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Negotiating and constructing an educationally relevant leadership programme

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Purpose ‐ This article aims to discuss the conceptualisation process of developing a new one-year taught-master's programme in educational leadership at an Aotearoa/New Zealand university. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The perspective taken is a highly personalised one from the two lead "drivers" of the programme and outlines the two-year process of development of the programme from conception through to the first papers delivered in semester one 2008. The article describes the process, the concerns, the underlying philosophy, content and intended delivery pattern within the Master of Educational Leadership (MEdL) programme. As the programme designers, the authors wanted something discernibly different in orientation from the postgraduate programmes offered by other tertiary providers in Aotearoa/New Zealand. The content had to be both educationally and culturally relevant and reflect the nation's bi-cultural heritage, yet growing multi-ethnic population base. Findings ‐ The proposed programme was somewhat controversial and had a rather difficult journey through the New Zealand Vice Chancellors' Committee (NZVCC) that deals with the accreditation process. The philosophy of the programme centred on leadership rather than a management focus. Moreover, the philosophy was premised on both theory and practice as praxis and drew on both developmental and experiential models for leadership development. Originality/value ‐ This article leads a critical discourse amongst tertiary educators in educational leadership programmes towards a greater exploration and articulation of the critical, humanistic, and phenomenological nature of the programmes it offers.
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Keywords: Higher education; Leadership development; Learning processes; New Zealand

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 16, 2012

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