An ILA Leadership Perspectives Webinar

Positive Leadership: Cultivating Communities for Flourishing

Photo of a small tree with a reflection of a large flourishing tree.

with professors Benjamin Kutsyuruba, Sabre Cherkowski, and Keith D. Walker

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Research shows that leaders who model, encourage and foster positive human capacities in organizations, especially in challenging times, build organizational cultures of flourishing. Flourishing is viewed as the optimal way of functioning, characterized by goodness and wholeness. Professors Cherkowski, Kutsyuruba, and Walker have been researching flourishing in schools to determine the conditions, forces, and factors that combine to create conditions for communities of wellbeing where all members of the community may thrive. 

Throughout their shared projects, they have brought wellbeing principles and practices into their research activities and events to examine what is working well from the insights of formal and informal educational leaders. Their research has been strongly influenced by an appreciative lens of positive leadership, and they have worked to partner with practitioners to hear their stories and co-narrate their insights. Recent publications showcasing their research include: Leadership for Flourishing in Educational Contexts and Positive Leadership for Flourishing Schools.

In this webinar, they will share findings from their research on what it means to lead for flourishing in diverse organizational contexts and a description of the innovative approaches to knowledge mobilization that have become a cornerstone of their research process.

By attending this webinar, participants will….

  • Learn about the frameworks of positive leadership for flourishing in organizations;
  • Learn about findings from research on leadership from a positive organizational approach;
  • Learn about partnering with invested community stakeholders to co-create and disseminate knowledge from research and practice.
Ben Kutsyuruba

Benjamin Kutsyuruba, PhD, is a Professor in Educational Leadership, Policy, and School Law in the Faculty of Education at Queen’s University. Throughout his career, Benjamin has worked as a teacher, researcher, manager, and professor in the field of education in Ukraine and Canada. His research interests include educational policymaking; educational leadership; induction, mentorship and development of teachers; trust, moral agency, and ethical decision-making in education; international education; school climate, safety, well-being, and flourishing; and, educational change, reform, and restructuring.

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Sabre Cherkowski

Sabre Cherkowski, PhD, is a Professor and Director of Graduate Programs in the Okanagan School of Education in the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia. In 2022, she was appointed to UBCO Tier 1 Principal’s Research Chair in Leadership, Learning, and Wellbeing. Sabre has been researching what it means for educators to grow their professional and personal potential toward flourishing at work. She has examined how teacher wellbeing contributes to building positive school experiences and the role of leadership for cultivating positive workspaces. 

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Keith Walker

Keith D. Walker, PhD, is Professor in the Department of Educational Administration, University of Saskatchewan. He believes in the fundamental importance of robust systems of early childhood, K-12 education, and post-secondary education for the well-being of civil societies and has a wide-angle focus on lifelong and life-wide education in his work. Keith’s present projects range from an examination of trust – why it is important, how it can be sustained – to how we might further engage public and social sector becoming flourishing and engaging organizations.

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