Volume 14, Issue 4-- Special Issue 2015

Welcome to the 2015 Special Edition of the Journal of Leadership Education. The focus for this special edition posited the following:

“Education is a process where an individual receives or gives systematic instruction. Learning, however, is not education. Learning involves the action of acquiring new, or modifying and reinforcing, existing knowledge, behaviors, skills, values, or preferences as well as synthesizing different forms of information. Learning is contextual and does not happen all at once. Learning produces change that may be conscious and unconscious. In leadership education organizations, demonstrating accountability for learning is becoming important to curriculum design, course outcomes, and degree outcomes. The mark of an educated leader is demonstrated by what knowledge they possess, their skills and abilities, and their character. As leadership educators, it is imperative that we can demonstrate that leadership learning has occurred.”

Part One of the Special Issue focuses our reading on leaders and their learning – their change. Authors ask us to consider design, leader ontology, epistemology, and collective inquiry through learning leadership.

In an invited article, Moreen Carvan invites us to consider whether or not we are educating and promoting leadership LEARNing in preparation for a VUCA world, where tackling complex, adaptive problems are calling to us on a daily basis. Doctoral candidate, Matthew Grimes, invites us to consider how leadership educators are developing capacity for deep learning in leadership education fostered by knowledge change, behavior change and reflective thinking. In their Idea Brief, Paxton and Van Stralen offer practices to promote learning, leadership and innovation through collaborative/collective inquiry. Clegorne and Mastrogiovanni ask readers to consider bridging the humanities and science to change how we design learning of leadership in their Idea Brief. Lucas and Goodman make a case for the intersection of leadership and positive organizational scholarship in the context of an academic course. And concluding this first section, Martin, Goulet, Martin, JM, and Owens, present the use of formative assessment as measure of progress in leader development.

Part Two of the Special Issue, we focus on programs that have successfully measuring learning in leadership and ways in which learning in the classroom has been demonstrated through teaching.

Ladhani et al research article, demonstrates a global leadership model through a research paper focused on the FAIMER Institutes from across the globe focused on developing health professions education leadership encompassing over 40 countries. Fields, Thompson, and Hawkins present their finding in studying inculcating servant leadership principles through health profession education. This section closes with three examples of ways to teach and invite learning of leadership concepts. Moore and Bruce offer instructional strategies in teaching leadership in an experience economy paradigm. Zimmerman offers how he created a classroom experience for U.S. students to experience a “culture shock” similar to that experienced by expatriates in foreign cultures.

DeAngelis & Penney close the special issue by providing an overview and insights into their experience running a nine-month, experiential leadership development program.

It has been a pleasure working with the journal staff, the authors, and engaging leadership educators in thinking beyond education and considering how learning and leadership are connected, intimately. I am reminded of John F. Kennedy’s words, prepared for a speech he never gave: “Leadership and learning are indispensible to one another.”
As we continue to focus the journal on the learning and practice of leadership, we invite you to join in dialogue, evolving discourse, and engagement about this issue on the JOLE website that will be announced following the publication of the Special Issue. We look forward to our readers joining in as we continue to learn together as a leadership learning community committed to promoting scholarly practice.

Kind regards,

Marilyn J. Bugenhagen, Ph.D.
~ JOLE 2015 Special Issue Editor
Faculty ~ Federal Executive Institute
Center for Leadership Development
United States Office of Personnel Management

Edgar Schein (2004) proposed that leading was in the midst of an evolutionary shift in which the primary challenge would be to sustain a culture of learning in an emerging “age of perpetual learning and change. What learning is required through leadership education to address this challenge? What design will assure that these learning outcomes are attained? What practice would demonstrate that the outcomes persist and have meaning? In distinguishing the process of “education” from the process of “learning”, what are the implications of the reciprocity of development, learning, education and the practice of leading for the design of a theory of leadership education able to assure necessary outcomes for leadership in a context that is perpetually volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous?

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The health workforce of the 21st century has enormous challenges; health professionals need to be both experts in their field and equipped with leadership and managerial skills. These skills are not part of the regular curriculum, so specific programs bridging this gap are required. Since 2001, FAIMER®, with eight centers across the globe, has worked to create health professions education leaders through transformational learning experiences, developing a global community of practice encompassing over 40 countries. These authors describe the design, implementation, evaluation, and evolution of the leadership and management curriculum component of the global Institute over 15 years. The article highlights the unique features, challenges faced, and sustainability issues. An appendix is available that details the purpose, objectives and the pedagogical processes for each unit of the leadership curriculum. Please contact Zahra Ladhani This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Page Morahan (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) for a copy.


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“We live at a hinge time in history, a threshold time when societies and cultures are being recomposed. We are learning that the way life used to work—or the way we thought it should—doesn’t work any longer” (Parks, 2009, p. xv). This article is about learning, culture change, practice and leadership. Many wise minds have articulated the leadership mindset we need for the future, and what remains stubbornly elusive is how we get there. These authors believe the difficult challenge of developing a new mindset--a new view of the world--to address the complexity and dynamic nature of the 21st century is of central importance to leadership education today. As Einstein famously conveyed, we cannot address the problems of today with the same mindset that created those problems. This inquiry explores the following questions: “How do we develop the skills, capacities and consciousness necessary for bringing creativity, innovation and a new mindset to our most strategic and pressing organizational challenges? How do we practice our way into a new paradigm of leadership?” These authors invite you to join them in this inquiry into leadership. 

