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Educational leadership has a rich history of epistemological debate. From the ‘Theory Movement’of the 1950-1960s, through to Greenfield’s critique of logical empiricism in the 1970s, the emergence of Bates’ and Foster’s Critical Theory of educational administration in the 1980s, and Evers’ and Lakomski’s naturalistic coherentism from1990 to the present time, debates about ways of knowing, doing, and being in the social world have been central to advancing scholarship. However, since the publication of Evers’ and Lakomski’s work, questions of the epistemological preliminaries of research have become somewhat marginalised. This is not to suggest that such discussions are not taking place, but rather that they have been sporadic and piecemeal.
In New Directions in Educational Leadership Theory, the contributors sketch possible alternatives for advancing scholarship in educational leadership. The coherence of this volume comes not from the adoption of a single theoretical lens, but rather from its engagement with epistemology, ontology, and methodology. The choice of the plural ‘alternatives’ is deliberate, and its use is to evoke the message that there is more than one way to advance knowledge. The approaches adopted across this collection offer fruitful directions for the field and hopefully will stimulate substantive dialogue and debate in the interest of advancing knowledge. This book was originally published as a special issue ofEducational Philosophy and Theory.