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Leadership Educators

Guiding the Leaders of Tomorrow


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The National Leadership Education Research Agenda provides strategic direction for the field of leadership education.

Click to Download the National Leadership Education Research Agenda (NLERA)

Click to Download the NLERA Brief

The Charge

In the Fall of 2011, the inaugural National Leadership Education Research Agenda was conceived and the Association of Leadership Educators stepped forward to develop a functional and applicable resource to supplement the scholarship informing Leadership Education.  This charge was approached with consideration for the fundamental problems and issues within the broad context of Leadership Education that should be addressed at the higher education level through research in the next five years and under the auspice of achieving the two overarching goals of the agenda: 1) Provide research priorities that can guide applied scholarship contributing to the development of future leaders and managers through higher education, and 2) Provide key elements that further define Leadership Education as a discipline.

The Context

Leadership Education is the pedagogical practice of facilitating leadership learning in an effort to build human capacity and is informed by leadership theory and research.  It values and is inclusive of both curricular and co-curricular educational efforts.

Through the enhanced direction achieved by the application of the included research priorities, the field of Leadership Education aims to further define itself as a discipline and more importantly, contribute to the development of leaders prepared to address the complex challenges facing our world.

Our desire is that this document will initiate collaborative dialogue, breakdown interdisciplinary silos, and create trajectory for the work that we do as leadership educators.

The Priority Areas

AREA I: Pedagogical Priorities – The Applied How of Leadership Education

Inclusive of the essential considerations that inform the learning and transfer of learning through innovative Leadership Education.  This is includes, but not limited to the pedagogical and andragogical methods associated with the development of competencies, capacities, and dispositions for practicing leadership.

Priority I: Teaching, Learning and Curriculum Development

Co-Chairs: Dan Jenkins – University of Southern Maine and Dave Rosch – University of Illinois

Applied Outcome – Practitioners and scholars will require an intentional eye for building connections with other streams of research, a better understanding the process of educating for mastery or expertise, and the desire to explore the role of individual differences and social identity within Leadership Education contexts.  The following areas are recommended for exploration with respect to Leadership Education teaching, learning and curriculum development.

  • Develop Transdisciplinary Perspectives for Leadership

  • Explore the Capacity & Competency Development Process for the Leadership Education Learner

  • Explore the Role of the Individual Learner in Leadership Education

  • Explore Curriculum Development Frameworks to Enhance the Leadership Education Transfer of Learning

Priority II: Program Assessment and Evaluation

Co-Chairs: Matt Sowcik – Wilkes University and Jay Caulfield – Marquette University

Applied Outcome – Leadership educators and program administrators will be required to have greater intentionality with respect to their understanding of the differences that exist among leadership programs.  This includes a better understanding of programmatic assessment processes, their necessity in higher education, and a firmer grasp on the availability, utility, application, and implementation of programmatic assessment resources.  The following areas are recommended for exploration with respect to the programmatic assessment and evaluation of Leadership Education.

  • Increase Understanding of Leadership Program Differences

  • Establish Collaborative Capacity for Programmatic Assessment

  • Explore Shared Standards for Leadership Programs

  • Assess Viable Programmatic Assessment Resources

AREA II: Content Based Priorities – The Applied What and Who of Leadership Education

Inclusive of the essential considerations that inform our understanding of the leadership learner and content aimed at developing competencies, capacities, and dispositions for practicing leadership 

Priority III: The Psychological Development of Leaders, Followers, and Learners

Co-Chairs: Tony Andenoro – University of Florida and Adrian Popa – Gonzaga University

Applied Outcome – Leadership Education is critically grounded in the psychological development of those that it is created to impact.  The psychological roots of Leadership Education provide a critical foundation for higher-level organizational development and leadership practice.  Although this is a foundational element of the Leadership Education landscape, the intricacies of personality and self-awareness, along with other variables, require continued development and additional research that will provide perspective for leadership educators tasked with preparing the next generation of leaders.   The following areas are recommended for exploration with respect to the psychological development of leaders, followers, and learners.

