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Building Bridges: Politics, Partnerships, and the Purpose of Schooling
New Orleans, Louisiana, October 28-31, 2010

General Information:
The 24th annual convention of the University Council for Educational Administration will be held at the Sheraton New Orleans, in New Orleans, Louisiana. The convention will open at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday afternoon (October 28, 2010) and close at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday (October 31,2010). The purpose of the 2010 UCEA Convention is to engage participants in discussing research, policy, and practice in educational leadership and administration. Members of the Convention 2009 Program Committee are Autumn K. Tooms (Kent State University), Thomas Alsbury (University of North Carolina State University), and Noelle Witherspoon (Louisiana State University).

Theme :
The 2010 Convention theme, "Building Bridges: Politics, Partnerships, and the Purpose of Schooling." acknowledges the interdependent relationship of school leadership and the role societies designate to schools and school systems. The ever increasing political pressures placed on schools to demonstrate improvements in student achievement, have increasingly fostered prescriptive approaches focused more on increasing student achievement scores and less on the considerations of school's purpose in a community, authentic student learning or the artistry of teaching and leading. This call for proposals encourages the submission of efforts that stretch the boundaries of discourse about school leadership beyond recent instrumental definitions and that exemplify effective, "out of the box", innovative, and dynamic approaches to leadership preparation. These approaches include, but are not limited to successful university and school district partnerships, partnerships among disciplines in the field of education (i.e. curriculum leadership and instructional leadership,) as well as community centered partnerships including social service agencies, emergency service agencies, and family health and welfare providers. Desired proposals should attempt to exemplify considerations supporting George Counts' famous query "Dare the schools build a new social order?"

In the spirit of the 2010 UCEA Convention theme, "Building Bridges: Politics, Partnerships, and the Purpose of Schooling," we invite members of the UCEA community to (a) share their research and scholarly perspectives on this theme, (b) to offer innovative ways to think about how research and theory can inform leadership preparation, practice and partnerships at national, state, and local levels, and (c) to discuss insightful ways educational leadership can enhance academic excellence, equity and social justice in P-20 educational contexts. We offer the following guiding questions to stimulate the thinking of participants for the 2010 annual conference:
  • How does the discourse about the purpose of schooling influence educational leaders and those who prepare them?
  • What is the role of politics in influencing the work of educational leaders and those who prepare them?
  • What counts as an educational partnership and how do they influence educational leaders and those who prepare them?
  • How might we build bridges between policy makers, practitioners and higher education faculty to ensure excellence in educational leadership preparation?
  • How can the interplay between Macro- and Micro-politics of education inform practitioners, scholars, and policy makers about the conditions of school and district leadership, effective leadership practices, and the factors that need to change in order to improve the condition of schooling for children?
  • How can leaders be more strategic in linking the purpose of schools with the prescriptive allocations/demands of leadership?
  • What does it mean to be an instructional leader?
  • What obstacles prevent educational leaders from becoming instructional leaders?
  • How do educational leaders balance leading curriculum with leading people?
  • How can educational leaders create and nurture a culture of learning and safety in an organization?
  • How can we train educational leaders to be more effective leaders of schools that balance both student/family needs along with increasing achievement test scores.
  • What implications does a "leading for learning" perspective have on education policy at various levels of governance, i.e., school, district, and state levels?
  • What and how can educational leaders learn from leadership and organizational failure/mistakes?
  • How can educational leaders learn to deal with and persist through organizational failure/mistakes?
  • What factors discourage and what factors support innovative practices and partnerships across organizations in school communities?
  • What counts as innovation in the preparation of school and district leaders?
  • What are some creative ways principal preparation programs are teaching prospective school leaders to embrace the ethos of bridge building to make school the genuine heart of the community in terms of learning in a safe and orderly environment.
  • How can university preparation programs partner with school districts to better prepare future leaders?
  • How is the preparation of educational leaders enhanced through P-20 partnerships?
  • How are long-term P-20 educational leadership partnerships established and maintained?
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