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Research project: What's the difference between teaching and leading?

Posted on October 1, 2014

As part of my Clore Social Fellowship I undertake a research project, and I’ve decided to explore the intersection of teaching and leading. After some initial thinking on my own, I still have a lot of work to do to narrow it down into a feasible project.

My intention is to identify three key areas of pedagogical theory that have relevance to leadership beyond the classroom, and then to interview a cross section of 6–8 successful leaders in the social sector to explore whether or not these theories have a practical application in their own leadership methodology and style.

There are two areas that I have currently identified:

  • Understanding yourself as teacher/leader—specifically being aware of your own areas of expertise/strengths, as well as being conscious of your own biases (and how these may play out, positively or negatively, when working with others). Within this area, there’s then a chance to explore a few key teaching styles, eg: “sage on a stage”, coach etc
  • Understanding those you are teaching/leading—here I’m interested in using Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development to illustrate the importance of scaffolding learning and development. Again this is an opportunity to look at a few key learning styles, eg:
    • visual/kinaesthetic/auditory etc
    • learning by imitating/learning by doing

My initial aim is to turn these notes into a one page summary document that I can share with potential interviewees, that is a clear explanation of these areas and a starting point for a conversation.

I’d love to know your reaction to these two areas, any questions that you have, and any suggestions for any key areas that I have not included so far! And if you have any suggestions for people I should interview, I’d be thrilled.

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Eugenie Teasley

Eugenie Teasley

Youth aspiration innovator

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