Educational Leadership at Municipality Level

Defined Roles and Responsibilities in Legislation

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.7577/njcie.2760

Keywords:

municipalities leadership role, educational leadership, educational governance, national legislation, policy in education

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to explore the roles and responsibilities that national education legislation in Iceland imposes on municipalities in terms of leadership. A qualitative content analysis was applied to explore the relevant national legislation—that is, education acts, regulations, and curriculum guides—and identify themes by looking for specific words that are characteristic in leadership practices. The findings reveal that policy ends concerning educational leadership of municipalities are somewhat tacit in current national legislation. Yet, the roles and responsibilities that the state delegates to municipalities comprise leadership functions that are distributed in nature and, to a large extent, harmonize with desired leadership practices as emphasized in the literature. Legislation emphasizes comprehensive education, but also in-cludes signs of technocratic homogenization. In the discussion of our findings, we argue that the educational system is quite dependent on the political emphasis at each given time, making it difficult for both munic-ipalities and the state to facilitate a cohesive leadership emphasis. We suggest that closer attention to the local level, and a recognition of it as an important unit and agency for educational development, is of sig-nificant importance. These observations will be followed by a further investigation into the actual practice of leadership at the local level.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Sigríður Margrét Sigurðardóttir, Faculty of Education, University of Akureyri

Sigríður Margrét Sigurðardóttir (sigridurs@unak.is) is an assistant professor at the Faculty of Education, University of Akureyri, Iceland, and a PhD student at the University of Iceland. She finished a teacher training in Denmark in 1998 and a M.Ed. from the University of Akureyri in 2010. She has experience as a compulsory school teacher and a principal. Her research includes school leadership and professional and school development.

Anna Kristín Sigurðardóttir, School of Education, University of Iceland

Anna Kristín Sigurðardóttir is an associate professor at the School of Education -, University of Iceland. She completed her B.Ed, and M.Ed. in education and special education from Iceland University of Education and Ph.D. from the University of Exeter, 2006. Her main research interests are in the area of educational leadership and school development, physical environment and inclusive education. E-mail: aks@hi.is

Börkur Hansen, School of Education, University of Iceland

Börkur Hansen is a professor at the School of Education, University of Iceland. He finished a B.A.-degree in education and psychology from the University of Iceland in 1982, and a Ph.D. from the University of Alberta in 1987. His major research interests are in the area of leadership, school management, school development and educational governance. E-mail: borkur@hi.is

References

Berg, B. L., & Lune, H. (2012). Qualitative research methods for the social sciences (8th ed.). Boston: Pearson Education.

Compulsory School Act No. 66/1995. Retrieved at http://planipolis.iiep.unesco.org/sites/planipolis/files/ressources/iceland_compulsory_school_act_1995.pdf

Compulsory School Act No. 91/2008. Retrieved at https://www.government.is/media/menntamalaraduneyti-media/media/law-and-regulations/Compulsory-School-Act-No.-91-2008.pdf

European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education. (2017). Education for all in Iceland – External audit of the Icelandic system for inclusive education. Odense, Denmark: Author. Retrieved at https://www.stjornarradid.is/media/menntamalaraduneyti-media/media/frettatengt2016/Final-report_External-Audit-of-the-Icelandic-System-for-Inclusive-Education.pdf

Fullan, M., & Quinn, J. (2016). Coherence: The right drivers in action for schools, districts, and systems. Thousand Oaks: Corwin.

Gunter, H. M., Grimaldi, E., Hall, D., & Serpieri, R. (2016). NPM and educational reform in Europe. In H. M. Gunter, E. Grimaldi, D. Hall, & R. Serpieri (Eds.), New Public Management and the reform of education: European lessons for policy and practice (pp. 3–17). London: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315735245

Hansen, B. (2013). Transnational influences and educational policies in Iceland. In L. Moos (Ed.), Transnational influences on values and practices in Nordic educational leadership: Is there a Nordic model? (pp. 49–60). Dordrecht: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6226-8

Leithwood, K., Harris, A., & Hopkins, D. (2008). Seven strong claims about successful school leadership. School Leadership and Management, 28(1), 27–42. https://doi.org/10.1080/13632430701800060

Leithwood, K., Louis, K. S., Anderson, S., & Wahlstrom, K. (2004). How leadership influences student learning: Review of research. New York: The Wallace Foundation. Retrieved at https://www.wallacefoundation.org/knowledge-center/pages/how-leadership-influences-student-learning.aspx

Local Government Act No. 138/2011 [Sveitarstjórnarlög nr. 138/2011]. Retrieved at https://www.althingi.is/lagas/nuna/2011138.html

Louis, K. S., Leithwood, K., Wahlstrom, K. L., & Anderson, S. E. (2010). Learning from leadership: Investigating the links to improved student learning: Final report of research to the Wallace Foundation. Retrieved at http://www.wallacefoundation.org/knowledge-center/school-leadership/key-research/Documents/Investigating-the-Links-to-Improved-Student-Learning.pdf

Ministry of Education, Science and Culture. (2014a). The Icelandic national curriculum guide for compulsory schools – With subject areas [Aðalnámskrá grunnskóla – almennur hluti 2011: greinasvið 2013]. Retrieved at https://brunnur.stjr.is/mrn/utgafuskra/utgafa.nsf/SearchResult.xsp?documentId=E7DE015E63AA2F2C00257CA2005296F7&action=openDocument

Ministry of Education, Science and Culture. (2014b). White Paper - on education reform. Retrieved at https://www.stjornarradid.is/media/menntamalaraduneyti-media/media/frettir2015/Hvitbok_ENSKA_04.pdf

