2365-9556 ; 21
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-212728 (URN)10.1007/978-3-031-33195-4_11 (DOI)2-s2.0-85166015364 (Scopus ID)978-3-031-33194-7 (ISBN)978-3-031-33195-4 (ISBN)
Available from: 2023-08-16 Created: 2023-08-16 Last updated: 2023-08-16Bibliographically approved
Gunnulfsen, A. E., Ärlestig, H. & Storgaard, M. (2023). Preface. In: Ann Elisabeth Gunnulfsen, Helene Ärlestig, Merete Storgaard (Ed.), Education and Democracy in the Nordic Countries: Making Sense of School Leadership, Policy, and Practice (pp. xv-xvi). Cham: Springer
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Preface
2023 (English)In: Education and Democracy in the Nordic Countries: Making Sense of School Leadership, Policy, and Practice / [ed] Ann Elisabeth Gunnulfsen, Helene Ärlestig, Merete Storgaard, Cham: Springer, 2023, p. xv-xviChapter in book (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cham: Springer, 2023
Series
Educational Governance Research, ISSN 2365-9548, E-ISSN 2365-9556 ; 21
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-212723 (URN)2-s2.0-85165986354 (Scopus ID)978-3-031-33194-7 (ISBN)978-3-031-33195-4 (ISBN)
Available from: 2023-08-15 Created: 2023-08-15 Last updated: 2023-08-15Bibliographically approved
Sigurðardóttir, S. M., Skedsmo, G. & Ärlestig, H. (2023). Principals' Preparation and Professional Development in Nordic Countries. In: Gunnulfsen, A.E., Ärlestig, H., Storgaard, M. (Ed.), Education and Democracy in the Nordic Countries: Making Sense of School Leadership, Policy, and Practice (pp. 153-172). Cham: Springer
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Principals' Preparation and Professional Development in Nordic Countries
2023 (English)In: Education and Democracy in the Nordic Countries: Making Sense of School Leadership, Policy, and Practice / [ed] Gunnulfsen, A.E., Ärlestig, H., Storgaard, M., Cham: Springer, 2023, , p. 20p. 153-172Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Principals in Nordic countries face increasing and changing demands in their work that have transformed the expectations of their knowledge and skills. This transformation has focused on the need for high-quality preparation programmes and continuous professional development opportunities for principals. In this chapter, we investigate and compare principal preparation and professional development in the five Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. We reflect on the variation in professional development opportunities across the Nordic countries and discuss how professional development for novice and in-post school principals might be organised in the future. A cross-case study is applied, making use of document analysis to find, select, appraise and synthesise data and policy documents, legislation and current research. A range of similarities and differences between the Nordic countries that concern both formal expectations, required education for becoming a principal and possibilities for continuous professional development were identified. With many governing levels and a changing society, it seems that professional development is historically and nationally situated rather than being a strategic incitement to use, keep and build competence. Preparation and continuous development for principals in the Nordic countries vary both between and within countries. This is a concern for principals, as well as the national and local authorities responsible for their preparation and continuous professional development.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cham: Springer, 2023. p. 20
Series
Educational Governance Research, ISSN 2365-9548, E-ISSN 2365-9556 ; 21
Keywords
Competence building, Competence providers, Principal education, Principal preparation, Principal training, Professional development, Professionalisation, School leadership
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-212719 (URN)10.1007/978-3-031-33195-4_10 (DOI)2-s2.0-85166006447 (Scopus ID)978-3-031-33194-7 (ISBN)978-3-031-33195-4 (ISBN)
Available from: 2023-08-15 Created: 2023-08-15 Last updated: 2023-08-15Bibliographically approved
Ärlestig, H. & Leo, U. (2023). Sweden – Good Will on All Governance Levels Is Not Enough to Create Sustainable Improvement. In: Education and Democracy in the Nordic Countries: Making Sense of School Leadership, Policy, and Practice (pp. 75-87). Cham: Springer
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sweden – Good Will on All Governance Levels Is Not Enough to Create Sustainable Improvement
