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Joan T. Wynne

What kind of leadership does the 21st century demand? Many of us in education today realize that top-down hierarchal thinking and behaving is stultifying students’ and teachers’ imaginations, disenfranchising student voices, failing marginalized populations, and foiling national school reform. Asa G. Hilliard, III (1997), a decade ago, suggested that with a broken system, “revolution, not reform is needed.” That revolutionary vision can be seen in a model of leadership, fully operationalized during the sixties in the Southern Freedom Movement (SFM) in the U.S.A., but honed in education during this new century by Bob Moses, founder and president of the Algebra Project, Inc. Grounded in a philosophy of empowering grassroots, bottom-up brilliance to find an equal voice alongside those in the power structure, the Movement’s history did not start in the sixties. Rather, as Moses explains, it “came into existence when the first African walked off the first slave ship in chains” (Moses, 2001, p. 174). And though the grassroots component of the SFM model may be as old as the leadership philosophy of Lao Tzu in 700 B.C.1, its impact on educational circles is only now being examined.

Improvisation and Collectivity

Practical Applications for Research

Renee T. Coulombe