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Real principals in real multiethnic schools: the (im)possibilities for inclusive principal practice

Markou, E; (2016) Real principals in real multiethnic schools: the (im)possibilities for inclusive principal practice. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Having as backdrop the immigration affecting educational processes in Greece and the rise of extreme-right groups, my thesis argues for the responsibility of principals to lead inclusive, egalitarian schools. Firstly, it demonstrates the importance of understanding the role of a school principal in an ethnically diverse school. Secondly, it argues for a genuine consideration of ethnocentrism and racism in the highly diversity-blind Greek education system. Examining ethnographically the everyday practices of three male principals in three multiethnic secondary schools in Greece, I draw on the theory of Pierre Bourdieu and the concepts of principal habitus, suggested by Lingard, Hayes, Mills and Christie, and institutional habitus, developed by Reay, Ball and David, to investigate the possibilities and impossibilities for principals to include immigrant students in the educational processes. Seeing principalship as a complicated and contextual practice, I interrogate principal practices at three levels: the vocational, the institutional and the classroom. My findings suggest that the administrative and pedagogical work of the principals has both a direct and indirect impact on the education of ethnic minority students. Exclusions of immigrant students occur through the ordinariness and mundanity of school administration. It is through this business-as-usual appearance that discrimination occurs, because it is misrecognised as such. Principal practices towards ethnic minority students appear as constellations of vocational, institutional and individual dispositions entangled in ethnocentric structures. Nonetheless, principals also practise disruptions to the exclusion of ethnic minority students. My findings question the role of agency to challenge the (im) possibilities for inclusive principal practice. Ultimately, the thesis argues for a principal role that is explicitly linked to social justice and that is given the tools for critical self-reflection that could turn impossible principalships for immigrant students into possible ones.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Real principals in real multiethnic schools: the (im)possibilities for inclusive principal practice
Event: UCL Institute of Education, London
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Keywords: principals, multiethnicity, ethnic minority students, institutional discrimination, principal habitus, institutional habitus, intercultural education, educational management
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Education, Practice and Society
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1475898
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