Frank Pignatelli , “Ethical Leadership Development as Care of the Self: A Foucauldian Perspective,” Schools 12, no. 2 (Fall 2015): 198-213.
This essay addresses the care of the self as an important aspect in the development of educational leaders. It draws upon Michel Foucault’s analysis of power and its relationship to his understanding of ethics as a practice one cultivates and takes on in the interests of leadership development. Foucault’s work in these areas is timely for graduate school educators and others who work with aspiring leaders. Leadership in schools operates within a tightly organized web of surveillance where individual personhood and agency is constantly challenged and where compliance to regulatory systems looms. Leadership educators need to embrace educational leadership as an ethical enterprise encompassing both personal and professional development. They need to be intentional in their work with their students about opening up spaces for reflection and dialogue about how care of the self informs and supports their development as leaders.