Going Back to the Personal: Process of Developing Transformative Leaders pp. 169-184
Authors: (Seonmin Huh)
Abstract: This chapter offers a pedagogy for leadership education that grows out of a teacher‘s research with Korean 6th graders from educationally and economically privileged backgrounds studying in the U. S. A. Difficulties revealed in students‘ abilities to relate to persons situated in poverty suggested the importance to transformative education that prospective leaders for social justice first understand who they are and what they bring to the educational moment. Through an example from the 6th graders‘ dialogue on why some persons are impoverished while others are not, I identify a process for helping learners to re-situate themselves. The study found that before subjects could relate to those unlike themselves, it was necessary that they move from their individual identities to a common identity as social beings. The researcher concluded that the key to 6th-graders‘ movement across this space lay in the process by which they were led to examine their own space, to compare it to the space of others, and to resolve the contradictions apparent in their original justifications of the factors that made the difference. In turn, this discovery suggests that a process of developing leaders for social justice needs to begin –not with a focus on other, but on self—as the first step toward authentic transformation.