International Schools Leadership and Christianity

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The International Baccalaureate (IB) is a secular educational franchise, educating the globally advantaged and potential future leaders. Drawing on Bourdieu, this article involves original interpretivist research, reviewing data surrounding the international IB school and its educational leadership. It presents findings pertinent to the remarkable pervasiveness of Christianity and Christian values in the orientation of IB directors in a Western European context.

IB directors foreground Christianity in their make-up. In the fluid global market-place of IB schools, consistency is rare, and highly valued. Through Bourdieu, IB directors emerge as islands, with relative freedom from the State. They lead a secular school, with an implicit Christian orientation. The IB purposefully pluralises the culture of the IB experience through the IB learner Profile (IBLP). In the main, IB school leadership rejects the operational consistency of the IBLP and embraces pluralism through the consistency of Christianity.

The international school is an incubator for Anglo Christian values providing cultural laundering, ontologically tied to the imperial gaze in this globalised neo-liberal schooling context: the international gaze.
Original languageEnglish
JournalGlobalisation, Societies and Education
Early online date27 Dec 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Educational leadership
  • Bourdieu
  • Christianity
  • International schools
  • global citzenship education
  • International Baccalaureate
  • imperial gaze
  • International gaze


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