Wisdom-centred educational leadership

Rose Marie Ylimaki, Leslie J. McClain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


US administrators must meet the demands of accountability while maintaining a balance and the joy of learning in their schools. Accountability comes with the US laws No Child Left Behind (2002) and Title II Reauthorization (2002). Increased accountability has had a major impact in several other countries as well. This paper is largely conceptual in nature, but draws on findings from a qualitative study of principals' responses to accountability. That study followed the guidelines for multi-case studies, with data sources including interviews, non-participant observations and site documents. The findings indicate that effective principals have expanded responses to accountability through six wisdom virtues of Buddhism. These findings led to the development of a nascent framework of wisdom-centred educational leadership. In keeping with the traditions of Buddhist teaching our framework and the organization of this article follows the study of six wisdom virtues, reflection on the virtues in the context of an exemplar case study and applications to educational leadership practice. In conclusion, wisdom-centred leadership requires guidance, scenarios for and experiences of integration. Additional research is needed to test this framework, which may provide hope and practical suggestions for the preparation and practice of educational leaders in a global era of high-stakes accountability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-33
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Leadership in Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Strategy and Management


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