Architecture deals with the creation and definition of space expressed in buildings and other physical structures. Pre‐service preparation programs and on‐going professional development for school leaders similarly are built structures designed to help aspiring and practicing administrators acquire critical knowledge, dispositions, and competencies as democratic educational leaders. Building on earlier work on the architecture of professional development, this paper argues that the pre‐service preparation of school leaders is a particular type of professional development; one that is formalized and routinely delivered in departments of educational administration. Next, current state and national standards documents are reviewed for evidence of explicitly or implicitly expressed democratic principles. The paper ends with a description of how the redesign of administrator preparation and professional development programs in the authors department, Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin‐Madison, created spaces for professional learning and community building anchored in democratic principles.
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