The International Baccalaureate and globalisation: implications for educational leadership

Gardner-McTaggart, Alexander Charles (2018) The International Baccalaureate and globalisation: implications for educational leadership. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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This thesis offers a rare insight into senior leadership in International Baccalaureate (IB) international schools. The IB international school profits from the perceived quality and consistency of the IB brand, however, international schools suffer from an endemic culture of change and reinterpretation. The International Baccalaureate Learner Profile (IBLP) offers scope for consistency and an overarching ethos, and previous research suggests that ‘buy-in’ to the IBLP, and modelling of it in all aspects of school life, are essential in achieving this. The IB itself promotes the IBLP as a valuable tool for leadership. It emerges that buy-in to the IBLP in directors is split between the personal and the operational.

This interpretive study investigates international school leadership in the Western European context through six IB directors. It is noteworthy in its multi-phase research over two years, employing an aspect of critical phenomenology. It explores directors’ relationship to, and operationalisation of, the IB Learner Profile (IBLP) and Global Citizenship Education (GCE).

All but one director show strong personal connection to the IBLP, however, only one of the six directors uses the IBLP in leadership. Generally, directors attribute the IBLP limited status; of use in teaching at junior and middle school, and helpful for new IB teachers. Analysis through Bourdieu finds IB directors have higher loyalty to (loosely defined) GCE through their Christian values. A foregrounding of individual values, over the secular IBLP, places IB directors as primary catalysts for the change culture unravelling the consistency of the IB international school, confirming the value of the IBLP in leadership. Societal values emerge as a key commodity in the character of leadership, steering leaders’ organisational values. IB directors’ uptake of IB organisational values is not given, whilst directors’ own ‘English’ Christian, values are significant, with one exception..

Collegial views of leadership are the normative outlook for most participants. However, descriptive leadership is characterised by change and analysis finds this driven by participants’ societal values. Change is endemic and a commodity in itself. This manifests in a transformational model of leadership, usually accompanied by episodes of transactional leadership.

In the main, IB international school senior leadership is characterised by permanent transformation linked with transactional episodes.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Bush, Tony
Stevenson, H.P.
Keywords: Educational Leadership, International Schools, International Baccalaureate, Bourdieu, Neo-Liberal, Transactional, Transformational
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher education
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Education
Item ID: 53671
Depositing User: Gardner-McTaggart, Alexander
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2018 04:40
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2018 10:01

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