In episode 4 of the podcast series discussing Leadership Theory: Cultivating Critical Perspectives, Natasha Turman and Amy Barnes, authors of the Facilitator’s Guide, discuss development of the activities and how the guide disrupts normative leadership theory and interrupts biases through critical self-reflection.
The facilitator’s guide evolved in tandem with the book. As discussed in a previous podcast [link to episode 24 summary], disrupting normative leadership theories and teaching requires additional resources for the facilitator. Natasha describes the facilitator’s guide is as a hands-on tool to “allow everyone to feel efficacious in doing deconstruction and reconstruction”.
The facilitator’s guide was designed to stand alone or be used in conjunction with the textbook. Amy recommends starting by reading the book, then reading the first few chapters of the facilitator’s guide, and finally choosing the sections and activities that are most applicable to the content needed for the particular course.
A unique feature of this guidebook is that the activities and discussion guides are from an array of contributors: faculty, practitioners, and graduate students from higher ed studies, business and marketing, multicultural relations, and more. The goal was to develop a resource applicable beyond student leadership development – truly multi- and inter-disciplinary.
The many contributors to the book were given the guidepost of Kolb’s theory of experiential learning to use when designing the activities and discussion guides. Kolb’s theory is well-known by higher education practitioners and provides a baseline of understanding to make the experiences from the facilitator’s guide memorable and transferable.
Natasha coins a term to describe the guide: it is truly “inter-functional” as activities can be pulled from the guide without participants having read the book, allowing leadership to be integrated in day-to-day work or with stand-alone leadership programs. For example, many campuses have workshops using the strengths-based leadership theory, so the deconstruction activity could be tacked on to provide participants with an additional layer of critical reflection.
To hear more from Natasha and Amy, including scaffolding the activities from the facilitator’s guide, Natasha’s deconstruction of The Real House Wives of Atlanta, and why “flawed theories” receive attention both in the book and guide, tune in to the NASPA Student Leadership Programs podcasts, hosted by Myles Surrett, at iTunes or SoundCloud.