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This chapter provides concluding reflections and next steps in a research program bridging curriculum theory/Didaktik and educational leadership studies. The bridging utilizes non-affirmative education theory as the theoretical ground. To begin, we present a retrospective discussion of the project. We then relate the approach to the contributions included in this volume, especially focusing on the normativity of education theories, and pointing at how non-affirmative education theory corresponds to deliberation oriented democratic-hermeneutic initiatives. Non-affirmative education theory identifies both leadership, teaching and curriculum work as critical deliberation based professional activities driven by subjects, individual agency in historically developed cultural and societal institutions framed by policies. Non-affirmative educational leadership practices are expected to take a critical stand regarding given policies, and other expectations, yet mindful of that education in democratic societies, typically following a Bildung tradition aim at individuals making up of their own minds and learning that practices, also moral and political ones, may and can be changed. The approach applied in this volume, i.e. to point at the roots of modern European education theory not only helps us to better see connections between this Bildung tradition, Deweyan pragmatism and deliberative democracy but is also used as a point of departure to continue towards comparative research on how educational leadership work is carried out in the intersection between curriculum as a policy document and leadership practices at different levels as discursive practices.

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© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2017. This book is an open access publication. Open Access This book is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this book are included in the book’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the book’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. The use of general descriptive names, registered names, trademarks, service marks, etc. in this publication does not imply, even in the absence of a specific statement, that such names are exempt from the relevant protective laws and regulations and therefore free for general use. The publisher, the authors and the editors are safe to assume that the advice and information in this book are believed to be true and accurate at the date of publication. Neither the publisher nor the authors or the editors give a warranty, express or implied, with respect to the material contained herein or for any errors or omissions that may have been made. The publisher remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

APA Citation

Ylimaki, R. M., & Uljens, M. (2017). Curriculum Theory, Didaktik, and Educational Leadership: Reflections on the Foundations of the Research Program. In M. Uljens & R. M. Ylimaki (Eds.), Bridging Educational Leadership, Curriculum Theory and Didaktik (Vol. 5, pp. 465–474). Springer International Publishing.