01 SES 06 C, Adult Professional Learning
The purpose of the research is to describe the underlying organizing principles that informed a recently implemented professional doctoral program (EdD) in educational leadership at a state university in the U.S. with practical concerns and ethical principles explored in the writings of Sir Geoffrey Vickers (1965/1995). The EdD program being interrogated was launched in the summer 2014 with sixteen doctoral students. The research inquires into the professional development of practicing school leaders and policy makers and uses a lens that is worldwide in perspective. To understand and explain praxis, Vickers introduces the notion of the ‘human appreciative system,’ one in which instrumental behavior (action) is informed by human values and reality judgments. The research explores what is gained by connecting principles related to human appreciative systems with underlying assumptions and beliefs that are part of the doctoral program planning and implementation; it examines some of the basic assumptions of the EdD program in educational leadership and how these principles compare and contrast with other approaches to leadership developement.
The philosophy, curricular design, and pedagogy for the EdD in educational leadership are embedded in the leadership and administrative standards for practitioners presented in Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (Educational Leadership Policy Standards: ISLLC, 2008) standards, as well as standards for the preparation of school administrators taken from the Educational Leadership Constituent Council (National Policy Board for Educational Administration, 2011) and the California Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (CPSEL). These guidelines advocate for educational leaders who will have the ability and capacity to 1) provide optimal leadership for the education of all stakeholders in diverse organizational settings, 2) examine current educational practices and policies from a variety of relevant leadership and organizational theoretical perspectives, 3) demonstrate effective communication skills, 4) engage in scholarly research and use a variety of data to inform decision making and planning for instructional improvement, 5) identify and solve complex problems in education, and 6) lead and facilitate the professional development of self and others in the educational organization.
In recent years, researchers have included systems thinking in how best to understand the culture of school and the problems of change. “Systems thinking looks at relationships (rather than unrelated objects), connectedness, process (rather than structure), the whole (rather than just its parts), and the patterns (rather than the contents of a system, and context (Carey, 2010, p. 19). The development of professional communities in schools creates the foundation for transformative experiences and systemic change. Spillane and Seashore Louis (2002) argue that one factor in creating a community of learners is social trust, which provides a “foundation on which collaboration, reflective dialogue, and deprivatization of practice can occur” (p. 94). In a community of learners, no single person is expected to master everything. The entire school or institution, rather than a single person, works to build what might be described as collective and collaborative expertise. The role for educational leaders also entails developing a learning community, one that promotes collaboration and shared decision making (Murphy, 2002). This enlarged role of leadership also implies movement towards more distributed models of leadership and creating a public will that is networked and dispersed and charged with successfully educating all students.
A key design principle of the EdD program is based on the view that leaders serve in learner-centered systems in which inquiry, learning, and human appreciationare central values. This view emphasizes qualities of leadership that nurture self-reflection and motivations based on defining oneself as a learner (Black & Murtadha, 2007; Danzig, Borman, Jones & Wright, 2007; Leithwood et al., 2004; Pont et al., 2008).
Black, W. & Murtadha, K (2007). Toward a signature pedagogy in educational leadership preparation and program assessment. The Journal of Research on Leadership in Education. 2(1). Retrieved from www.ucea.org/jrle_2007_2_1 Carey, A. (2010). Introduction. In R. Ackoff, Systems thinking for curious managers (pp. 1-32) . Devon, UK: Triachy Press. Danzig, A., Borman, K., Jones, B., & Wright, W. (Eds.) (2007). Learner-centered leadership. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Darling-Hammond, L., LaPointe, M., Meyerson, D., Orr, M. T., & Cohen, C. (2007). Preparing school leaders for a changing world: Lessons from exemplary leadership development programs. Stanford, CA: Stanford University, Stanford Educational Leadership Institute. Davis, S., Darling-Hammond, L., LaPointe, M., & Meyerson, D. (2005). School leadership study: Developing successful principals (Review of Research). Stanford, CA: Stanford University, Stanford Educational Leadership Institute. Educational Leadership Policy Standards: ISLLC 2008. (2008). Washington, DC: Council of Chief State School Officers. Leithwood, K., Harris, A. & Hopkins, D. (2008). Seven strong claims about successful school leadership. School Leadership and Management, 28(1), 27-42. Leithwood, K., Seashore Louis, K., Anderson, S. & Wahlstrom, K. (2004). Review of Research: How leadership influences student learning. University of Minnesota Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement; University of Toronto Ontario Institute for Studies in Education Commissioned by The Wallace Foundation. Available online at: http://cehd.umn.edu/CAREI/Leadership/ExecutiveSummary.pdf Murphy, J. (2002). The educational leadership challenge: Redefining leadership for the 21st century. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. National Policy Board for Educational Administration (2011, November). Educational Leadership Program Recognition Standards. Available online at: http://www.ncate.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=zRZI73R0nOQ%3D&tabid=676 Pont, B., Nusche, D. & Moorman, H. (2008). Improving School Leadership, Volume 1: Policy and Practice. www.sourceoecd.org/9789264044678 Shulman, L. S., Golde, C. M., Conklin-Bueschel, A., & Garabedian, K. J. (2006). Reclaiming education's doctorates: A critique and a proposal. Educational Researcher, 35(3), 25-32. Spillane, J., & Seashore Louis, K. (2002). School improvement processes and practices: Professional learning for building instructional capacity. In J. Murphy, (Ed.), The educational leadership challenge: Redefining leadership for the 21st century (pp. 83-104). Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Stake, R. (1997). Case Study Methods in Educational Research: Seeking Sweet Water. In R. Jaeger (Ed.) Complementary Methods for Research in Education (pp, 401-414). Washington, DC, AERA. Stake, R. (2010). Qualitative Research: Studying How Things Work by Robert E. Stake. New York: Guildford Press. Vickers, G. (1965/1995). The art of judgment: A study of policy making. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
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