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  • 1.
    Brauckmann, Stefan
    et al.
    Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt.
    Pashiardis, Petros
    University of Cyprus.
    Ärlestig, Helene
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Bringing context and educational leadership together: fostering the professional development of school principals2023In: Professional Development in Education, ISSN 1941-5257, E-ISSN 1941-5265, Vol. 49, no 1, p. 4-15Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

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  • 2.
    Gunnulfsen, Ann Elisabeth
    et al.
    Department of Teacher Education and School Research, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.
    Storgaard, Merete
    Municipality of Svendborg, Svendborg, Denmark.
    Ärlestig, Helene
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Introduction2023In: 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)
  • 3.
    Gunnulfsen, Ann Elisabeth
    et al.
    Department of Teacher Education and School Research, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.
    Ärlestig, Helene
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Storgaard, Merete
    Municipality of Svendborg, Svendborg, Denmark.
    Making Sense of Nordic School Leadership – Four Perspectives on Similarities and Variations2023In: 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.

  • 4.
    Gunnulfsen, Ann Elisabeth
    et al.
    Department of Teacher Education and School Research, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.
    Ärlestig, Helene
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Storgaard, Merete
    Municipality of Svendborg, Svendborg, Denmark.
    Preface2023In: 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)
  • 5.
    Johansson, Olof
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Ärlestig, Helene
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Bringing support structures to scale: the role of the state and the municipality2021In: Evidence-based school development in changing demografic contexts / [ed] Rose M. Ylemaki; Lynette A. Brunderman, Dordrecht: Springer Publishing Company, 2021, p. 117-131Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This chapter explores the “theory of action” underlying the Swedish government’s national school improvement program called Cooperation for Better Schools. We discuss particularly the assumptions about the roles and responsibilities of key stakeholders, including schools, school districts, and universities. Our analysis focuses on the issue of institutional capacity for sustained system improvement. In this regard, our approach draws on the perspectives associated with contemporary policy analysis, which includes greater attention to qualitative and interpretive methods to understand the complexity of policy-induced change in contemporary society. We start by describing the project structure and our method. Thereafter, we analyze the government’s understanding and arguments for why it is important to help underperforming schools, before we give examples about how involved actors define problems and solutions in project documents. In the conclusion, we highlight strengths and deficits in the improvement process.

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  • 6.
    Johansson, Olof
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Ärlestig, Helene
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Commentary – The ISSPP expedition to a greater understanding of principalship and new challenges for tomorrow's leaders2022In: Journal of Educational Administration, ISSN 0957-8234, E-ISSN 1758-7395, Vol. 60, no 1, p. 124-131Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 7.
    Johansson, Olof
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Ärlestig, Helene
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Comparative Analysis of Central Aspects2020In: Educational Authorities and the Schools / [ed] Helene ÄrlestigOlof Johansson, Springer, 2020, , p. 12p. 409-420Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    It is well known that schools and their work are highly dependent on and influenced by the societal values, history and political situation in the specific country where they are located (Ärlestig et al. 2016). School agencies and their role are not as well described in research as school districts and the impact of school communities. One reason for this disparity might be the considerable variation between different countries, with respect to the earlier little-studied aspects of school agencies and their role.

  • 8.
    Johansson, Olof
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Ärlestig, Helene
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Culture, Structure and Leadership in Sweden: National Accountability and Local Trust2021In: The Cultural and Social Foundations of Educational Leadership: an International Comparison / [ed] Romuald Normand, Lejf Moos, Min Liu, Pierre Tulowitzki, Springer Science+Business Media B.V., 2021, , p. 21p. 45-65Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Analysis of Swedish educational policy will start the importance of some state commissions on education. The first one was published in 1946 (SOU, 1948:27) and the second in 2017 (SOU, 2017:35). The first commission’s main aim was to form democratic citizens, while the second focused on equity in learning opportunities. Both state commissions had the ambition to contribute to reforms that would help to widen support for students from low socioeconomic backgrounds to achieve academic success. In between the commissions, there was another important state investigation between 1970 and 1974 called The school’s inner work (SOU, 1974:53). Based on the report, the parliament took important decisions in relation to students in need of extra support. These ideas can also be found in the reformed Educational act and curricula from the 1990s, including analysis of the independent school reform that was introduced in 1991.

