Leading and learning in higher education

Material Information

Leading and learning in higher education servant professors in the 21st century
Jordan, Lorna
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
x, 260 leaves : ; 28 cm

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Doctorate ( Doctor of Philosophy)
Degree Grantor:
University of Colorado Denver
Degree Divisions:
School of Education and Human Development, CU Denver
Degree Disciplines:
Educational leadership and innovation


Subjects / Keywords:
Educational leadership -- Case studies ( lcsh )
College teachers -- Case studies ( lcsh )
College teachers ( fast )
Educational leadership ( fast )
Case studies. ( fast )
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )
Case studies ( fast )


Includes bibliographical references (leaves 236-260).
General Note:
School of Education and Human Development
Statement of Responsibility:
by Lorna Jordan.

Record Information

Source Institution:
|University of Colorado Denver
Holding Location:
|Auraria Library
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
75390149 ( OCLC )
LD1193.E3 2006d J67 ( lcc )

Full Text
Lorna Jordan
B.A., Calvin College, 1978
M.S., Duquesne University, 1984
M.A., Colorado Christian University, 2000
A thesis submitted to the
University of Colorado at Denver
in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy
Educational Leadership and Innovation

by Lorna Jordan
All rights reserved.

This thesis for the Doctor of Philosophy
degree by
Loma Jordan
has been approved
2Ll. 'IQOb
Judy L. Lavell

Jordan, Loma (Ph.D., Educational Leadership and Innovation)
Leading and Learning in Higher Education: Servant Professors in the 21st
Thesis directed by Assistant Professor Nancy L. Leech
This case study was an analysis of three servant leader higher education faculty
called servant professors. This research hoped to contribute to the preliminary
discussions of servant leadership as an educational leadership paradigm for
faculty in higher education in the new millennium. The primary research question
for this study was: What is the praxis of servant professors? Furthermore, three
additional research questions guided this study. How does a higher education
servant professor define servant leadership? How does a higher education servant
professor apply servant leadership in her or his classroom? What occurs in a
higher education classroom led by a servant professor?
For this qualitative case study of purposefully selected self-identified servant
professors as much information as possible anchored in real-life higher education
classroom situations was gathered to analyze, interpret, and theorize about the
dynamics and context characteristics of the phenomenon of servant leadership.
An analytical deductive coding process utilizing classification schemes borrowed
from a source found in the literature review was employed. Constant comparison
analysis was a secondary complementary data analysis strategy.
The characteristics of the higher education faculty members who self-identified as
servant professors included the original ten as cited by Spears from Greenleaf.
Additional characteristics were found and synthesized into a list of eight themes
of servant professors as demonstrated by the faculty participants. The themes
included: (a) servant professors demonstrated integrity of belief and practice; (b)
servant professors demonstrated a commitment to student centered learning; (c)
servant professors demonstrated a commitment to the development of learning
communities; (d) servant professors demonstrated a commitment to personal
growth; (e) servant professors demonstrated a commitment to the greater common
good; (f) servant professors courageously pursued innovation; (g) student
professors displayed a passionate dedication to their students; and (h) servant
professors established equality and justice.
This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidates thesis. I
recommend its publication.

1. INTRODUCTION...............................................4
Introduction to the Problem.............................4
A Conceptual Framework for Servant Professors .........14
Significance of the Study .............................20
Methodology......................................... .28
Organization of the Thesis.............................28
2. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE..................................30
Introduction to the Literature Review .................30
Knowledge of Self through Self-Reflection..............30
Knowledge of Students..................................33
Knowledge of their Subject.............................36
Knowledge of Their Societal Responsibility.............41
Knowledge of Strategies................................45
Knowledge of Servant Leadership........................74
3. RESEARCH..................................................95
Research Questions ....................................95
Design Overview........................................95

Site Selection
Data Collection.............................................101
Classroom Observation.................................. 101
Classroom Observation Videotaping...................... 104
Faculty Participants Interviews..........................105
Artifact Collection......................................108
Data Analysis Procedure................................... 110
Limitations of the Study....................................119
4. PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS OF THE DATA...........................120
Within Case Analysis........................................120
Faculty Participant One: Fred Buckey........................121
Faculty Participant Two: Shirley McCall.....................126
Faculty Participant Three: Eva Chimel.......................131
Within Case Analysis Results..................i............138
Summary of the Analysis of the Three Faculty Participants...140
Themes of the Three Servant Professors......................143

Summary of the Study and an Examination of the
Research Questions Findings......................197
Interpretation of the Findings................. 197
The Importance of Research on Servant Professors.199
Recommendations for Change.......................204
Recommendations for Further Research.............205
Conclusion and Personal Final Thoughts...........207
APPENDIX ...............................................210
C. STUDENT INFORMED CONSENT FORM.......................217
D. CONTACT SUMMARY FORM................................219
E. OBSERVATION PROTOCOL................................220
PROFILE INSTRUMENT..................................222
H. DOCUMENT ANALYSIS WORKSHEET.........................224
J. TABLES OF CODES.....................................226
FOR THE 21st CENTURY.............................231

ADULT LEARNERS..............................232

TEACHER AND STUDENTS............................16
BETWEEN TEACHER AND STUDENTS....................17

1 Summary of Data Collection Strategies and T imeline...............Ill
2 Comparison of Pedagogy Models................................... 202
J1 Initial List of Code Domains......................................226
J2 First Revised List of Code Domains................................226
J3 Second Revised List of Code Domains;..............................227
J4 The 29 Characteristics Synthesized into the 8 Themes..............228

We sat mesmerized, staring silently at the television screen in my
classroom on April 20th, 1999. My university class was interrupted as students
and I watched the unthinkable unfold before our eyesthe deadliest school
shooting in American history. I live in Littleton, Colorado; Columbine High
School is our neighborhood school. In the room with me were recent graduates of
Columbine and university students with younger siblings currently attending the
high school. Staff and faculty with sons and daughters at Columbine joined us
while frantically calling cell phones and searching the screen for glimpses of
loved ones. I later heard about the days events in detail from a teacher who spent
the day in a science classroom with fellow teacher Dave Saunders as he died in a
students arms. Dave Saunders was not only a leader in his classroom and on the
field as a coach, but also a true heroic leader as he literally offered his life to
guide hundreds of students to safety.
I believe that every teacher, not just Dave Sanders, is a leader. Educators
are leaders in that they have authority, power, and control to influence their
students, negatively or positively. Being a leader as an educator is a substantial
responsibility and privilege. As educator and social activist Freire (1982) noted,
when you teach a person the word, you really are teaching them the world. A wise

teacher will recognize the influence and power he or she has and use it
responsibly for the good of all in the class and outside the class. Those with this
authority must decide to make a commitment to positively influence those they
are entrusted to lead.
Teachers who choose to care about their students and student learning
rather than performance (Palmer, 1998); teachers who build community where
every voice is respected and heard; teachers who have a passion for
communicating with students and peers; teachers who are life long learners;
teachers who love their students and teaching, these teachers are positive educator
I am convinced that as a classroom educator I am a leader. I currently
serve as a university professor. I often wonder how, in this role, I can best use my
influence in the classroom. This personal and professional vocational quest is
foundational for this study as I investigate the implication and application of what
it means to be a leader in a higher education classroom.
As a qualitative researcher, I choose to articulate my experiences, biases,
and values explicitly. My professional and personal lives are interwoven. My role
as a mother and grandmother and my training and experience as a Marriage and
Family Therapist and preK-16 educator have given me valuable skills, expertise,
and perspective for this study. My personal faith-based Judeo-Christian value
system is congruent with servant leadership. I personally espouse a
transformational model of leadership called servant leadership. In a nutshell, a

servant leader believes that leadership and influence conies through service. As a
teacher who espouses servant leadership, I wonder how leadership and influence
in teaching conies through service.
Having studied leadership theory and servant leadership in particular, I
came to this research project with some of my own understandings and conceptual
orientations, yet with a spirit of inquiry, searching for rich, thick, sexy qualitative
data which could lead to serendipitous findings for new integrations (Miles &
Huberman, 1994). My goal was to get beyond initial conceptions of servant
leadership and application in business and management, to expand and extend the
conceptual and theoretical frameworks into higher education and educators
(Denzin, 1989; Geertz, 1973).
As former director, faculty, fellow graduate student, and friend of the
current directors and faculty in this study, I have a unique collaborative
relationship with them. I did not serve as the outside expert researcher but a
fellow educator working in partnership with colleagues. Since we all are
passionate about effective theory and educational practice and shared interests in
servant leadership, I approached them as an interested faculty member wanting to
better understand my relationship with students and to further our collective
understanding of leadership and servant leadership.

Introduction to the Problem
During summer school at the university where I teach, I happened to
glance in an open classroom and noticed three students. All three were fast asleep.
Two of them had their heads down on the table. I thought no one else was in the
room until I heard the familiar voice of one of my colleagues coming from the
front of the room. Puzzled, I paused to listen. The professor was passionately
explaining a concept from the days curriculum. When I later saw this professor in
the campus cafeteria and asked what had occurred, he explained that in spite of
his students sleeping, he was teaching. In response to my incredulous look he
added, Its my responsibility as an educator to teach, its their responsibility to
learn. For this professor, his role as teacher focused on teaching, and teaching
involved dispensing the information, albeit passionately. Whether students
learned anything or even heard it through their snores was not his responsibility.
This incident begs the question, What is the role and responsibility of a
higher education professor as an educational leader? Despite the enormity of
dramatic changes in academia taking place in the 21st century, all requiring
effective leaders, disturbingly, in many North American higher education
classrooms, other than the professors tweed jacket with leather elbow patches
and pipe, not much has changed (hooks, 1994; Marlatt & Marlatt, 1998). On

many campuses across the nation in a large stadium seating lecture hall, or even a
small classroom with three students as in my example, a lone voice emanates
from behind a podium at the front of the room. The professor as expert scholar
expounds on the disciplines topic of the day (Draves, 1997; Freire, 1982,1994).
Captive, sometimes comatose, students hunch over their desks, fervently taking
notes, to later be memorized and purged back on an objective exam (Wink, 2000).
With this scenario repeated across the country, it is an understatement to
note that in recent years, education reform has received much attention (Fullan,
1998,1999,2001; Schlechty, 1990). From 1983, A Nation at Risk (National
Commission on Excellence in Education, 1983) citing a lack of rigor as the cause
for serious American education problems, to Goals 2000 (United States
Department of Education, 1998) reports called for systematic and sweeping
reform (Lambert, et. ah, 1995). Furthermore, a cadre of diverse constituencies
from business, politics, and public and private K-16 schools joined the national
debate about the quality of education (Upcraft & Terenzini, 2000).
Yet, in the midst of the ongoing debate and the abundant complex changes
occurring in the world and academia in the 21st century, as noted in the School
Leadership for the 21st Century Initiative (Furtrell & Kelly, 2001) experts agree
that improving the quality of education involves quality educators providing
opportunities for quality student learning. Student learning depends first, last,
and always on the quality of teachers (Furtrell & Kelly, p. 1). Teacher quality is
one of the most powerful determinants of student achievement and virtually every

category of educational outcomes (Darling-Hammond, Wise, & Klein, 1995;
Merrow, 2001).
Also true in higher education, a significant body of empirical evidence
indicates that one of the most powerful educational forces is faculty members
(Pascarella & Terenzini, 1991). Research, such as Lustigs (1996) empirical study
of faculty effectiveness, consistently points to students' interactions with faculty
members (inside and outside the classroom) as powerful, positive influences on a
wide array of educationally desirable outcomes (Upcraft & Terenzini, 2000).
Faculty members have a significant impact on the students they teach, the
universities they serve, and society at large (Bensimon & Neumann, 1993; Boyer,
This study is based on the critical assumption that teachers are leaders in
the educational process (Apps, 1994). Since there are almost as many definitions
of leadership as there are persons who have attempted to define the concept
(Bass & Stogdill, 1990, p. 7), an effective discussion must present the definition
used. Northouse (1997) classified leadership into ten categories: trait approach,
style approach, situational approach, contingency theory, path-goal theory, leader-
member exchange theory, transformational leadership, team leadership theory,
psychodynamic approach, and popular approaches to leadership. Based on a
comparison of these theoretical perspectives of leadership, Northouse determined
that the phenomenon of leadership had universal common elements. For the
purposes of this study, I will use Northouses definition of leadership; Leadership

is a process; it involves influence, occurs within a group context, and involves
goal attainment.
Based on this definition of leadership, every teacher is a leader. The role
and responsibilities of an educator are to engage students in the educational
process. To do so the educator exerts influence to enable the students within the
group, in this context their class, to achieve the goal of learning. I would argue
that teachers by virtue of the nature of their professional task are leaders. Not
when they become administrators or mentor teachers but leaders in their own
classroom (James, 2004).
Educators as leaders impact and influence the students entrusted to them
in a powerful way, whether for good or evil. Teachers can inspire and empower
students or devalue, ridicule, and stunt intellectual, social, and emotional growth
(Hendricks, 1987). As Palmer (1998), educator and servant leader advocate
In lecture halls, seminar rooms, field settings, labs, and even electronic
classrooms-the places where most people receive most of their formal
education-teachers possess the power to create conditions that can help
students learn a great deal-or keep them from learning much at all.
Teaching is the intentional act of creating those conditions, and good
teaching requires that we understand the inner sources of both the intent
and the act. (p. 112)
As this study investigates the roles and responsibilities of educators as
leaders, it would be prudent to first recognize that considerable discussion among
leadership scholars has taken place in the last several decades regarding the need
to reexamine leadership (Barker, 1992; Napier, 1999; Northouse 1997; Rost,

