Innovative Approaches to Educational Leadership

Selected Cases

by Carrie Rogers (Volume editor) Kofi Lomotey (Volume editor) Adriel Hilton (Volume editor)
©2017 Textbook XIV, 252 Pages
Series: Higher Ed, Volume 27


Of late, leadership has come to include individuals in elementary, secondary and tertiary institutions who do not necessarily carry leadership titles. Faculty in preK-16 institutions, along with other staff and community people, have increasingly begun to take on leadership responsibilities as shared leadership is articulated and practiced more and more in education. This volume focuses on educational leadership--broadly defined. More specifically, following several research-based thought pieces in which the authors define and discuss this new conception of leadership, contributors offer preK-16 case study illustrations of this recent conception of educational leadership. Readers will use this casebook as a foundational text for courses in teacher education, educational leadership, business and higher education. It includes detailed chapters focused on teacher leadership, principal leadership and higher educational leadership.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author(s)/editor(s)
  • About the book
  • Advance praise for Innovative Approaches to Educational Leadership
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Contents
  • Foreword (Gary M. Crow)
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction (Carrie Rogers / Kofi Lomotey / Adriel Hilton)
  • Part One
  • Part Two
  • Part Three
  • Section One: Conceptual Understandings of Leadership in Education
  • Chapter One: Relational Leadership and its Implications for Educational Leadership and Practice (John J. Sherlock)
  • Leadership as Co-Constructed
  • Leadership as Emerging Through Relational Processes
  • Dialogue and Relational Processes
  • Leadership as Embedded in Context
  • Complementarity with other Prominent Leadership Theories in Education
  • Distributed and Shared Leadership
  • Transformational and Instructional Leadership
  • Implications for Educational Leadership Practice
  • Recruitment and Selection in Education
  • Professional Development in Education
  • Performance Management in Education
  • Limitations and Conclusion
  • References
  • Chapter Two: Practical Leadership: How Teachers Enact Leadership to Re-culture Their Schools (Mistilina Sato / Carrie Rogers)
  • Teacher Leadership in US School Systems
  • Practical Reasoning
  • Practical Leadership
  • Leadership Enactment
  • Illustrations of Leadership Enactment
  • Practical Leadership and Re-culturing Schools
  • Practical Leadership and Stewarding the Profession of Teaching
  • Closing Thoughts
  • References
  • Chapter Three: Leadership in Times of Social Change (Alonzo M. Flowers III / Rosa M. Banda)
  • Introduction
  • Contemporary Social Justice Leadership Model
  • Conceptual Leadership Theories that Encompass Global Perspectives
  • Social Justice Leadership
  • Case Study: Springtown State University (SSU)
  • Springtown State University (SSU)
  • Case Analysis: Analyzing Professional Perspectives
  • Implications for Advocacy for 21st Century Leadership
  • Conclusion
  • Appendix
  • Challenge
  • References
  • Chapter Four: Direction Through Authentic Leadership in Higher Education (Melvin (JAI) Jackson)
  • Leadership in Higher Education
  • What Is Leadership in Higher Education?
  • The Actions of Leadership in Higher Education
  • Defined Leadership and the Dynamics of Power
  • The Culture of Leadership in Higher Education
  • The Impact of Culture on Leadership
  • What Is Authentic (Informal) Leadership?
  • Who Are the Authentic Leaders?
  • References
  • Chapter Five: Process Education Leadership: Shifting the Paradigm (Joann Horton / Daria J. Willis / Isiah Brown)
  • Leadership Dynamics
  • Overview of Leadership in Higher Education
  • Leadership Attributes, Skills, and Competencies
  • Higher Education Effective Leadership Qualities, Skills, Competencies
  • A Generalized Model of Higher Education Leadership
  • Process Education Leadership
  • Leadership Development for Faculty & Staff
  • Conclusion
  • Recommendations for Further Study
  • Appendix A
  • Appendix B
  • Appendix C
  • Appendix D
  • References
  • Section Two: Cases in P–12 School Leadership
  • Chapter Six: Elementary Teachers Leading From the Classroom: Cases of Practical Leadership (Patricia Bricker / Kelly N. Tracy)
  • Katie: Enacting Teacher Leadership as a Fifth Grade Teacher
  • Madeline: Enacting Teacher Leadership as a First Grade Teacher
  • Discussion
  • Discussion Questions
  • References
  • Chapter Seven: Culturally Responsive Principal Leadership: A Case Study (Kendra Lowery / Kofi Lomotey)
  • Classroom 1
  • Classroom Two
  • Classroom Three
  • Classroom Four
  • Discussion Questions
  • Reference
  • Chapter Eight: Developing Effective Learning Communities: The Power of Principal and PLC Leadership Team Collaboration (Jessica R. Weiler / Kathleen Topolka-Jorissen)
  • Collaborative Leadership for the Development of Effective Learning Communities
  • Step One: Build a Strong, Collaborative PLC Leadership Team
  • Rationale for Building a Leadership Team
  • Identifying PLC Leadership Team Members
  • Step Two: Increase the Leadership Capacity of PLC Leadership Team Members
  • Identify the Desired Learning Outcomes
  • Choose and/or Develop Professional Learning Opportunities
  • Develop a Comprehensive Plan for Building the Capacity of Faculty
  • Facilitate and Support the PLC Leadership Team Members
  • Step Three: Collectively Define and Create a Vision
  • Step 4: Build the Infrastructure to Operationalize Your PLC
  • Adequate Time for Teacher-Team Collaboration and Response to Student Learning Needs
  • High Levels of Teacher-Team Capacity
  • Leadership Focusing on Accountability and Fidelity
  • Accountability
  • Fidelity
  • Adequate Funding to Ensure SUFFICIENT Time, Capacity, and Leadership
  • Conclusion
  • Questions for Discussion
  • For principals and leadership team members
  • For Superintendents and District Level Leaders
  • References
  • Chapter Nine: Imaginative Action Research (IAR): The Missing Element in Leadership Development (Michelle Vaughan / IRA Bogotch)
  • Teacher Leaders and Action Research
  • Developing the Case
  • A Master Case in Action Research
  • Moving Forward
  • Conclusion
  • Discussion Questions
  • References
  • Chapter Ten: Culturally Relevant Leadership in Practice: A Case Study of a Black Woman Principal in the West (Linda C. Tillman / Sonya Douglass Horsford)
  • Black Principals and Culturally Relevant Leadership
  • Black Principal Leadership: Personal, Professional, and Cultural Perspectives
  • Culturally Relevant Leadership: Four Dimensions
  • Political Context: Gaps, Divides, Disparities, and Deficiencies
  • Pedagogical Approach: Cultural Relevance and Antiracism
  • Personal Journey: The Path to Cultural Proficiency
  • Professional Duty: Leadership for Equity, Engagement, and Excellence
  • The Case of Principal Daisy and Sunshine Elementary School
  • Sunshine Elementary School
  • Principal Daisy
  • Findings and Discussion
  • Political Context
  • Pedagogical Approach
  • Personal Journey
  • Professional Duty
  • Implications for Education Leadership
  • Discussion Questions
  • Note
  • References
  • Chapter Eleven: Developing Teacher-Leadership by Employing an Improvement Science Framework for Organizational Problem Solving (Robert Crow / Rebecca Ensley)
  • Introduction
  • The School Improvement Initiative: An Opportunity for Leadership Development
  • A Collaborative Tool for Organizational Problem-Finding: The Fishbone Diagram
  • Root Cause Analysis
  • Constructing a Theory of Action for Problem Solving: The Driver Diagram
  • Elements and Use of the Driver Diagram
  • Testing Theories of Action: The Plan-Do-Study-Act Cycle
  • Conclusion
  • Discussion Questions
  • References
  • Section Three: Cases in Higher Education Leadership
  • Chapter Twelve: Paul Quinn College’s Michael J. Sorrell: A Case Study in Servant Leadership and Urban Renewal (Amanda Washington / Levon Esters / Marybeth Gasman)
  • Servant Leadership
  • Community Engagement
  • Branding
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Empowerment
  • Student Support
  • Conclusion
  • Discussion Questions
  • References
  • Chapter Thirteen: Exploring Preservice Teachers’, Novice Teachers’, and Teacher Education Faculty Perceptions of Teacher Leadership (Carrie Rogers / Roya Q. Scales)
  • What Is Teacher Leadership?
  • Preservice Teachers
  • Novice Teachers
  • Teacher Education Faculty
  • Themes Across the Levels
  • Implications and Future Study
  • Conclusions and Limitations
  • Discussion Questions
  • References
  • Chapter Fourteen: Reconceptualizing Campus Shared Governance and Leadership in Higher Education: The Role of Midlevel Administrators (Hugo A. García / Kim Nehls / Kimberly M. Florence)
  • Introduction
  • Literature Review
  • Midlevel Administrators in Higher Education
  • Shared Governance for Midlevel Administrators
  • Gap in the Literature
  • Theories of Management
  • Organizational and Management Theory
  • Methods
  • Sampling
  • Site
  • Participating Midlevel Staff
  • Data Analysis
  • Limitations
  • Findings
  • Discussion and Policy Implications
  • Conclusion
  • Discussion Questions
  • References
  • Chapter Fifteen: Authentic Leadership at a Hispanic Serving Institution Case Study (Henrietta Williams Pichon)
  • Diversity Issues in Higher Education
  • Authentic Leadership
  • Authentic Behavior
  • The Authentic Action Wheel
  • The Case Study
  • Background
  • Exploring Several Initiatives
  • Becoming Aware of Diversity Issues at the University of the Southwest
  • The Plan
  • Goals
  • Key Challenges
  • Conclusion
  • Discussion Questions
  • References
  • Afterword (Arnetha Ball)
  • References
  • Authors’ Biographies
  • Series index

