ERIC Number: EJ942980
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Reference Count: 5
Leadership Education Priorities for a Democratic Society
Jenlink, Patrick M.
Scholar-Practitioner Quarterly, v4 n4 p306-308 Win 2010
Determining the priorities for leadership education in a democratic society is a complex, challenging responsibility, not a task to be taken lightly. It is complex on one level in that to be a leader in schools "today is to understand a profoundly human as well as a professional responsibility." It is challenging on another level in that preparing leaders for the work of educating a democratic society draws to the foreground Dewey's (1916) argument that educators must always "remember that they above all others are consecrated servants of the democratic ideas in which alone this country is truly a distinctive nation." Understanding the complexity and the responsibilities of leading will require that leadership educators understand the priorities of preparing leaders for a democratic society, and in turn, it will require that leaders, as practitioners in schools, be clear, without being doctrinaire, about the pedagogical and political projects through which they give meaning to their roles as leaders and the purpose of schooling itself in a democratic society. The priorities of leadership education in a democratic society are priorities that translate, through program curricula, pedagogical practices and policies, as a form of socially engaged citizenship. That is, it speaks to democratic, professional practice in schools; to the school as a cultural and social agency charged with the responsibility of educating children to become, in turn, socially engaged citizens. Importantly, leadership education is concerned with preparing leaders for the work of leading as socially engaged citizenship. It exemplifies the responsibility of and the need for aligning priorities to pedagogy that is concerned, first and foremost, with preparing individuals who understand the challenge of being a democratic citizen, the challenge of advanced citizenship with the not so subtle reminder that the responsible actions of citizenship, as difficult as they are, are at the very heart of an active and responsive democracy. Nowhere in the free world is the enormity of this responsibility and challenge felt more than it is felt in a country where democracy is constantly challenged from the outside by competing nations, and unfortunately challenged from within by individuals who have forgotten how, or never had the opportunity, to practice advanced citizenship.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A