Author: Claire Vogan, Judy Mckimm, Hester Mannion
Session: Lightning Talk

Numerous parallels can be drawn between student-teacher and follower-leader relationships. The move away from traditional, didactic lectures to more interactive, learner-centred education is mirrored in leadership research and practice. Here, there is a shift away from leader-centric approaches to viewing followers as equals in the relationship, influencing leaders’ behaviours and co-creating the leader’s style (1). As one of the Latin roots of education is educere (‘to lead forth’) it seems particularly pertinent to draw from leadership models and theories to inform educational practices.

In 2008, Kelly (2) and Kellerman (3) described different follower profiles and explained how leaders can help motivate and engage their followers. As teachers we can sometimes struggle with handling various personality types and meeting the needs of diverse groups of learners. Based on the leadership-followership literature, we present two new frameworks that can be used to influence classroom dynamics, engage students and develop them into independent critical thinkers.

1. Uhl-Bien et al (2014). Followership theory: A review and research agenda. The Leadership Quarterly, 25(1), 83-104.
2. Kelley (2008). Rethinking followership. In Riggio et al (Eds). The art of followership: How great followers create great leaders and organizations (pp 5-15). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass
3. Kellerman (2008). Followership: How followers are creating change and changing leaders. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.