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Personality, moral purpose, and the leadership of an education for sustainable development

Bottery, Mike; Wright, Nigel; James, Sarah


Mike Bottery

Nigel Wright

Sarah James


This paper describes how two primary head teachers, nationally recognised as role models for the development of an education for sustainable development (ESD) in their schools, manage the implementation of this area. In doing so, it shows how they adopt two very different approaches to ESD and to their job generally, and suggests that whilst there are some commonalities between them, educational leadership needs to be seen as driven by a moral purpose, engaging and re-engaging with each situation, entering into a dialectic with others’ visions, leading to the re-conceptualisation of problems in different ways. This not only suggests a continued tension between such uniqueness and standardised approaches to headship, but raises questions about current policy imperatives for developing models of sustainable leadership.


Bottery, M., Wright, N., & James, S. (2012). Personality, moral purpose, and the leadership of an education for sustainable development. Education 3-13, 40(3), 227-241.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2012-06
Deposit Date Nov 13, 2014
Publicly Available Date Nov 13, 2014
Journal Education 3-13
Print ISSN 0300-4279
Electronic ISSN 1475-7575
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 40
Issue 3
Pages 227-241
Keywords Leadership, Moral purpose, Education for sustainable development
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article published in Education 3-13, 2012, v.40 issue 3.


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