Learning as a Way of Leading: Lessons from the Struggle for Social Justice

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9780787978075: Learning as a Way of Leading: Lessons from the Struggle for Social Justice

This book offers a systematic look at the connections between learning and leading and the use of learning to inspire and organize for change. It explores two interrelated dimensions of learning leadership: the ways leaders themselves learn about leadership practice, and the way leaders foster the learning of those they work with. The book focuses on a number of important leadership activities and adopts a case study approach to illuminate how leaders themselves learn, how they impart knowledge to others, and how they support others in becoming more effective and enduring learners.

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Praise for Learning As a Way of Leading

"If the movement for social justice education is going to successfully institutionalize, it will require skillful and talented leadership. Stephen Preskill and Stephen Brookfield have given us a morally compelling picture of what organic leadership for educational change might look like and how it can be developed. This book deserves to be widely read and thought about." —Charles Payne, Frank B. Hixon Professor, School of Social Service Administration, University of Chicago, and author, I've Got the Light of Freedom: The Organizing Tradition and the Mississippi Freedom Struggle

"Leadership for substantive change is rooted in deep learning. This important book never fails to inspire its readers with ample evidence in theory and practice." —Richard Guarasci, coauthor, Democratic Education in an Age of Difference, and president,Wagner College

"Several elements of this book make it a most welcome addition to leadership studies. First, and most obvious, is the emphasis on learning; a relief from the still lingering emphasis on leadership as authority and expertise. Second, the authors—with their extensive background in critical thinking, adult learning, and democratic pedagogy—explain specific types of learning that would serve all leaders well regardless of context. Third, they ground these types of learning in the work of specific people who championed democratic, just, peaceful, and sustainable societies; an important group for leadership studies. Finally, the authors model what they preach. They lead us to new insights through the learning processes and people they describe in hopes that what they have learned will help us more fully realize ourselves as human beings first and only then, as leaders." —Richard Couto, professor, Leadership and Change Ph.D. program, Antioch University, and senior fellow, James MacGregor Burns Academy of Leadership, University of Maryland

From the Inside Flap:

Learning As a Way of Leading

Learning As a Way of Leading explores a little-researched form of leadership study—social activism. In this groundbreaking book, Stephen Preskill and Stephen D. Brookfield take an in-depth look at how social justice leaders learn, how they support other people's learning, and how this deepens their social impact.

As the authors explain, the best leaders enjoy a capacity to be taught, to work collaboratively with followers, to listen and learn from people around them, and, in many cases, to lead by being led. Such leaders are developmental leaders, chiefly interested in drawing out the abilities and capacities of their followers. They do this by remaining open to what those followers can impart to them as much as by guiding them to new possibilities.

Learning As a Way of Leading focuses on a number of important leadership tasks such as publicly modeling engagement in learning, viewing learning as a daily professional imperative, and communicating to colleagues the lessons learned. To demonstrate each of these activities, the book includes portraits of nine twentieth-century leaders—Jane Addams, Nelson Mandela, Septima Clark, Ella Baker, Myles Horton, Aldo Leopold, Mary Parker Follett, Paul Robeson, and Cesar Chavez—who exemplify the learning tasks identified in this pioneering resource. Each of the noteworthy leaders supported their co-workers in challenging the status quo, in expanding the boundaries of what can be accomplished together, and in raising standards of what we expect from each other, both intellectually and morally.

Learning As a Way of Leading is an essential resource written for anyone who wants to make a difference for the public good by joining with others to bring about positive change.

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