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Governing the potentials of life? interrogating the promises in affective educational leadership

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearch

  • Department of Learning
  • Research Programme in Organisation and Learning
This article explores how educational leadership is increasingly becoming affective in order to cultivate what has been termed “the potentials” of pupils to meet the challenge of bringing schools into “the world class league”. The analysis draws upon the notion of governmentality and the ”affective turn”. It highlights four examples of affective educational leadership technologies as they appear in contemporary leadership handbooks in Denmark. 1) How school becomes the managed heart of society. This reshapes educational leadership as ontopower governing through ideas and materialities of perception and neurons. 2) How affectivity becomes synonymous with positive feelings, while more indeterminate parts of affectivity are neglected. 3) How educational leadership becomes a matter of governing the future through simulation and imagination. 4) How affective leadership is energized by a bio morality structured in a specific time and space. Such discourses tend to maintain the status quo rather than challenging the basic premises or create revolutions as promised. This article critically analyses these policy document and handbook versions of affective educational leadership technologies by showing the difficulties in keeping the promises made and by introducing the Massumian distinction between possibilities and potentiality. The conclusion states that the edifying nature of the technologies paradoxically overshadows the possibilities promised by the technologies.
Translated title of the contributionLedelse på livets potentialitet?: en udforskning af løfter i affektiv skoleledelse
Original languageEnglish
Publication year2010
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventECER - European Educational Reseach Association conference 2010: Education and Cultural Change - Helsinki, Finland
Duration: 24 Aug 201027 Oct 2010


ConferenceECER - European Educational Reseach Association conference 2010: Education and Cultural Change

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