Educational administration's paradises lost : a flâneur/se stroll through the futures past

Samier, Eugenie A.; Netolicky, Deborah M., ed. (2021) Educational administration's paradises lost : a flâneur/se stroll through the futures past. In: Future Alternatives for Educational Leadership. Routledge, Abingdon, pp. 162-174. ISBN 9781000423327 (

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Educational administration and leadership tends towards optimism such as achieving social justice, shared leadership, and global wellbeing, even though this has been unrealistic in many countries that are conflict zones with war, invasion, famine, and disease. The futures that many saw were globalisation of Western education, even though this has been belied by many postcolonial authors for pursuing a new form of colonisation. Increasingly there are negative impacts discovered about digital technologies such as surveillance, privacy issues and negative psychological effects. There are also populist and rightwing political changes in many countries affecting laws, policies and programmes that have an impact on teaching and research. This chapter, following the method of flâneuring derived from Walter Benjamin and Georg Simmel used in sociology, history, and cultural studies, takes a stroll internationally through the actual world of events and developments that threaten to derail many advances that seemed well underway or expose fantasies of how the world will develop globally, myths of a post-racial society, and illusions of postcolonialism. The chapter explores the method of flâneurie, consisting of observation, reading and producing text that 'reads' a social setting of the people, architectural configuration and events as an interpreter or 'detective' of social experience, in this case the implications of socio-cultural and political dynamics of society that affect educational administration and leadership in the emerging Zeitgeist.