Levinas, Bureaucracy, and the Ethics of School Leadership

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  • Source:
    Educational Philosophy and Theory, v51 n14 p1528-1540 2019. 13 pp.
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    Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
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    • Author(s):
      Pendola, Andrew (ORCID 0000-0002-3726-4072)
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    • Abstract:
      Given present criticisms of contemporary education and leadership practices, this article investigates the ways in which the basic concepts of state freedom and bureaucracy stifle ethics and social justice in educational leadership practices through the philosophical framework of Emmanuel Levinas. By investigating Levinas' 'an-archy', the definition of ethics and justice in school leadership can be reframed towards responsibility to otherness rather than individual freedom. The anarchical ethic of pure responsibility to the Other suggests that educational leaders should prioritize specific acts of responsibility over general actions based on the assumptions of traditional state education. Aspects of transactional, transformational, and social justice leadership are critiqued from this perspective.
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