“A New DEEL For Our Future” Powerpoint

Why we started the New DEEL
 In the face of repressive accountability regimes and the high
stakes testing focus in education in the US and beyond,
colleagues around the world joined committed practitioners
to take action.
 We call this movement the New DEEL (Democratic Ethical
Educational Leadership). Our group was born in the
academic year 2004-2005, when faculty members from six
universities, practitioners from various educational
organizations, and the Executive Director of the University
Council of Educational Administration (UCEA) joined
The New DEEL Mission Statement:
 The New DEEL’s mission is to create an action-oriented
partnership, dedicated to inquiry into the nature and
practice of democratic, ethical educational leadership
through sustained processes of open dialogue, right to voice,
community inclusion, and responsible participation toward
the common good.
We define leadership broadly to include faculty, students,
staff, parents, and community members, as well as
educational administrators because we believe that each of
these groups is needed to create democratic ethical
New DEEL 2004-2012 what we’ve
accomplished, where we are heading
 Since 2004, we have grown to include colleagues from over thirty
universities as well as numerous school districts in the U.S., Canada,
U.K., Hong Kong, Sweden, Australia, Taiwan and Jamaica.
 We have held five successful international conferences
 We have produced significant scholarship and are in the midst of
expanding our work to include support for new scholarship, better
internet and social networking opportunities, larger conferences, and
a mentoring program for scholars and practitioners.
 Hundreds of educators around the world are members of the New
DEEL listserv and keep up with our work through monthly listserv
New DEEL Democratic Course:
fall 2012
Profiles in Ethical Leadership.
A comment on the power of exemplars in our work….
Our Vision for Leadership
1. Inner Responsibility:
A Principal’s Story
Inner Responsibility:
A Principal’s Story
This is the story of a highly respected elementary school principal who was challenged
when a small group of students narrowly missed standardized test targets, thereby
placing her school in academic warning. How would she maintain faith with the
school’s mission of creating, “A caring community of learners connecting our learning
spaces to the world outside,” and still respond to the state’s demands?
Seeing herself as the school’s lead learner, chief worrier, and biggest advocate, she found
ways to keep herself and her school community focused.
In her own words, “After many restless nights (working) through the Pennsylvania
Department of Education’s appeal process, I remain steadfast in my resolve that my
values and beliefs are central to my modus operandi and are essential for personal and
professional balance. If I am not balanced, then my teachers will feel it and
consequently may not be balanced in their classrooms, ultimately rattling our students.”
2. Expansive Community Building:
One Case from 9/11/01
Expansive Community Building:
One Case from 9/11/01
The second exemplar highlights a Head Start Director who worked near the World Trade Center on 9/11/01.
This leader understood that community building occurs both inside of the school and beyond its walls. So she
went to work establishing a strong sense of connection with her staff and with the children in her programs as
well as their families. But she did not stop there. Reaching out to the community, she became known and
trusted, as did her program. She made connections simply because it was her approach to education. She did
not realize it at the time, but she would save lives.
No one started their morning on 9/11 thinking that this would be a day that re-defined extreme turbulence but,
of course, that is just what happened. What would this leader do when facing this existential critical incident?
She immediately brought her staff together giving each on an assigned role to protect the children and
maintain as much calm as possible. Then a parent from the community, who was active in the school, brought
a yellow bus to the door. Amazingly, a citizen from the community offered a tugboat that took the children to
safety. This was not simply a case of being cool under extreme pressure. Hers is an example of holistic
leadership building community internally and externally. In normal times, the fruit of this approach create rich
connections but in the crisis of extreme turbulence, this network of relationships meant the difference between
safety and harm for the children and staff of her program.
3. Integrating democracy, social justice,
and school reform:
One Superintendent’s Courage and Vision
Integrating democracy, social justice, and
school reform:
One Superintendent’s Courage and Vision
In this case a superintendent in a rural state is challenged by unequal funding for its schools. Students
in several of his district’s schools simply did not have the proper resources they needed just because
their towns did not have a reasonable tax base to draw upon. Everyone seemed to recognize the
injustice but few were ready to act. Besides, who could go up against long standing state policy?
One day a trusted board member from one of the district’s poorest schools sat down with the
superintendent and shared his frustration. The children in this school were being systematically
robbed of their chances for a better education and a better life.
What would this superintendent do? Rather than despair, he thoroughly researched the state’s funding
formulas, met with the most hard hit families in his district, contacted attorneys willing to challenge
the state’s funding laws, worked on the case until it reached the state’s supreme court which
overturned the funding system and finally worked with the legislature to craft and then pass a more
equitable system of financial support for all of that state’s school children, regardless of the wealth of
their communities.
This superintendent led the reform fight for a just and democratic funding formula through the use of
scholarship, dialogue and decisive action.
