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Ellie Drago-Severson
How can we help aspiring and practicing leaders grow to develop the internal capacities needed to teach, learn, and lead in the increasingly complex environment that constitutes the field of education today? I know this is important to you, Cahn Fellows and Allies!
One promising way is to create professional learning environments that invite educational leaders of all kinds to experience the conditions and practices that support adult growth and development while simultaneously learning about them. Increasingly, we are coming to understand that in order to help other adults learn and grow, leaders need to first grow their own internal capacities, to enlarge, in ways both big and small, their ways of seeing, knowing, and being in the world and with others.
From my view, helping leaders grow into their biggest, best selves is the fundamental task and challenge of leadership preparation, because adult development is leadership development, and vice-versa. In other words, helping leaders and all educators to grow professionally and personally better equips them, in turn, to support and inspire this essential growth in others.
In this book, I present a new, learning-oriented model of leadership development that draws from adult developmental theory and over 20 years of teaching and research with educators from around the globe. While I draw from theory, particularly Robert Kegan’s constructive-developmental theory and from my own work and research about school leadership that supports adult development, this model expands prior work by focusing on specific concepts, strategies, structures and practices that can help you shape any professional learning initiative as a developmental opportunity for individuals and groups in a variety of contexts, including schools, school districts, and university leadership preparation programs.
By focusing on the kind of learning that helps aspiring and practicing leaders grow their internal capacities, meaning their cognitive, affective (emotional), intrapersonal (self to self) and interpersonal (self to other) capacities, we can in turn help educational leaders of all kinds assist others to grow to better manage, together, the complex challenges we face as educators today. If you are a practicing or aspiring school leader, or someone who supports or teaches them, you will find in this book new kinds of tools to use as you work to solve the complex problems inherent to supporting leadership development and adult growth.

On Leadership

'Good leaders are passionate about their work. Through their styles differ, there are many common elements - strong beliefs, integrity, good people skills, thirst for knowledge, and willingness to learn. High energy helps too!' --Cahn Fellow Principal

'Leadership is not so much about the duties you perform as it is about the people you serve.' --Cahn Fellow Principal