1991). A faculty member who is considering the role of leader will be cognizant
of the limitations of the traditional leadership models as well as the emergent
leadership paradigms that developed in response to the criticisms (Murphy, 2003;
Newton, 2002; Rush, 2003).
Leadership scholars note that an innovative model compatible with our
emerging age of disconcerting and discontinuous change is needed (Apps, 1994;
Bennis, 1991; Fullan, 2001). Failing to redefine leadership predicated on the
realities of the rapidly changing modem world results in an unexamined reliance
on an outdated and ineffective paradigm of leadership (Barker, 1992). In the new
millennium, alternative perspectives of leadership need to be explored (Allen, et
al., 1998). Emergent leadership theories avoid merely extending the old gender
biased hierarchical models of leadership (Aburdene & Naisbitt, 1992; Toffler &
Toffler, 1995).
Several new leadership paradigms, including servant leadership, emerged
(or in the case of servant leadership reemerged) in response (Senge, Kleiner,
Roberts, Ross, & Smith, 1999; Spears, 1998b). The emergent egalitarian servant
leadership paradigm is a collaborative and ethical leadership model that seeks to
enhance the personal growth of individuals while improving the caring and
quality of institutions (Spears, 1995). Servant leadership is based on moral
principles and the ethical use of power and empowerment (Spears, 1995). This
paradigm of leadership seeks to balance leadership and service, as each individual

becomes both leader and follower (Greenleaf, 1970,1977,1979; McGee-Cooper,
Servant leadership is a nonhierarchical approach to leadership, education,
and service that is egalitarian and collaborative, based on moral principles and the
ethical use of power (Laub, 1999; McGee-Cooper, 1998a; Spears, 1995). It seeks
to balance leadership, learning, and service, as each individual becomes leader
and follower, teacher and student (Marlatt & Marlatt, 1998). What distinguishes
servant leadership from the traditional leadership models is the concept that
servant leaders have an obligation to pursue service to others and learning for the
common good, rather than their own self-interest (Derrick & Jordan, 2003;
Kouzes & Posner, 1995; Laub, 1999; Northouse, 1997).
The words servant and leader appear to be dualistic opposites rendering
the concept of servant leadership to be an oxymoron and paradoxical (Wilkes,
1998a, 1998b). Greenleaf (1977), the father of servant leadership, linked these
seemingly paradoxical concepts together despite the fact that the fusing of servant
and leader seemed a dangerous creation: dangerous for the natural servant to
become a leader, dangerous for the leader to be servant first, and dangerous for a
follower to insist on being led by a servant (Greenleaf, 1977, p. 12).
The original title of Greenleaf s (1977) work was The Servant as Leader,
and he hoped to keep this the title. According to Greenleaf, the subject was the
servant or service; the predicate was the leader (Jennings, 2002). Greenleaf s
phrase was not to be merely an application of the philosophy of service to the

practice of leadership. Yet, the name has been shorted from The Servant as
Leader to Servant Leader. Greenleaf cautioned that shortening the term to
servant leadership lost a key feature of the idea (Vaill, 2000).
Servant leadership is a philosophy that suggests people choose to serve
first and then lead. Servant leadership begins with the natural feeling that one
wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead
(Greenleaf, 1977, p. 13). The difference between servant and leader manifests
itself in the care taken by the servant to make sure that peoples highest priority
needs are being met (McGee-Cooper, 1998).
For Greenleaf (1977), this seminal concept of servant leader puts serving
others in the community as a priority. Just being a service-oriented person does
not qualify one as a servant leader (Page & Wong, 1998). According to Greenleaf
(1977), one can determine if a person is a servant leader to both the institution and
those individuals affected by the institution. He recognized:
The best test, and difficult to administer, is: Do those served grow as
persons? Do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer,
more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants? And, what
is the effect on the least privileged in society; will they benefit, or, at least,
not be further deprived? (pp. 13-14)
Servant leadership promotes the valuing and development of people, the
building of community, the practice of authenticity, the providing of leadership
for the good of those led, and the sharing of power and status for the common
good of each individual, the total organization, and those served by the
organization (Laub, 1999).

Rather than controlling or wielding power, the servant leader works to
develop a collaborative foundation of shared goals by listening deeply to
understand the needs and concerns of others (Sergiovanni, 1996). The servant
leader then acts thoughtfully to help build a creative consensus while honoring the
paradox of polarized parties (Beazley & Beggs, 2002). The focus of servant
leadership is on sharing information, building a common vision, self-
management, high levels of interdependence, learning from mistakes, and
encouraging creative input from every team member (Beazley & Beggs, 2002;
Jennings, 2002; Markwardt, 2001).
Servant leaders may or may not hold formal leadership positions because
their influence and authority is not predicated on a role or title. At the heart of the
servant leader concept is the importance of leading and serving with influence
rather than through any coercive privileged power attributed to role or status
(Taylor, 2002). Servant leadership begins with a desire and a courageous
commitment to serve others (Wheatley, 1999). In the practice of servant
leadership it can be more difficult to function as a servant than a leader because
individuals must often confront their egos and learn to accept the service of other
(Beazley & Beggs, 2002).
There are ten primary characteristics ascribed to the servant leader
(Spears, 1998a) including: listening, empathy, foresight, awareness building,
persuasion, conceptualization, healing, stewardship, community, and commitment
to the growth of people. These characteristics will be detailed in chapter 2.

Servant leadership theory acknowledges that many of the industrial-age
leadership models were developed from data obtained from samples comprised of
business and military leaders, primarily white males (Napier, 1999). Shakeshaft
(1987) reports that most research in educational administration and leadership
theory was primarily conducted and developed with white male perspectives,
which she coined as androcentrism. Critical theory and servant leadership
scholars write of the inherent limitations of this stereotypical singular hierarchical
male leader as appropriated by white western Euro centric archetypes (Gould,
1997). The rigid hierarchical top-down command and control management
approaches of male leaders are seen as ineffective, sexist, and dated (Book, 2000).
Based on servant leadership theory, an educational leadership model for today
must consider gender-neutral collaborative leadership styles and development
(hooks, 1994, Maher & Tetreault, 2001).
Critical theorists and servant leadership theorists assert that leadership
must be understood relationally and situationally. Because the experience and
perception of leadership is processual, it is produced developmentally in our daily
social and cultural lives (Gould, 1997). As we recognize distinctions between
leaders and followers as created and situated rather than permanent, we then can
acknowledge traditional leadership theories as a part of asymmetrically social
relationships embedded in inequalities of power that reproduce and perpetuate
inequality (Gould, 1997, p. 38).

Another focus of critical theory that is apropos with servant leadership
theory relates to dichotomous thinking (hooks, 1994). Feminist theorist bell hooks
(1994) cites either/or dichotomous thinking as the primary ideological component
of all systems of domination in Western society. Either/or dichotomous thinking
categorizes people, things, and ideas in terms of their differences in relation to
their counterpart (hooks, 1994). In leadership, leader and follower gain meaning
only in their distinctiveness from one another. One part (leadership) is not simply
different from its counterpart (followership) but followers are merely defined in
terms of how they are not leaders.
In either/or dichotomous thinking, difference is defined in an oppositional
and objectification of terms necessarily creating a hierarchy of the counterparts
(hooks, 1994). When there are competing assumptions or positions, one emerges
as dominant because it is supported by the dynamics of power and privilege
(Shannon, 2003) This hierarchy places leaders as the dominant superior Subject
and therefore relegates followers to be the inferior half of the dichotomy,
objectified as the Other. Followers are viewed as an Object to be manipulated and
controlled (Freire, 1994). As the Others of society, followers can never really
become leaders because this would threaten the hierarchical order as established
and maintained by the dominant. Followership is essential for leadership to
survive because those people who stand at the margins clarify its boundaries.
Followers, by not belonging to the group or caste of leaders, emphasize the

significance of leadership. Therefore, maintaining images of followers as Other
provides ideological justification for oppression (Gould, 1997, p. 160).
The notion that servant leadership can be a vantage point for people in a
variety of roles is key to this dissertation. I propose that servant leadership as a
construct can underlie the work of professors in particular. To conceptualize
themselves as servant leaders, servant professors in the 21st century need to
understand the primary characteristics of servant leaders and apply those to their
pedagogy and their praxis of teaching. Pedagogy traditionally has been defined
as synonymous with teaching: what is taught and how a subject is taught (Gunter,
Estes, & Schwab, 1999). In this research study, the definition of pedagogy is
conceptualized broadly to include the interaction between teaching and learning
(Wink, 2000). Praxis is the constant reciprocity of theory and practice (Wink,
2000). This study investigated the praxis of servant leadership. I believe for
servant professors, theory building and critical reflection inform servant
leadership practice and practice inform the theory building and reflection (Wink,
2000). In the next section I explore a conceptual framework for servant
A Conceptual Framework for Servant Professors
The servant professors commitment vocationally is to engage in an
ongoing struggle to discern how to apply their commitment to what they believe
to what they do. In other words, the servant professor seeks to teach based on the
praxis of servant leadership. This praxis involves a shift from a hegemonic to

egalitarian learning experience and the relationship between professor and
students which is implicit in the phrase servant leadership.
The dynamics of the relationship between leader/follower are parallel to
the relationship between teacher/student in the traditional higher education
classroom. Typically this relationship is often dichotomous and hierarchical
where the teacher as leader maintains a higher position of status. The teachers
maintain their position of power and justify their own existence by considering
the students ignorance absolute. Characteristic of the ideology of oppression,
knowledge is not and cannot be acquired by ignorant students through the
processes of inquiry, but through a passive reception of information and
knowledge from the teachers (Freire, 1994).
In contrast, this notion of egalitarian learning in a classroom of a servant
professor revolves around a commitment to this dynamic and transformational
relationship between the professor and her or his students. For the servant
professor, servant leadership becomes transformational in that the educational
process results not just in information transfer (the professor as the sage on the
stage) but in the transformation of the student from passive learner to active
participant. At that point a true egalitarian learning community emerges in which
the instructor becomes a participant along with the students and they encounter
the material together to discover new and innovative interpretations and
applications which would remain untapped if left to the singular paradigm of the
instructor. The difference rests in how knowledge is constructed for the learner.

In the traditional paradigm, the student copies the "instructor tree." In the servant
professor model each member of the class including the instructor synergistically
creating a new drawing of a tree that has not previously existed and could not
have exist without all of them acting in concert. I assert that this change in
relationship between who knows and who learns transcends the traditional
classroom and exponentially expands knowledge in allowing the reach of the
class to extend beyond the grasp of the instructor.
This transformational relationship could be illustrated as a shift from the
traditional relationship between teacher and students in figure 1:1 to the
interconnected synergistic relationship as seen in figure 1:2.
V )
\ /
\ )

Recently, servant leadership has begun to be researched in the field of
education (Page & Wong, 1998). Derrick and Jordan (2003) believe that visionary
higher education servant professors (servant leader faculty members) have an
unprecedented opportunity to emerge as educator leaders in the coming century.
Derrick and Jordan (2003) coined the expression servant professor in their

provocative essay Servant Professorship-The Theology of the Chalkboard that
investigated the praxis (the theory and practice) of a servant professor in higher
education. For the remainder of this study, this term will be used to describe
servant leader higher education faculty members.
The research and literature on the praxis of servant leadership in other
disciplines would suggest that servant professors will need a multifacted
knowledge base that includes a knowledge of self, knowledge of students and
current trends in higher education, knowledge of their subject, knowledge of
strategies and what constitutes excellence in teaching, knowledge of their societal
responsibilities and their relationship to the world community, and knowledge of
servant leadership as depicted in Figure 1-3.
By constructing the classroom as a collaborative learning environment and
adopting the role of servant professor, the role and responsibilities of the faculty
member are altered. This change is facilitated by the servant professors
conception of their teaching identity as a servant leader. In this conception of
professor as servant professor, I contend that several elements of knowledge are
First, a servant professor will need to make a commitment to knowledge
of herself or himself. This self reflection provides the foundation for
conceptualization of the praxis of servant leadership. Second, a servant professor
will need to keep abreast of knowledge about current 21st century students and
trends in higher education. Third, a servant professor will need to make a

commitment as a life long learner to be knowledgeable about their discipline.
Fourth, there are specific, observable characteristics of servant professors that
include praxis of learner centered learning strategies that impact the way that
knowledge is constructed and used in the classroom to interrogate information
rather than profess it. Fifth, a servant professor will need to make a commitment
to knowledge about the needs of the 21st century world community. Lastly, a
servant professor will need to make a commitment to knowledge about servant
leadership as the basis of her or his praxis. Each of these knowledge bases will be
detailed in chapter two.

Significance of the Study
This study of servant leadership and the praxis of servant leadership by
higher education faculty is vital for eight reasons. There is a rise in popularity of
servant leadership. This study extends the research about servant leadership from
business to education. The impact and application of servant leadership in higher
education by faculty has not yet been considered which creates a gap in the
educational literature. The pedagogy of educators who self identify as servant
leaders has rarely been investigated. The shortage of qualitative research on
servant leadership in education can contribute a unique perspective to the
contemporary educational leadership discussion. Faculty continue to play a
critical role in the education of students in the 21st century so research on the role
and responsibilities of faculty as educational leader is vital. This study is
significant because servant professors could make several important contributions
to the complex rapidly changing world in the 21st century. Finally, this study is
significant because servant professors could positively impact the world to help
develop more needed effective leaders. Ultimately, this study has the potential to
dramatically change the way each of us in the school of educator shift from
training future teachers to educating leaders.
Several quantitative studies (e.g., Laub, 1999; Page & Wong, 1998) and
qualitative studies on servant leadership in organizational management (e.g.,
Boyer, 1999) have been done. The results of this research suggest that

organizational leadership scholars are optimistic about the application of servant
leadership in 21st century business (Batten, 1998a; Bennis, 1989,1991; Spears,
1998a). While servant leadership purports to develop effective business leaders
for the 21st century (McGee-Cooper, 1998a; Spears, 1995), it has been suggested
that research about servant leadership is needed in other fields of study (Laub,
1999). There has been little research on the application of servant leadership to
higher education (Markwardt, 2001; Taylor, 2002). This study will expand the
existing knowledge base and the body of research on servant leadership from
business into higher education.
Research from servant leadership applied to educational leadership is
clearly needed because the view of educator as servant leader is relatively new
(Derrick & Jordan, 2003). Despite an increasing interest in collaborative and
transformational leadership and servant leadership in particular in other
disciplines, it is surprising that so little empirical research has been conducted on
the topic in education. The perspective of higher education faculty as servant
leader is notably absent. While several recent studies have been done on servant
leadership in K-12 education (e.g., Beazley & Beggs, 2002; Jennings, 2002;
Taylor, 2002), the impact and application of servant leadership in higher
education by faculty has rarely been considered, thus creating a gap in the
educational leadership literature that needs to be filled.
Both servant leadership and higher education pedagogy have been
explored in various contexts, but the intersection of these two topics in light of the

