July 13, 2024


General Line

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 College District)

University leadership can be lonely and isolating. Your colleagues are other administrators who are also hectic so you do not want to burden them with your queries or fears. Typically, leadership conferences are comprehensive of logistics with minimal time to network a lot fewer be in collaboration with friends.

At the commencing of the 2018-19 faculty 12 months, the superintendent of San Francisco Unified University District (SFUSD) determined 20 schools that traditionally or persistently underserved Black pupils as indicated on proficiency metrics of standardized assessments (California Faculty Dashboard, 2018). The district labeled the educational institutions and activated a system for addressing the identified deficiencies via a mandate.

About the class of two yrs, I worked aspect-by-aspect with 4 middle faculty leaders from the SFUSD as activist co-researchers. With the goal of addressing the district mandate and aiding these leaders in increasing tutorial and social-psychological results for Black learners, we engaged in an imaginative, collaborative PAR project centered on social justice change (hunter et al., 2013). Our imaginations were being activated as we engaged in private narratives. We shared stories about our journey strains to management and opened up about our vulnerabilities in major faculties. Three cycles of inquiry around eighteen months afforded us time to identify how an fairness-centered expert finding out community (EC-PLC) could totally have interaction in inventive dialogue to tackle the considerable problems that College students of Shade faced in the 4 center faculties.

Our imaginations were activated as we engaged in personalized narratives.

Ahead of we started our first cycle of inquiry we put in informal time collectively that I refer to as a pre-cycle. This pre-cycle is what grounded us as a network that finally pushed us in the direction of transformative social justice management (Shields, 2010). The school leaders appreciated the treatment taken to build and retain our skilled finding out house and coaching relationship. In my investigate I connect with this theme, “Pedagogy of Care.” I think the principles from Pedagogy of Treatment offered an ecosystem wherever the faculty leaders could start to be their authentic selves and engage in  imaginative primary the potential to direct exterior of the conventional means of schooling. They became open up to being in solidarity with underrepresented college student and family members groups.


 Attributes of Pedagogy of Treatment

  1. Assets are frequently limited in the schooling setting, primarily for management specialist improvement. In the study, two means contributed to the pedagogy of care in our get the job done collectively: time and food items. A college leader’s time is a single of the most important sources, and there is in no way ample of it (Theoharis, 2009). Their motivation was evident by how they produced time in their schedules to attend experienced learning together. As occupied university leaders, they prioritized the administrative community and communicated how a great deal they valued the time to be with colleagues grappling with related challenges. Ingesting together was an significant ritual, a time to break obstacles throughout differences and reduce the formality of the skilled romantic relationship. Beginning with our 1st meeting, both equally snacks in the course of EC-PLC time and sharing a communal supper afterward ended up the norm.
  1. The actual physical natural environment to interact in the EC-PLC do the job was a precedence for the group. At first, we met at the close of the college day so there would be limited interruptions. In the initial cycle, we achieved equally at a college web site and at my property. The school leaders requested to meet up with in a place distinctive from a faculty website mid-cycle, so we determined to permanently modify the conference site to my house. Switching the spot furnished an unforeseen level of comfort and ease and safety wherever reliable, participating conversations could exist by means of storytelling and link. The change in space gave us the skill to broaden our imaginations past what the walls of classic faculty permits.
  2. An important portion of my do the job with the school leaders was to study their college context in buy to guidance them in the district mandate and their management growth. In what I termed, inclusive pedagogy, our coaching time presented a must have prospects for me to build rely on with just about every chief and with other members of the university group, to assist me comprehend the context of their university situations, and to mirror with them on their leadership choices. The belief that formulated affirmed a caring romantic relationship and supported their convenience in partaking their creativeness and inviting other folks to imagine with them.
  3. As part of the culture of caring that I was hoping to cultivate with the university leaders, I persistently furnished wellness checks. I would regularly stop by their workplaces unscheduled to say hello and see how they were being performing. Many of the everyday conversations led to more in-depth conversations where by college leaders exchanged own tales and inner thoughts, such as anxieties. I assisted each individual chief, as wanted, on this sort of tasks as guiding their response to a district office environment, acquiring an agenda, supporting classroom walkthroughs, or attending a conference with them.


Imaginative leaders do not do the job in silos. They need a network of like-minded colleagues and need to encounter a pedagogy of treatment in buy to transfer away from transactional management to more social justice transformative management. Time, room, protection, and believe in empower us to link, interact our imaginations, and share our stories in approaches that cultivate a courageous place for us to be vulnerable and more assured to just take risks in our determination producing (Arao & Clemens, 2013)


Arao, B., & Clemens, K. (2013). From harmless spaces to courageous areas: A new way to body dialogue close to variety and social justice. In L. Landreman (Ed.), The art of effective facilitation: Reflections from social justice educators (pp. 135-150). Stylus Publishing.

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

hunter, L., Emerald, E., & Martin, G. (2013). Participatory activist investigate in the globalized entire world. Springer.

Shields, C. M. (2010). Transformative management: Doing the job for equity in assorted

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

Theoharis, G. (2009). The university leaders our children are entitled to: 7 keys to equity, social justice, and faculty reform. Teachers Faculty Press.








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