  • Development of Leader, Follower, and Learner Psychological Capacity

  • Development of Moral and Ethical Foundations for Leadership Practice

  • Development of Critical and Creative Thinking Disposition and the Accompanying Self-Efficacy to Demonstrate Action

Priority IV: The Sociological Development of Leaders, Followers, and Learners

Chair: Rian Satterwhite – University of Oregon

Applied Outcome – Humans by nature are social beings who seek social interactions to establish pleasure and reduce pain.  This fundamental element of the human psyche becomes the foundation for leadership practice.  This priority examines the essential function of the individual within the group context and reflects the critical relationship that exists between leaders and followers and instructors and learners with respect to Leadership Education.  This priority builds upon the previous priority and establishes a firm application of the individual within the group, team, and organizational contexts.   The following areas are recommended for exploration with respect to the sociological development of leaders, followers, and learners.

  • Development of Learning Organizations

  • Developing the Leader, Follower, and Learner with Respect to Addressing Complex Adaptive Systems

Priority V: Influences of Social Identity

Applied Outcome – Leadership scholars and educators should more effectively center considerations of social identity in leadership research, education, and practice.  This includes clear attention to marginalized voices and ideas, an understanding of the socio-historic and contextual influences of organizational environments on leadership development, and the use of asset-based and agenic approaches to research that situate social identity as a key variable of influence.  In an effort to better align Leadership Education with principles of contemporary leadership theories emphasizing inclusion, social justice, and equity, scientific research, the following areas are recommended for exploration with respect to the understanding of learner, leader, and follower social identity.

  • Examining Social Identity in Leadership Content

  • Examining Social Identity in Leadership Pedagogy

  • Examining Social Identity in Leadership Research

Priority VI: Social Change and Community Development

Co-Chairs: Kerry Priest – Kansas State University and Kelleen Stine-Cheyne – Association of Leadership Educators

Applied Outcome – Ultimately, our charge as leadership educators is to prepare future leaders to positively impact national and international communities.  This priority is intimately linked to that effort with respect to the dynamic variability and systemic complexity of community development.  In an effort to promote healthy and sustainable social change within the communities future leaders are called to serve, it is critically important to address the historical foundations and the interdisciplinary application of diverse theoretical perspectives.  This includes but is not limited to the theoretical foundations specifically aimed at social change and the development of vibrant and resilient communities.  The following areas are recommended for exploration with respect to social change and community development.

  • Examine Innovative Implications for and Application of Social Change Leadership

  • Contextualization of Self and The Other

  • Development of Vibrant and Resilient Communities

Priority VII: Global & Intercultural Leadership

Chair: Natalie Coers – University of Florida

Applied Outcome – Global competence is increasingly a priority within higher education, and the development of global leadership knowledge and capacities are vital for the future of our global community.  This priority encompasses a focused charge for the development of global and intercultural competence and increased understanding of leadership in a global context.  Indelibly linked to the previous priority global and intercultural leadership promotes and advances social change in an international contexts, with respect to systems-based and complexity-based leadership frameworks.  The following areas are recommended for exploration with respect to the development of global and intercultural competencies and capacities within leaders, followers, and learners.

  • The Development of the Intercultural Learner, Leader, and Follower

  • The Development of Global Organizations

  • The Development of the Intercultural Leadership Educator 

Leadership Team

The following individuals were critical to the initiation and creation of the inaugural National Leadership Education Research Agenda. Their valued contributions, considerable time, and undeniable commitment to the field of leadership education is sincerely appreciated.

  • Anthony C. Andenoro, Ph.D.* – Assistant Professor of Leadership Education, University of Florida
  • Scott J. Allen, Ph.D. – Assistant Professor of Management, John Carroll University
  • John P. Dugan, Ph.D. – Associate Professor, Higher Education, Loyola University Chicago
  • Paige Haber-Curran, Ph.D. – Assistant Professor, Department of Counseling, Leadership, Adult Education, & School Psychology, Texas State University-San Marcos
  • Daniel M. Jenkins, Ph.D. – Assistant Professor of Leadership & Organizational Studies, University of Southern Maine, Lewiston-Auburn College
  • Laura Osteen, Ph.D. – Director, Center for Leadership & Social Change, Florida State University
  •  Matthew Sowcik, Ph.D. – Assistant Professor of Leadership Studies & Director of Leadership Education, Wilkes University

*Project Lead

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