roles and responsibilities of faculty in the 21st century, has yet to be researched.
There is a dearth of research on the praxis (practical application of theory and
practice) by higher education faculty who self identify as servant leaders. While
the praxis of servant leadership and critical pedagogy appear to share mutual core
values and characteristics, the literature about each is disconnected from each
other. An examination of the references cited in the two respective fields reveals
no common source of information, despite a great similarity in content and theory
(Markwardt, 2001). This study hopes to serve as a bridge between the two areas.
Another reason for the significance of this study is that the findings can
contribute to the research on the role of the K-16 classroom educator as a leader
(Lieberman, Saxl, & Miles, 1989; Taylor, 2002). While this topic has seen a
surge of interest in the K-12 system recently (e.g., James, 2004; Lieberman &
Miller, 2005; Muchmore, Cooley, Marx, & Crowell, 2004; Nathan, 2004), the
literature appears scant when considering higher education faculty as leaders in
their classrooms. Bowman (2004) argues that regarding teachers as leaders
requires a profound identity shift.
Through a review of the educational leadership literature, the most
prevalent leadership role mentioned is that of the administrator (e.g., Adams &
Hambright, 2004; Favero, 2006; Gunter, 2004). In K-12, that role is filled by the
principal and in higher education most often by the dean and other administrators
(for example, provost, and vice president of academic affairs) (Astin, 1993;
Bensimon & Neumann, 1993). There is a persistent focus on the position of

administrator and principal as leader and the administrative management function
of leadership (Carlson, 2004; Center for Comprehensive Leadership Reform,
2005). For example, in the highly acclaimed Jossey Bass Educational Leadership
(Gardner, 2000) texts final chapter on Teacher as Leader, teachers are not
considered, leaders in their own classrooms. Teachers are considered leaders only
when they assume a prominent role outside their own classrooms as mentor
teachers or as curriculum committee members.
Servant leadership theory challenges every person, regardless of role or
position, to become a servant leader. Servant professors need not step outside her
or his classroom to become a leader. This research on servant professors can
demonstrate how instead of empowering educators to move outside the classroom
to become a leader, faculty members could be empowered to recognize the role as
leader within the classroom community (Laub, 1999).
This study is also significant because servant professors could make
several important contributions to the complex rapidly changing world in the 21st
century. We are living in an increasingly complex and uncertain world and the
change is accelerating (Laermer, 2002; Mazarr, 1999; Toffler & Toffler, 1994,
1995). With foresight, awareness building, and conceptualization, servant
professors looking into history as well as the present and the future could
acknowledge that virtually every American arena has been impacted by the
changes in the 21st century: the sociocultural arena with our culturally diverse
populations; the political, historical, and economic context with business global

networks and postindustrialism; scientifically and technologically; and spiritually
and philosophically (Toffler & Toffler, 1995). These changes are significant
because not only are there rapid changes and an increasingly turbulent
environment in technology, information, the labor force, and the economy, the
changes also involve morality, culture, as well as institutions and political
structure. It implies, in short, a true transformation in human affairs (Toffler &
Toffler, 1995, p. 11). This new era is so all encompassing it will bring new ideas
and ways of thinking, new media, new social structures, and new objectives
radically changing how human beings will think, create, work, learn, and
collaborate in the future (Fischer, 1996).
Since Harvard University opened its doors in 1636, our country and world
have depended on American colleges and universities (Altbach, Berdahl, &
Gumport, 1994; Association of American Colleges and Universities, 2002;
Brubacher & Rudy, 1997). The future of American higher education in the 21st
century is an urgent, momentous question of overwhelming magnitude and
significance for this nation and societies around the globe. Indeed, one could
make the case that the future of the world hinges on the ongoing welfare of
American higher education (Allen, 2002, p. 91). One might assume then that for
servant professors, the demand for higher learning in the United States and abroad
creates new urgency, opportunity, and responsibility to revitalize the practice of
undergraduate education (Association of American Colleges and Universities,
2002). Servant professors would likely agree that if our countrys institutions of

higher education do not evolve with the times, we will be a society unprepared
for our own future (Laermer, 2002, p. 164). Servant professors would be
committed to making the world a better place for all its current and future global
citizens as demonstrated by the three faculty participants.
As contemporary society becomes increasingly diverse and complex, so
does the process of preparing young people for life as independent thinkers,
productive citizens, and future leaders (Magolda & Terenzini, 1999). If higher
education fails to attend to the impact of these substantial changes, postsecondary
education could suffer in the new millennium as our society will be deprived of
well-educated citizenry (Association of American Colleges and Universities,
2002). If universities teach and model an ineffective antiquated leadership
theories and methods, students will not be adequately prepared to be competent
leaders with requisite skills for leading the world into the new millennium (Allen,
2002; Altbach, Berdahl, & Gumport, 1994; Fullan, 2001; Heifetz, 1994;
Schelchty, 1990).
Unless universities attend to the quality of leadership taught and modeled
to students during their collegiate experiences, once they matriculate they will
not be able to successfully contribute to a world desperately in need of leaders
(Magolda & Terenzini, 1999). There is a very real danger that the United States
will squander this opportunity, although the consequences of failure are severe.
Each individual dropped by the wayside represents a losspersonal, economic,
social, and intellectual. When many are dropped, the nation itself is

impoverished (Association of American Colleges and Universities, 2002).
Unless something is done to address the leadership deficiency, the university
faces marginalization (Allen, 2002; McNeal, 1998).
Throughout its history, the United States has asked much of higher
education; to prepare leaders, train employees, provide the creative base for
scientific and artistic discovery, transmit past culture, create new knowledge,
redress the legacies of discrimination, and ensure continuation of democratic
principles (Association of American Colleges and Universities, 2002). In
numerous ways, higher education plays a vital role in our countrys future.
As suggested by the Kellogg Commission (1997) report entitled Returning
to Our Roots: The Student Experience, new forms of educational and
administrative leadership are needed because
Our challenges are no longer technical issues of how to allocate rising
revenues, but difficult adaptive problems of how to lead when conditions
are constantly changing, resources are tight, expectations are high, and
options are limited. We live in an age of transformational, not technical,
change. Our leadership, like our institutions, must become
transformational as well. (p. v)
The changing world is dragging us (kicking and screaming, in some
instances) into the world of a transformative model of education (Wink, 2000, p.
5). If our countrys educational institutions do not evolve with the times, we will
be a society unprepared for our own future. Will education systems keep up to
speed and really prepare people for the future they are entering after schooling?
Who is even worrying about it? Universities need to evolve (Laermer, 2002, p.

Servant professors could positively impact the world is to help develop
more effective leaders. The primary method to develop new servant leaders is for
individuals who espouse the theory to model servant leadership and to inspire
others to become servant leaders as well (Covey, 1998; McGee-Cooper &
Trammell, 2001). Greenleaf (1977) believed that the true test of servant
leadership was to enable those being served to become healthier, wiser, freer,
more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants (p. 14).
Consequently, one of the key roles of leadership for a servant leader is to be an
example, a model: one whose life has credibility with others, has integrity,
diligence, humility, the spirit of servant leadership, of contribution (Covey,
1998, p. 27). Servant professors would therefore model the praxis of servant
leadership for their colleagues and students. In conclusion, this study of servant
leadership and the praxis of servant leadership by higher education faculty is vital
for these eight reasons.
Based on the theoretical framework and in light of the compelling
significance of this study, my primary research focus was: What is the praxis of a
self-identified servant leader higher education faculty member? Three specific
research questions guided this study:
1. How does a higher education servant professor (faculty member who has
self-identified as a servant leader) define servant leadership?

2. How does a higher education servant professor (faculty member who has
self-identified as a servant leader) apply servant leadership in her or his
3. What occurs in a higher education classroom led by a servant professor
(self-identified servant leader)?
This was a qualitative research project on servant leadership that drew
from not only education, but from multiple sources such as psychology, theology,
and business theory. This provided a broad interdisciplinary approach that
encompassed and recognized the complexity of leadership study (Miles &
Huberman, 1994).
This qualitative research project was a case study (Yin, 1994) of three
self-identified servant professors. By recounting a rich, thick description of the
classroom experiences and proceedings (Miles & Huberman, 1994), this study
portrayed servant professors in their element. Aspects investigated included the
definition of servant leadership, in addition to the core values, characteristics, and
pedagogies of servant professors as practiced by the faculty participants.
Organization of the Thesis
Chapter one introduced the dissertation problem and methods. Chapter
two provides a review of the relevant literature about both the problem and the
theoretical perspective. Chapter three describes the methodology of the study,
including all instruments and methods of data analysis. Chapter four describes the

data and the findings. Chapter five summarizes the findings by answering my
research questions posed in this dissertation and assesses the implications of the
study for practice and future research.

Introduction to the Literature Review
Chapter two presents an overview of the literature encompassing the six
aspects of servant professorship: knowledge of self, knowledge of students and
current student trends in higher education, knowledge of the subject and chosen
discipline, knowledge of strategies and current research on learning, knowledge of
their societal responsibility and their relationship to the world community, and
knowledge of servant leadership. Drawing from the research literature, I integrate
current research within these six areas, illustrating the relationship between the
ever expanding research on teaching and learning and the practice of servant
professorship. While most discussions of effective educators include expert
knowledge about students and learning as well as subject matter knowledge, it is
rare to see these arenas juxtaposed with identity, social responsibility, along with
a specific conception of teacher leadership that places the learning at the center of
the framework.
Knowledge of Self through Self-Reflection
The first element, knowledge of the self, derives from the process of
thoughtful self reflection. Still true today as back in 1933, Dewey defined
reflection as turning a subject over in the mind and giving it serious consecutive
consideration. It enables us to act in a deliberate and intentional fashion (p. 3).

As recognized by Poole, (2006) president of The Society for Teaching and
Learning in Higher Education in his article, Self Reflection : Easier Said Than
Done, this kind of personal inquiry involves genuine deliberation about ones
beliefs and practice, deep thinking and critical reflection, as well as a life long
commitment to contemplative self reflection. This process affords the servant
professor an opportunity to articulate foundational metathematic principles that
can best align theory with practice in the 21st century classroom (Senge, et. al.,
2000). Schon (1983), for example, invites educators to be reflective
practitioners because unfortunately, contemporary educational systems create
significant pressures and time constraints that leave little time for personal
reflection or energy to embark on a contemplative journey. According to Schon,
reflection involves
looking to our experiences, connecting with our feelings, and attending to
our theories in use. It entails building new understandings to inform our
actions in the situation that is unfolding.. ..The practitioner allows himself
to experience surprise, puzzlement, or confusion in a situation which he
finds uncertain or unique. He reflects on the phenomenon before him, and
on the prior understandings which have been implicit in his behaviour. He
carries out an experiment which serves to generate both a new
understanding of the phenomenon and a change in the situation, (p. 68)
As Intrator and Kunzman (2006) stated in their current article on their
inner life of teachers, disconnecting from genuine self awareness and
reflectiveness weakens the teaching process. As Jennings (2002) and Mountjoys
(2004) study on higher education graduate students argue in their qualitative
studies on educators, active engagement with well informed and articulated core

beliefs and values gives educators purpose, direction, enthusiasm, and passion.
These serve to provide the servant professor with the prerequisites necessary to
develop and facilitate the transformational learning community (Derrick &
Jordan, 2003).
Palmer (1998) advocates thorough self reflection and challenges teachers
to have enough courage to recognize that as educators we teach who we are (p.
Teaching, like any truly human activity, emerges from one's inwardness,
for better or worse. As I teach, I project the condition of my soul onto my
students, my subject, and our way of being together. The entanglements I
experience in the classroom are often no more or less than the
convolutions of my inner life. Viewed from this angle, teaching holds a
mirror to the soul. If I am willing to look in that mirror and not run from
what I see, I have a chance to gain self knowledge-and knowing myself is
as crucial to good teaching as knowing my students and my subject. In
fact, knowing my students and my subject depends heavily on self-
knowledge. When I do not know myself, I cannot know who students are.
I will see them through a glass darkly, in the shadows of my unexamined
life- and when I cannot see them clearly, I cannot teach them well. When I
do not know myself, 1 cannot know my subject-not at the deepest levels of
embodied, personal meaning. I will know it only abstractly, from a
distance, a congeries of concepts as far removed from the world as I am
from personal truth, (p. 2)
Palmer encourages educators to reflect on the most fundamental question one can
ask about teaching "Who is the self that teaches? By addressing this question,
which Palmer considers to be at the heart of the teaching vocation, allows
professors to serve our students more faithfully, enhance our own well being,
make common cause with colleagues, and help education bring more light and life
to the world (p. 7).

Based the characteristics of servant leaders such as self awareness and
listening, I believe servant professors would act thoughtfully and reflectively
because as Spears (1998a) describes, the journey of servant leadership guides the
individual to self-examination. Through careful contemplative study and
observation, servant professors would search to find the hope and courage to
develop and continue productive practices to both lead and serve with passion
(Chang, 2000). Wheatley (2002) comments on how revolutionary reflection since
it is one of the most courageous acts a servant leader can do; its a revolutionary
act to reflect these days. Its not in our job description. Luckily, its in our species
description (p. 350).
Knowledge of Students
Another aspect of servant a professors knowledge base is the knowledge
of students today and knowledge of current higher education trends (Lawler &
Wilhite, 1997; Leithwood, Jantzi, & Steinbach, 1999). One current trend in higher
education is the diversity of the population and changing nature of students
(Wink, 2000). No longer is the traditional college student a white, male, 18 to 20
year old, attending a four-year, liberal arts college full-time, and living on campus
(Magolda & Terenzini, 1999). As America has become a more pluralistic society
and the contemporary university classroom has opened its doors to diverse
students, there is a wide spectrum of experiences, ages, ethnicity, races, gender,
language, cultural, socio-economic backgrounds, and worldviews represented
(Association of American Colleges and Universities, 2002).

