I teach several courses at the Harvard Graduate School of Education that focus on equity-focused leadership, including a professional course on leadership entry that is open to practitioners around the globe.
I’m always looking for new ideas, insight and examples to enhance these courses so check them out and never hesitate to reach out with constructive feedback.
Equity in Action in School Systems
What does it take to put an explicit racial equity agenda into action in a traditional PK-12 public school system? In this course, we explore how to enact such an agenda with power and purpose; anticipate the joys and perils associated with this work; and analyze the leadership moves necessary to put strategy into action. The course is focused on school systems, not teaching in the classroom, but is anchored to a vision of excellent instruction. We methodically unpack school districts’ equity-based efforts to transform human capital systems, decision-making processes, strategies for stakeholder engagement, approaches to resource allocation, and cultural norms through live cases, all with an eye toward creating systems that enable great teaching for every learner. In addition to exploring what needs to change at the system-level, we consider how these changes should be implemented by leaders over time with attention to personal identity, the predictable stages of change, and local contexts. This course moves students beyond the theoretical and into lively discussions about real school district practice in real time with real challenges.
Entry Planning for Equity-Focused Leaders
You are preparing to re-enter the field in a school, school district central office, non-profit or other educational institution. But how do you successfully enter an organization as a new leader and build trusting relationships, accurately diagnose the organization’s strengths and challenges, and collaboratively develop a plan to address them at a pace that makes sense for the community you serve? This course focuses on designing approaches to leadership entry using equity-focused, human-centered design principles. Leaders must consider their own identities focus on building trusting relationships, use data in ways that promotes compassionate understanding, and pay close and respectful attention to local history and context. Ultimately, this course is designed to help students enter their leadership roles with explicit attention to authenticity, trust-building and equity
Leaders of Learning
This course is designed to better prepare students to lead learning, both student learning and related organizational learning. Whether you plan to lead in a public school system or adjacent to one, as a top level administrator or as a policy leader or entrepreneur, it is crucial to have an understanding of excellent teaching and learning that is inclusive and culturally responsive. Without that understanding, and a commitment to continually learning more about it, leaders in every part of the sector risk developing solutions that don’t address the problems that stand in the way of excellent teaching and learning for every child. But understanding excellent teaching and learning isn’t enough. System-level leaders must continually examine the larger system that either supports or constrains excellent instruction, intentionally foster generative conversations about the system’s strengths and challenges, and use this shared insight to cultivate collaborative change. These system-level leadership skills, focused on joint sense making and learning in relation to a vision worth pursuing, are of special importance in today’s environment where basic decisions about what is taught, how it is taught, and how it is assessed are mired in political conflict.
Leadership Entry: Empowering Schools and Communities
Education leader transitions are notoriously difficult. Leadership change can slow momentum, disrupt, and distract, putting everyone on edge. If done poorly, it can even do harm. For leaders committed to more human-centered leadership that directly addresses long-standing inequities, the process is even more challenging, but it is also ripe with possibilities. How might we enter into education leadership roles, from the boardroom to the classroom, differently? This course focuses on leadership entry that sets the stage for positive change that leads to high performance and innovation.
Developed for new education leaders and educators who want to refresh their leadership, Building Your Entry Plan to Lead for Equity in Education helps you create a structured, intentional entry plan to gain insight into your new environment, build trust with your community, and set the stage for positive change. With your plan in place, you’ll be able to listen, communicate, and lead more effectively as you empower those in your organization and community to advance equity.
More Leadership Work
Learn more about the Public Education Leadership Project at Harvard and how to get involved.
Learn more about Entry Planning for Equity-Focused Leaders, including key tools and resources that might be useful to you.
Let’s explore how I might be useful to you in your own work.
Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or comments on ways I can enhance my leadership programs and courses.