Creative Leadership for Interdisciplinary Education

By J. Fiona Peterson.

Published by The International Journal of Educational Organization and Leadership

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: September 30, 2015 $US5.00

This article argues for interdisciplinary thinking in higher education and its leadership. The focus is on ways in which creative leadership has been applied in reforming a whole suite of programs within a large humanities/creative arts school, to facilitate students’ preparation for working across disciplines, locations and cultures. Five disciplinary perspectives inspire creative leadership: creative arts; sociology; education; philosophy; and business. Synthesizing a wide range of literature and practice, a framework is suggested for leadership effectiveness with an overview of five leadership approaches. Discussion includes application of these approaches in the program reform project and what was learned in the process. Prompts or signposts are also proposed for learning and teaching leaders to help guide leadership practice in an integrated, holistic and creative way. Key reflections from the program reform project include: the importance of starting where disciplines and programs are, and ensuring ownership of the change being implemented; integrating change with familiar patterns and practices; and recognizing that change takes time, perseverance and resilience. Experience in the program reform project suggests that interdisciplinary thinking enhances education and its leadership. Furthermore, through transdisciplinary thinking and integrated scholarship, leadership practice and effectiveness can be transformed.

Keywords: Interdisciplinarity, Transdisciplinarity, Higher Education, Learning, Teaching Leadership

The International Journal of Educational Organization and Leadership, Volume 22, Issue 4, December, 2015, pp.71-88. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: September 30, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 484.836KB)).

Dr. J. Fiona Peterson

Deputy Dean, Learning and Teaching, School of Media and Communication, RMIT University, Melbourne, Vic, Australia