School Leadership and Complexity Theory
Routledge – 2002 – 240 pages
Interest in complexity theory, a relation of chaos theory, has become well established in the business community in recent years. Complexity theory argues that systems are complex interactions of many parts which cannot be predicted by accepted linear equations. In this book, Keith Morrison introduces complexity theory to the world of education, drawing out its implications for school leadership.
He suggests that schools are complex, nonlinear and unpredictable systems, and that this impacts significantly within them. As schools race to keep up with change and innovation, he suggests that it is possible to find order without control and to lead without coercion. Key areas:
* schools and self-organisation
* leadership for self-organisation
* supporting emergence through the learning organisation
* schools and their environments
* fitness landscapes
This book will be of interest to headteachers and middle managers, and those on higher level courses in educational leadership and management.
'This is an excellent bookthat illuminates the increasingly diverse and complex area of leadership in schools … In many ways, this book provides a breath of fresh air, moving away form mechanistic models of school improvement towards more organic and dynamic models of emergence and change. It offers useful insights into why centralised control, new managerialism and a plethora of policy driven initiatives have not led to intended outcomes. Ultimately, it challenges leaders in schools at all levels to ask themselves some fundamental questions about the nature of schools and schooling.' - Westminster Studies in Education