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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Arts-Based Learning and Leadership Development: A Case Study
by Brenner, Michael Yoel, Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University, 2010, 252; 3436229
Abstract (Summary)

This qualitative case study was designed to explore how participants in an arts-based leadership development program learned to draw on their right brain capabilities in order to develop the creative competencies required to solve complex modern-day problems in new and different ways. The rationale for this study emerges from the researcher's desire to contribute to the understanding of arts-based learning as a viable alternative to more traditional leadership development methodologies. It was the researcher's assumption that an increased understanding of arts-based learning would provide practitioners, corporate decision makers, and employees with a more informed perspective regarding the facilitation and selection of leadership development interventions.

The purposefully selected sample comprised 12 participants who attended a program on creative leadership at a well-known leadership development facility. The primary data collection method was in-depth interviews. Other methods included observation, informal conversations, document analysis, and critical incidents. The data were coded and categorized according to four research questions. Analysis and interpretation of findings were organized by way of four analytic categories based on the study's conceptual framework: (1) participants' perceptions of arts-based learning, (2) what participants learned, (3) how participants learned what they learned, and (4) factors that supported and hindered learning.

Four key findings emerged from the study: (1) all participants—even those who were initially skeptical—described the value of arts-based methods in fostering leadership skills; (2) all participants developed the personal, professional, and leadership competencies that support creative thinking and problem solving in organizations; (3) all participants gained increased awareness of and capabilities in creative leadership through the informal and incidental learning acquired from arts-based activities; (4) all participants stated that the program provided more supports than barriers in how they learned creative problem solving and innovative leadership in organizations.

Recommendations are offered for adult educators, organizational decision makers, prospective participants, and for further research. Readers are encouraged to consider these recommendations in light of their own specific circumstances, which may vary widely from those presented in the study.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Volpe, Marie
School: Teachers College, Columbia University
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 72/01, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Art education, Educational leadership, Adult education
Keywords: Arts-based learning, Leadership development
Publication Number: 3436229
ISBN: 978-1-124-35342-5
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