ABS245 - Causality in qualitative research on school leadership development: An activity theoretical approach

3.1 Farther reaches of theoretical and methodological explorations
20 minutes
Organizations use a considerable amount of money on school leader development. Many stakeholders are interested in determining whether leadership development works. The usage of evidence-based practice has increased in the last decade. This is also the case with the school leadership development. Quantitative researchers have been engaged in developing laws, which in turn can prescribe what school leadership development should look like to become effective in school leadership practices in schools. Based on a discussion of the terms evidence-based practice and causality, in this article we discuss the role of quantitative research in this landscape. The article is a theoretical and methodological contribution, which aims to shed light on the potential of qualitative data to generate findings about the relationship between school leadership development and leadership in schools. Using data from a PhD dissertation as empirical illustrations, we show how qualitative data when analysed through three layers of causality (Engeström, 2011) has the potential to generate knowledge about links between school leadership development and leadership in schools. We also discuss the implications of the usage of these layers of causality for how to collect data. Finally, we outline the role of qualitative research when it comes to be conducive to school leadership practices.
University of Oslo
University of Oslo

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