There is a great deal of literature on leadership education best-practices (e.g., curricular considerations, teaching strategies, assessment of learning). Yet, to be a leadership educator is more than having knowledge or expertise of content and pedagogy. Perceptions, experiences, and values of leadership educators comprise a professional identity that is reflective of not only what leadership educators do, but also who they are and how they view themselves within the profession. This qualitative study builds on Seemiller and Priest’s (2015) Leadership Educator Professional Identity Development (LEPID) conceptual model by analyzing stories from participants of a professional leadership educator development experience. Leadership educators’ identity development reflected a consistent and linear progression through the identity spaces outlined in the LEPID model, and further can be viewed through three distinct dimensional lenses (experiential, cognitive, and emotional experiences). Additionally, leadership educator identities were shaped by a particular set of ongoing influences and critical incidents; the most prevalent incident was related to feelings of inadequacy in leadership expertise and competence. Findings from this study can inform educational programs and professional associations in efforts to train and develop leadership educators.

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© 2015 Association of Leadership Educators

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