Educational leadership for sustained multi-level school development in Finland: A non-affirmative approach

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This article reports an empirical reconstruction of a successful ten-year multi-level and districtled school regional developmental turnaround process (2003-2012) in Finland. Successful development was identified using PISA data. The reconstruction is based on policy documents and interviews with principals, superintendents, and district leaders. Results show that PISA 2003 shook the region while previous national policies provided a mediating frame for later development initiatives supporting a shared process. Features of the multi-level and multi-professional top-down and bottom-up process were: clear ambitions and goal-setting, commitment, care, and coherent, systematic development-driven initiatives. The study was based on non-affirmative education theory.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)103–124
JournalNordic Studies in Education / Nordisk Pedagogik
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • school development
  • educational leadership

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