ERIC Number: EJ942998
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Reference Count: 12
Preparing Democratic Education Leaders
Young, Michelle D.
Scholar-Practitioner Quarterly, v4 n4 p342-345 Win 2010
Although it is common to hear people espouse the importance of education to ensuring a strong and vibrant democracy, the assumptions underlying such statements are rarely unpacked. Two of the most widespread, though not necessarily complimentary, assumptions include: (1) to truly participate in a democracy, citizens must be well educated; and (2) a strong democracy is dependent on a strong economy, and thus, schools must ensure a well-educated workforce. Tethered to each assumption are very different ideas about what counts as a quality and appropriate curriculum, how the curriculum should be taught and how classes should look. A move toward preparing leaders to enact democratic leadership and support a democratic education has implications for a variety of contexts and practices at the university, district, and school levels. The design and implementation of high-quality preparation (including recruitment) is a complex undertaking. It is complex because to do it well requires institutional communication and collaboration in articulating the kind of leadership the program intends to develop, a theory of action for how that will be accomplished. Moreover, it requires expertise with leadership standards, research, and theory as well as with the principles of adult learning. Importantly, university faculty and their district partners are engaging in this work, cooperating in the development of purposeful, coherent, and comprehensive leadership development, making certain that candidates have concrete opportunities to connect research and theories concerning concepts like democracy, democratic education, and democratic leadership to their practice. This is essential to candidates' ability to later transfer their learning into practice in other environments. Coupling a commitment to quality preparation with democratic educational leadership holds the potential to focus and strengthen university preparation as well as to enhance educational leadership practice.
Descriptors: Democratic Values, Instructional Leadership, Leadership Training, Administrator Education, Educational Quality, Administrator Qualifications, Educational Practices, Change Strategies, Educational Change, Educational Improvement
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A