Today's students are increasingly diverse in age, socioeconomic status,
gender, race and ethnicity, sexual orientation, and learning and physical ability
(Magolda & Terenzini, 1999). Higher education's undergraduate market
population shifted from Non-Hispanic Whites to include members of historically
under-represented racial and ethnic groups such as African American, Hispanic,
Asian American, Native American, and foreign nationals (El-Khawas, 1996).
Women currently compose the majority of most institutions' undergraduate
student bodies and a growing number of college students come from low income
family backgrounds (El-Khawas, 1996). Due to these demographic shifts as well
as the diversity of educational goals and life and economic circumstances,
students attend college in different ways today while juggling the multiple
demands of work and family (Association of American Colleges and Universities,
Heterogeneity in the student body presents instructors and administrators
alike with a formidable array of new challenges (King, 1999). Traditional
educational practices that served only an elite few are increasingly disconnected
from the needs of contemporary students and society (Association of American
Colleges and Universities, 2002). The increasing complexity of students'
backgrounds and educational goals will need to be reflected in the varying
approaches students take to higher education.
This current trend in higher education impacts the practice, roles, and
responsibilities of higher education faculty as educational leaders (Klemm, 1994;

Lawler & King, in press) with substantive implications for altering educational
practice for higher education faculty and servant professors into next century
(Derrick & Jordan, 2003). The Association of American Colleges and
Universities (Association of American Colleges and Universities, 2002) Greater
Expectations: A New Vision for Learning as a Nation Goes to College findings
include an examination of how diversity of the student population and the
changing nature of students in higher education impacted the practice, roles, and
responsibilities of higher education faculty as educational leaders (McKeachie,
1986; McLaren, 1998; Ogawa & Bossert, 2000). Educational leaders will need to
be open to differences, as well as new and varied pedagogies and assumptions
(Diamond, 1998; Dick & Carey, 1996; Rowley, Lujan, & Dolence, 1998). As a
result, conventional assumptions about students and their the collegiate
experience, as well as traditional learning and teaching, will not serve higher
education well in the 21st century (Astin, 1993; Senge, et. al., 2000; Stevens,
1998; Wlodkowski & Ginsburg, 1995).
For example, Sullivans (2006) case study of one community college's
work related to diversity cites the U.S. Supreme Court Grutter v. Bollinger (2003)
decision which affirms the value of diversity and clearly acknowledged that the
state has a compelling interest to promote diversity on college campuses. This
rapidly changing demographic profile contributes to a wide spectrum of
experiences and worldviews in the contemporary classroom (Umbach, 2006;
Wink, 2000).

Knowledge of their Subject
The second aspect of a servant professors knowledge base is the
knowledge of their chosen academic discipline. The key attributes of a teacher
who is a content specialist are that he or she understands the central concepts,
tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline he or she teaches. Additionally,
the educator maintains currency in knowledge of the content area and skills of the
discipline. Lewis and Clark State College of Education (2006) developed
professional standards for teaching that included a list of traits of educators
exhibiting expertise. The List of Traits of Educators Exhibiting Expertise includes
the following.
1. The content specialist understands the role of the discipline in preparing
students for the global community.
2. The teacher understands the relationship of knowledge of the discipline to
other subject areas and to real-life situations.
3. The teacher presents information that is accurate and relevant.
4. The teacher effectively uses multiple modalities and explanations of
disciplinary concepts that capture key ideas, links them to students' prior
learning, and makes connections to everyday life and the global
5. The teacher presents differing viewpoints, theories, ways o f knowing, and
methods of inquiry in his or her teaching of subject matter.
6. The teacher evaluates teaching resources and curriculum materials for
their accuracy, comprehensiveness, and usefulness for representing
particular ideas and concepts.
7. The teacher engages students in generating knowledge and testing
hypotheses according to the methods of inquiry and standards of evidence
used in the discipline.
To continue in their pursuit to be a content specialist, higher education
faculty will need to commit to being life long learners. As information in content
areas develops and changes, faculty will need to stay current. For example in

educational psychology, remarkable advances in research on physiology of the
human brain, cognition, human development and behavior, and learning theories
have brought about efforts to include multiple ways of learning in the classroom
(Armstrong, 1993; Senge, & et. al., 2000). Numerous researchers and educators
have contributed to the current learning discussion incorporating the research on
multiple intelligences and learning styles (Senge, et. al., 2000). Gardners (1999)
theory of multiple intelligences reframed the discussion of intelligence as the
Harvard professor delineated nine multiple intelligences for the 21st century.
Building on the research cognitive scientists, Golemans (1995) research on the
theory of emotional intelligence further expanded and cultivated a new kind of
intelligence for educators to consider. McCarthys (2006) 4MAT system
distinguished four different learning styles and eight different types of lessons
including: informing, imagining, connecting, extending, practicing, examining,
refining, and performing. Myers and Briggs developed a sixteen type indicator of
personality types based on Jungs work (Keirsey-Bates, 1978).
Multifaceted models for teaching incorporate leading research models on
learning styles, encouraging variety, not homogeneity in the 21st century higher
education classroom. Longitudinal research studies such as Chess and Thomass
(1987) report that effective professors today need to be cognizant and
accommodate the theories of multiple intelligences and diverse learning styles to
help learners realize their individual strengths or preferences and best strategies
for learning.

Numerous scholars and trend forecasters (e.g., Kotter, 1990, 1996;
Laermer, 2002; Mazarr, 1999; McCombs, 1991; Ray & Rinzler, 1993), looking
toward the needs of the 21st century requiring constantly improving and
technologically competent workforce that can compete in global markets, are in
general agreement about the importance of lifelong learning in general. A priority
for educational research in this new era must focus on establishing learning as an
integral part of life (Fischer, 1996).
Learning as an integral part of life becomes lifelong learning, so critical to
the 21st century, which is quite different from the traditional linear learning
approach. Fischer (1996) noted many distinctions between educational models,
and contrasts the lifelong approach to learning with the behaviorist learning
theory of Skinner and the models of industrial work of Taylor (See Appendix L).
Lifelong learning is a continuous engagement in acquiring and applying
knowledge and skills in the context of authentic, self-directed problems (Fischer,
1996). Lifelong learning is a theoretical framework grounded in several
descriptive and prescriptive goals. Learning should take place in the context of
authentic, complex problems (because learners will refuse to quietly listen to
someone elses answers to someone elses questions). Learning should be
embedded in the pursuit of intrinsically rewarding activities. Leaming-on-demand
needs to be supported because change is inevitable, complete coverage is
impossible, and obsolescence is unavoidable; Organizational and collaborative
learning must be supported because the individual human mind is limited and

skills and processes that support learning as a lifetime habit must be developed
(Fischer, 1996).
The nature of lifelong learning contains three basic implications. The first
assumption is that the entire formal education pedagogy, from elementary school
through graduate school, should be restructured to develop lifelong learners
because lifelong learning cannot be investigated in isolation by looking just at one
small part of it, such as K-12 education, university education or worker re-
education. Second, the world full of people, organizations, and other learning
resources should be marshaled on behalf of lifelong learning. Third, people
should become self-directed learners, the active agents of their own education
(Fischer, 1996). Consequently, a commitment to ongoing lifelong learning will
contribute to a radical transformation in the way society works and leams
(Fischer, 1996).
This paper will expand Fischers (1996) hypotheses and requirements for
computational environments supporting lifelong learning to hypotheses and
requirements for lifelong learner in general for higher education pedagogy.
Hypothesis 1. Student-directed and supportive. In any pedagogy
supporting lifelong learning, the choice of tasks and goals (including the
learning opportunities offered) must be under the control of the learner,
and support must be contextualized to the learners task.

Hypothesis 2: Contextualized presentation. A pedagogy supporting
lifelong learning must present information to the learner in a way that is
maximally relevant to the learner's chosen project or task.
Hypothesis 3: Breakdowns as opportunities for learning. A pedagogy
supporting lifelong learning will be sufficiently open-ended and complex
that learners will encounter breakdowns. The pedagogy must provide
means for allowing learners to understand, extricate themselves, and leam
from breakdowns. Rather than attempting to eliminate trouble, the
pedagogy should help learners manage troubles and exploit breakdowns as
opportunities rather than failures.
Hypothesis 4: End-user modification and programmability. A pedagogy
supporting lifelong learning must provide means for significant
modification, extension, and evolution by learners.
Hypothesis 5: Supporting a range of expertise. Pedagogy supporting
lifelong learning will be employed over long periods of time by their
learners; hence, these pedagogy must be able to accommodate learners at
progressively different levels of expertise.
Hypothesis 6: Useful and usable. Many existing research efforts and
computational environments reflect an implicit belief and are grounded in
a design philosophy that there is an inevitable design tradeoff between the
notions of usefulness and usability. Pedagogy supporting lifelong learning
must be useful and usable.

H7: Promoting collaboration. Pedagogy supporting lifelong learning must
include means for collaboration among learners.
Knowledge of Their Societal Responsibility
Servant professors dedicate themselves to be not only content specialists
and life long learners in their disciplines but also to be knowledgeable in current
effective educational practice and student centered learning theory research.
Another aspect of servant professors knowledge base would be the knowledge of
their societal responsibility and their commitment to be stewards in their
relationship to the world community.
We are living in an increasingly complex and uncertain world and the
change is accelerating (Laermer, 2002; Mazarr, 1999; Toffler & Toffler, 1994,
1995). Margaret Mead commented, The world in which we are bom is not the
world in which we will live, nor is it the world in which we will die (as cited in
Cross, 1981, p. 1). What is impacting our world is not only the amount of change,
but also the rate and kinds of change in all areas of life (Toffler & Toffler, 1995).
Toffler and Toffler (1995) have suggested that virtually every American arena has
been impacted by the changes in the 21st century: the sociocultural arena with our
culturally diverse populations; the political, historical, and economic context with
business global networks and postindustrialism; scientifically and
technologically; and spiritually and philosophically. These changes are significant
because not only are there rapid changes and an increasingly turbulent
environment in technology, information, the labor force, and the economy, the

changes also involve morality, culture, as well as institutions and political
structure. It implies., in short, a true transformation in human affairs (Toffler &
Toffler, 1995, p. 11). This new era is so all encompassing it will bring new ideas
and ways of thinking, new media, new social structures, and new objectives
radically changing how human beings will think, create, work, learn, and
collaborate in the future (Fischer, 1996).
These changes in the social order at large impact the role of higher
education professors as educational leaders. Early in the 20th century, Dewey
(1916) indicated that the rapidly expanding base of information and knowledge of
the arts and sciences would require a change in education. Whitehead suggested
that it was appropriate to define education as a process of transmitting what is
known, only when the time-span of major cultural change was longer than the life
span of individuals. Whitehead believed that for the first period in human history,
what people learned in their youth would not remain valid and useful for the rest
of their lives (Donham, 1931). Whitehead was, prophetically, characterizing the
shift from the postindustrial Third Wave to the fourth Knowledge Age (Toffler &
Toffler, 1995). Today, the time-span of major cultural change is considerably
shorter than that of the typical human life span. Knowledge acquired today can be
obsolete within a matter of years (Lee & Cafferella, 1994).
More than twenty five years ago, Cross (1981), a prominent adult
educator, fervently advocated that individuals living in a dramatically escalating
changing world, needed to be prepared to make learning a continuing lifelong

activity. Cross considered lifelong learning not a privilege or a right, but a
necessity for all. She stated:
The observation that no education will last a lifetime seems conservative
and even mundane. But change is now so great and so far reaching that no
amount of education during youth can prepare adults to meet the demands
that will be made on them. That reality should change the way schools and
colleges prepare upcoming generations for their future as lifelong learners,
and it should change the way societies think about education and learning.
(p. 2)
Wiggins and McTighe (2006) confirmed what Knowles (1975) initially
asserted thirty years ago that since knowledge gained today is now largely
obsolete within a matter of years, it is no longer prudent to define education as a
process of transmitting what is known; it must now be defined as a lifelong
process of continuing inquiry (Knowles, 1975). Due to the ever-increasing rate
at which new knowledge and information are now being generated and
disseminated, teachers will continue to have an integral and irreplaceable role in
learning. However the role and responsibility of an educator as a life long learner
and educational leader will change significantly (Fullan, 2001; Wink, 2000) since
it is impossible for even the very best teacher and most learned educator to be
able to transmit all the knowledge available today (Draves, 1997; Fischer, 1996;
Wink, 2000). The teacher who can only transfer information will be obsolete
(Boice, 1992; Candy, 1991; Cross, 1981; Draves, 1997). As research by Mountjoy
(2004) demonstrates, no longer can students and professors in higher education
consider that success in school has more to do with coverage of the curriculum
and very little to do with true understanding.

Additionally, as Fischer (1996) explains, educators no longer hold the only
key to unlock information; students have access to the information themselves
through computer technology and the World Wide Web. As knowledge is self-
initiated and explored by the learner and not primarily available through a teacher,
the authority, power, and responsibility for knowledge have been dispersed into
the hands of the learners themselves (Draves, 1997). Research on teacher
leadership and autonomous student learning depicts teachers adjusting to the new
realities. This multiplicity of providers and access points to knowledge causes a
complete shift in the gatekeeping function of knowledge in society (Katyal &
Evers, 2004). Institutions and individuals will no longer be the only arbitrators of
what is true (Draves, 1997).
Into the 20th century, there was a limited interpretation of learning, with an
overemphasis on acquisition, memorization, and recall of discrete facts at the
expense of deeper understanding and its application (Association of American
Colleges and Universities, 2002). American education consisted mostly of a
transfer of knowledge from the teacher to student. However in the 21st century,
the emphasis in education shifted the center of gravity from subject matter to the
student (Draves, 1997; Merriam, 1997; Mezirow, 1991). Effective education
today focuses on learning and learners, and far less on subjects and information
(Draves, 1997).
This paradigm shift from teaching to learning has a profound impact on
faculty work and the roles and responsibilities of faculty as educational leaders

