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

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

Faculty leadership can be lonely and isolating. Your colleagues are other directors who are also occupied so you do not want to load them with your queries or fears. Generally, leadership conferences are comprehensive of logistics with minimal time to network much less be in collaboration with peers.

At the commencing of the 2018-19 university 12 months, the superintendent of San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) discovered twenty colleges that historically or persistently underserved Black students as indicated on proficiency metrics of standardized assessments (California Faculty Dashboard, 2018). The district labeled the universities and activated a course of action for addressing the discovered deficiencies by a mandate.

More than the training course of two a long time, I labored side-by-side with four center university leaders from the SFUSD as activist co-researchers. With the goal of addressing the district mandate and aiding these leaders in increasing academic and social-psychological results for Black learners, we engaged in an imaginative, collaborative PAR job concentrated on social justice improve (hunter et al., 2013). Our imaginations were being activated as we engaged in personal narratives. We shared stories about our journey traces to management and opened up about our vulnerabilities in main schools. A few cycles of inquiry more than eighteen months afforded us time to establish how an equity-centered qualified learning local community (EC-PLC) could fully interact in resourceful dialogue to address the sizeable difficulties that Learners of Colour faced in the four middle educational facilities.

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

Just before we began our initially cycle of inquiry we expended informal time collectively that I refer to as a pre-cycle. This pre-cycle is what grounded us as a network that at some point pushed us in the direction of transformative social justice management (Shields, 2010). The school leaders appreciated the treatment taken to create and maintain our qualified learning house and coaching connection. In my analysis I contact this concept, “Pedagogy of Care.” I consider the principles from Pedagogy of Care furnished an natural environment the place the university leaders could get started to be their authentic selves and have interaction in  imaginative foremost the skill to lead outdoors of the regular ways of education. They became open to staying in solidarity with underrepresented scholar and relatives teams.


 Attributes of Pedagogy of Treatment

  1. Methods are normally restricted in the training setting, particularly for management skilled enhancement. In the analyze, two resources contributed to the pedagogy of care in our work jointly: time and food. A university leader’s time is a person of the most important assets, and there is by no means sufficient of it (Theoharis, 2009). Their determination was apparent by how they created time in their schedules to attend qualified learning together. As occupied school leaders, they prioritized the administrative community and communicated how significantly they valued the time to be with colleagues grappling with equivalent challenges. Consuming alongside one another was an crucial ritual, a time to crack boundaries across dissimilarities and reduce the formality of the qualified romance. Starting off with our very first conference, equally snacks during EC-PLC time and sharing a communal evening meal afterward were being the norm.
  1. The physical environment to engage in the EC-PLC function was a priority for the staff. To begin with, we achieved at the finish of the school working day so there would be restricted interruptions. In the 1st cycle, we met each at a university site and at my household. The faculty leaders asked for to meet up with in a location diverse from a faculty site mid-cycle, so we decided to completely change the meeting spot to my house. Altering the area supplied an unanticipated degree of comfort and security wherever genuine, engaging conversations could exist by way of storytelling and relationship. The change in place gave us the means to develop our imaginations outside of what the walls of traditional university enables.
  2. An crucial component of my perform with the university leaders was to understand their college context in order to guidance them in the district mandate and their leadership enhancement. In what I termed, inclusive pedagogy, our coaching time furnished a must have alternatives for me to construct rely on with each leader and with other associates of the school group, to support me realize the context of their faculty conditions, and to mirror with them on their management conclusions. The belief that designed affirmed a caring marriage and supported their convenience in participating their imagination and inviting others to visualize with them.
  3. As portion of the culture of caring that I was trying to cultivate with the faculty leaders, I constantly furnished wellness checks. I would frequently prevent by their places of work unscheduled to say hi there and see how they were executing. Many of the everyday conversations led to extra in-depth discussions where by faculty leaders exchanged particular stories and thoughts, such as anxieties. I assisted every leader, as wanted, on these duties as guiding their reaction to a district place of work, creating an agenda, supporting classroom walkthroughs, or attending a assembly with them.


Imaginative leaders do not do the job in silos. They need a network of like-minded colleagues and should knowledge a pedagogy of treatment in purchase to go away from transactional management towards far more social justice transformative management. Time, place, protection, and have faith in permit us to join, interact our imaginations, and share our stories in ways that cultivate a brave place for us to be vulnerable and additional self-assured to just take hazards in our decision making (Arao & Clemens, 2013)


Arao, B., & Clemens, K. (2013). From risk-free areas to courageous spaces: A new way to body dialogue close to variety and social justice. In L. Landreman (Ed.), The art of successful 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/studies/38684780000000/2018

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

Shields, C. M. (2010). Transformative management: Doing the job for equity in assorted

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

Theoharis, G. (2009). The school leaders our kids are entitled to: Seven keys to fairness, social justice, and school reform. Instructors University Push.








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