Seven Sides of Educational Leadership

A couple of weeks ago I was asked to make a presentation at the Association of Directors of Education Scotland  (ADES) Conference on the multiple metaphor model, which I’ve been developing over the last ten years as part of my on-going research into educational leadership and cultural change.

It was a daunting prospect to present to such a group but I was delighted by the positive response I received. So much so that it has given me the confidence to formalise the approach into “The Seven Sides of Educational Leadership”.


The background to this project has been my Ph.D thesis entitled “Schools as Learning Organisations: From Theory to Practice”. I started this ten years ago as an Assistant Head Teacher at Berwickshire High School. My thesis was written from a practitioner researcher perspective so when I was promoted to Selkirk High School after a couple of years I started from scratch in my new school. Unfortunately – or fortunately – I was promoted from Selkirk High School after three years – having taken a one year break due to family reasons during that period. Starting as a Head Teacher at Dunbar Grammar School I left my studies behind until a couple of years ago when I approached  Edinburgh University to recommence my studies – once again events conspired against me to get into my studies and I thought that was the end of things.

So what was I left with – 80,000 words of research diaries, literature reviews and discrete chapters of an unfinished thesis?

I now realise that I’ll never finish my project in the form that I had envisaged but my recent experenice with ADES has given me the impetus to develop my work into “The Seven Sides of Educational Leadership”. I’m going to have a go at writing a book on-line with a view to eventual publication. I’d welcome contributions as the work takes shape.

I’ve given myself 12 months to complete the book – so excuse the early work.

3 thoughts on “Seven Sides of Educational Leadership

  1. Pingback: John Connell: the blog » Blog Archive » Heptagonal leadership

  2. Thanks for developing and sharing these metaphors. Ive described how I used them on my blog. As a visual holistic-type thinker I would love to see a picture associated with each metaphor. If all the pictures could build into a scene that would be even better!

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