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In this chapter, we present a critical exploration of educational leadership by viewing leading as practice with a specific focus on the lesser-understood realm of middle leadership. By considering leading as practice, we present a philosophical-theoretical understanding of educational leadership that draws attention to the practices and practice architectures of the everyday situated mise en scène of leading in and for education. This means our examination focuses on the sites of educational leading practice and how these sites reciprocally influence and are influenced by the existential realities of the exigencies at play in site-based education in schools. From this, we propose ways that a site ontological interpretation of educational leading practices accounts for the realities of the incessant continuousness and succession of changes experienced in education worldwide, but importantly shift our gaze from abstract and general commentary to critically considering the vicissitudes of educational practice. This move accounts for the distinctiveness and particularity of education, education and educational practices in locally situated circumstances. To speak about educational leading in practice terms, we must begin by orienting to three broad questions which contextualise the key ideas in the chapter: What is education? What is educational leading? And, what is educational leading for? These questions open up distinctions between education and schooling that we consider central to the issues, developments and prospects concerning the field of leadership.

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