Sustainable Leadership Supporting Educational Transformation

Katherine Sanford, Tim Hopper, Kerry Robertson, Laura Lancaster, Vivian Collyer


The world, influenced by 21st century technologies and ecological challenges, has rapidly changed with more ability to “connect” locally and globally and more opportunities to learn from a range of sources. As a result, our learners and their needs have changed. With such rapid changes, conceptions of educational leadership need to reflect these changes utilizing the complexities of the role in society. As a group of educators who work in a School District, Ministry of Education and University teacher education programs, we ask how educational leaders in school districts and teacher education programs can design spaces that engage everyone, recognize everyone’s expertise and share responsibility for growth and development, and how in teacher education we can begin to move away from the hierarchical, industrialized model of management to one where everyone feels engaged, valued, and heard. In this paper, we draw on sustainable and distributed leadership ideas, termed by Wheatley (2010) as the “new sciences,” informed by tenets from complexity theory. Using a case study approach and narrative insights, this paper elucidates how an ongoing Professional Learning Network (PLN) called Link-to-Practice (L2P) offers an alternative conception of educational leadership.

            Keywords: case study; narrative, qualitative research, complexity theory


Case study; Narrative; Qualitative research; Complexity Theory

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