  • 9.
    Johansson, Olof
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Ärlestig, Helene
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Democratic governing ideals and the power of intervening spaces as prerequisite for student learning2022In: Journal of Educational Administration, ISSN 0957-8234, E-ISSN 1758-7395, Vol. 60, no 3, p. 340-353Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

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  • 10.
    Johansson, Olof
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Ärlestig, Helene
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Introduction: Governing Chains – Support, Control and Intervention for Local Schools2020In: Educational Authorities and the Schools, Springer, 2020, , p. 15p. 1-15Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    How schools become successful is important for the individual students as well as the local community and the national state. A vast quantity of research has looked at what happens in schools and classrooms. At the same time, national governance and politics as well as local prerequisites are well-known to influence schools and their results to a high degree. Societal priorities, problems and traditions provide variety in how governance is executed. There is a lack of publications that give an international overview of the similarities and differences between school agencies and how their work influences schools.

  • 11.
    Johansson, Olof
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Ärlestig, Helene
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Policy implementations in schools: the chain of command and its intervening spaces2022In: School leadership in the 21th century: challenges and strategies / [ed] Adam E. Nir, New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc., 2022, p. 247-275Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 12.
    Johansson, Olof
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Ärlestig, Helene
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Skolans styrning: om styrkedjan och dess mellanrum2020In: Att leda mot skolans mål: vägval och möjligheter / [ed] Olof Johansson; Lars Svedberg, Malmö: Gleerups Utbildning AB, 2020, 3, p. 143-160Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 13.
    Johansson, Olof
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Ärlestig, Helene
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Stödstrukturer i SBS-insatser: statens och huvudmannens roll2021In: Att förbättra skolor med stöd i forskning: Exempel, analyser och utmaningar / [ed] Niclas Rönnström; Olof Johansson, Stockholm: Natur och kultur, 2021, 1, p. 35-66Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 14.
    Liljenberg, Mette
    et al.
    Department of Education and Special education, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Nordholm, Daniel
    Department of Education, University of Uppsala, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Ärlestig, Helene
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    The need for recognised educational infrastructures to support superintendents’ professional development2024In: Professional Development in Education, ISSN 1941-5257, E-ISSN 1941-5265, Vol. 50, no 2, p. 333-346Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

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  • 15.
    Liljenberg, Mette
    et al.
    Department of Education and Special Education, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Ärlestig, Helene
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Nordholm, Daniel
    Department of Education, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
    For what purpose?: Swedish superintendents' perspectives of professional development for principals2023In: Journal of Educational Administration, ISSN 0957-8234, E-ISSN 1758-7395, Vol. 61, no 4, p. 325-340Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

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  • 16.
    Merchant, Betty
    et al.
    Educational Leadership & Policy Studies, University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX, USA.
    Johansson, Olof
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Ärlestig, Helene
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Welcome and välkommen: School Administrators in the U.S. and Sweden Responds to Unexpected Numbers of Refugees in their Rural Communities2020In: International Journal of Leadership in Education, ISSN 1360-3124, E-ISSN 1464-5092, Vol. 3, no 1, p. 41-56Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This exploratory, comparative study focuses on the leadership challenges encountered by American and Swedish school superintendents in communities that experienced an unexpected increase in the number of refugees being placed their towns. We focused the study on two small communities in northern Sweden and two communities in northern Vermont. Our study draws on social ecological systems theory to examine the responses of school superintendents to the arrival of refugee students and the extent to which the local, state/regional, and national contexts in which they worked facilitated or hindered their ability to respond to these needs. The majority of the data collection for this study was done in 2017 and 2018 and included personal interviews, on-site observations, and document analysis. The refugee students’ lives in both Sweden and Vermont were characterized by numerous systems and subsystems, and all four superintendents sought to create linkages between and among these systems, believing that the smaller sizes of their districts made this easier to accomplish. They faced many challenges in their efforts to respond to the needs of refugee students, and the alignment or misalignment of policies at the local, state/regional, and national levels played a significant role in enhancing or constraining their success.