(Gunter, Estes, & Schwab, 1999; Rowley, Lujan, & Dolence, 1998). Scholars and
practioners agreed that the way people learned had changed, therefore, teaching
needed to change (Association of American Colleges and Universities, 2002;
Fullan, 2001; Wink, 2000). The American Council on Education reported that for
half of all colleges, increased attention to teaching and learning ranked among
their most significant program changes in the last decade (Senge, Cambron-
McCabe, Smith, Dutton, & Kleiner, 2000).
Knowledge of Strategies
Faculty members as educational leaders need to carefully re-examine and
reform the ways they engage learners in the educational process (Freire &
Macedo, 1987; hooks, 1994). The needed changes cannot be merely a
modification of current teaching techniques (e.g., adding group work or
unstructured activity to a predominantly lecture-driven course) (DeBoer, Van
Brummelen, Blomberg, Koole, & Stronks, 1993). What is required is a
fundamental transformation of assumptions about learners, teachers, and the kinds
of interactions that lead to knowledge and skill acquisition and learning
(Association of American Colleges and Universities, 2002; Ada, 2000; Fullan,
2001; Wink, 2000).
Schmier (1994) posed three recommendations for faculty due to this
changing dynamic: (a) Put your heads in the sand and pretend nothing has
changed while bemoaning and blaming the declining quality of the student; (b)
Water-down your courses, lower your standards, contribute to grade inflation,

and dilute the importance of the college degree; or (c) Take responsibility and
develop new approaches in your classrooms that maintain high standards while
helping students to rise to the occasion.
Yet how can faculty members be expected to do this if most American
graduate schools train scholars and researchers who are often thrown into
classrooms without guidance (Association of American Colleges and Universities,
2002)? It has often been said that college teaching is the only profession for
which there is no professional training (Sherman, Armistead, Fowler, Barksdale,
& Reif, 1987; Skinner, 1984). Faculty, while experts in their chosen disciplines,
more often than not, have never studied learning theory, instructional design, or
methodology (Association of American Colleges and Universities, 2002). As a
result, most faculty members teach as they were taught (hooks, 1994, Lambert,
1998; Skinner, 1984). Consequently, many educators in higher education do not
distinguish between merely lecturing and teaching; Most people think anyone
can teach. All you have to do is stand at the head of the classroom, throw out a
few crumbs of information in an automated lecture, and the students will eagerly
peck away and nourish their minds (Klemm, 1994).
There has been an ongoing debate about the need for educators to know
their content area rather than educational pedagogy. Cochran Smith (2005) sees
this debate as an example of the latest iteration of the tension between subject
matter and pedagogy, historical anti-educationism which encompasses

assumptions concerning the lack of knowledge, skill, ambition, and competence
needed and possessed by educators (Lagemann, 2000, p. xii).
There is evidence from research for example by Katz and Henry (1996)
and Lawler, DeCosmo, and Wilhite (1996) that this is changing as some
universities have begun to challenge their colleagues to be committed to
excellence in not only their content area but in teaching methodology as well
(Astin, 1993; Bensimon, Neumann, & Bimbaum, 1989; Zuber-Skerritt, 1995).
Faculty Development Centers and in-service workshops on educational learning
theories, instructional methodologies, and instructional design are being offered
for novice and seasoned faculty members (Boice, 1992; Boyer, 1990; Lawler,
1991; Lawler & King, 2000). As noted in the Association of American Colleges
and Universities (Association of American Colleges and Universities, 2002)
research project, faculty members are receiving recognition for excellence in
teaching and research (Zuber-Skerritt, 1995).
Just as researchers began to consider alternatives to the traditional
leadership theories and models, educational scholars, such as Napier, Fox, and
Muth (1994), also began to consider alternatives to the traditional learning
theories. This came about as a result and in response to the considerable changes
in educational psychology, brain research, sociology, and education and the shift
from the postindustrial age to the Information Age (Gage & Berliner, 1998;
Gould, 1997; Senge, et. al., 2000; Slavin, 2000). In response to the changes, new
paradigms emerged and reconceptualized learning in postsecondary education

(Apps, 1994; Freiburg & Driscoll, 2000). This section will consider the following
student centered learning theories: adult learning theory (Knowles, 1975,1980,
1989), constructivism (Brooks & Brooks, 1999), critical theory and its application
in critical pedagogy (Wink, 2000), and feminist theory and accompanying
pedagogy (Belenky, Clinchy, Goldberger, & Tarule, 1986; Maher & Tetreault,
Adult Learning Theory and Life Long Learning
Knowles (1980, 1989,1990) proposed a critical distinction between two
forms of education: pedagogy and andragogy. Pedagogy was based on education
as the transmittal of knowledge and skills through fact-laden lectures, assigned
reading, drill, quizzes, rote memorizing, and examinations. Adult educators after
World War II recognized that adults were not satisfied with this style of learning.
As a result, adult education and adult learning theory, andragogy, began to be
explored and systematically organized. Since Knowles, several additional adult
learning and adult education models have been developed (e.g., Apps, 1981,
1991,1994; Brookfield, 1986, 1990, 1995; Caffarella, 1994; Caffarella &
Merridan, 1991; Cervero & Wilson, 1994; Cross, 1981; Draves, 1997; Merriam &
Caffarella, 1991).
Knowles recommended numerous strategies to enhance the learning
process for adults. The physical and emotional learning climate had to be
conducive to adult learning. Knowles (1978) recommended strategies to enhance
the learning process for adults. The motivational psychological climate for adults

to feel accepted and supported as respected valuable self-directing individuals
exists based on a spirit of mutuality between teachers and students as joint
inquirers; in which there is freedom of expression without fear of punishment or
ridicule which is vastly different from the traditional school atmosphere of
formality, semi anonymity, and status differentiation between teacher and
student (Knowles, 1978, pp. 46-47). Teachers of adults must involve their
students in the planning process and the evaluation of learning. To not do so is
incongruent with the adults self-concept of self-directivity and, nothing makes
an adult feel more childlike than being judged by another adult; it is the ultimate
sign of disrespect and dependency, as the one who is being judged experiences it
(Knowles, 1978, p. 49).
Andragogy is grounded in the following adult learning principles:
development of a climate of openness and respect, utilization of collaborative
modes of inquiry, learning for action and application, within a participative
environment (Brookfield, 1986; Cross, 1981, Knowles, 1978, 1980,1989; Lawler,
1991). In the synergistic andragogical classroom, adults assimilate experience into
theory and accommodate theory to experience (Wlodkowski, 1993). The adult
classroom is characterized by a climate of openness, collaboration, inquiry,
creativity, competence, and ultimately greater success (Marlatt & Marlatt, 1998,
p. 235).
Cross (1981) states that there are six primary keys to facilitating adult
learning. These are: (a) understand and reduce anxiety, (b) elicit and incorporate

expectations, (c) acknowledge and utilize experience, (d) encourage active
participation, (e) identify and incorporate relevant content, and (f) facilitate
change and growth within a safe class environment. One of the most effective
ways of learning for adults is by doing and practicing and the more realistic the
learning situation, the more effective the learning becomes (Draves, 1997). The
principles of learning for adult learners are shown in appendix M.
Because adults have been conditioned by the pedagogical model to
perceive the appropriate role of learner to be that of a dependent passive recipient
of transmitted content, often even though they may be completely self-directing
in all other aspects of their lives, the minute they enter into any activity labeled
education, they sit back, fold their arms, and say, Teach me (Knowles, 1978,
p. 60). Knowles advises that an andragogical educator can build into the course
design some preparatory experiences that will convey and encourage the role of
self-directed active adult learner.
Kasworm (2005) explores coconstructed understandings of culturally and
socially mediated student identities through a select group of adult undergraduates
in intergenerational community college classroom contexts to describe
andragogical principles at work in the adult classroom. Kaufmans (2003)
qualitative research extends this exploration through his description of several
educational theories and guiding principles and shows how they could be applied
to case studies relating to the real world amidst discussion of self-directed

learning, constructivism and reflective practice, and converting theory into
Caffarella (1994) determined that adults leam best when they feel
comfortable with the learning environment and attempt tasks that allow them to
succeed within the contexts of their limited time and demanding lives. Adults are
more motivated and successful learners if they are invited to give input into the
planning of their own learning goals and processes. Adults value opportunities to
engage in social learning, i.e., to leam from their peers as well as from an
instructor with a variety of learning options appropriate to their learning styles
individually and in groups. Bringing a lifetime of experience, adults appreciate
being able to associate new learning with prior experiences. Building on what is
known, adults relate and apply new information to practical situations in their
own lives. Important aspects of the learning process include: the use and
acknowledgement of the adults prior knowledge, the individuals style of
learning, their desire to be an active participant in their own learning, their desire
to connect with other learners, and their personal and social context. An adults
personal context consists of a persons history (where they have been), their
current roles and responsibilities (where they are now), and their personal
aspirations and dreams (where they would like to go)? (p. 33). Adults, with a
lifetime of personal and professional experiences, often both want and need to
modify, transfer, and reintegrate what these experiences mean in terms of their

values and beliefs, their storehouse of knowledge, and their skills and abilities
The Implications ofAdult Learning Theory for Higher Education
An important implication is that the research on the adult learner and
learning theory suggests that adult learner-centered practices for teaching and
learning are appropriate in higher education (Lavell, 2001). Lustig (1996)
observed that traditionally, people who are responsible for instructional and
professional development in post-secondary institutions rarely view themselves as
educators of adults. Yet, progressive university faculty will consider their students
as adult learners and be introduced to adult learning theory and practice (Apps,
1994,1996; Marlatt & Marlatt, 1998). By recognizing and applying research in
adult learning theory and education, faculty can perceive their students as adult
learners and develop new techniques for more effective teaching and enhanced
learning in higher education (Merriam, 1998).
From an andragogical perspective, educators in post-secondary institutions
need to develop curriculum and instructional design, methodologies, and
authentic assessment for students based on sound learning and developmental
theory (Apps, 1981, 1991; Brookfield, 1995; Marlatt & Marlatt, 1998). While the
higher education environment has not historically provided diverse and innovative
techniques for either teaching or learning, there is an opportunity for greater
utilization today (Stevens, 1998). Opportunities abound for the use of
andragogical techniques such as learner-centered practices, case studies, problem-

based learning, and collaborative learning in higher education (LeJeunne, 2001;
Muth, 1999). Andragogy is now touted as one of the cornerstones to the future in
the rapidly changing information age (Apps, 1996, Brookfield, 1995; Lustig,
For instance, Wades article (1998) investigates and evaluates the
literature of andragogy, with reference to nursing education and the factors which
influence the development of expert teachers. Wade offers various factors and
details on the constitution of expert teaching which include a clear praxis of adult
learning principles and methodologies compatible with andragogy.
Lawlers writing (1991) show how opportunities abound for the use of
andragogical techniques such as learner-centered practices, case studies, problem-
based learning, and collaborative learning in higher education As faculty
understand the features of adult learners, their classroom practices should shift
from information sharing to information generation, involving students in
interpreting and constructing meaning and then, testing those understandings
through inquiry and discourse (Marlatt & Marlatt, 1998; Zook, 2001).
As early as 1916, Dewey, followed by others like Piaget (1971), Vygotsky
(1978), and Bruner (1996), articulated the core ideas in constructivism. Today,
there is a widespread resurgence of this educational theory and practice (Brooks
& Brooks, 1999; Gutek, 1997). Supported by new research in cognitive

psychology, constructivism is changing the focus of the classroom from teacher
dominated to student-centered (Lambert, 1998).
Constructivist learning evolves in nonlinear ways from the experiences
and attitudes of the learners (Lambert, et al., 1995, p. 19). The main tenet of
constructivism is that knowledge and the discovery of ontological reality is not
passively received but actively built up by the experiential world through a
process of adaptation based on and constantly modified by a learner's experience
(Slavin, 2000).
Constructivism states that the capacity to learn is not fixed or innate
(Johnson & Johnson, 1988; Lambert, 1998; Meyers & Jones, 1993). Knowing is
an action participated in by the learner and knowledge is not received from an
external source (Brooks & Brooks, 1999) therefore learning must be an active and
interactive process. Accordingly, norms need to be developed that foster
collaboration and shared inquiry (Lambert, et al., 1995; Slavin, 2000). Social
interactions within the learning environment are an essential part of this
experience and contribute fundamentally to individual knowledge construction
(Traianou, 2006). Shared meanings develop through negotiation within some
socio-cultural setting, a community of practice, where social actions as well as
social interactions occur in the learning environment (Lambert, et al., 1995).
These key principles of constructivism are based on the foundational
premises that learners are not empty vessels, passively receiving from an
independent, pre-existing world outside the mind of the knower. Learners

assimilate and reframe new information in an interactive process constructing
knowledge and beliefs within themselves and then actively construct meaning
from their personal schema which is enhanced by shared inquiry as a social
activity. By accessing their experiences, knowledge, and beliefs through reflection
and metacognition to construct knowledge and meaning, students and teachers
gain much from assessing the varied and often unpredictable outcomes of the
learning process utilizing authentic assessment strategies (Johnson & Johnson,
1988; Lambert, et al., 1995; Slavin, 2000).
Constructivism is an approach to education renewal that challenges the
flawed, simple, linear plan now prevalent in most educational systems (Brooks
& Brooks, 1999, p. vii). This is especially true in higher education, where for
many students and professors, success in school has more to do with coverage of
the curriculum and very little to do with true understanding (Evans, 1996).
Constructivism is appropriate as a learning process for higher education based on
a belief that cognitive processes are not different at different ages (Marlatt &
Marlatt, 1998). Constructivist learning is not age related or stage bound but refers
to the processes of cognition for all humans (Lambert, et al., 1995; Meyers &
Jones, 1993; Senge, et. al., 2000).
Typically, in a constructivist classroom, teachers seek and value their
students points of view for the focus is on the learner and not on the subject or
individual lesson to be taught. Ideas are presented holistically as broad concepts
before broken down into parts. There is no knowledge independent of the

meaning attributed to experience (constructed) by the learner, or community of
learners, so there are no memorized facts or information that has not been
connected with the learner's prior experiences (Brooks & Brooks, 1999;
Duckworth, 1996; Postlewaite, 1993; Yager, 1991).
There are proceedings that typically occur in each constructivist
classroom. Teachers seek and value their students points of view for the focus is
on the learner in thinking about learning (not on the subject/lesson to be taught).
Class room activities challenge students suppositions. Teachers pose problems of
emerging relevance; and build lessons around primary concepts and big ideas;
which are presented holistically as broad concepts before broken down into parts.
Teachers assess student learning in the context of daily teaching. There is no
knowledge independent of the meaning attributed to experience (constructed) by
the learner, or community of learners, so there are no memorized facts or
information that has not been connected with the learner's prior experiences. The
activities are student centered and students are encouraged to ask their own
questions, carry out their own experiments, make their own analogies and come to
their own conclusions (Brooks & Brooks, 1999; Duckworth, 1996; Postlewaite,
What takes place in the classroom is represented in the following
summary of some suggestions for becoming a constructivist teacher (Brooks &
Brooks, 1999).

