From a normative perspective, education serves a double purpose, that is, to prepare students to live well in a world worth living in. The practices of educational leadership are crucial elements in achieving this telos. In this article, we reimagine leading practices as pedagogical love, orchestrating conditions which enable refugee students’ academic achievements and overall school wellbeing. The article draws on a large, parallel case study which examined refugee education in Finland and Australia. The data used for this article consists of interviews with a leadership team in an Australian primary school. We argue that educational leading as pedagogical love needs to be reimagined as a co-constructed praxis between refugee children and educators, and that it can be enabled by a well-thought through combination of philosophy and practice. We suggest leadership practices as pedagogical love may disrupt the drive toward standardized curricula with its emphasis on performativity and testing. Exploring leading as pedagogical love allows us to show how love as a practice unfolds within the practice architectures of specific educational sites. As these practice architectures can be explored and theorized, they can also be transformed.

DOI: 10.1080/13603124.2019.1629492
ISSN: 1360-3124