  • 17.
    Merchant, Betty
    et al.
    Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas, USA.
    Ärlestig, Helene
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Garcia, Encarnacion
    Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas, USA.
    Johansson, Olof
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Murakami Ramalho, Elizabeth
    Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas, USA.
    Törnsén, Monika
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Successful School Leadership in Sweden and the U.S.: Contexts of Social Responsibility and Individualism2012In: International Journal of Educational Management, ISSN 0951-354X, E-ISSN 1758-6518, Vol. 26, no 5, p. 428-441Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – The purpose of this cross-cultural study of schools in Sweden and Texas is to examine the cultural contexts of schools in both settings, and the leadership role of principals in creating and sustaining inclusive schools for diverse populations.

    Design/methodology/approach – The data were drawn from two studies; the first involving school visits, classroom observations, and interviews conducted in researcher exchanges between both countries. The second source of data comes from the authors’ participation in a multi-national longitudinal study, the International Successful School Principals’ Project (ISSPP). A common survey instrument, individual interviews, school visits and observations provide the data for this study.

    Findings – The seven themes that emerged were manifested in ways that reflected the differing philosophies of each country: engagement and pride, high expectations, student autonomy, early student learning and development, teamwork, diversity and integration, and international focus on academic rankings. It is concluded that the creation of inclusive schools in a diverse context requires that principals maintain a focus on academic accountability while also working consciously to address social and civic issues.

    Research limitations/implications – Current migration and immigration patterns create a need for research, like this study, that examines how the social philosophies of different countries might support or hinder the success of various efforts to develop leadership for inclusive schools with diverse populations.

    Originality/value – Examining the leadership of inclusive schools within two countries that differ substantially in their relative emphases on individualism and socialism provides valuable insights into how national philosophies are reflected in the ways school systems respond to diversity.

  • 18.
    Norberg, Katarina
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Ärlestig, Helene
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Angelle, Pamela S
    University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA.
    Global conversations about social justice: The Swedish-US example2014In: Management in Education, ISSN 0892-0206, Vol. 28, no 3, p. 101-105Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This qualitative study investigated the social justice practices of four principals − two from the United States and two from Sweden. The purpose of the study was to enhance our understanding of school leaders’ actions as they work to promote socially just practices in different national contexts. Principals were interviewed to examine their perceptions of what social justice leaders do, how they make sense of social justice, what helps and hinders the work of social justice, and how they learned to become social justice leaders. Findings from the principals’ interviews are presented as a fictional conversation to illustrate similarities and points of departure in social justice practice between the two countries. Principals emphasized the proactive nature of social justice leadership, demonstrated through decision-making, strategic planning, and daily interactions. The importance of giving voice to those who cannot speak for themselves, holding high expectations for all students, and the importance of modeling positive values was underscored. Conclusions from this study illustrate that social justice leadership in practice, despite the national context, offers more commonalities than differences.

  • 19.
    Norqvist, Lars
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Ärlestig, Helene
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Systems thinking in school organizations: perspectives from various leadership levels2021In: Journal of Educational Administration, ISSN 0957-8234, E-ISSN 1758-7395, Vol. 59, no 1, p. 77-93Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to understand how leaders within a school district system understand their own and others' leadership positions from the perspectives of systems thinking and systems thinking skills.

    Design/methodology/approach: The findings are based on interviews with superintendents, area managers (deputy superintendents), principals and first teachers in Sweden. Sets of systems thinking skills guide the analysis, specifically how various leadership positions are related (their structure and relationships), how leaders understand themselves in relation to the whole and the parts (mindset), what they think about how the organization is organized (content) and how they relate to the organization's history and future (behavior).

    Findings: Leaders at all levels in the school organization have regular communications, but a wider systems thinking perspective is underdeveloped. The systems are hierarchical, with each level taking responsibility for its subsystem to such a high extent that it does not use or learn from other levels. We also found that change in the investigated schools is subtle, and in the schools, it did not seem important to understand change over time or the nature of important leverage points; the organizations' histories and futures were emphasized less than current issues and relations.

    Practical implications: Increased knowledge on systems thinking skills can provide insights as to whether mindsets, content, structure and behavior are supporting each other or not. These perspectives can help actors on all levels to learn together.

    Originality/value: In addition to the study outcomes, this paper offers a unique approach for studying the leadership positions of the governance chain and their impact on an organization's work and results. It obtains a broader picture of school districts' systems when various members of the governing chain express how they understand their organizations, in relation to systems thinking.

