Pedagogical Leadership Influences School Systems: Lessons from Complex Systems Thinking

Gabriela Alonso-Yanez, Barb Brown, Sharon Friesen, Jim Brandon, & Candace Saar presented at the 2016 Conference of the Canadian Society for the Study of Education (CSSE) in Calgary, AB.


Effective leadership that sets directions for improved student learning experiences and student well-being involves a skillful integration of factors and adaptive capabilities. These factors and adaptive capabilities can lead to better outcomes for students. This study involved 42 schools with a highly diverse population located in a high poverty area of a large urban centre. The study aims to discern the factors that school leaders can shape that will lead to better outcomes for students. Drawing on complexity thinking theory and applying design based research and social network analyses, we describe features of school systems that can improve leadership practices and pedagogical innovation that sponsored improved educational outcomes for students including engagement, and well-being.

Alonso-Yanez, G., Brown, B., Friesen, S., Brandon, J., & Saar, C. (2016). Pedagogical leadership influences school systems: Lessons from complex systems thinking. Paper presented at the Canadian Association for the Study of Educational Administration (CASEA), Canadian Society for the Study of Education (CSSE), May 29-June 1, Calgary, AB.

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