Friday, September 25, 2009

Personal Musings: Constructivist Leadership

The theory of constructivist leadership is focused on educational leadership and can be adapted for other fields of practice. Lambert et. al (1995) (The Constructivist Leader) determine that “constructivist leadership involves the reciprocal processes that enable participants in an educational community to construct meanings that lead toward a common purpose of schooling.” This theory of leadership focuses on five aspects:

• Learning patterns of all humans; patterns that repeat themselves in the process of learning. If something is worthy for a child it is also worthy for an adult—the lives of children and adults are intertwined;

• Individuals bring experiences, beliefs, cultural histories and world views in the process of learning;

• Interdependent patterns of relationships bringing together human development and purpose;

• Patterns of relationships form the primary bases for human growth and development;

• Diversity provides complexity, depth and multiple perspectives to relationships, thereby extending human and societal possibilities.

These five aspects come together when participants engage through complexity by constructing meaning and knowledge in a shared process. It is a dynamic process where all members of the educational community are interconnected in a web of relationships in which the processes are reciprocal Human energy, experiences, and beliefs are transformed into meaning and knowledge that drive purposeful communities. They are engaged in a reciprocal interplay of competition and cooperation involving many forms of partnership. Flexibility among the members of the community allows for fluctuations and surprises from which derive innovation and change.

Source: The Constructivist Leader by Linda Lambert, Deborah Walker, Diane P. Zimmerman, Joanne E. Cooper, Morgan Dale Lambert, Mary E. Gardner, P. J. Ford Slack. (1995) Publishers: Teachers College Press, N.Y., N.Y.

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