4. Ethical decision making:
A Guidance Counselor Uses
Rachel’s Challenge in the face of Tragedy
Ethical decision making:
A Guidance Counselor Uses
Rachel’s Challenge in the face of Tragedy
A high school guidance counselor facing a series of devastating student crises is an exemplar of this part of the
New DEEL Vision for Educators. Her school, famous for academic achievement and ample resources, was
also known for catastrophes including suicides. The response after each crisis was professional but this
guidance counselor was left wondering, why are we so capable after each tragedy yet not as active in trying to
prevent them in the first place? Simply following established procedures was not doing enough to stop more
students from suffering.
She was facing an ethical dilemma. On the one hand, she could follow the procedures and be safe. On the
other hand, she could take responsibility for inventing a different approach, even though it meant doing so
The rules said one thing but her concern for students and her belief that more was needed to respond to the
best interest of those students led her to a different conclusion. It meant finding a new approach in character
education that could increase student resilience and then making that program part of everyone’s experience.
She explored and found Rachel’s Challenge, named after Rachel Scott, the first person killed at Columbine in
1999. Rachel was well known for reaching out to students who had few friends. She was an exemplar of
kindness and the program named for her is designed to increase kindness and inclusion for all students at her
This guidance counselor, working with colleagues and student leaders, helped to redefine her school’s
community and made it more democratic by making it more caring. She faced and responded to her ethical
dilemma with courage.
5. Career as a Calling:
The Case of Muhammad Yunus
Career as a calling:
The Case of Muhammad Yunus
The fifth part of our vision raises the issue of educators as public intellectuals,
people who leave the confines of the school or university to pursue their vision in
the wider world.
One of the clearest examples of a public intellectual in our time is Muhammad
Yunus, 2006 Nobel Prize winner and founder of the Grameen Bank. Yunus was a
university professor of economics in Bangladesh who could easily have settled into
a comfortable life of privilege. But then he came face to face with human suffering
and had to make a choice. His sense of education as a calling compelled to action
in support of poor women, trapped in debt.
Through small loans, he was able to help local women escape a life of near slavery
to the money lenders but that was only a start.
His vision of micro- lending as a way of promoting new enterprises among the
poorest people in the world opened up a new dimension of possibility for millions.
His approach, building economic opportunity from the bottom up, challenged
conventional thinking while it brought about nearly universal success everywhere it
was tried.
Yunus is an educator in the largest sense of that word. His sense of mission and
calling have led to democratic social improvement.
We live in an era where the definition of educational
leadership is polarized. For some, it means strictly following
the prescribed accountability system laid out by higher
Other educators are responding to a different call. This call
focuses on the need to support democratic citizenry as a first
priority and to emphasize empathy, creativity, and the
connection between schools and social conditions around the
These educators face the combined challenge of leading in an
era of heightened accountability while responding to their
inner spirit. Their challenge is often compounded by a nagging
sense of isolation.
We believe that our positive, compelling vision for educational
leadership will serve as a critical guide for the rising generation
of democratic ethical educational leaders.
Selected References:
Brasof, M. (2009) Living democracy: How constitution high school molds better citizens. Social Education. V73 n 5. pp207-211.
Gross, S.J. (2009). (Re-) Constructing a Movement for Social Justice in our Profession.In A. H. Normore (Ed.) Leadership for Social Justice: Promoting Equity and
Excellence Through Inquiry and Reflective Practice. Charlotte, N.C. Information Age Publishing 257-266
Gross, S.J. & Shapiro, J.P. (2009). Fear versus possibility: Why we need a new DEEL for our children’s future. In Shapiro, H.S. (Ed.). Education and Hope in
Troubled Times: Visions of Change for our Children’s World (pp.90-103). New York: Routledge.
Israel, M.S., Marks, W.M. (2012) Federal Accountability and compliance: The need to build ethical resiliency within current and future educational leaders. The
Journal of the Society for Ethics Across the Curriculum. V12 n 1. pp. 113-140
Mitra, D. L. (2008). Student voice in school reform: Building youth-adult partnerships that strengthen schools and empower youth. Albany, NY, State University of New York
Normore, A. H. (Ed.). (2008). Leadership for social justice: Promoting equity and excellence through inquiry and reflective practice. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.
Polizzi, J.A. & San Clementi, E (2012) Using documentary film to teach social justice and global awareness in educational leadership. In Aiken, J. & Gerstl-Pepin,
C. Defining Social Justice Leadership in a Global Context, Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing
Shapiro, J.P. & Gross, S.J. (2008). Introducing the new DEEL. In Shapiro, J.P. & Gross, S.J., Ethical Educational Leadership in Turbulent Times: (Re)Solving
Moral Dilemmas. (pp.165-176). New York: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Taylor & Francis Group.
Shapiro, J. P., & Stefkovich, J. A. (2011). Ethical leadership and decision making in education: Applying theoretical perspectives to complex dilemmas (3rd ed.). New York, NY: