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Innovative Approaches to Educational Leadership

Selected Cases


Edited By Carrie Rogers, Kofi Lomotey and Adriel Hilton

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.
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Chapter Nine: Imaginative Action Research (IAR): The Missing Element in Leadership Development (Michelle Vaughan / IRA Bogotch)


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Imaginative Action Research (IAR)

The Missing Element in Leadership Development


We are writing here as progressive educators who analytically and imaginatively see schools as they might be rather than as they currently are. That is not to deny that in pockets what happens inside individual classrooms and even within whole schools is not excellent, even joyful (see Gaines, Bogotch, & Salaam, 2015). Yet, institutionally, schools are conservative and inextricably tied to the prevailing structures of power that reproduce the values and structures of the existing social, economic and political order. To which we ask in this chapter, what is the proper role of the educational researcher in documenting and supporting school reforms and social change? For surely, describing again and again the managing of schools and classrooms as they are only supports a future already prescribed by dominant social forces, precluding the possibilities for teacher and administrator leadership, and trivializing the writings of researchers. We do not think that this assessment is too strong an indictment of school structures, practices and the state of educational research. The question is whether we are able—in this short chapter—to demonstrate a new way of thinking and acting as researchers for both teacher and leadership development.

What we propose is a method called imaginative action research (IAR), a methodology that moves from individualized conceptions of classroom and school problems and...

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