Educational Leadership Challenge: Developing a Vision, Values & a Paradigm, Theory Pick n Mix


Webb, C. (2017)

As an educationalist and/or teacher who is interested in their own leadership development to add value within a school setting and for their own career advancement, you will have no doubt taken the time to have examined your own values and ideally worked out what leadership needs might be pertinent to a range of settings and permutations where your values might find a corresponding match. Alignment between your own values/vision and the organization and role you are in is a powerful thing and not to be ignored. It can make for a very uncomfortable experience all round if you haven’t got it right.

One way you could take this a step further is to consider a range of education or learning paradigms, theories, models, tools and approaches and to explore which of these correspond with your own values and educational vision and preferences. You might also think about and work out what leadership styles, theories and models might fit with each of these and vice versa. Would some be out of place and create disharmony with an overall vision based on particular values?

In the education market place there is diversity a plenty and lots of opportunity to deliver a variety of niche offerings. So here’s an interesting exercise. If you were to set up, for example, a UK ‘Free School’ (supported by sponsors and more or less independent), what educational paradigm would you base it on in alignment with your own vision and values? What learning theories and models would also be in alignment? What tools, methods an approaches would be in sync? What wouldn’t?

Below (David, 2017) is a list of education/learning theories and paradigms, tools, methods, approaches, etc, taken from information presented at – it’s a great starting point from which to begin piecing together your school vision jigsaw puzzle. Take some time to refresh yourself as to what all these mean and represent, along with implications for practice. Then see if you can rise to the challenge. What would you pick and mix for your own free school? Vision, values, philosophy, paradigm, approaches, tools, methods, theories, etc….


Constructivist, Social and Situational Theories

Descriptive & Meta Theories

Child Development Theories

Mental Models

Behaviorist Theories

Motivation & Humanist Theories

Identity Theories

Miscellaneous Learning Theories & Models

Guides, Reviews and Learning Tools

Cognitivist Theories

Design Theories & Models

Media & Technology Theories





David L, “Summaries of Learning Theories and Models,” in Learning Theories, June 30, 2017,


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