The purpose of this paper is to articulate, and advocate for, a deep shift in how the authors conceptualize and enact school leadership and reform. The authors challenge fundamental conceptions regarding educational systems and call for a dramatic shift from the factory model to a living systems model of schooling. The authors call is not a metaphorical call. The authors propose embracing assumptions grounded in the basic human nature as living systems. Green school leaders, practicing whole school sustainability, provide emerging examples of educational restoration.
School reform models have implicitly and even explicitly embraced industrialized assumptions about students and learning. Shifting from the factory model of education to a living systems model of whole school sustainability requires transformational strategies more associated with nature and life than machines. Ecological restoration provides the basis for the model of educational restoration.
Educational restoration, as proposed here, makes nature a central player in the conversations about ecologies of learning, both to improve the quality of learning for students and to better align educational practice with social, economic and environmental needs of the time. Educational leaders at all levels of the educational system have critical roles to play in deconstructing factory model schooling and reform. The proposed framework for educational restoration raises new questions and makes these opportunities visible. Discussion of this framework begins with ecological circumstances and then addresses, values, commitment and judgments.
Educational restoration will affect every aspect of teaching, learning and leading. It will demand new approaches to leadership preparation. This new landscape of educational practice is wide open for innovative approaches to research, preparation and practice across the field of educational leadership.
The model of educational restoration provides a conceptual foundation for future research and leadership practice.
Kensler, L.A.W. and Uline, C.L. (2019), "Educational restoration: a foundational model inspired by ecological restoration", International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 33 No. 6, pp. 1198-1218. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJEM-03-2018-0095Download as .RIS
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