1. Become one of many resources that the student may learn from, not the
primary source of information.
2. Engage students in experiences that challenge previous conceptions of
their existing knowledge.
3. Allow student response to drive lessons and seek elaboration of
students' initial responses. Allow student some thinking time after posing
4. Encourage the spirit of questioning by asking thoughtful, open-ended
questions. Encourage thoughtful discussion among students.
5. Use cognitive terminology such as "classify," "analyze", and "create"
when framing tasks.
6. Encourage and accept student autonomy and initiative. Be willing to let
go of classroom control.
7. Use raw data and primary sources, along with manipulative, interactive
physical materials.
8. Don't separate knowing from the process of finding out.
9. Insist on clear expression from students. When students can
communicate their understanding, then they have truly learned, (pp. 25-
The Implications of Constructivism for the Higher Education Classroom
Constructivism is appropriate as a learning process for higher education
based on a belief that cognitive processes are not different at different ages.

Constructivist learning is not age related or stage bound but refers to the processes
of cognition for all humans (Lambert, et al., 1995). Research in constructivist
learning and on effective college teaching has resulted in varied theories that
provide a basis for developing techniques for enhanced teaching and improved
learning in higher education. The research on the adult learner and constructivist
learning theory suggests that learner-centered practices for teaching and learning
are appropriate in higher education (Lavell, 2001). It is appropriate that teaching
and learning shift the focus to an increased use of learner-centered practices
because unquestionably, a highly interactive, learner-centered environment is a
worthy goal in undergraduate education (or in any education or training
environment) in terms of the quality of the learning experience" (Astin, 1993).
In traditional pedagogical practice, the function of the teacher is to
teach. The teacher is expected to take full responsibility for what happens in the
teaching-learning transaction (Wink, 2000). The learners role tends to be that of
a fairly passive recipient of the teachers instruction. Yet, constructivists have
moved away from behaviorist notions of teachers as purveyors of knowledge and
learners as passive receivers (Lambert, et al., 1995). Models of good practice in
higher education must utilize learners previous experiences to enhance their
current and future learning (Palmer, 2005) since current cognitive, humanistic,
social, and constructivist learning models stress the importance of meaning

University educators must find more effective teaching strategies than the
traditional lecture (Lustig, 1996). Teaching methods should require students to
exercise their intellectual abilities, not just their memories. For example, in the
cognitive model of teaching known as cooperative or collaborative learning,
cognitive and metacognitive experiences are group-oriented rather than
individually oriented as students work together and value each other for their
multiple intelligence (Boekaerts, de Koning, & Minnaert, 2006).
Perhaps the major obstacle to embracing change in higher education is the
tradition of lecturing to which most faculty members are bound (Klemm, 1994).
Opponents of the emerging paradigms, typically complain that it abandons the
lecture, which they consider to be the most effective means of information
transmission (Klemm, 1994).
Another major obstacle to constructivism being applied in the higher
education classroom is the nature and mind-set of typical university students who,
throughout most of their early schooling, have been conditioned to compete and
not cooperate (Klemm, 1994; Noddings, 1990). Yet, constructivists advocate that
once admitted to post-secondary school, each student's success should not be
achieved at the expense of any other student (Lambert, 1998).
Unfortunately, the situation is even worse than it appears, as studies show
that even students who score well on standardized tests often are unable to
successfully integrate or contrast memorized facts and formulae with real-life
applications outside the school room (Lambert, 1998). As practical knowledge

(common sense) and school knowledge are becoming mutually exclusive; many
students see little connection between what they learn in the classroom with real
life (Apps, 1991).
Additionally, the traditional teaching method of teacher as sole
information-giver to passive students appears outdated (Wiske, 1997). In a
Berkeley (Angelo, 1991) study on undergraduates in a large lecture hall setting, it
was found that only 20 % of the students retained what the instructor discussed
after the lecture. They were too busy taking notes to internalize the information.
Also, after a mere eight minutes into the lecture, only 15 % of the students were
paying attention.
The effectiveness of the constructivist method has been evaluated
frequently (Palmer, 2005). Lustigs (1996) dissertation research on the effect of
individual communication styles on perceptions of effective teaching at the
college level suggests that constructivist learning and learner-centered practices
are appropriate in higher education. A constructivist approach would allow
faculty in higher education to shift the focus to an increased use of learner-
centered practices because unquestionably, a highly interactive, learner-centered
environment is a worthy goal in undergraduate education (or in any education or
training environment) in terms of the quality of the learning experience" (Astin,
1993). For example, Boekaerts, de Koning, & Minnaert (2006) used the Quality
of Working in Groups Instrument to measure students positive psychological

interest as well as their situational interest in an undergraduate course using
constructivist methodology.
Mikols (2005) qualitative interpretive analysis of her method of teaching
to a diverse student body in an associate degree program demonstrated several
positive results of teaching university students in a professional program using
constructivist strategies. Rather than lecturing, the author and her colleagues
facilitated small-group discussions, engaging students in communicative
dialogue which leads to flexibility and openness to student ideas as well as
opportunities to share personal stories and dialogue with students.
Perhaps the major obstacle to adopting constructivism in the higher
education classroom is the tradition of lecturing to which most faculty members
are bound (Klemm, 1994). For example, Spencers (2006) research depicts
examples of chemistry teachers need to maintain standards and rigor as the
common reason for the refusal to change the teaching methodology of the course.
Spencer concludes that constructivism, previous knowledge, classroom structure,
and group learning have played an important role in the positive learning process.
Opponents typically complain that this emerging learning paradigm
abandons the lecture, which they consider to be the most effective means of
information transmission (Klemm, 1994; Lustig, 1996). Yet the traditional lecture
method of teacher as sole information-giver to passive students is outdated
(Altbach, Berdahl, & Gumport, 1994; hooks, 1994; Lavell, 2001)

Mountjoys (2004) dissertation qualitative research study on adults in a
graduate education program considered constructivist practices as a strategy to
bring about transformational learning in higher education. Constructivist
professors would find more effective teaching strategies than merely the
traditional lecture that would require students to exercise their intellectual
abilities, not just their memories (Angelo, 1991; Brooks & Brooks, 1999; Lustig,
1996). Palmers (2005) research shows how some aspects of the models were not
entirely in accord with current views of motivation and offers a motivational
model of constructivist-informed teaching.
Critical Pedagogy and Feminist Pedagogy
Critical pedagogist Wink (2000) delineated three perspectives of
educational pedagogy: the transmission model, the generative model, and the
transformative model. A teacher who transmits knowledge to waiting receptive
students describes the transmission model. The controlling school and the teacher
start from a text of predetermined truth, which the students then memorize; this is
the banking model of education as depicted by Paulo Freire (1982). In contrast,
the generative model is defined by an active engagement of the teacher and
students together in the process of knowledge formation and learning. This is a
constructivist approach to education. The transformative model, similar to the
generative model, involves all in the active process of inquiry and exploration, but
it does not end in the classroom. The vital final process is to then relate and
extend the knowledge into the community and world to make life better for the

common good. Consequently, the transformative model is an example of students
and teacher doing critical pedagogy (Wink, 2000, p. 123).
The purpose of critical pedagogy and transformational education is:
To create processes whereby students can see that their actions do count.
They are encouraged to take the learning from the classroom and to
engage locally and socially. This model of learning and teaching assumes
that the generation of knowledge in the classroom leads to the betterment
of life for the student or for the community. Knowledge is created to
influence their world; it is no longer a passive ingredient designed only for
the classroom, (p. 160)
A critical pedagogy approach to teaching and learning challenges teachers
to have more than merely complex pedagogical skills (Wink, 2000). Today
educators need more complex understandings of who students are and how they
learn. The practices of transformational teachers will be informed by new theories
of unrestricted human development, inclusion, multiple voices, relationships, and
everyones everyday life (Wink, 2000). This new knowledge has raised questions
about the traditional way of transmitting previous knowledge. From
constructivism research, educators and researchers increasingly recognize the role
students play in constructing knowledge and accessing new knowledge. The
teacher-directed lesson too often lacks opportunities for students to interact with
one another and with the ideas that they are studying (Wink, 2000, p. 121). There
are implications and applications for the higher education classroom because
critical pedagogy is appropriate for all ages. Wink (2000) offers numerous
examples from postsecondary classrooms in her popular text for educators.

In her books summation, Wink challenges every educator to face this
issue of critical pedagogy with fervor because Kids matter. Thats why. Our
future matters. Thats why. It is as simple as that. It is something we all know.
This is serious business we are talking about here (Wink, 2000, p. 165). To best
meet the needs of educators and students, our society needs teachers committed to
the praxis of critical pedagogy (Wink).
Pennycook (1994) maintains that faculty members are the gatekeepers of
knowledge, even though they may never have critically reflected on their
unexamined role in the process (as cited in Wink, 2000, p. 1). Critical
pedagogists challenge all educators to be cognizant of this role as gatekeepers of
knowledge. Critical pedagogy is a way of thinking about, negotiating, and
transforming the relationship among classroom teaching, the production of
knowledge, the institutional structures of the school, and the social and material
relations of the wider community, society, and nation state (McLaren, 1998, p.
45). The purpose of critical pedagogy and transformational education is to create
processes whereby students can see that their actions do count (Fertman, 1994).
Knowledge is created to influence their world; it is no longer a passive
ingredient designed only for the classroom (Wink, 2000, p. 160).
Fundamental to critical pedagogy is an expansion of the traditional
definition of pedagogy to include praxis, the integration of theory and practice
(Wink, 2000). Wink defines critical pedagogy by explaining the nuances and
implications of several key terms. These terms include: conscientization,

codification, cultural capital, dialectic, discourse, hegemony, hidden curriculum,
grooming, naming, marginalizing, silencing, and socializing.
Critical pedagogists believe the changing world is dragging us (kicking
and screaming, in some instances) into the world of a transformative model of
education (Wink, 2000, p. x). Fischman and McLaren (2005) argue that critical
problematizes the relationship between education and politics, between
sociopolitical relations and pedagogical practices, between the
reproduction of dependent hierarchies of power and privilege in the
domain of everyday social life and that of classrooms and institutions. In
doing so, it advances an agenda for educational transformation by
encouraging educators to understand the sociopolitical contexts of
educative acts and the importance of radically democratizing both
educational sites and larger social formations. In such processes, educators
take on intellectual roles by adapting to, resisting, and challenging
curriculum, school policy, educational philosophies, and pedagogical
Critical pedagogy is the interaction between teaching and learning based
on social, cultural, political, and economic conditions (Wink, 2000). It is a way
of thinking about, negotiating, and transforming the relationship among classroom
teaching, the production of knowledge, the institutional structures of the school,
and the social and material relations of the wider community, society, and nation
state (McLaren, 1998, p. 45).
The works of the late Brazilian educator Paulo Freire (1982,1994), the
former director of the national adult literacy campaign in Brazil, are foundational
for understanding critical pedagogical praxis. Freire (1994) argued fervently
against what he called the banking model of education (p. 58). In this model,

the teacher-student relationship had a fundamentally narrative character [which]
involves a narrating Subject (the teacher) and patient listening Objects (the
students) (p. 58). The teacher directed the students to mechanically memorize the
narrated content.
Education, according to Freire (1994), became an act of depositing, in
which the students are the depositories or receptacles to be filled by the teacher
as the depositor. In the banking concept of education, the teachers project an
absolute ignorance onto their students who submissively and passively receive,
memorize, and replicate (1982, p. 58) (See Appendix N).
Instead of the banking concept of education, Freire (1982) advocated a
libertarian education of reconciliation in which the teacher and student are
simultaneously teachers and students (p. 59). In libertarian education, the
humanistic revolutionary educator engaged his or her students in critical thinking
and the quest for mutual humanization. His efforts must be imbued with a
profound trust in men (sic) and their creative power. To achieve this, he must be a
partner of the students in his relations with them (p. 62). The goal of the
libertarian educator is to create a nonhierarchical collaborative learning
environment where every voice is heard and respected and excitement coexists
with academic rigor. The role of the learner is not just to listen to the professor,
but to interact with the subject, with the instructor, and the other students. All
voices have value in the classroom.

There have been numerous voices around the world contributing to the
critical pedagogy discussion in addition to the Latin voice from Freire (1994). The
European voice includes Gramsci (1971). Additionally, Vygotskys (1962)
fundamental understanding of sociocultural learning, a zone of proximal
development, and work on thought and language added much to the discussion.
The strong North American voice of critical pedagogy includes that of Ada
(2000), Giroux (1988), McCaleb (1994), McLaren (1998), and Wink (2000).
Recognizing that there is no one critical pedagogy (McLaren, 1998, p.
227), there are common elements. The essential steps to critical pedagogy,
according to Freire (1987), involve (a) naming, (b) reflecting critically, and (c)
acting. Ada (2000) proposes a four-phase application of critical pedagogy for the
classroom. The first stage is the descriptive phase when information is shared by
teacher, text, material, media, and any other primary resource. The second stage is
the personal interpretation phase. Here students grapple with new information
based on their lived experiences. The third stage is the critical phase including
student reflection and critical analysis. The fourth stage is the creative phase.
Learning from the class is connected to the real world of the student.
The concept in leadership of the hierarchical nature of the leader-follower
relationship draws upon the work of Gramsci (1971) and Shannon (1995) on
hegemony in educational practice. Hegemony, derived from the Greek word
hegemon, generally refers to political domination or leadership (Wink, 2000).
Hegemony is the domination of one group over another with little or no consent

of the dominated group. Educationally, the dominant group maintains the control
of knowledge and literacy (Freire, 1982; Wink, 2000). What has been presented
as a dichotomy in Western thought, such as man/woman, administrator/ teacher,
teacher/student, objective knowledge/subjective knowledge is merely a
difference, which has been manipulated into a hierarchy (Wink, 2000). The
hegemonic authoritarianism of traditional higher education valorizes the professor
and the objective knowledge base of reality that are professed, while invalidating
the student and the experiential constructed knowledge of the student (hooks,
1994). Traditionally, the teacher and cool, mitigated, rational, and detached
academic discourse (Maher & Tetreault, 2001) is confirmed and validated, the
other is denigrated. Critical theorists hope to negate the traditional hierarchical
gender-biased educational leadership theories and pedagogies and invite
everyones voice into the discourse (Maher & Tetreault, 2001; Stenberq, 2006;
Winks, 2000).
Harts (2006) article purports that critical pedagogy, originating as a
counter normative pedagogy, has a commitment to subvert and transform facets of
school life that may alienate and oppress students. Hart argues that critical
pedagogy and service learning as emancipatory pedagogies can intersect to
provide a form of education for those students most marginalized and alienated by
oppressive features of traditional instruction. Fischman and McLarens (2005)
writing revisits the contributions of Antonio Gramsci and Paulo Freire to critical

pedagogy, giving particular attention to the related concepts of hegemony and the
intellectual. -
Cadman (2005) tells a reflexive story as a teacher of research of
developing a critical pedagogy which prioritizes interpersonal relationships over
curriculum and content material. It is the researchers belief that higher education
requires a reassessment of the classroom as a teaching space and a reevaluation of
the roles of teachers and students because critical pedagogy enhances professors
and students' transcultural dialogues and outreaches.
The purpose of Breunigs (2005) research is to explore some of the ways
for experiential educators and critical pedagogues to begin engaging in a more
purposeful classroom praxis that acts on the theoretical underpinnings of these
pedagogies as one means to work toward their shared vision of a more socially
just world. Breunig argues that there is a lack of congruence between the
pedagogical theories that are espoused and the actual classroom practices that are
employed within the post-secondary classroom (Itin, 1999; Kinecheloe, 1999).
Ainley and Canaans (2005) research draws upon Gramsci and Freire to
develop a dialogic pedagogy with students at two universities. The authors invite
contributions to an evidence-based conversation on how far critical pedagogy can
afford students and teachers opportunities to go beyond the commodified
transmission of information in specialist academic disciplines and of competences
specified for future occupation in the emerging hierarchy of researching, teaching
and training universities.