| vii →



There is ample evidence in the literature that leadership matters for organizational improvement, culture building, and student achievement. However, not all leadership matters in a positive, innovative, and value-based way. Most of us have experiences of leaders who are culturally irrelevant, morally devoid, student insensitive, and aimed at maintaining the status quo. The editors and authors of Innovative Approaches to Educational Leadership: Selected Cases, have compiled rich descriptions and examples of a variety of innovative leadership approaches, which provide the opportunity for educational leadership researchers and scholar-practitioners to broaden our understanding of how leadership should matter.

The chapter authors broaden our perspectives on innovative leadership in a variety of ways. First, they provide rich literature reviews of diverse leadership perspectives, including authentic leadership, relational leadership, practical leadership, process educational leadership, culturally relevant leadership, servant leadership, and leaders who are researchers. This use of diverse leadership perspectives benefits us by identifying areas typically ignored in traditional leadership studies. Two examples seem relevant here. Horton, Willis and Brown’s discussion of process educational leadership remind us that process and performance go hand in hand and that continuous improvement is a necessary part of leadership. This provides a much needed balance to the traditional outcome-based leadership practices and policies. Furthermore, two chapters, by Vaughan and Bogotch on imaginative action research and Crow and Ensley using improvement science frameworks, highlight exciting new avenues in which researcher and leader intersect. These ← vii | viii → chapters benefit us in understanding not only the importance of inquiry for leadership but also how two typically distinct roles can intersect in valuable ways.

Second, the authors broaden our leadership perspectives in regard to who leaders are. Instead of the traditional reliance on formal roles, the chapter authors open up leadership practice and thereby leadership capacity. Teachers, principals, students, higher education administrators, faculty and staff, and preservice teachers are among the types of individuals addressed in the chapters. A traditionally overlooked group, higher education mid-level administrators, is examined by Garcia, Nehls, and Florence in their chapter on shared governance. Although teacher leadership literature is not new, several chapter authors, including Sato and Rogers on teachers’ practical leadership, Bricker and Tracy on teacher interactions, Vaughan and Bogotch on teacher leaders’ use of action research, Crow and Ensley on teachers using improvement science, and Rogers and Scales on perceptions of teacher leadership among preservice and inservice teachers as well as teacher educators, provide valuable insights on this type of leadership approach. Broadening who enacts leadership helps to identify leadership practices, e.g., the “deliberative acts” (Bricker and Tracy) of teachers in their interactions that influence others. This broader notion of who leaders are also helps us understand how leadership capacity can be used and expanded within educational organizations.

Third, as several of the above examples demonstrate, context matters for innovative leadership. Part II focuses on K-12 school settings in various types of demographic contexts, while Part III emphasizes leadership in higher education settings. In addition to broadening our understanding of educational leadership to P-16(20) so that we recognize education as a system, the chapters on these various settings help remind us that context matters, be it a historically black college with a long term president (Washington, Esters, and Gasman), a Hispanic-serving institution with diversity issues (Pichon), or an African American principal struggling with supporting rigorous academic expectations (Lowery and Lomotey).

Fourth, one of the outstanding features of this book is the use in most chapters of one or more cases or stories about innovative leadership—its enactment, development, and struggle. Stories or narratives are rich tools for broadening our understanding of leadership. Used frequently and extensively in educational leadership preparation programs prior to the 1980s, stories got a “bad rap” mostly because they were often used to proudly demonstrate the storyteller’s prowess without reflection or a variety of perspectives. For a period of time, these tools were eliminated in preparation courses. A recent re-awakening of cases and the use of stories not to privilege specific solutions but to enrich conversations and learning across multiple perspective, has the potential to broaden our understanding of how leadership is enacted and developed. The chapter authors provide rich examples/narratives that not only enrich the description of the specific, innovative leadership approach but also the struggles that actual leaders encounter as they enact ← viii | ix → these approaches. The use of narratives allows us to drill deep into the practices, motivations, drive, values, and identities of those practicing leadership and then to interrogate those stories to identify their gaps, insensitivities, culturally dominant views, etc. For example, Tillman and Horsford’s case of culturally relevant leadership in a high-performing, low income elementary school in the U.S. Mountain West provides a narrative rich with possibilities for individual and collective critical investigation and reflection. The chapters conclude with sample discussion questions to aid this type of investigation and reflection.

I commend Rogers, Lomotey, and Hilton and the various chapter authors for developing a book that broadens our perspectives on the nature, roles, contexts, and stories of leadership in various educational organizations. They present a valuable resource for scholar-practitioners who daily encounter the dilemmas and opportunities for leadership and for researchers, professors, and students who now have the opportunity to broaden their perspectives on enacting leadership in ways that matter to the children, youth, and adults in our schools and communities.

| xi →


The editors would like to acknowledge the tremendous leadership and insight of Dale Carpenter, former Dean of the College of Education and Allied Professions at Western Carolina University (WCU). Dean Carpenter brought together a group of WCU education faculty, including the editors, in 2014 and described his sense that several of us had been exploring, often individually, different, creative and innovative conceptions of leadership in schools and higher education institutions. He suggested that we get together and think about how we might share our efforts in a collaborative way. This volume grew directly out of those conversations facilitated by Dean Carpenter.

From Carrie …

I would like to specifically acknowledge my colleagues who have led me to investigate teacher leadership deeply: Mistilina Sato has challenged my thinking about the capacity of teachers since graduate school; Roya Scales had aided and abetted, through finding funding and co-writing, our research into preservice teachers and the developmental notion of teacher leadership. I also thank my husband, Mike, whose faith in my capacity has never wavered. I am also deeply indebted to my co-editors for their mentoring: Thank you Kofi and Adriel.

From Kofi …

I would like to acknowledge my colleagues in educational leadership at WCU: Ann Allen, Robert Crow, Brandi Hinnant-Crawford, Casey Hurley, Kathleen ← xi | xii → Jorissen, Dean Spaulding, and Jess Weiler. They are a group of creative, energetic, prolific and thoughtful scholars who inspire me and challenge me to seek to become the best teacher, scholar and service provider that I can. I also acknowledge with everlasting appreciation my wife, Nahuja; my children, Shawnjua, Juba and Mbeja; my grandchildren Ayanna, Isaiah and Nia; my sister, Saundra and my niece, Portia. They each motivate me beyond description.

From Adriel …

My deepest appreciation goes to my co-editors, Dr. Carrie Rogers and Dr. Kofi Lomotey, for their superb guidance and wise counsel. Their leadership and support have enhanced me intellectually and morally.

This text is dedicated to those who are closest to me (my support structure): my parents, Alphonso and Sarah Hilton, Jr.; my sister, Shaqauelia Blanding; and my beautiful niece, Sarah Nicole Penn. Had it not been for your sacrifice, guidance, and unwavering love, I would not have been able to accomplish this goal.

Finally, I wish to thank persons who aided in my development (since the inception of this project) from the villages of Western Carolina University, Grambling State University and now Webster University. I am truly indebted to these institutions as well as the faculty, staff and students who unselfishly gave of their time when I needed advice.

| 1 →



Typically, when we think of an educational leader, whether at the primary, secondary or higher education level, we think of a man or woman who has a formal leadership role and title (e.g., principal, assistant principal, dean, president, provost, vice president, chancellor, headmaster, et cetera). The person in such a role has been hired by an individual or a group of individuals (e.g., a board of trustees or a board of education) to fulfill specific leadership responsibilities. They play vital roles that have been fulfilled since educational institutions were first established in this country.

These leaders perform administrative, managerial and supervisory roles within educational institutions. They are responsible for hiring, evaluating, training and (when necessary) terminating educators and other staff and managing budgets. They (1) insure that curricula are developed, (2) interact with politicians to secure adequate financial and human resources and (3) address community concerns and needs. We—as students, teachers, professors, parents and community people—expect these designated leaders to lead these institutions. More and more, individuals within educational institutions who do not hold official leadership titles are choosing to fulfill some of these leadership roles. Moreover, often those in traditional leadership roles have devised creative and non-traditional ways to lead their institutions.

This volume is about individuals and groups of individuals who serve leadership roles within educational institutions, though they do not hold official leadership titles and it is also about leaders in traditional roles who think and ← 1 | 2 → act inventively in fulfilling their responsibilities. We have invited a wide array of authors to offer theoretical perspectives on innovative leadership and to provide unique case studies of instances where people have taken on leadership roles for which they have not been hired or where leaders have creatively redefined their leadership.

These innovative cases illustrate how educational institutions are changing; individuals, sometimes viewing a void, take it upon themselves to create or redefine leadership roles in an effort to help in moving their schools or universities forward. In some instances, it is a teacher serving a leadership role in an elementary school, or a group of professors taking on added responsibility in a college or university. In each case, the desire is to advance the institution and to make better the experiences of the students therein. These cases, we believe, are important because they are reflective of institutions becoming stronger as a result of increased efforts to lead them with larger and more diverse groups of individuals providing creative leadership.

This text is unique and valuable for a number of reasons. First, we have gathered a diverse and scholarly group of academics and practitioners to tell this story of innovative leadership. There are seasoned as well as early career academics, current and former school-level administrators, current and former university administrators and more. Second, the volume focuses on such leadership at all levels of education: elementary, secondary and higher education. Third, the authors each provide provocative discussion questions for use by graduate students as well as practitioners in educational institutions.

Gary Crow of Indiana University provides a thought-provoking Foreword at the beginning of this volume.



XIV, 252
ISBN (Softcover)
ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2017 (July)
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2017. XIV, 252 pp.

Biographical notes

Carrie Rogers (Volume editor) Kofi Lomotey (Volume editor) Adriel Hilton (Volume editor)

Carrie Rogers is an Associate Professor in the School of Teaching and Learning at Western Carolina University. She earned her doctoral degree at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Her research focuses on uncertainty in teaching and on the relationship between teacher agency, leadership and practitioner research. Kofi Lomotey is the Bardo Distinguished Professor of Educational Leadership at Western Carolina University.  He earned his doctoral degree at Stanford University in Educational Leadership. His research focuses on urban education, black students, black principals, and independent African-centered schools. Adriel A. Hilton is director of the Webster University Myrtle Beach Metropolitan Extended Campus. He earned his doctoral degree from Morgan State University. As the chief administrative officer, he is charged with implementing programs and policies to achieve Webster University’s overall goals and objectives at the extended campus.


Title: Innovative Approaches to Educational Leadership
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