Revisions to the second edition of my book on the Dilemmas of School Leadership (first edition here ) are still taking place.. hopefully to be completed this week (see earlier posts in January on this theme). I’m much happier now with the integration of elements in the Preface. One of the problems of editing your previous work is the temptation to tinker, all the time. However as bits are cut from one area and pasted somewhere else, flow and coherence are reduced. This has been the case particularly with the two Chapters which I have found most difficult: Chapter 1 (some of which is now in the new ‘Author’s Preface to the Second Edition) and Chapter 5 (policy implications).
This is now the concluding section of the Preface.
“The analysis of dilemmas offers a rich ‘bottom-up’ viewpoint on the experience of life in a school community. Through the attempt to understand dilemmas, we understand better the strands and tensions of our lives together and our hopes and aspirations for the development of our young people; we understand better the complex link between our disciplines of learning and their application in our daily lives, between emotion, cognition and valuation; we understand better the flows of power and influence within our communities and the role of the school in developing our democratic ways of living; we understand better what it is we value in our lives and what we value by our behaviour and the systems our behaviour supports.
The analysis of dilemmas helps us understand better the purpose of schools and schooling. Every school leader, and everyone who has an interest in what happens in our schools, has something to gain from that attempt.”