Transformative Curriculum Chapter 6
Becoming a Transformative Curriculum Leader

What is Transformative Curriculum Leadership?

A collaborative process of fundamental change involving a progressive team of students, teachers, parents, administrators, and community leaders who systematically address the overlapping reform topics.

Transformative curriculum leadership is a demanding approach to systemic educational change, and the inspiration and dedication to engage in it must lie deep within each person.

The Five Moral Persuasions

The word persuasion captures the sense of an emerging moral position that transformative leaders expand on and refine throughout their personal and professional lives.
Five ways of thinking about the people who find themselves persuaded to undertake the moral challenge of democratic curriculum reform:

  1. Educational Visionaries:  Communicating the Big Picture
  2. Systemic Reformers:  Practicing Electric Problem Solving
  3. Colleagues:  Fostering Collaborative Efforts
  4. Public Advocates:  Articulating a Moral Position
  5. Constructed Knowers:  Active Makers of Meaning

Becoming a Transformative Leader: A Scaffolding

  1. Engaging in Supportive Dialogue
    Potential transformative curriculum leaders deeply believe that teaching and learning must be fundamentally different to transform our educational system to one grounded in the ideals of democracy, lifelong learning, and continuous growth.
    Potential transformative curriculum leaders need to assemble together in "communities of congruence".
    Five key components of supportive professional communities:
    Affirmation of personal moral persuasions through mutual reassurance, nurturance and sustenance of beliefs, and validation of democratic ideas.
    Development of a common language and the opportunity to practice it with like-minded people.
    Refinement of the knowledge that informs transformative curriculum leadership practices
    Development of skills necessary for collaborating, criticizing, compromising, dealing with challenge and opposition, strengthening conviction, and resisting co-option by the mainstream.
    Experiences that transform moral persuasions into convictions and conviction-based leadership.
  2. Learning to Go Public
    Transformative curriculum leaders must be prepared to be continually challenged, criticized, and opposed in the public area.  This requires extension and outreach to the community:  sharing information, asking for input, gathering support.
  3. Undertaking Specific Reform Projects
    Reform work can be initiated on a large or small scale.
    Transformative curriculum reform efforts can also be initiated through specific action research projects.

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Notes taken from:

Henderson, J.G. & Hawthorne, R. D. (2000). Transformative curriculum leadership (2nd). Upper Saddle River: Merrill.