Guest Blog: Susan Elliott-Johns

I (Clare) am very pleased to share information about Susan Elliott-Johns’ recently published book.  I have read the entire book and found it fascinating. There is so little written from the perspective of Deans of Education this text will fill a void in the literature. Congratulations Susan. (Susan is an Associate Professor at Nipissing University Canada.)

In a recently published book, Leadership for Change in Teacher Education: Voices of DIVS-Elliott_PB_firstproof.inddCanadian Deans of Education I (Susan) have compiled a rich sampling of diverse perspectives on this topic in a unique collection of reflections contributed by deans of education across Canada. The focus of my inquiry, “What would we hear from deans of education invited to share their perspectives on leadership for change in contemporary teacher education?” invited deans of education to reflect on the research, policies and practices currently informing their leadership. In the current era of teacher education reform, I thought it would be informative and illuminating to explore insights deans of education might share to assist others in understanding their role as leaders of teacher education and change today. In other words, what does it mean to be a dean of education in the 21st century?

The results, fourteen engaging and provocative essays, offer emic perspectives and increased understandings of the complex nature of deans’ work. Their reflections explore significant concerns in relation to lived experience and the multi-faceted processes of leading change for teacher education in contemporary contexts – the transitions, change, and uncertainties inherent in these contexts. What really struck me about the reflections in these short essays is how clearly they underscore the critical role of deans in provoking, supporting and championing new ideas and approaches to pedagogy for teacher education. Their voices clarify many of the complexities involved in leading the change, but they also resonate with optimism and determination. That said, the limited scope of related research available also suggests urgent attention needs to be paid, in both research and practice, to better understandings of this increasingly complex role, and support for more coherent approaches to the preparation of deans and their sustainable leadership. More than anything else, I hope this project will inspire others to truly listen to the voices of these Canadian deans of education.

Further information, including the Table of Contents and a sample of the first three chapters, is available at:

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