The Emperor’s perfect map: leadership by numbers and Cartesian effects

Heffernan, Amanda (2015) The Emperor’s perfect map: leadership by numbers and Cartesian effects. In: Annual International Australian Association for Research in Education Conference 2015 (AARE 2015), 30 Nov - 3 Dec 2015 , Fremantle, Australia.

Abstract

This paper establishes that system-generated data profiles are influencing the work of principals in three Queensland state schools. Drawing upon Foucault’s notions of governance, as well as research emphasising performative cultures and the importance placed upon numbers and data in education, this paper uses the tale of the Emperor’s map (Lyotard, 1984) as a metaphor to explore the way principals’ work is being influenced by specific sets of data compiled by the department. These data profiles are representative of external accountabilities and high stakes testing regimes, as seen in systems that have adopted neoliberal policies which attempt to quantify the work being undertaken in schools. The paper demonstrates that principals are being constructed in part by discourses from a system that emphasises these system-generated performance data as a driver for school improvement.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Paper awarded Postgraduate Student Researcher Award.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Teacher Education and Early Childhood
Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2016 04:49
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 05:50
Uncontrolled Keywords: school principals; school improvement; data, performativity
Fields of Research : 16 Studies in Human Society > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160506 Education Policy
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130304 Educational Administration, Management and Leadership
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9305 Education and Training Systems > 930501 Education and Training Systems Policies and Development
C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9304 School/Institution > 930401 Management and Leadership of Schools/Institutions
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/28758

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