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 University District)

University management can be lonely and isolating. Your colleagues are other directors who are also chaotic so you do not want to stress them with your concerns or fears. Usually, leadership conferences are complete of logistics with little time to network much significantly less be in collaboration with friends.

At the beginning of the 2018-19 college year, the superintendent of San Francisco Unified University District (SFUSD) discovered 20 universities that traditionally or persistently underserved Black students as indicated on proficiency metrics of standardized assessments (California School Dashboard, 2018). The district labeled the educational institutions and activated a approach for addressing the identified deficiencies via a mandate.

Above the study course of two years, I labored side-by-facet with four center university leaders from the SFUSD as activist co-researchers. With the aim of addressing the district mandate and aiding these leaders in improving educational and social-psychological results for Black learners, we engaged in an imaginative, collaborative PAR undertaking targeted on social justice alter (hunter et al., 2013). Our imaginations were activated as we engaged in own narratives. We shared tales about our journey strains to management and opened up about our vulnerabilities in major schools. 3 cycles of inquiry over eighteen months afforded us time to determine how an fairness-centered professional finding out local community (EC-PLC) could thoroughly interact in resourceful dialogue to address the substantial challenges that Pupils of Colour confronted in the four center schools.

Our imaginations ended up activated as we engaged in personalized narratives.

Prior to we commenced our initial cycle of inquiry we invested informal time jointly that I refer to as a pre-cycle. This pre-cycle is what grounded us as a community that at some point pushed us to transformative social justice leadership (Shields, 2010). The university leaders appreciated the care taken to build and manage our skilled learning area and coaching marriage. In my research I simply call this concept, “Pedagogy of Treatment.” I feel the rules from Pedagogy of Treatment presented an surroundings the place the faculty leaders could begin to be their reliable selves and interact in  imaginative leading the capability to guide exterior of the regular ways of education. They grew to become open to staying in solidarity with underrepresented pupil and family members teams.


 Options of Pedagogy of Treatment

  1. Methods are normally limited in the schooling environment, specially for management skilled improvement. In the study, two means contributed to the pedagogy of treatment in our perform together: time and food. A university leader’s time is a person of the most useful sources, and there is under no circumstances plenty of of it (Theoharis, 2009). Their motivation was evident by how they made time in their schedules to go to skilled discovering with each other. As hectic school leaders, they prioritized the administrative network and communicated how substantially they valued the time to be with colleagues grappling with equivalent issues. Taking in with each other was an significant ritual, a time to crack obstacles throughout dissimilarities and lessen the formality of the qualified connection. Commencing with our very first assembly, both of those snacks through EC-PLC time and sharing a communal dinner afterward ended up the norm.
  1. The physical environment to have interaction in the EC-PLC get the job done was a precedence for the staff. At first, we met at the conclusion of the school day so there would be restricted interruptions. In the initial cycle, we achieved both at a school web site and at my household. The school leaders requested to meet up with in a area various from a university web page mid-cycle, so we made the decision to completely modify the meeting spot to my household. Altering the site offered an unexpected amount of comfort and ease and protection the place reliable, engaging conversations could exist by means of storytelling and link. The change in house gave us the skill to broaden our imaginations past what the walls of classic faculty lets.
  2. An crucial part of my do the job with the school leaders was to master their faculty context in get to aid them in the district mandate and their leadership development. In what I termed, inclusive pedagogy, our coaching time furnished a must have alternatives for me to develop trust with each individual leader and with other associates of the faculty neighborhood, to assistance me comprehend the context of their university circumstances, and to reflect with them on their management selections. The rely on that developed affirmed a caring connection and supported their convenience in partaking their creativeness and inviting other people to imagine with them.
  3. As aspect of the society of caring that I was hoping to cultivate with the school leaders, I consistently delivered wellness checks. I would frequently prevent by their offices unscheduled to say good day and see how they ended up carrying out. Quite a few of the informal discussions led to far more in-depth conversations where by school leaders exchanged individual stories and inner thoughts, such as anxieties. I assisted every chief, as desired, on these types of responsibilities as guiding their reaction to a district workplace, producing an agenda, supporting classroom walkthroughs, or attending a meeting with them.


Imaginative leaders do not get the job done in silos. They want a community of like-minded colleagues and ought to working experience a pedagogy of treatment in get to go away from transactional leadership in the direction of additional social justice transformative leadership. Time, area, protection, and trust permit us to join, engage our imaginations, and share our tales in methods that cultivate a brave place for us to be vulnerable and extra self-confident to just take challenges in our determination producing (Arao & Clemens, 2013)


Arao, B., & Clemens, K. (2013). From protected spaces to brave spaces: A new way to frame dialogue all over variety and social justice. In L. Landreman (Ed.), The art of efficient 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/reports/38684780000000/2018

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

Shields, C. M. (2010). Transformative management: Doing work for equity in varied

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

Theoharis, G. (2009). The college leaders our youngsters should have: Seven keys to equity, social justice, and college reform. Academics Faculty Press.








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