  • 20.
    Ramalho, Elizabeth Murakami
    et al.
    Elisabeth University of Texas, San Antonio, USA.
    Ärlestig, Helene
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Törnsén, Monika
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Importing and exporting knowledge of successful educational leadership between Sweden and the United States2011In: International Studies in Educational Administration, ISSN 1324-1702, E-ISSN 1839-2768, Vol. 39, no 2, p. 97-112Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study explores the learning of a delegation of 41 Swedish principals during their visit to schools in Texas. Particularly, the study explores the similarities and differences in both educational systems as well as different characteristics in principal leadership. The exchange focused on the various questions Swedish principals sought to have answered during their visit and their first impressions of US schools. The observation and analysis of principals' perceptions was developed in this study using a phenomenological approach, sensitive to collaborative cultures and international inquiry. The findings present aspects of US and Sweden education and elements principals in Sweden saw as important to import to their country, as well what they saw important to export to the US in order to enhance school improvement.

  • 21.
    Sigurðardóttir, Sigríður Margrét
    et al.
    School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Akureyri, Akureyri, Iceland.
    Skedsmo, Guri
    Department of Teacher Education and School Research, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway; Institute for Research on Professions and Professional Learning, Schwyz University of Teacher Education, Goldau, Switzerland.
    Ärlestig, Helene
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Principals' Preparation and Professional Development in Nordic Countries2023In: 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.

  • 22.
    Törnsén, Monika
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Ärlestig, Helene
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Avslutning2014In: Ledarskap i centrum: om rektor och förskolechef / [ed] Monika Törnsén & Helene Ärlestig, Malmö: Gleerups Utbildning AB, 2014, 1, p. 213-218Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 23.
    Törnsén, Monika
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Ärlestig, Helene
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Barns och elevers rätt till lärande och utveckling2016In: Skoljuridik / [ed] Viola Boström, Kjell Lundmark, Malmö: Liber, 2016, 4, p. 181-207Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 24.
    Törnsén, Monika
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Ärlestig, Helene
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Elevers rätt till lärande2012In: Skoljuridik / [ed] Viola Boström, Kjell Lundmark, Malmö: Liber, 2012, 3, p. 177-203Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 25.
    Törnsén, Monika
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Ärlestig, Helene
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Elevers rätt till lärande2011In: Skoljuridik / [ed] Viola Boström och Kjell Lundmark, Malmö: Liber, 2011, 2, p. 173-199Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 26.
    Törnsén, Monika
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Ärlestig, Helene
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Inledning2014In: Ledarskap i centrum: om rektor och förskolechef / [ed] Monika Törnsén & Helene Ärlestig, Malmö: Gleerups Utbildning AB, 2014, 1, p. 7-15Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 27.
    Törnsén, Monika
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Ärlestig, HeleneUmeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Ledarskap i centrum: om rektor och förskolechef2014Collection (editor) (Other academic)
  • 28.
    Törnsén, Monika
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Ärlestig, Helene
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Om ledarskap och pedagogiskt ledarskap2014In: Ledarskap i centrum: om rektor och förskolechef / [ed] Monika Törnsén & Helene Ärlestig, Malmö: Gleerups Utbildning AB, 2014, p. 17-29Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 29.
    Törnsén, Monika
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Ärlestig, Helene
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Pedagogiskt ledarskap, mål, process och resultat2014In: Framgångsrika skolor: mer om struktur, kultur, ledarskap / [ed] Jonas Höög, Olof Johansson, Lund: Studentlitteratur AB, 2014, 1, p. 77-99Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Pedagogiskt ledarskap är ett begrepp som sedan länge har använts i policytexter. Det är i dag tydligt att det är stora kvalitetsskillnader i hur rektorer genomför sitt pedagogiska ledarskap. Det kan förklaras med att det råder en viss osäkerhet och ibland oenighet om vad pedagogiskt ledarskap innebär i praktiken. Så diskuteras bland annat om och hur ofta rektor bör göra verksamhetsobservationer. Syftet med kapitlet är att introducera en modell av begreppet pedagogiskt ledarskap. Att vara pedagogisk ledare innebär enligt vår definition att rektor har fokus på skolans huvuduppdrag – ett kontinuerligt lärande för elever både vad gäller kunskapsmål och sociala mål. Detta ledarskap förutsätter ett lärande även för rektor och lärare i syfte att förbättra rektors och lärares arbete så att skolans och elevers resultat förbättras. Arbetet som pedagogisk ledare består av tre interrelaterade delar – att skapa förutsättningar för lärande och undervisning, att leda lärande och undervisning och att koppla ihop det vardagliga arbetet med skolans och elevers resultat. Denna modell av pedagogiskt ledarskap åskådliggör och förklarar ett komplext uppdrag och dess många konkreta implikationer.

