Delaware Academy for School Leadership
DASL Leadership Learning Series
Mark A. Smylie is professor of education emeritus in the Department of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and visiting professor in the Department of Leadership, Policy and Organizations at Peabody College, Vanderbilt University. Smylie’s research concerns school organization and processes of school organizational change, administrative and teacher leadership and development, and urban school improvement. His work has appeared in the American Education Research Journal, Educational Researcher, Educational Administration Quarterly, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Educational Policy, Journal of School Leadership, and Review of Research in Education. He has contributed chapters to numerous books on school leadership and administration, teachers and teaching, and educational change.
Most recently, Smylie has co-authored a set of three books on caring in school leadership.
Smylie has been chair of the Educational Policy Studies Department in the College of Education at UIC and secretary-treasurer of the National Society for the Study of Education. He also served as a director of the Consortium on Chicago School Research at the University of Chicago. Smylie has been awarded a National Academy of Education Postdoctoral Fellowship, the William J. Davis Award from the University Council for Educational Administration, and the American Educational Research Association’s Research Review Award. He has been a Residential Fellow at the Spencer Foundation. Before his work in higher education, Smylie was a high school history teacher. He has maintained a close relationship with schools and school districts through joint projects and professional development activity. He has consulted with numerous regional and national professional and policy organizations concerned with education. Smylie received his PhD degree from Vanderbilt University and BA and MEd degrees from Duke University.
Leadership Learning Series Session 1: March 31, 2021
4:30 – 6:00 p.m. Virtual Session
“Caring School Leadership: An Essential Element of Student Success”
This presentation introduces “caring” as an essential quality of leadership for student success and well-being in school. Drawing insights and lessons from education and other human service professions such as medicine, nursing, social services and health care administration, and the ministry, this presentation addresses the following questions: Why care about caring in schools? What makes leadership actions and interactions caring? What can school leaders do to be caring in their relationships with students and teachers? What can they do to cultivate their schools as caring communities? And what can school leaders do to extend networks of caring for students beyond school into families and neighborhoods? In addition, this presentation explores ways that caring in school leadership can be strengthened and supported and it concludes with the crucial question: Who cares for the caring school leader?
Leadership Learning Series Session 2: April 28, 2021
4:30 – 6:00 p.m. Virtual Session
“Putting People First: Caring in Crisis Leadership”
This presentation begins with the premise that all school leaders can count on facing some kind of crisis at some point in their careers. Most will face multiple crises, some crises coming one at a time and spread far apart, other crises coming in rapid succession or simultaneously. And therefore, every school leader will at some point become a crisis leader. This presentation examines the nature of crisis in schools and explores caring as a bright through line of all aspects of crisis leadership. It addresses the following questions: What are the primary phases and functions of crisis leadership? How and why is attention to positive human relationships important to crisis preparation and prevention and essential to crisis recovery? In what ways can caring be infused across the phases and functions of crisis leadership to make it more effective? And, how can the caring that emerges during times of crisis be sustained when crises subside? Answers to these questions are explored through true stories told by practicing school leaders about caring during crisis situations. These stories focus on caring leadership during COVID and also during other types of crisis situations faced by schools, such as natural disasters, violence, hunger and homelessness, sexual misconduct, and personal crises experienced by students and staff that become matters of the whole school community. Participants will be encouraged to share their own stories to deepen understanding of caring leadership in times of crisis and in ordinary time.