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Robert Greenleaf’s principles of servant leadership are relevant to the helping professions, including empowerment and development of others, service to others, and open and participatory leadership. The study of servant leadership was infused into an undergraduate senior capstone experience (an internship) for emerging helping professionals (social work and child and family studies majors). Students read and discussed Greenleaf’s work and applied it to their internship experiences through weekly written reflections. Analysis of student reflections revealed an internalization of servant leadership principles and an understanding of their application within a professional context. Field supervisor evaluations of students indicated professional development consistent with servant leadership ideals. Analysis of servant leadership self-evaluations by students recorded at the beginning and end of the capstone experience revealed increases in empowering and developing others and serving others. These findings support the value of servant leadership education in the training of future leaders within the helping professions.

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As the field of leadership education continues to prioritize learning in leadership, it is important to ask the question: What do we know about the learning process itself? Conceptual change, a learning framework used in educational psychology, can help to explain learning in leadership. Research on conceptual change in the social sciences is emergent and ripe for further exploration. Until the results of such research are readily available, there are some pedagogical tools produced by conceptual change researchers that leadership educators might find valuable in curriculum design. This paper introduces conceptual change theory and research to leadership educators as a viable framework from which to research learning in leadership, and presents pedagogical tools that encourage deeper learning through conceptual change.

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The argument can be made that students are an educator’s customers. It can also be argued that leadership educators strive to engage students (customers) through the various teaching strategies they employ within their programs, classrooms, or other contexts. In a world with greater emphasis being put on the bottom line of education, we cannot deny the importance of recruiting happy customers (students) who continue to return to our programs. For leadership educators, this means we must meet the needs of our “customers” without diluting or devaluing the educational process and intended outcomes of higher education. If it is true that not providing consistently engaging experience will cause our customers to seek experiences elsewhere, then being able to employ the notion of the experience economy is one way educators can stay on the cutting edge. If students are, in fact, consumers of our courses, then our offerings should be framed in a way that gives our consumers what they want. With that in mind, these authors share ideas to help instructors effectively employ this notion of the experience economy into their classrooms, employing the five design principles of Pine and Gilmore (1998).

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Drawing on the work of educational anti-consumerists such as David F. Noble (2002) as well as design theory (Cross, 2006; Dorst, 2011; Farrell & Hooker, 2013) and adaptive leadership (Heifetz, Grashow, & Linsky, 2009) we frame the complex interactions involving teaching and learning along a spectrum bracketed by training on one side and education on the other. Training is a process which generates objective knowledge in order to make a person functional within someone else’s system or industry (Noble, 2002, 2013). In other words there is no direct connection to the self or personal development. In contrast, education, at its best, is total integration of one’s self with the knowledge they absorb and eventually synthesize for their own self-learning (Noble, 2002). When choosing between training and education we, as a nation, have often chosen the former in the name of workforce development and economic progress, but at what cost? Unfortunately, the traditional teaching strategies employed throughout modern educational history do not offer a method or model with which to conceptualize, much less begin to solve such wicked problems. Only by understanding the conceptual underpinnings that support contemporary pedagogy and andragogy might we begin to create educational spaces that help us solve such complex challenges.

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This paper provides an insightful perspective to the common problem facing many global leadership educators across the U.S.: helping students understand “global leadership” while they sit in U.S. classrooms. The instructor of an undergraduate leadership course addressed this problem by recreating for U.S. students in local “cultural groups” a “culture shock” similar to that experienced by expatriates in foreign cultures. The culture shock experience is important for cross-cultural leadership development because culture shock produces challenges of uncertainty, anxiety and stress similar to those challenges needed to be overcome by an effective cross-cultural leader. The author discusses course structure and design (i.e. experiential-reflection project utilizing participant observation to write multi-stage report) along with student feedback, illustrating that teaching global, cross-cultural leadership can start in one’s backyard.

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The emerging fields of positive psychology and positive organizational scholarship (POS) contribute new perspectives and approaches for leadership education and leadership development in higher education.  While there are emerging empirical studies in these new fields, little connection has been made to the intellectual and practical applications for undergraduate leadership education. In this paper, the authors make a case for the intersection of leadership and positive organizational scholarship in the context of an academic course that combines theory-to-practice using a project-based learning approach. Student learning gains in this course are reported through a pre-post assessment of student’s competency and personal levels of well-being.

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In an age of instantaneous information sharing and increased interdependence, today’s leaders must learn to work collaboratively, leveraging the strengths, skills, and experiences of those around them, in order to address the challenges they face. The Center for Collaborative Leadership is uniquely situated in the College of Management at the University of Massachusetts Boston. The purpose of the Center’s Emerging Leaders Program is to challenge and inspire the adult participants in the program to act collaboratively, identify and rethink boundaries, build purposeful relationships, and become better leaders and citizens. In this brief, the authors reflect on how this program is changing not only the individual leaders but, as importantly, the organizations and communities to which they belong. They offer insights on lessons learned that may be beneficial to others who teach graduate students and professionals.

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As institutions continue to place value on developing leaders, it becomes increasingly important to effectively assess students’ leadership skills. The development and subsequent use of a formative competency based leader assessment was used with (N=124) sophomore students at a small military college in the Northeast United States with a mission toward leadership. Results highlight the effectiveness of a formative assessment to develop leader skills with an undergraduate population. Relevant application for institutions of higher learning will be discussed.

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© 2015 Association of Leadership Educators

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