A distributed leadership perspective on the Finnish curriculum reform 2014

Meng Tian, Mika Risku

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14 Citations (SciVal)


Bridging curriculum research with educational leadership, we examined the 2014 Finnish curriculum reform compilation and enactment process through the lens of distributed leadership.

As a tool for the examination, we used the resource–agency duality model of distributed leadership. It explicates how organizational members create resources and enact agency to achieve organizational and individual goals. This mixed-methods study had three phases. First, we conducted document analysis to position the 2014 curriculum in a series of curriculum reforms. Second, we analyzed how distributed leadership was interpreted and incorporated in the goals and instructions of the 2014 national core curriculum document. Finally, we surveyed 21 key actors for their insights of distributed leadership in the curriculum compilation and enactment process.

The findings revealed a trend of deepening and expanding distributed leadership in curriculum work over the past decades. This trend mirrored the general societal development in Finland. The 2014 curriculum explicated goals and instructions to use distributed leadership for inclusion, multidisciplinary learning, student-centred assessment and operational culture. The key actors regarded the leadership for the 2014 curriculum work as distributive which enabled resource creation and agentic participation on both national and local levels.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-244
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Curriculum Studies
Issue number2
Early online date20 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Curriculum reform
  • Finland
  • distributed leadership
  • resource and agency duality model


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