Curriculum theory, didaktik, and educational leadership: Reflections on the foundations of the research program

Rose M. Ylimaki, Michael Uljens

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


This chapter provides concluding reflections and next steps in a research program bridging curriculum theory/Didaktik and educational leadership studies. The bridging utilizes non-affirmative education theory as the theoretical ground. To begin, we present a retrospective discussion of the project. We then relate the approach to the contributions included in this volume, especially focusing on the normativity of education theories, and pointing at how non-affirmative education theory corresponds to deliberation oriented democratic-hermeneutic initiatives. Non-affirmative education theory identifies both leadership, teaching and curriculum work as critical deliberation based professional activities driven by subjects, individual agency in historically developed cultural and societal institutions framed by policies. Non-affirmative educational leadership practices are expected to take a critical stand regarding given policies, and other expectations, yet mindful of that education in democratic societies, typically following a Bildung tradition aim at individuals making up of their own minds and learning that practices, also moral and political ones, may and can be changed. The approach applied in this volume, i.e. to point at the roots of modern European education theory not only helps us to better see connections between this Bildung tradition, Deweyan pragmatism and deliberative democracy but is also used as a point of departure to continue towards comparative research on how educational leadership work is carried out in the intersection between curriculum as a policy document and leadership practices at different levels as discursive practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEducational Governance Research
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameEducational Governance Research
ISSN (Print)2365-9548
ISSN (Electronic)2365-9556

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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