Bartlett (2005) draws on ethnographic fieldwork among several adult
education nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in Brazil to show how
educators interpreted and acted based on Freirean pedagogical theory with
attention focused on three complicated issues: understanding the meaning of
dialogue, transforming traditional teacher-student relations, and incorporating
local knowledge into the classroom. The final section in this research examines
the implications of these findings for two contemporary international educational
efforts: pedagogical efforts, especially among Latin American and Latino/a
educators, to develop a pedagogy of caring and "love" and to ensure that
indigenous knowledge is respected and employed.
Three contemporary critical pedagogists write about the praxis of critical
pedagogy, Belzer (2004) researches critical practice in adult literacy education by
discussing how instructors can create a situation in which learners and instructors
can communicate across their differences. Winchs (2004) research articulates
how developing critical rationality through the model of critical pedagogy
pervades all aspects of life. Using the literature from critical pedagogy and
cultural studies, Segalls (2004) paper revisits the prevalent concept of
pedagogical content knowledge and examines how (and when) each of its
components works with/on/against the other in the production of meaning and
experience in the educative process.
Mckinney (2005) explores and describes the way in which students and
the teacher engage in dialogue about issues of race in a first year English studies

course at a predominantly Afrikaans and white university in South Africa.
McKinney also reflects on the tensions about relinquishing his former traditional
hegemonic practices of instructors with power over students in the classroom. He
write honestly about tensions such as this within the researchers teaching practice
and identity positions linking this to the distinction between reflective practice
and action research.
Nakiboglu and Karako9 (2005) carry out studies about the areas of
teachers knowledge (a content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, and general
cultural knowledge) and add a fourth knowledge area called the "pedagogical
content (PCK)" and the application of this knowledge in various areas of teacher
training programs.
Feminist Pedagogy
One form of critical pedagogy is feminist pedagogy. Initially educators in
the 1970s introduced feminist literature, issues, or ideas into their curriculum,
paying attention to the particular needs of women students (Book, 2000;
Northouse, 1997). Gilligan, a Harvard University education professor and author
of In a Different Voice (1982), articulated epistemologies, or ways of knowing,
that differentiated how women acquire knowledge. Unlike earlier research that
concentrated on predominately undergraduate middle and upper class Caucasian
males (e.g., Perry, 1970), Gilligans scholarly work on women significantly
impacted the leadership and gender debate in academia. Extending Gilligans
work, Womens Ways of Knowing (Belenky, Clinchy, Goldberger, & Tarule,

1986) offered innovative understandings into the epistemology of the
development of women's knowledge. Based on interviews with 135 women of
various ages from a variety of cultural and economic backgrounds, the authors
investigated the way women acquire and convey their knowledge of the world.
Womens Ways of Knowing identified five universal epistemological categories of
womens "ways of knowing." Intimately connected to experiences of authority, a
woman's route to knowledge begins with silence, progresses to passively
receiving knowledge from authorities (usually men), then to intuiting knowledge,
and to the final passage of integrating knowledge.
Expanding this, several feminist scholars, such as Dentith (2004) and
Madden (2005) in her presidential address on gender and leadership in higher
education, considered not only feminist issues but the implications and
applications of these issues on the pedagogy used in their classrooms. Langan and
Davidsons (2005) implementation of feminist pedagogical techniques is an
example of how the feminist pedagogical approaches gained prominence through
an increasing dissatisfaction with traditional approaches to student learning.
Feminist scholars made a commitment to give voice and relevance to not only
women, but also working class students and members of underrepresented ethnic
groups (hooks, 1994; Macdonald & Sanchez-Casal, 2002; Maher & Tetreault,
2001; Wink, 2000). Also impacting feminist pedagogy was the consciousness
raising practices of the womens movement (Naisbitt & Aburdene, 1984), the
progressive tradition of constructivism in American education articulated by

Dewey (1916), and the more liberatory teaching espoused by Freire (1994).
Feminist pedagogists and researchers Maher and Tetreault (2001) authored a
groundbreaking book which proposed a model of connected teaching with the
professor as midwife and demonstrated portraits of professors who conceptualized
feminist pedagogy in their classrooms.
In Wagner and Magnusson (2005) case study, using journal entries of
university social work students, womens lives and experiences are accorded a
place of importance and are considered worthy of theorizing. Bellwoars (2005)
article on orienting, disorienting, and reorienting multiple perspectives in
feminist pedagogy describes the growing expertise and developing field.
Johnson-Bailey and Ming-Yehs (2005) work on women of color in the
academy and Wagner and Magnussons (2005) work are examples of how
feminism has broadened its perspective to include the standpoints of those who
are not part of the dominant group, whose voices were traditionally silenced in
academia such as women and people of color.
Uppal and English (2005) write about their experiences in organizing
Teach Feminist, an interdisciplinary conference for faculty and students within
the Women's Studies program at Queens College-City University of New York.
By focusing on understandings of faculty work within the academy and the
implications of feminist pedagogy, the authors consider how their work as
organizers was limited by certain institutional logics, and they advocate forms of
understanding that can articulate how educators inhabit institutions, while also

recognizing that there must be sites of intervention that exceed institutional forms
and logics, strategies that engage the possibility of exceeding the structures within
which they emerge.
Knowledge of Servant Leadership
The sixth aspect of the servant professors knowledge base is knowledge
of servant leadership. This section focuses on five primary areas of servant
leadership. First, the purpose of servant leadership is presented. Then, the history
of servant leadership including the Judeo-Christian origins, the work of Greenleaf
(1970,1977,1979), as well as current research and writings on the topic will be
outlined. Third, the primary limitations of the traditional models of leadership are
introduced so that the literature review can describe how servant leadership
addresses each of the limitations and criticisms of leadership. Next, the
characteristics of servant leadership are detailed.
The Purpose of Servant Leadership
While there are several models of teacher leadership, with no single path
to enlightened leadership, but there probably has never been a better time to
examine ways to make it a positive fact of life.. ..the American school can become
a differentand betterplace in the second decade of the 21st century (Furtrell
& Kelly, 2001, p. 5). Servant leadership offers one such teacher leadership model.
As Rudes (2005) qualitative multiple case study showed servant leadership is a
unique model because it is not merely another style of leadership or a set of
practices to adopt, but a long-term, transformational approach and a life

philosophy (Laub, 1999; Spears, 2002; Tichy & DeVanna, 1990). Servant
leadership is based upon personal core values and commitment that are modeled
more than proclaimed (Sailers, 1996). Servant leadership is not a quick-fix
approach, nor is it something that can be hastily instilled within an institution or
merely verbalized by an individual (Beazley & Beggs, 2002; Jaworski, 1996;
McNeal, 1998; Sergiovanni, 1992). Servant leadership is a difficult task requiring
revolutionary thinking and evolutionary patience (Showkeir, 2002).
Servant leaders have an awareness of paradox, an opposite and balancing
truth (McNeal, 1998). The key paradox that servant leadership is predicated upon
is that an individual can lead more effectively by serving others (De Pree, 1982,
1989,1997; Laub, 1999; Spears, 2002). Other paradoxes include the belief that
one can arrive at better answers by learning to ask deeper questions and to find a
common voice one must involve more people in the process (Freeman, Isaksen, &
Dorval, 2002). A servant leader can build strength and unity by valuing
differences and can improve quality by allowing mistakes to be transparent and
learning experiences (Markwardt, 2001; Page & Wong, 1998). These paradoxes
can coexist by creating a safe environment in which people can learn from each
other and from experience (McGee-Cooper & Trammell, 1995).
Servant leadership turns the typical organizational hierarchical pyramid
upside down. With the traditional pyramid, the boss is always responsible, and the
staff is supposed to be responsive to the boss. Yet when a company turns the
pyramid upside down, the roles are reversed (Blanchard, 1998a). The customers

and workers are at the top of the organization and the top management are then at
the bottom. For the servant leader, the needs of his or her employees, customers,
constituents, and community become the highest priority (Blanchard, 1998a). This
results in a major difference between who is responsible and who is responsive.
The individual employees become responsible and the job of management is to be
responsive to their people.
Blanchard (1998a) challenged, Imagine letting people at work think (p.
24). To put this situation in perspective, Blanchard illustrated:
Consider how Seeing Eye dogs are trained to work with the visually
impaired. Trainers take two kinds of dogs out of the program-the
completely disobedient and the completely obedient. The first group to be
dismissed is easily understandable, but why the second? Because the only
dogs trainers keep are the ones that will do whatever the master says
unless it doesn't make sense. Imagine letting dogs think! And yet, it would
be a disaster if a Seeing Eye dog and his or her master were waiting on the
comer and the master said, Forward. The dog, seeing a car speeding in
their direction, shrugs his shoulders and thinks to himself, "This is a real
bummer" as he leads his master into the middle of the street, (p. 24)
The Origins of Servant Leadership
While Greenleaf (1977) coined the term servant leadership and
popularized the concept in contemporary thought, servant leadership has its roots
in Judeo-Christian theology (Wilkes, 1998a). The word servant (along with serve
and service) appears in The Bible more than 1,300 times (Blanchard, 1998a). God
instructs numerous Old Testament leaders to serve their people including
Abraham, Moses, Joseph, Jacob, Joseph, Ruth, and King David. God advised
Rehoboam, King of Israel, If today you will be a servant to these people and
serve them and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your servants

(I Kings 12:7). The leaders were chastised, The kings of the Gentiles lord it over
them (their people).. ..But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among
you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules, like the one who serves
(Luke 22:25-26).
Batten (1998) said that, regardless of religious background, one has to
admit that Jesus was a leader as His life, words, and vision changed history. In the
New Testament, studying Jesus life and teachings from a leadership perspective
portrays a clear picture of biblical servant leadership (Blanchard, Hybels, &
Hodges, 1999; Engstrom, 1976; Sanders, 1994; Wilkins, 1998a). Jesus practiced
and taught a radical concept of servant leadership that contradicted the prevalent
concept of greatness and power. He stated, If one of you wants to be great, he
must be the servant of the rest; and if one of you wants to be first, he must be the
slave of all (Mark 10:43-44).
The term servant, used in verse 43, is the Greek word diakonos, which
means, to wait at table, to provide or care for, to minister, or to serve. It is the
root of the English word deacon (Wilkes, 1998a). The word slave, used by Jesus
in verse 44, is the Greek word doulos. This was a startling word choice because
the concept of slavery was totally repugnant to first century Jews. Throughout
their history, Jews knew the depredation and ravages of slavery because as a
nation they had been overthrown and enslaved on numerous occasions. For the
Jews, if one person called another a slave or said that one should act like a slave,

it was a heinous insult. Yet pointedly, Jesus used the words servant and slave to
describe his highest form of leadership (Wilkes, 1998a, pp. 11-12).
Throughout the Gospels, Jesus, the servant messiah (Sanders, 1994),
taught about servanthood. Philippians 2:5-11 teaches the divine nature of Christ as
well as clearly teaching that Jesus came to earth as a servant. Jesus also
demonstrated what it meant to be a true servant (Banks & Powell, 2000; Briner &
Pritchard, 1997; Engstrom, 1976; Ford, 1991; Jennings & Stahl-Wert, 2003). In
Luke 4:18-30, Jesus inaugural sermon, he declared that his life was to be one of
service, to proclaim good news to the poor and liberty to the captives, to heal the
brokenhearted, and to heal the physically and spiritually blind, bruised and
broken. Ultimately, he came to serve, not to be served (McNeal, 1998).
Jesus call to his disciples to be servant leaders was clear in both word and
act (Maxwell, 1993). When Jesus washed the feet of his disciples, a task typically
reserved for the lowliest of house servants, he was symbolically demonstrating
servant leadership (Anderson, 1997). He emphatically stated, You call me
teacher and Lord and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and
teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one anothers feet. I have
set you as an example that you should do as I have done for you (John 13:13-17).
Jesus was consistently asked questions like, How do I become first? or
Who is the greatest? His response was If anyone wants to be first, he must be
the very last, and the servant of all (Mark 9:35) and "Whoever welcomes this
little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the

one who sent me. For he who is the least among allhe is the greatest" (Luke
9:48). From the numerous narratives about Jesus and his explicit teachings about
serving others, Jesus challenged his immediate followers and those who abide by
his teachings today to follow his example as a servant leader.
Greenleafs Modernized Conceptualization of Servant Leadership
While Judeo-Christian theology incorporated the concept of servant
leadership, Greenleaf coined the term servant leader in his 1970 essay The
Servant as Leader. As a devout Quaker, Greenleaf was familiar with the concept
of servant leadership. Later Greenleaf, in his seminal work Servant Leadership: A
Journey into the Nature of Legitimate Power and Greatness (1977), explained
how he conceptualized this leadership model. Greenleaf was reading Hesses
(1971) Journey to the East in which a band of men embarked on a mythical
journey accompanied by the supposed servant Leo. The travelers later discovered
that Leo was not their servant; he was the great noble Order Head and leader.
This idea of Leo as the servant and leader profoundly impacted Greenleaf and
transformed his understanding of leadership.
As the world moved into the 21st century, leadership studies shifted focus
dramatically. The traditional studies came under significant criticism (Wren,
1995). The limitations of the traditional leadership praxis make a compelling case
for reconfiguring the definition and role of leadership in the investigation of the
roles and responsibility of faculty as leader in academia today (Jordan, 2004). In
response to these limitations, several emergent leadership models gained