  • 30.
    Törnsén, Monika
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Ärlestig, Helene
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Rektor och elevers rätt till lärande2009In: Skoljuridik / [ed] Viola Boström och Kjell Lundmark, Malmö: Liber, 2009, 1, p. 135-156Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 31.
    Uljens, Michael
    et al.
    Åbo Akademi.
    Möller, Jorunn
    Oslo Universitet.
    Ärlestig, Helene
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Fredriksson, Lars Frode
    University of Southern Denmark.
    The Professionalisation of Nordic School Leadership2013In: Transnational influences on values and practices in Nordic educational leadership: is there a Nordic model? / [ed] Lejf Moos, Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands, 2013, p. 133-157Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This chapter deals with the ongoing neoliberally influenced educational policy process and how this process affect the (re)professionalisation of school leadership in the Nordic countries. The neoliberal process puts an increased focus on school leadership, accountability, quality assurance and evaluation. The chapter highlights how the ongoing reconstruction process or (re)professionalisation of school leadership is coherent with the renewed education policy.

    At the same time, the national curriculum guidelines, the framing of the teacher’s responsibility and the culture are guided by democratic ideas and an independent teacher role.

    This chapter aims (a) to investigate how and to what extent the professionalisation of Nordic school leadership may be in conflict with established images of teacher professionalism and (b) to identify crucial indicators, dimensions and mechanisms reflecting the shifts from one policy regime to another. In addition, we will discuss if it is possible to identify a specific Nordic way of framing school leadership and provide scenarios for how the future concerning educational leadership may look like in the Nordic countries. We will apply a hermeneutic and cultural-historical reflection based on policy documents and empirical research.

    Based on our analysis, we discuss two different scenarios of how the contemporary educational regime may influence the future framing of school leadership. One of the scenarios shows a specific Nordic model of school leadership where equity and academic knowledge are the bases for principals’ work.

  • 32.
    Ärlestig, Helene
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Communication between principals and teachers in successful schools2008Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis examines the interplay between organizational structure and culture and principals’ communication with their teachers in a Swedish school setting. Especially communication about issues connected to teaching and learning, student outcomes and school improvement are in focus. These issues are examples of what principals work with as pedagogical leaders. The thesis consists of four published articles on principals’ communication in relation to organizational prerequisites and aims. The four separate articles are all connected to three overall questions. How do organizational factors relate to the communication process? How does the communication between principals and teachers affect and reflect principals’ and teachers’ work towards the national objectives in the Swedish curriculum? What, if any, differences are there in the communication process between successful and less successful schools? The research undertaken in this thesis is a part of a larger project called ‘Structure, Culture, Leadership – prerequisites for Successful Schools?’ The empirical data used consists of interviews and questionnaires with teachers and principals in twenty-four Swedish schools as well as one school outside the projects study population. The twenty-four schools within the project have been divided into four groups depending on how they have succeeded in reaching academic and social objectives in the curriculum. The overall result shows that most communication in schools is related to everyday activities and individual students. Teachers claim that their communication with their principals is uncomplicated and straightforward. Viewing communication as a multidimensional process including information, affirmation/feedback and interpretation reveals that many principals overestimate their ability to communicate as pedagogical leaders. The difference in the communication process between the schools was more due to organizational factors like structure and culture than the principal’s individual communication abilities. In the successful schools, principals and teachers communicated more frequently about issues related to teaching and learning. These principals made more classroom visits and provided more frequently feedback on teachers’ professional role. In many of the other schools, there were signs of a communicative and organizational blindness. There is a potential in many schools to improve principals' and teachers' daily conversations so the communication process to a higher extent support long-term work towards positive school outcomes.