2023 (English)In: Education and Democracy in the Nordic Countries: Making Sense of School Leadership, Policy, and Practice, Cham: Springer, 2023, , p. 13p. 75-87Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In Sweden as in the other Nordic countries schools are an important part of how individuals as well as society develops. How schools are led and governed therefore affects all citizens. In this chapter we discuss principals’ positions, responsibility, and expectation within the Swedish governance system. The chapter and our conclusions rest on current Swedish research and policy documents. In Sweden external expectations, support, and control from national and municipality (school owner) level has an increasing impact on the local schools. Traditions, values, and reforms puts a focus on contemporary change processes. In turn, these contemporary change processes affect to a high extent principal’s role and tasks in the local schools and create an increasing heterogeneity in prerequisites, expectations, and results. There is a strong will and high ambition to improve schools for better results on all governance levels, ambitions that often ask for fast effect which has backsides such as concurring reforms and a high turnover among school leaders.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cham: Springer, 2023. p. 13
Series
Educational Governance Research, ISSN 2365-9548, E-ISSN 2365-9556 ; 21
Keywords
Governance, Pedagogical leadership, Principals, Quality assurance, Reform, School improvement
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-212716 (URN)10.1007/978-3-031-33195-4_6 (DOI)2-s2.0-85165979359 (Scopus ID)978-3-031-33194-7 (ISBN)978-3-031-33195-4 (ISBN)
Available from: 2023-08-15 Created: 2023-08-15 Last updated: 2023-08-15Bibliographically approved
Johansson, O. & Ärlestig, H. (2022). Commentary – The ISSPP expedition to a greater understanding of principalship and new challenges for tomorrow's leaders. Journal of Educational Administration, 60(1), 124-131
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Commentary – The ISSPP expedition to a greater understanding of principalship and new challenges for tomorrow's leaders
2022 (English)In: Journal of Educational Administration, ISSN 0957-8234, E-ISSN 1758-7395, Vol. 60, no 1, p. 124-131Article in journal, Editorial material (Other academic) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2022
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-216145 (URN)10.1108/JEA-02-2022-269 (DOI)000751432800010 ()2-s2.0-85124360685 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2023-11-02 Created: 2023-11-02 Last updated: 2023-11-02Bibliographically approved
Johansson, O. & Ärlestig, H. (2022). Democratic governing ideals and the power of intervening spaces as prerequisite for student learning. Journal of Educational Administration, 60(3), 340-353
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Democratic governing ideals and the power of intervening spaces as prerequisite for student learning
2022 (English)In: Journal of Educational Administration, ISSN 0957-8234, E-ISSN 1758-7395, Vol. 60, no 3, p. 340-353Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: In the rational model of the democratic governing chain, intervening spaces at all levels are neglected in relation to the policy process. An intervening space is a group of persons with the power and responsibility to interpret policy at their level in an organization. The research question is as follows: How are democratic policy ideas visible in the intervening spaces of a governing chain in public schools.

Design/methodology/approach: The study is based on two municipalities representing the 25 most populated cities in Sweden. The data are based on interviews with 66 informants with leadership roles on the district level and two schools in each municipality.

Findings: Leadership is obviously more than making decisions. It is also about facilitating and creating trust, engagement, motivation and willingness to take responsibility. In this process, intervening spaces are central. They exist at all levels from the national ministry to the classroom. The empirical examples show the importance and challenges in how different leadership roles, relationships and interaction transform policy intentions to practice on the local level.

Originality/value: The authors contribute by highlighting the parallel interpretation processes that take place at various leadership levels locally. There are possibilities and challenges in aligning the intervening spaces into a rational governing chain. The findings indicate that intervening spaces and policy drift is vital to support, control and use professional competence in the process to transfer political ideas to classroom practice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2022
Keywords
Democratic ideals, Governing chain, Intervening spaces, Leadership, Organizational culture, Organizational structures
National Category
Pedagogy Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-188872 (URN)10.1108/JEA-04-2021-0079 (DOI)000708603700001 ()2-s2.0-85117244582 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2021-11-01 Created: 2021-11-01 Last updated: 2023-03-24Bibliographically approved
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Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0003-1981-7806

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