Política Educativa y Gestión de la Educación

Advances and Challenges of Educational Leadership in Latin America

Gairín, Joaquín; Tafur, Rosa; Vázquez, Maria Inés
Publicado en:

The Wiley International Handbook of Educational Leadership, pp. 415-432 | New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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Educational systems in Latin America have been historically characterized by centralization—bureaucracy and authoritative leadership models—with a concern for educational consistency. Educational leadership is an pertinent aspect of the educational agendas in the southern zone of Latin America and has been for more than a decade. A review of the current state of educational leadership and management in these countries reveals some commonalities: very centralized national systems; a preoccupation with the development of uniform educational models; managers acting more like a representative of the system than acting on behalf of the teachers or the educational community. The management system can be understood as a comprehensive system, where the processes of recruitment, training and professional development affect all who exercise leadership roles, establishing an integrated system that allows the progressive acquisition of responsibilities and authority. Newer leadership initiatives in Latin America must focus on aspects of teaching and learning, with the principal as instructional or pedagogical leader.