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  • 33.
    Ärlestig, Helene
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Educational leadership: to champion improvement for all students2014In: International Journal of Educational Management, ISSN 0951-354X, E-ISSN 1758-6518, Vol. 28, no 7, p. 782-784Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 34.
    Ärlestig, Helene
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    European perspectives2016In: Successful school leadership: international perspectives / [ed] Petros Pashardis and Olof Johansson, London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2016, p. 93-104Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 35.
    Ärlestig, Helene
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Fyra perspektiv för en mer medveten organisationskommunikation2013In: Att leda mot skolans mål / [ed] Olof Johansson & Lars Svedberg, Malmö: Gleerups Utbildning AB, 2013, p. 225-238Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 36.
    Ärlestig, Helene
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    In school communication: Develpoing a pedagogically focussed school culture2008In: Values and Ethics in Educational Administration, ISSN 1703-5759, Vol. 7, no 1, p. 1-8Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 37.
    Ärlestig, Helene
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Krävs det mer styrning eller mer ledarskap för att lyckas som pedagogisk ledare?2020In: Rektor i fokus: kunskap, värden och verktyg / [ed] Ulf Blossing, Lund: Studentlitteratur AB, 2020, p. 211-233Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 38.
    Ärlestig, Helene
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Kvalitetsredovisningens betydelse för skolans interna arbete2011In: Struktur, Kultur, Ledarskap: förutsättningar för framgångsrika skolor / [ed] Jonas Höög; Olof Johansson, Lund: Studentlitteratur , 2011Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 39.
    Ärlestig, Helene
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Multidimensional organizational communication as a vehicle for successful schools?2007In: Journal of School Public Relations, ISSN 0741-3653, Vol. 28, no 2, p. 137-163Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 40.
    Ärlestig, Helene
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Om rektor och utmaningen i att leda lärares arbete med bedömning och betyg2017In: Att leda skolor med stöd i forskning: exempel, analyser och utmaningar / [ed] Niclas Rönnström & Olof Johansson, Stockholm: Natur och kultur, 2017, p. 265-295Chapter in book (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 41.
    Ärlestig, Helene
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Principals communication in successful schools: a matter of structure and culture rather than individual abilities2009In: Principal Matters, Vol. 79, no 1, p. 9-15Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 42.
    Ärlestig, Helene
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Principals communication in successful schools: a matter of structure and culture rather than personal abilities2008Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 43.
    Ärlestig, Helene
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Principals' communication inside schools - a contribution to school improvement?2007In: The Educational Forum, ISSN 0013-1725, Vol. 71, no 3, p. 262-273Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 44.
    Ärlestig, Helene
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Rektor och lärares yrkesprofessionalism2014In: Ledarskap i centrum: om rektor och förskolechef / [ed] Monika Törnsén & Helene Ärlestig, Gleerups Utbildning AB, 2014, p. 197-211Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 45.
    Ärlestig, Helene
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Rektor, styrning och beslutsfattande2014In: Framgångsrika skolor: mer om struktur, kultur, ledarskap / [ed] Jonas Höög, Olof Johansson, Studentlitteratur AB, 2014, p. 121-138Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 46.
    Ärlestig, Helene
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Structural prerequisites for prinicpals' and teachers' communication about teaching and learning issues2008In: Improving Schools, ISSN 1365-4802, E-ISSN 1475-7583, Vol. 11, no 3, p. 191-205Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 47.
    Ärlestig, Helene
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Systematiskt kvalitetsarbete: ett gemensam ansvar för rektor, huvudmannen och skolinspektionen2014In: Skolledare i mötet mellan nationella mål och lokal policy / [ed] Elisabet Nihlfors & Olof Johansson, Gleerups Utbildning AB, 2014, p. 83-100Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 48.
    Ärlestig, Helene
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    The Challenge of Educating Principals: Linking Course Content to Action2012In: Planning and changing, ISSN 0032-0684, Vol. 43, no 3/4, p. 309-321Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 49.
    Ärlestig, Helene
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Tolkningsförmåga, kommunikation och samspel: viktiga förmågor för rektor i en allt längre styrkedja2020In: Att leda mot skolans mål: vägval och möjligheter / [ed] Olof Johansson; Lars Svedberg, Malmö: Gleerups Utbildning AB, 2020, 3, p. 227-242Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 50.
    Ärlestig, Helene
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Vardagssamtal och rektors pedagogiska ledarskap2011In: Struktur, kultur, ledarskap: förutsättningar för framgångsrika skolor / [ed] Jonas Höög och Olof Johansson, Lund: Studentlitteratur, 2011, 1Chapter in book (Refereed)
12 1 - 50 of 62
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