Learning leaders position themselves first as learners, then as leaders of other learners. The inherent tensions in this duality are explored in this literature review. Drawing on a broad range of research from education, psychology and neuroscience, the review builds a picture of the situation facing school principals, as leaders of learning communities.
The review is directed towards illustrating the professional practice of Developing Self and Others in the Australian Professional Standard for Principals, and focuses on how this practice is demonstrated in the experience of learning leaders.
The discussion clarifies key terminology and highlights how leaders need to understand the role of emotions, relationships, attachment behaviours, and collaboration in creating effective and sustainable learning communities.
Key issues arising from the literature review include the fact that there is no accepted standard for developing either self or others in the literature. Another is that the idea of developing self or others in a vacuum is becoming increasingly challenged with the realisation that all learning is context specific and interdependent. Finally, an area of considerable dispute in the literature concerns a divide between sociological and psychological standpoints on the role of leader. There is an opportunity for the academy to engage more directly in translating good research into practical orientations that cover the field from a practitioner point of view. The annotated bibliography includes resources from both standpoints.