ERIC Number: EJ1138883
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Jul
Abstractor: As Provided
Tempering the Normative Demands of Professional Learning Communities with the Organizational Realities of Life in Schools: Exploring the Cognitive Dilemmas Faced by Educational Leaders
Kruse, Sharon D.; Johnson, Bob L.
Educational Management Administration & Leadership, v45 n4 p588-604 Jul 2017
This work explores how mindful leadership practice can inform school and district leadership specifically as it occurs in professional learning communities (PLC). When school and district leaders create PLC cultures that encourage rich thinking and intentional practice, individual and organizational mindfulness is present. As leaders work to craft informed responses to the demands before them, it is argued that such mindfulness places them in a position to maximize learning from the experiences of the moment. As an organizational structure, the PLC provides school members with a location for the practice of mindful leadership. Yet, the PLC can become an end in itself, a structure that organizes participants but lacks the necessary goal orientation for actors to engage in motivating and purposeful work and create meaningful outcomes. We assert that the mindful institutionalization of PLCs orients the school toward cultural change embodied in a collective attention that orients the work of its members. We argue that to do so requires attention to deeply developed explanations of activities within the school setting, opportunities for formative, substantive data use, and on-the-ground real-time orientation to communal learning. We argue that attention to these themes would further enhance the knowledge and skill set available to PLC members.
Descriptors: Leadership Styles, Communities of Practice, Administrator Role, School Districts, Principals, Leadership Responsibility, Metacognition, Reflection, Elementary Secondary Education, Superintendents, Professional Development
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A