Moos, L. (2009). Hard and soft governance: The journey from transnational agencies to school leadership. European Educational Research Journal, 8(3), 397–406. https://doi.org/10.2304/eerj.2009.8.3.397

Moos, L. (2013a). Prelude: Tuning the instrument. In L. Moos (Ed.), Transnational influences on values and practices in Nordic educational leadership: Is there a Nordic model? (pp. 1–18). Dordrecht: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6226-8

Moos, L. (2013b). Wrap up of the argument. In L. Moos (Ed.), Transnational influences on values and practices in Nordic educational leadership: Is there a Nordic model? (pp. 213–223). Dordrecht: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6226-8

Moos, L. (2017). Neo-liberal governance leads education and educational leadership astray. In M. Uljens & R. M. Ylimaki (Eds.), Bridging educational leadership, curriculum theory and didaktik: Non-affirmative theory of education (pp. 151–180). Cham: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-58650-2

Moos, L., Hansen, B., Björk, G., & Johansson, O. (2013). Leadership for democracy. In L. Moos, E. Nihlfors, & J. M. Paulsen (Eds.), Nordic superintendents: Agents in a broken chain (pp. 113–132). Cham: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-25106-6

Moos. L., Johansson, O., Paulsen, J. M., Strand, M., & Risku, M. (2016). Democracy in complex networks: Political leaders and administrative professionals. In L. Moos, E. Nihlfors & J. M. Paulsen (Eds.), Nordic superintendents: Agents in a broken chain (pp. 177–206). Cham: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-25106-6

Moos, L., Nihlfors, E., & Paulsen, J. M. (2016). Tendencies and trends. In L. Moos, E. Nihlfors & J. M. Paulsen (Eds.), Nordic superintendents: Agents in a broken chain (pp. 311–334). Cham: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-25106-6

Moos, L., Paulsen, J. M., Johansson, O., & Risku, M. (2016). Governmentality through translation and sense-making. In L. Moos, E. Nihlfors & J. M. Paulsen (Eds.), Nordic superintendents: Agents in a broken chain (pp. 287–310). Cham: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-25106-6

Nihlfors, E., Johansson, O., Moos, L., Paulsen, J. M., & Risku, M. (2013). The Nordic superintendents’ leadership roles: Cross-national comparison. In L. Moos (Ed.), Transnational influences on values and practices in Nordic educational leadership: Is there a Nordic model? (pp. 193–212). Dordrecht: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6226-8

Regulation on Compulsory School Pupils with Special Needs No. 585/2010 [Reglugerð um nemendur með sérþarfir í grunnskóla nr. 585/2010]. Retrieved at https://www.reglugerd.is/reglugerdir/allar/nr/585-2010

Regulation on Evaluation and Inspection in Compulsory Schools and Municipal Councils Duty to Inform on School Work No. 658/2009 [Reglugerð um mat og eftirlit í grunnskólum og upplýsingaskyldu sveitarstjórna um skólahald nr. 658/2009]. Retrieved at https://www.reglugerd.is/reglugerdir/allar/nr/658-2009

Regulation on Responsibilities and Obligations of the School Community in Elementary Schools No. 1040/2011 [Reglugerð um ábyrgð og skyldur aðila skólasamfélagsins í grunnskólum. nr. 1040/2011]. Retrieved at https://www.reglugerd.is/reglugerdir/allar/nr/1040-2011

Regulation on School Housing and Playgrounds No. 657/2009 [Reglugerð um gerð og búnað grunnskólahúsnæðis og skólalóða nr. 657/2009]. Retrieved at https://www.reglugerd.is/reglugerdir/allar/nr/657-2009

Regulation on Specialist Services of Municipalities for Preschools and Compulsory Schools and Pupils’ Welfare Council in Compulsory Schools No. 584/2010 [Reglugerð um sérfræðiþjónustu sveitarfélaga við leik- og grunnskóla og nemendaverndarráð í grunnskólum nr. 584/2010]. Retrieved at https://www.reglugerd.is/reglugerdir/eftir-raduneytum/menntamalaraduneyti/nr/16592

Robinson, V. J., Lloyd, C. A., & Rowe, K. J. (2008). The impact of leadership on student outcomes: An analysis of the differential effects of leadership types. Educational Administration Quarterly, 44(5), 635–674. https://doi.org/10.1177/0013161X08321509

Rules on School Transport in Compulsory School No. 656/2009 [Reglur um skólaakstur í grunnskóla nr. 656/2009]. Retrieved at https://www.stjornartidindi.is/Advert.aspx?ID=23517ace-64ca-4837-ab09-9a44416efca8

Sigurðardóttir, A. K., Guðjónsdóttir, H., & Karlsdóttir, J. (2014). The development of school for all in Iceland: Equality, threats and political conditions. In U. Blossing, G. Imsen, & L. Moos (Eds.), The Nordic educational model: ʽA school for all’ encounters neo-liberal policy (pp. 117–132). New York: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-7125-3

Sigþórsson, R. (2013). Sérfræðiþjónusta við leik- og grunnskóla [Specialist service at preschool and compulsory school]. In R. Sigþórsson, R. Eggertsdóttir, & G. H. Frímannsson (Eds.), Fagmennska í starfi: Skrifað til heiðurs Trausta Þorsteinssyni [Professionalism in education: Written in honour of Trausti Þorsteinsson] (pp. 191–216). Reykjavík: University of Iceland Press.

Downloads

Published

2018-11-07

How to Cite

Sigurðardóttir, S. M., Sigurðardóttir, A. K., & Hansen, B. (2018). Educational Leadership at Municipality Level: Defined Roles and Responsibilities in Legislation. Nordic Journal of Comparative and International Education (NJCIE), 2(2-3), 56–71. https://doi.org/10.7577/njcie.2760