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)

University leadership can be lonely and isolating. Your colleagues are other administrators who are also active so you do not want to stress them with your issues or fears. Frequently, leadership conferences are entire of logistics with little time to network a lot fewer be in collaboration with friends.

At the starting of the 2018-19 college 12 months, the superintendent of San Francisco Unified College District (SFUSD) determined twenty schools that traditionally or persistently underserved Black pupils as indicated on proficiency metrics of standardized assessments (California College Dashboard, 2018). The district labeled the educational facilities and activated a course of action for addressing the discovered deficiencies by way of a mandate.

Above the training course of two years, I labored side-by-facet with 4 center school leaders from the SFUSD as activist co-researchers. With the goal of addressing the district mandate and helping these leaders in improving upon educational and social-psychological outcomes for Black learners, we engaged in an imaginative, collaborative PAR project concentrated on social justice modify (hunter et al., 2013). Our imaginations were being activated as we engaged in particular narratives. We shared tales about our journey strains to leadership and opened up about our vulnerabilities in primary schools. 3 cycles of inquiry about eighteen months afforded us time to figure out how an fairness-centered professional finding out community (EC-PLC) could absolutely engage in imaginative dialogue to handle the sizeable issues that College students of Color confronted in the four middle educational facilities.

Our imaginations were activated as we engaged in individual narratives.

Just before we began our 1st 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 sooner or later pushed us towards transformative social justice leadership (Shields, 2010). The university leaders appreciated the treatment taken to establish and keep our qualified learning house and coaching romance. In my investigate I connect with this concept, “Pedagogy of Care.” I believe that the rules from Pedagogy of Care supplied an natural environment wherever the faculty leaders could start to be their authentic selves and interact in  imaginative primary the skill to lead outdoors of the regular means of schooling. They became open to being in solidarity with underrepresented university student and loved ones teams.


 Capabilities of Pedagogy of Treatment

  1. Methods are normally restricted in the schooling environment, particularly for leadership experienced enhancement. In the analyze, two resources contributed to the pedagogy of care in our perform collectively: time and foods. A faculty leader’s time is a person of the most beneficial assets, and there is hardly ever ample of it (Theoharis, 2009). Their dedication was apparent by how they designed time in their schedules to go to expert understanding with each other. As active university leaders, they prioritized the administrative network and communicated how substantially they valued the time to be with colleagues grappling with identical issues. Ingesting with each other was an crucial ritual, a time to crack obstacles throughout discrepancies and reduce the formality of the skilled connection. Starting off with our to start with conference, both of those snacks for the duration of EC-PLC time and sharing a communal dinner afterward ended up the norm.
  1. The bodily ecosystem to interact in the EC-PLC function was a priority for the workforce. Originally, we met at the conclusion of the faculty day so there would be minimal interruptions. In the initial cycle, we satisfied each at a school internet site and at my house. The college leaders asked for to meet in a area distinctive from a university web site mid-cycle, so we resolved to completely modify the assembly area to my property. Modifying the area provided an unforeseen amount of consolation and protection in which genuine, partaking conversations could exist by storytelling and relationship. The change in place gave us the skill to expand our imaginations past what the walls of classic faculty makes it possible for.
  2. An important element of my operate with the college leaders was to study their university context in buy to assist them in the district mandate and their leadership progress. In what I termed, inclusive pedagogy, our coaching time furnished priceless opportunities for me to construct rely on with every single leader and with other members of the faculty neighborhood, to enable me recognize the context of their university situations, and to mirror with them on their management decisions. The trust that developed affirmed a caring relationship and supported their comfort and ease in partaking their creativity and inviting some others to imagine with them.
  3. As part of the tradition of caring that I was attempting to cultivate with the university leaders, I regularly furnished wellness checks. I would frequently cease by their offices unscheduled to say howdy and see how they were executing. Several of the casual conversations led to a lot more in-depth conversations in which faculty leaders exchanged individual stories and inner thoughts, which include anxieties. I assisted each leader, as needed, on this sort of jobs as guiding their reaction to a district workplace, creating an agenda, supporting classroom walkthroughs, or attending a meeting with them.


Imaginative leaders do not do the job in silos. They have to have a community of like-minded colleagues and should knowledge a pedagogy of care in buy to transfer absent from transactional management to more social justice transformative management. Time, area, security, and rely on help us to join, interact our imaginations, and share our tales in techniques that cultivate a brave area for us to be susceptible and extra confident to get dangers in our choice generating (Arao & Clemens, 2013)


Arao, B., & Clemens, K. (2013). From protected areas to brave areas: A new way to body dialogue all around variety and social justice. In L. Landreman (Ed.), The artwork of productive facilitation: Reflections from social justice educators (pp. 135-150). Stylus Publishing.

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

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

Shields, C. M. (2010). Transformative management: Working for equity in diverse

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

Theoharis, G. (2009). The college leaders our children ought to have: Seven keys to equity, social justice, and faculty reform. Academics Higher education Press.








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Natasha M. McKnight

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