Emergent School Leadership: Creating the Space for Emerging Leadership through Appreciative Inquiry

Mark S. Dickerson


Much has been written on the importance of increasing leadership capacity in schools and managed systems for leadership development; however, little focus has been given to creating conditions to facilitate the emergence of leadership. This research study examines associations of strength-based reflexive processes to the emergence of educational leadership. Specifically, through qualitative analysis, the author explores the emergence of school leadership during an appreciative inquiry initiative in a large, urban school district and identifies the features of appreciative inquiry that were conducive to such emergence. In addition, the author notes that the initiative also provided participants with many of the elements considered vital to leading a healthy learning community: a greater understanding of the big picture, opportunities for professional reflection and sense making, a safe and affirming learning community, time to dialogue with others in the system regarding their core values and commitments, a collaborative work culture, space for networking, and the freedom to take action.


Keywords: Emergent Leadership, Appreciative Inquiry, School Improvement

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijld.v2i2.1550


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