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  • Open Access
  • © 2017

Bridging Educational Leadership, Curriculum Theory and Didaktik

Non-affirmative Theory of Education

  • Provides a seminal theoretical framing for curriculum studies, Didaktik and education leadership

  • Offers new ways to move the field of education away from the rational, technical and scientific approaches towards education for democracy

  • Goes beyond the reconceptualist movement and empirically based approaches in the curriculum and leadership fields in grounding a new research program

  • Creates a platform for a comparative dialogue between the western and non-western educational traditions

Part of the book series: Educational Governance Research (EGTU, volume 5)

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Softcover Book USD 59.99
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Table of contents (15 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xx
  2. Re-theorizing the Field: Foundations of a Research Program

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 1-1
  3. Part IV

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 281-282
    2. Curriculum and School Leadership – Adjusting School Leadership to Curriculum

      • Stephan Huber, Pierre Tulowitzki, Uwe Hameyer
      Pages 309-332Open Access
    3. Teachers and Administrators as Lead Professionals for Democratic Ethics: From Course Design to Collaborative Journeys of Becoming

      • Daniel J. Castner, Rosemary Gornik, James G. Henderson, Wendy L. Samford
      Pages 333-361Open Access
    4. Codification of Present Swedish Curriculum Processes: Linking Educational Activities over Time and Space

      • Eva Forsberg, Elisabet Nihlfors, Daniel Pettersson, Pia Skott
      Pages 363-393Open Access
    5. Rethinking Authority in Educational Leadership

      • William F. Pinar
      Pages 395-408Open Access
  4. Part V

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 409-410

About this book

This book is open access under a CC BY 4.0 license. 

This volume argues for the need of a common ground that bridges leadership studies, curriculum theory, and Didaktik. It proposes a non-affirmative education theory and its core concepts along with discursive institutionalism as an analytical tool to bridge these fields. It concludes with implications of its coherent theoretical framing for future empirical research.

Recent neoliberal policies and transnational governance practices point toward new tensions in nation state education. These challenges affect governance, leadership and curriculum, involving changes in aims and values that demand coherence. Yet, the traditionally disparate fields of educational leadership, curriculum theory and Didaktik have developed separately, both in terms of approaches to theory and theorizing in USA, Europe and Asia, and in the ways in which these theoretical traditions have informed empirical studies over time. An additional aspect is that modern education theory was developed in relation to nation state education, which, in the meantime, has become more complicated due to issues of ‘globopolitanism’. This volume examines the current state of affairs and addresses the issues involved. In doing so, it opens up a space for a renewed and thoughtful dialogue to rethink and re-theorize these traditions with non-affirmative education theory moving beyond social reproduction and social transformation perspectives. 


  • curriculum studies
  • educational leadership
  • Didaktik/Curriculum dialogue
  • education theory
  • non-hierarchical social theory
  • curriculum development in Finland
  • philosophy of education
  • political science
  • organizational and professional dimensions
  • relation between curriculum theory and leadership research
  • discursive institutionalism
  • hermeneutics
  • Bildung
  • organisational theory
  • Open Access


“In this remarkable volume Michael Uljens and Rose Ylimaki juxtapose leadership and curriculum, scholarship from and about Europe and North America, a collection acknowledging the past’s presence in the present, pointing to futures few in either curriculum or leadership studies have plotted.” (Professor William F. Pinar, University of British-Columbia, Canada)

“There is no doubt that the ideas espoused and the questions posed here offer ways to move the field of education away from the rational, technical, and scientific approaches that have framed much policy and discourse to date and have the potential to engage scholars and researchers for years to come.” (Professor Carolyn M. Shields, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, USA)

“This theory-building project to fuse curriculum theory and leadership studies is remarkable in its perspective and attempt, going beyond earlier theoretical developments made within curriculum theory – namely, the reconceptualist movement, the new sociology of education and studies presented in the Didaktik meets Curriculum project – in which leadership studies received very limited attention.” (Professor Tomas Englund, Örebro University and Linnaeus University, Sweden)

Editors and Affiliations

  • Åbo Akademi University, Vasa, Finland

    Michael Uljens

  • University of South Carolina, Columbia, USA

    Rose M. Ylimaki

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Bridging Educational Leadership, Curriculum Theory and Didaktik

  • Book Subtitle: Non-affirmative Theory of Education

  • Editors: Michael Uljens, Rose M. Ylimaki

  • Series Title: Educational Governance Research

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: Education, Education (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2017

  • License: CC BY

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-319-58648-9Published: 17 October 2017

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-319-86446-4Published: 22 August 2018

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-319-58650-2Published: 04 October 2017

  • Series ISSN: 2365-9548

  • Series E-ISSN: 2365-9556

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XX, 474

  • Number of Illustrations: 4 b/w illustrations

  • Topics: Curriculum Studies, Organization and Leadership, Educational Policy and Politics

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)