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Leadership in Educational Contexts in Finland

Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives

  • This book is open access, which means that you have free and unlimited access
  • Depicts the multidimensional nature of leadership and organisation-based practices
  • Investigates leadership from the perspective of education professionals covering whole career paths
  • Provides innovative insights and ideas for developing leadership and leadership profession

Part of the book series: Educational Governance Research (EGTU, volume 23)

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Table of contents (20 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xi
  2. Introduction

    • Raisa Ahtiainen, Eija Hanhimäki, Jaana Leinonen, Mika Risku, Ann-Sofie Smeds-Nylund
    Pages 1-8Open Access
  3. Part I

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 9-9
    2. Educational Policy, Governance, and Leadership

      • Jukka Alava, Pia Kola-Torvinen, Mika Risku
      Pages 11-39Open Access
    3. In Quest of Principalship

      • Petri Salo, Siv Saarukka
      Pages 41-59Open Access
    4. Towards a Multi-form Professional Development of Educational Leadership

      • Eija Hanhimäki, Janni Alho, Piia Nuora, Mika Risku, Elina Fonsén, Alex Mäkiharju et al.
      Pages 61-80Open Access
    5. Service Design Thinking Method for Educational Leaders

      • Mari Suoheimo, Kaarina Määttä
      Pages 81-100Open Access
  4. Part II

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 101-101
    2. Understanding Leadership in Educational Leadership Research in Finland

      • Saana Korva, Pikka-Maaria Laine
      Pages 103-127Open Access
    3. Positioning and Conceptualising Finnish Pedagogical Leadership in the International Setting

      • Jukka Alava, Marja Terttu Kovalainen, Mika Risku
      Pages 129-157Open Access
    4. The Theory of Pedagogical Leadership: Enhancing High-Quality Education

      • Elina Fonsén, Tapio Lahtero
      Pages 159-177Open Access
  5. Part III

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 199-199
    2. Conceptions of Diversity Among Finnish Principals

      • Anita Jantunen, Lauri Heikonen, Raisa Ahtiainen, Elina Fonsén, Arto Kallioniemi
      Pages 217-234Open Access
    3. Contradictions and Opportunities in Contexts of Everyday Leadership in Education

      • Mari Simola, Raisa Ahtiainen
      Pages 235-256Open Access
    4. Examining Contradictions for the Development of Competencies in School Leadership

      • Lauri Lantela, Ville Pietiläinen, Saana Korva
      Pages 257-279Open Access
    5. Principals’ Perceptions of Their Work During the COVID-19 Pandemic

      • Mailis Elomaa, Eija Pakarinen, Sirpa Eskelä-Haapanen, Marja-Kristiina Lerkkanen
      Pages 281-299Open Access
  6. Part IV

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 301-301
    2. Cultural Antecedents in Multisectoral Collaboration Promoting the Well-Being of School-Aged Children

      • Henna Nurmi, Jaana Leinonen, Malla Örn, Outi Ylitapio-Mäntylä
      Pages 303-322Open Access

About this book

This open access book provides a comprehensive overview and in-depth coverage of contemporary aspects of leadership in the field of education in Finland. It brings together Finnish scholars to critically explore and discuss leadership in education in the context of the Finnish education system and in relation to international discourses around the topic. 

It discusses the phenomenon of leadership in educational contexts through several novel empirical and theoretical research designs. It includes themes such as distributed leadership and collaborative governance, changing aspects in the leadership profession, and contradictions in everyday organizational practices and realities. The work also combines conceptual discussions in educational and pedagogical leadership to analyze and to clarify the theoretical and conceptual multidimensionality and ambiguities.  



Editors and Affiliations

  • Department of Education, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland

    Raisa Ahtiainen

  • Department of Education, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland

    Eija Hanhimäki

  • Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Lapland, Rovaniemi, Finland

    Jaana Leinonen

  • Institute of Educational Leadership, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland

    Mika Risku

  • Faculty of Education and Welfare Studies, Åbo Akademi University, Vaasa, Finland

    Ann-Sofie Smeds-Nylund

About the editors


Raisa Ahtiainen, PhD (Ed., title of docent), is a researcher, university lecturer, and a project leader at the Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki, Finland, and a visiting researcher at Tallinn University, Estonia. Her background is in special needs education, and she is a qualified teacher in that area. Raisa has contributed to the establishment of the Leadership in Educational Contexts research group (LeadEd) at the faculty, and she is the coordinator of the LeadEd research seminar. Her recent publications discuss leadership group work in schools, and leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic in schools and early childhood education centres.  


Eija Hanhimäki (ThD, M.A. in education) works as a university teacher in the Department of Education at the University of Jyvaskyla, Finland. Previously, she has worked in research, development and teaching positions in the Institute of Educational Leadership and Department of Teacher Education at the University of Jyvaskyla and Helsinki. Her publications, main research interests and projects include articles, book chapters and presentations on, for example, ethical educational leadership, adult education, career counselling and qualitative methods, especially narrative approach and case study method.  

Jaana Leinonen (D.Sc. Admin, title of docent), works as a senior lecturer of administrative sciences at the University of Lapland, Finland. Her academic work focuses on wide areas in public management such as digitalization and welfare services, citizen participation, and community partnerships and collaboration. She has experience in working and leading several research projects focused on public management, especially local government, and she has actively reported her research findings in scientific publications and forums. Recently, she has focused on studying the conditions and prerequisites of the children’s and adolescents’ healthand wellbeing promotion in educational and local community contexts. 

Mika Risku is the Head of the Institute of Educational Leadership at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. He has been involved with the Institute from its very beginning in 1996 in various roles. The first role was as a student in the piloting core study educational leadership programme as a fresh secondary education principal. While working as a principal for fifteen years, he was also involved in the development of the Institute to extend its operations into research and development of educational leadership as well as into intermediate, master, doctoral and professional development education in educational leadership. He joined the Institute as a full-time member in 2008 and has worked as its head since 2013. His research has included various scopes on educational leadership from education policy and governance to how to develop educational leadership and educational leaders in Finland. 

Ann-Sofie Smeds-Nylund, PhD (Ed.), works as a university teacher in Pedagogical leadership and development at Åbo Akademi University in Vaasa, Finland and is involved in National and Nordic Educational leadership- projects. Previously she has worked as a teacher, principal, with development and national evaluation. Her area of interest is educational leadership in institutional, municipal and society contexts. 

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Leadership in Educational Contexts in Finland

  • Book Subtitle: Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives

  • Editors: Raisa Ahtiainen, Eija Hanhimäki, Jaana Leinonen, Mika Risku, Ann-Sofie Smeds-Nylund

  • Series Title: Educational Governance Research

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-37604-7

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: Education, Education (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2024

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-031-37603-0Published: 08 October 2023

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-031-37606-1Published: 08 October 2023

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-031-37604-7Published: 06 October 2023

  • Series ISSN: 2365-9548

  • Series E-ISSN: 2365-9556

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XI, 390

  • Number of Illustrations: 1 b/w illustrations

  • Topics: Administration, Organization and Leadership, Educational Policy and Politics, Higher Education

Buy it now

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 49.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Other ways to access