Engaging Imagination to Develop a School Leadership Network that Includes a Pedagogy of Care – imaginED

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By Myra Quadros-Meis, Ed.D (Administrator in San Francisco Unified School District)

Faculty management can be lonely and isolating. Your colleagues are other administrators who are also fast paced so you do not want to load them with your queries or fears. Typically, leadership meetings are total of logistics with very little time to community significantly fewer be in collaboration with peers.

At the beginning of the 2018-19 school yr, the superintendent of San Francisco Unified University District (SFUSD) discovered 20 universities that traditionally or persistently underserved Black college students as indicated on proficiency metrics of standardized checks (California University Dashboard, 2018). The district labeled the educational institutions and activated a approach for addressing the discovered deficiencies via a mandate.

Over the training course of two yrs, I labored side-by-aspect with 4 center college leaders from the SFUSD as activist co-researchers. With the aim of addressing the district mandate and helping these leaders in enhancing tutorial and social-emotional results for Black pupils, we engaged in an imaginative, collaborative PAR job centered on social justice transform (hunter et al., 2013). Our imaginations ended up activated as we engaged in personal narratives. We shared stories about our journey traces to leadership and opened up about our vulnerabilities in main faculties. A few cycles of inquiry above eighteen months afforded us time to figure out how an equity-centered experienced discovering neighborhood (EC-PLC) could thoroughly have interaction in innovative dialogue to handle the substantial problems that Students of Shade faced in the four center universities.

Our imaginations were being activated as we engaged in individual narratives.

Before we started our initial cycle of inquiry we used informal time alongside one another that I refer to as a pre-cycle. This pre-cycle is what grounded us as a network that inevitably pushed us to transformative social justice management (Shields, 2010). The college leaders appreciated the treatment taken to set up and manage our experienced discovering room and coaching marriage. In my investigation I simply call this concept, “Pedagogy of Treatment.” I believe the rules from Pedagogy of Care delivered an atmosphere in which the college leaders could begin to be their reliable selves and have interaction in  imaginative leading the ability to lead outside of the conventional means of education. They became open to getting in solidarity with underrepresented student and relatives teams.


 Characteristics of Pedagogy of Treatment

  1. Assets are typically minimal in the education and learning placing, in particular for management qualified development. In the analyze, two sources contributed to the pedagogy of care in our get the job done together: time and foodstuff. A college leader’s time is one of the most precious assets, and there is never enough of it (Theoharis, 2009). Their commitment was evident by how they built time in their schedules to attend expert finding out alongside one another. As active faculty leaders, they prioritized the administrative community and communicated how a great deal they valued the time to be with colleagues grappling with equivalent challenges. Consuming with each other was an important ritual, a time to break boundaries throughout dissimilarities and lessen the formality of the qualified romantic relationship. Setting up with our first conference, both treats for the duration of EC-PLC time and sharing a communal meal afterward have been the norm.
  1. The actual physical ecosystem to engage in the EC-PLC get the job done was a precedence for the crew. Initially, we met at the finish of the college working day so there would be limited interruptions. In the very first cycle, we achieved each at a school web site and at my property. The school leaders asked for to meet up with in a area diverse from a college web-site mid-cycle, so we determined to permanently modify the assembly spot to my household. Modifying the place delivered an surprising stage of comfort and security wherever authentic, engaging discussions could exist by way of storytelling and connection. The change in space gave us the skill to increase our imaginations outside of what the partitions of standard university allows.
  2. An vital section of my function with the faculty leaders was to master their college context in purchase to aid them in the district mandate and their leadership advancement. In what I termed, inclusive pedagogy, our coaching time delivered priceless prospects for me to establish trust with each and every leader and with other customers of the college group, to help me realize the context of their school circumstances, and to replicate with them on their leadership conclusions. The have faith in that formulated affirmed a caring romantic relationship and supported their convenience in partaking their creativeness and inviting other people to visualize with them.
  3. As part of the tradition of caring that I was striving to cultivate with the college leaders, I persistently supplied wellness checks. I would on a regular basis prevent by their workplaces unscheduled to say hi and see how they had been undertaking. Lots of of the relaxed discussions led to additional in-depth conversations in which college leaders exchanged personal stories and emotions, like anxieties. I assisted each and every leader, as wanted, on these duties as guiding their response to a district workplace, producing an agenda, supporting classroom walkthroughs, or attending a conference with them.


Imaginative leaders do not get the job done in silos. They need to have a community of like-minded colleagues and will have to encounter a pedagogy of care in order to go absent from transactional management in the direction of a lot more social justice transformative management. Time, room, protection, and have confidence in empower us to link, engage our imaginations, and share our stories in ways that cultivate a brave space for us to be vulnerable and much more confident to get challenges in our selection producing (Arao & Clemens, 2013)


Arao, B., & Clemens, K. (2013). From protected areas to courageous spaces: A new way to frame dialogue around diversity and social justice. In L. Landreman (Ed.), The art of helpful facilitation: Reflections from social justice educators (pp. 135-150). Stylus Publishing.

California College Dashboard. (2018). SFUSD [Academic performance and academic        engagement] https://www.caschooldashboard.org/experiences/38684780000000/2018

hunter, L., Emerald, E., & Martin, G. (2013). Participatory activist research in the globalized entire world. Springer.

Shields, C. M. (2010). Transformative management: Operating for equity in various

contexts. Academic Administration Quarterly46(4), 558-589.

Theoharis, G. (2009). The school leaders our youngsters are worthy of: 7 keys to fairness, social justice, and faculty reform. Academics School Press.








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