April 14, 2024


It's Your Education

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 School District)

School leadership can be lonely and isolating. Your colleagues are other directors who are also busy so you do not want to burden them with your inquiries or fears. Normally, management meetings are whole of logistics with minimal time to network considerably much less be in collaboration with friends.

At the commencing of the 2018-19 school year, the superintendent of San Francisco Unified College District (SFUSD) determined twenty universities that historically or persistently underserved Black pupils as indicated on proficiency metrics of standardized exams (California University Dashboard, 2018). The district labeled the universities and activated a method for addressing the discovered deficiencies as a result of a mandate.

Above the system of two many years, I labored aspect-by-facet with 4 center college leaders from the SFUSD as activist co-scientists. With the purpose of addressing the district mandate and helping these leaders in improving tutorial and social-emotional results for Black students, we engaged in an imaginative, collaborative PAR project targeted on social justice transform (hunter et al., 2013). Our imaginations ended up activated as we engaged in individual narratives. We shared tales about our journey lines to management and opened up about our vulnerabilities in leading universities. A few cycles of inquiry over eighteen months afforded us time to ascertain how an equity-centered qualified understanding community (EC-PLC) could entirely engage in resourceful dialogue to handle the sizeable problems that Learners of Colour confronted in the four center educational facilities.

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

Just before we started our initially cycle of inquiry we spent casual time alongside one another that I refer to as a pre-cycle. This pre-cycle is what grounded us as a community that inevitably pushed us toward transformative social justice management (Shields, 2010). The college leaders appreciated the care taken to set up and retain our expert understanding space and coaching romance. In my study I contact this theme, “Pedagogy of Care.” I consider the ideas from Pedagogy of Care supplied an surroundings in which the school leaders could start out to be their reliable selves and have interaction in  imaginative top the skill to guide outdoors of the standard strategies of education. They became open to remaining in solidarity with underrepresented scholar and family groups.


 Capabilities of Pedagogy of Care

  1. Resources are normally constrained in the schooling location, in particular for management professional progress. In the review, two means contributed to the pedagogy of care in our work with each other: time and food. A faculty leader’s time is a person of the most worthwhile methods, and there is never ever enough of it (Theoharis, 2009). Their dedication was obvious by how they designed time in their schedules to attend expert mastering together. As hectic school leaders, they prioritized the administrative community and communicated how considerably they valued the time to be with colleagues grappling with related challenges. Having together was an vital ritual, a time to crack boundaries throughout variations and lessen the formality of the qualified romance. Beginning with our initial meeting, each snacks for the duration of EC-PLC time and sharing a communal supper afterward had been the norm.
  1. The bodily environment to have interaction in the EC-PLC do the job was a precedence for the staff. In the beginning, we achieved at the close of the school working day so there would be limited interruptions. In the very first cycle, we achieved both equally at a university web site and at my property. The school leaders asked for to meet up with in a spot distinctive from a school site mid-cycle, so we decided to forever improve the assembly place to my dwelling. Changing the location presented an unanticipated stage of ease and comfort and security wherever authentic, engaging discussions could exist as a result of storytelling and relationship. The shift in house gave us the potential to grow our imaginations over and above what the walls of classic faculty makes it possible for.
  2. An essential element of my work with the school leaders was to understand their faculty context in get to help them in the district mandate and their management development. In what I termed, inclusive pedagogy, our coaching time offered invaluable prospects for me to develop rely on with each individual chief and with other associates of the college local community, to assist me recognize the context of their school cases, and to replicate with them on their leadership decisions. The rely on that developed affirmed a caring relationship and supported their convenience in partaking their creativeness and inviting some others to imagine with them.
  3. As section of the culture of caring that I was making an attempt to cultivate with the university leaders, I continuously offered wellness checks. I would frequently quit by their offices unscheduled to say hello and see how they were executing. Numerous of the casual conversations led to far more in-depth conversations the place university leaders exchanged personalized tales and thoughts, like anxieties. I assisted just about every chief, as required, on these jobs as guiding their reaction to a district office environment, producing an agenda, supporting classroom walkthroughs, or attending a conference with them.


Imaginative leaders do not work in silos. They will need a community of like-minded colleagues and will have to encounter a pedagogy of treatment in get to move away from transactional management in the direction of more social justice transformative management. Time, house, safety, and belief permit us to link, have interaction our imaginations, and share our tales in strategies that cultivate a courageous space for us to be susceptible and more confident to just take threats in our determination generating (Arao & Clemens, 2013)


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

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

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

Shields, C. M. (2010). Transformative management: Performing for fairness in various

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

Theoharis, G. (2009). The college leaders our children deserve: Seven keys to fairness, social justice, and school reform. Academics School Push.








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