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Artificial intelligence in educational leadership: a symbiotic role of human-artificial intelligence decision-making

Yinying Wang (Educational Policy Studies, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA)

Journal of Educational Administration

ISSN: 0957-8234

Article publication date: 17 February 2021

Issue publication date: 2 June 2021

1281

Abstract

Purpose

Artificial intelligence (AI) refers to a type of algorithms or computerized systems that resemble human mental processes of decision-making. This position paper looks beyond the sensational hyperbole of AI in teaching and learning. Instead, this paper aims to explore the role of AI in educational leadership.

Design/methodology/approach

To explore the role of AI in educational leadership, I synthesized the literature that intersects AI, decision-making, and educational leadership from multiple disciplines such as computer science, educational leadership, administrative science, judgment and decision-making and neuroscience. Grounded in the intellectual interrelationships between AI and educational leadership since the 1950s, this paper starts with conceptualizing decision-making, including both individual decision-making and organizational decision-making, as the foundation of educational leadership. Next, I elaborated on the symbiotic role of human-AI decision-making.

Findings

With its efficiency in collecting, processing, analyzing data and providing real-time or near real-time results, AI can bring in analytical efficiency to assist educational leaders in making data-driven, evidence-informed decisions. However, AI-assisted data-driven decision-making may run against value-based moral decision-making. Taken together, both leaders' individual decision-making and organizational decision-making are best handled by using a blend of data-driven, evidence-informed decision-making and value-based moral decision-making. AI can function as an extended brain in making data-driven, evidence-informed decisions. The shortcomings of AI-assisted data-driven decision-making can be overcome by human judgment guided by moral values.

Practical implications

The paper concludes with two recommendations for educational leadership practitioners' decision-making and future scholarly inquiry: keeping a watchful eye on biases and minding ethically-compromised decisions.

Originality/value

This paper brings together two fields of educational leadership and AI that have been growing up together since the 1950s and mostly growing apart till the late 2010s. To explore the role of AI in educational leadership, this paper starts with the foundation of leadership—decision-making, both leaders' individual decisions and collective organizational decisions. The paper then synthesizes the literature that intersects AI, decision-making and educational leadership from multiple disciplines to delineate the role of AI in educational leadership.

Keywords

Citation

Wang, Y. (2021), "Artificial intelligence in educational leadership: a symbiotic role of human-artificial intelligence decision-making", Journal of Educational Administration, Vol. 59 No. 3, pp. 256-270. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEA-10-2020-0216

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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