Repositioning Educational Leadership

Practitioners Leading from an Inquiry Stance

James H. Lytle, Editor


From the Editors and Authors:
     Leaders need opportunities to learn from the "inside" of other leaders’ experiences, doubts and all. This volume addresses that need. Here is the work of 11 colleagues, reflecting the perceptions and experiences of those doing the work, toward shared inquiry as leaders and those supporting leaders. This is the real work, in its uncertainty and messiness. This book is an invitation into these contexts, and into a wider community of practice. It takes as its premise that educational leadership for K–12 schools is increasingly complicated, as demands on educational leaders and schools continue to escalate. Much of the policy and published work on educational leadership in the past decade has focused on instructional leadership and performance standards for prospective and current administrators. The expectation seems to be that the work of school leaders is to manage schools, attend to the standards, and implement the policies that their states, school boards, or superintendents direct. From our point of view, such expectations undervalue school leaders and limit their roles.
     The narratives in this edited volume illustrate compelling examples of this and raise critical questions about the role of leaders in challenging predominant notions of leadership as well as the study and development of educational administrators toward social justice ends. The potential impact of site-based leaders to identify issues and problems that are locally significant, previously unrecognized, and rarely given the systematic, intentional study that an inquiry-based approach to leadership affords -- and to do so often in dialogue or collaboratively with other important stakeholders in their schools and communities -- is considerable.  Such an inquiry-based approach to leadership helps to illuminate and demystify the tacit knowledge and experience of veteran administrators in a way that carries deep value and learning for others across contexts. It can improve many aspects of institutional life, while creating intellectually demanding and rich learning environments for both adults and children.
     We welcome your ongoing engagement through this website, and hope you'll join us in continuing exploration of this work at one of our upcoming events.  

     James H. Lytle, Editor                             
     Susan L. Lytle, Editor                              
     Michael C. Johanek, Editor                   
     Kathy J. Rho, Editor                                
     Melinda Bihn, Author
     Ann Dealy, Author
     Martha Richmond, Author                                                                
     Peter Horn, Author
     Patricia Cruice, Author
     Noah Tennant, Author
     Kristin Ross Cully, Author
     David Trautenberg, Author
     Amy Maisterra, Author
     Marquitta Speller, Author
     Stephen Benson, Author


 

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From the Practitioner Scholar Community of the
PENN Mid-Career Doctoral Program


To learn more, please visit https://midcareer.gse.upenn.edu/ or email us at mcprog@gse.upenn.edu .