Learning as a Way of Leading: Lessons from the Struggle for Social Justice / Edition 1

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Learning As a Way of Leading

Learning As a Way of Leading explores a little-researched form of leadership study—social activism. In this groundbreaking book, Stephen Preskill and Stephen D. Brookfield take an in-depth look at how social justice leaders learn, how they support other people's learning, and how this deepens their social impact.

As the authors explain, the best leaders enjoy a capacity to be taught, to work collaboratively with followers, to listen and learn from people around them, and, in many cases, to lead by being led. Such leaders are developmental leaders, chiefly interested in drawing out the abilities and capacities of their followers. They do this by remaining open to what those followers can impart to them as much as by guiding them to new possibilities.

Learning As a Way of Leading focuses on a number of important leadership tasks such as publicly modeling engagement in learning, viewing learning as a daily professional imperative, and communicating to colleagues the lessons learned. To demonstrate each of these activities, the book includes portraits of nine twentieth-century leaders—Jane Addams, Nelson Mandela, Septima Clark, Ella Baker, Myles Horton, Aldo Leopold, Mary Parker Follett, Paul Robeson, and Cesar Chavez—who exemplify the learning tasks identified in this pioneering resource. Each of the noteworthy leaders supported their co-workers in challenging the status quo, in expanding the boundaries of what can be accomplished together, and in raising standards of what we expect from each other, both intellectually and morally.

Learning As a Way of Leading is an essential resource written for anyone who wants to make a difference for the public good by joining with others to bring about positive change.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“What I like most about this book is the way Preskill and Brookfield model their own ideas about narrative, listening and being open to the contributions of others. They are good story tellers and have the ability to bring the personality and essence of their leaders to the reader.

It is both a thought provoking book and a practical guide. It gives models, but urges us to reflect and analyze our own experiences. It is definitely grounded in adult learning principles, and pushes the limits of our current thinking. I will definitely introduce this model, Preskill and Brookfield’s ideas, to my doctoral students this fall. How could I not?”

The National Teaching and Learning Forum

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780787978075
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 11/17/2008
  • Series: Jossey-Bass Higher and Adult Education Series
  • Edition description: New
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 289,988
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen Preskill is chair of the Department of Education at Wagner College in New York City. He held the Jane Simmons McKimmon Professorship of Leadership Studies at Peace College in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Stephen D. Brookfield is Distinguished University Professor at the University of St. Thomas, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Preskill and Bookfield are the coauthors of Discussion as a Way of Teaching, second edition, from Jossey-Bass.

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Table of Contents


The Authors.

1 The Essence of Learning Leadership.

2 Learning to Be Open to the Contributions of Others.

3 Learning Critical Reflection.

4 Learning to Support the Growth of Others.

5 Learning Collective Leadership.

6 Learning to Analyze Experience.

7 Learning to Question.

8 Learning Democracy.

9 Learning to Sustain Hope in the Face of Struggle.

10 Learning to Create Community.

11 Appraising and Modeling Learning Leadership.



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