prominence (Champy, 1995; Daft, 1999; Kotter, 1996). The emergent leadership
models moved from transactional to transformational leadership, from
hierarchical to collaborative, from individual to inter-individual (Kegan, 1982),
from leadership as a role and position of coercive power to an attitude and core
value of personal responsibility to lead through service while empowering others
(Covey, 1989,1991,2004; Heifetz, 1994).
The Characteristics of Servant Leadership
Spears' Synthesis of Greenleafs Ten Key Elements of Servant Leadership
Through studying Greenleaf s works, Spears (1998a), CEO of the
Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership, identified ten characteristics ascribed to
the servant leader. These include the following: listening receptively to what
others have to say, an acceptance of others and having empathy for them,
foresight and intuition, awareness building and perception, having highly
developed powers of persuasion, an ability to conceptualize and to communicate
concepts, an ability to exert a healing influence upon individuals and institutions,
stewardship, building community in the workplace, and commitment to the
growth of people (pp. 5-6). Spears noted that these characteristics occur naturally
within individuals and could be developed and enhanced through learning and
Throughout history, leaders have been valued for their communication
skills (Northouse, 1997). For the servant leader, a deep commitment to

nonjudgmental listening is as important as an ability to speak effectively and
persuasively. To describe this kind of active listening, Greenleaf (1977) draws
upon the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi, which says, in part: Grant that I may not
seek first to be understood, but to understand. Listening, as Greenleaf explained
often, is an attitude. Empathetic listening is rooted in a genuine interest in the
viewpoints and perspectives of those served (Covey, 1989).
For servant leaders one of the building blocks for any community is for its
members to listen to each other (Habecker, 1996). Greenleaf (1977) considers
this a primary characteristic of servant leadership, Long ago, I discovered that
the depth to which someone will share what is going on in their lives, personal or
professional, indicated the degree of trust they have in the listener (p. 96).
According to Greenleaf (1977) servant leaders listen intently to others
while seeking to identify and clarify the will of an individual as well as a group.
He or she listens receptively to what is being said, and what is not said. Listening
also encompasses getting in touch with ones own inner voice during periods of
reflection (McGee-Cooper & Trammell, 1995). This type of listening has many
terms including active listening (Wheatley, 2002; Wink, 2000). Facilitative
listening allows the servant leader to remain attentive to the voices of those they
serve (Apps, 1996; Lopez, 1995; Wilkes, 1998b).
Greenleaf (1977) believes the servant leader strives to understand and
empathize with others (Taylor, 2002). Servant leadership begins when a leader

identifies and is deeply connected with those he or she leads and serves (Wilkes,
1998a). Servant leaders, as skilled empathetic listeners recognize that people
need to be accepted for their special and unique spirits (Taylor, 2002). An adage
among servant leaders is that people do not care how much you know until they
know how much you care (Maxwell, 1993). The servant leader always accepts
and empathizes, never rejects.. .but sometimes refuses to accept some of the
persons effort of performance as good enough (Greenleaf, 1995, p. 20).
Empathy requires an acceptance of people and a tolerance of imperfection.
Anybody could lead perfect peopleif there were any. But there arent any
perfect people.. ..Many otherwise able people are disqualified to lead because
they cannot work with and through the half-people who are all there are
(Greenleaf, 1995, p. 20).
Tied to empathy, the potential for healing ones self and ones relationship
to others is a powerful force for transformation and integration (Stumick, 1998a).
Since many people have broken spirits and have suffered emotional hurts, servant
leaders recognize that implicit in the contract between servant-leader and led, is
the understanding that the search for wholeness is something they share
(Greenleaf, 1977). Thus the community as a whole becomes an essential aspect of
the leadership process since a whole and well integrated community nurtures and
supports individuals as well as produces health in the community as a whole
(Hesselbein & Cohen, 1999). This belief in the healing power of community is

antithetical to the dominant belief in western society that people exist as
individuals separated from one another (Wheatley, 1999,2002).
General awareness, and especially self-awareness, strengthens the servant
leader (Taylor, 2002). This awareness is a mindfulness that lends itself to being
able to view most situations from an integrated holistic position (Hybels, 1990).
Awareness can be a difficult perspective though, as Greenleaf (1995) observed,
Awareness is not a giver of solaceit is just the opposite. It is a disturber
and an awakener. Able leaders are usually sharply awake and reasonably
disturbed. They are not seekers after solace. They have their own inner ,
serenity, (p. 20)
General awareness, and especially self-awareness strengthens the servant
leader, yet can be worrisome because you never know what you may discover.
Awareness is value building and value clarifying. It armors one to meet the stress
of life by helping build serenity in the face of stress and uncertainty (Greenleaf,
1995, p. 20).
The servant leader seeks to convince and persuade others rather than
relying on ones positional authority. Persuasion, rather than coercion and
compliance, offers one of the clearest distinctions between the traditional
authoritarian leadership models and servant leadership (Spears, 1995). Coercive
power only strengthens resistance. And, if successful, its controlling effect lasts
only as long as the force is strong (1995, p. 42).

Servant leaders seek to nurture the abilities and giftedness of their
colleagues to dream great dreams (Greenleaf, 1995). The ability to look at a
problem or an organization from a conceptualizing perspective means that one
must think beyond the day-to-day realities. The visionary servant leader stretches
his or her thinking to encompass broader-based conceptual thinking (Sanders,
1994). Conceptualization is a characteristic that enables the servant leader to
utilize a continuous process to understand the lessons from the past, the realities
of the present, and the likely consequence of a decision for the future as one
organic unity (Greenleaf, 1977, p. 24). The servant leader functions as historian,
contemporary analyst, and prophet simultaneously (Greenleaf, 1977).
According to Greenleaf (1995) foresight is the
lead that the leader has. Once leaders lose this lead and events start to
force their hand, they are leaders in name only. They are not leading, but
are reacting to immediate events, and they probably will not long be
leaders. The failure (or refusal) of a leader to foresee may be viewed as an
ethical failure, because a serious ethical compromise today is sometimes
the result of a failure to make the effort at an earlier date to foresee todays
events and take the right actions when there was freedom for initiative to
act. p. 26)
Foresight is the ability to foresee and sense the likely outcome of a situation.
Foresight is closely related to conceptualization (Spears, 1998b). It enables the
servant leader to understand the lessons from the past, the realities of the present,
and the likely consequence of a decision for the future (Greenleaf, 1995; Spears,
1998b). Spears believes that foresight remains a largely unexplored area in

leadership studies, but one most deserving of careful attention.
Block (1993, 1998a) defined stewardship as holding something in trust for
another. Each individual has been given unique talents, skills, abilities, and gifts.
People do not own these gifts. They are called to uncover their gifts, develop
them, and use them to serve others (Jeffries, 1998a; Senge, et. al., 2000).
Stewards humbly take responsibility for what they have been given and manage
these resources for the common good (Sergiovanni, 1992,1996). Greenleaf
(1977) wrote extensively about organizations as stewards of public trust and the
worlds resources.
Building Community
Like collaborative leadership (Chrislip & Larson, 1994), because servant
leaders consider most of life as interdependent and not an independent reality, the
servant leader seeks to build true community among those who work together
(Covey, 1989). A servant leader believes that a community is greater than the
sum of its individual parts (Covey, 1991,2004). Greenleaf (1977) believed that
what is needed to build community is for enough servant leaders to show the way,
not by mass movements, but by each servant leader demonstrating his or her
unlimited commitment and responsibility for a specific community-related group.
Commitment to the Growth of People
Servant leaders believe that people have an intrinsic value beyond their
tangible contributions as workers. The servant leader is deeply committed to the

Wheatley (1999) notes a similar chord in Hinduism and in Buddhism: the
notion of the bodhisattva, One whose heart leaps out at human suffering and
desires to help alleviate it (p. 352). Servant leadership advocates have quoted
numerous spiritual leaders, including Jewish mystics, Lao Tzu, Buddha, and
Confucius (Spears, 2002). The Dalai Lama stated, If you seek enlightenment for
yourself simply to enhance yourself and your position, you miss the purpose; if
you seek enlightenment for yourself to enable you to serve others, you are with
purpose (as cited in Laub, 1999, p. 12).
Covey (2002) remarked that Greenleaf did not invent the traits or values of
servant leaders. They are based on natural laws or principles that are universal and
self-evident. For Covey, the principles are best explained as serving as an
example, path finding, alignment or integrity, and empowerment. Coveys eight
habits of highly effective people include several iterations of Greenleaf s
Many popular 20th and 21st century servant leadership books are written
from a holistic perspective with a spiritual orientation (e.g., Block, 1993; Covey,
1989,1991; Kouzes & Posner, 1995, 1999; Maxwell, 1993; Owens, 1999).
Servant leadership emphasizes inspirational and ethical considerations of the
transformational moral leader (Autry, 1991; Beazley, 2002). Servant leadership is
based on core values involving stewardship, faith, humility, and the desire to
make a contribution to the common good (Bolman & Deal, 1997; Cashman, 2001;
Fairholm, 1998; Owens, 1999).

After searching researched and cross referenced definitions of servant
leadership and the characteristics of servant leaders addressed by the major
servant leader proponents in over 50 research articles and literature (as shown in
Appendix K), there was a common definition and regularly recurring
characteristics of servant leadership found. The frequently cited definition and
attributes of servant leadership were then compared to the definition and the ten
characteristics of servant leadership articulated by Greenleaf (1977). It was
discovered that, to some degree, the definition and characteristics articulated by
Greenleaf were acknowledged and accepted as true in virtually all the research
and writings of the servant leader proponents.
Renesch (1994) compiled essays by 22 leadership experts who endorsed
servant leadership. Several of the numerous current servant-leadership advocates
include: James Autry, Warren Bennis, Peter Block, Stephen Covey, Max De Pree,
Joseph Jaworski, James Kouzes, Larraine Matusak, Ann McGee-Cooper, Parker
Palmer, M. Scott Peck, Peter Senge, Duane Trammell, Peter Vaill, Margaret
Wheatley, and Danah Zohar. Larry Spears, current Chief Executive Officer of The
Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership, has edited several books and
publications on servant leadership and published several of Greenleaf s writings
Batten (1998) assembled a Values Manifesto for Tough-Minded Servant
leaders. This manifesto champions the philosophy, 'Integrity plusquality plus
service says it all (p. 53). This servant leader manifesto includes over 35 values.

For Batten (1998), the values are best encapsulated by the concepts of faith, hope,
love, and gratitude.
Boyer (1999) categorized behavioral themes of 15 male servant leaders,
utilizing a qualitative biographical method. According to this study, the servant
leader develops relationships and community using collaboration and teamwork
through an informal and open style. The servant leader is trusting, authentic, and
directed; stimulates dialog and awareness; and is accepting of others and caring,
understanding and respectful.
Laub (1999) operationalized the behavior of servant leader individuals in
organizations based on an extensive review of the literature and a quantitative
research study. Laub conducted a three-part Delphi survey with fourteen
authorities from the field of servant leadership. The panel was asked to name and
rate the characteristics of the servant leader. All characteristics that were rated
from Necessary to Essential in the final survey were used in the construction
of the Assessing the Servant Organization Leader Assessment (SOLA) instrument.
A significant (p<.05) decrease was found in the interquartile range between round
two and round three, indicating a move toward the consensus.
Seventy-four items were written for the field test version of the SOLA and
six items were added to assess job satisfaction, for a total of 80 items. The field
test was conducted with 828 people from 41 organizations representing various
states in the U.S. and one organization from the Netherlands. The instrument had
an estimated reliability of .98. One way ANOVA and correlation tests were run

with demographic data and the SOLA score and also with the job satisfaction
score. A significant (p<.01) positive correlation of .653 was found between the
SOLA score and the job satisfaction score. A factor analysis revealed a two
factor solution composed of organization assessment items and leadership
assessment items. Potential subscores were considered, but there was a high
correlation between the scales; therefore use of the overall SOLA score is
recommended for research purposes. Appendix O from Assessing the Servant
Organization Leader Assessment (SOLA) identifies Laubs (1999) six themes of
the servant leadership behavior and the correlation of each characteristic.
Kouzes and Posner (1995) declared that our nation was in a leadership
crisis in part due to the perpetuation of leadership myths. It is a myth that the
leader is the one with all the answers, power, and control. Leaders instead must be
learners who serve by supporting and enabling others, leading to greater
productivity in the organization.
Lad and Luechauer (1998a) defined servant leadership as a philosophy and
approach to life and thinking. Servant leadership is not a set of practices to be
adopted but core values congruent with a persons intrinsic values. Accordingly,
the pathway to servant leadership involves a cognitive, experiential, spiritual,
organizational, and community path.
Jennings (2002), in a qualitative research project, conceptualized servant
leadership as a lens through which the role of leadership was viewed rather than a
set of skills or techniques. Jennings case study of three principals investigated

whether principals needed a new mindset and guidelines for action to break
through the bonds of dependency that entrapped those who wanted to make a
difference in their schools. The study concluded that the principals role of leader
was as steward to the community members to help accomplish common goals and
vision. Servant leadership dealt with the soul of education where no assessment
can reach. Yet it was this soul of education that enriched the community of
learners fostered through servant leadership. When principals could be leaders
that served the needs of their community, the individuals in the community
thrived and were eager to participate in the attainment of common goals and
vision (Jennings, 2002).
In a quantitative doctoral project, Sims (1997) defined leader as a role but
servant as a persons identity. Sims determined that a servant leader honored a
persons dignity and worth, while drawing upon personal innate creative power
for leadership. To accomplish this a leader: promoted a shared vision, committed
to life long learning, used power to care for others needs, built community
through collaboration, was vulnerable and humble, communicated honestly, and
built others up.
Beazley (2002) in a qualitative study interviewed five secondary educators
and cross referenced the major themes addressed by participants in each
interview. The common themes were then compared to the ten characteristics of
servant leadership articulated by Greenleaf (1977). When the common themes
from the interviews were compared with the characteristics, it was discovered