October 10, 2011

Carolyn S. Carr

Professor and chair, Educational Leadership department
Professor and chair, Educational Leadership department


How does Lewis & Clark prepare students to be educational leaders?

Lewis & Clark prepares people in a way that I think is unique among many of the schools  I’ve been in over many years. There is a sense of service.  There’s a sense of promoting equity among everyone in the community, and especially when you are out  being a practitioner. In the doctoral program, we’re not just practitioners, we are scholars of the field. Our students know the literature, know the data, and are able to read that data. That infiltrates every class.

Tell us about some of the exciting work being done in the doctoral program.

We’ve had some really exciting studies done by our students just this year around the difference caring can make. It’s making a difference in the schools, showing a narrowing of the achievement gap. It’s making a difference in the way administrators relate to their faculty and plan their staff development. It’s making a difference in the way we consider diversity among our faculty and among our students and among our community. When it’s not there, it makes the same huge difference, because students feel it—and now we’ve got data to prove that.

Lewis & Clark’s educational leadership programs focus on equity and social justice. Can you talk about that?

We have to be aware of where our society has not served people well. From the very beginning of my career, I was faced with students who were marginalized or who were disillusioned with school, and my challenge was to find a way to build trust and caring as a community so they could be successful. If equity and social justice are not part of the community I’m in, I’m aiming to build it in that community. That’s part of everything we teach here.

What’s the most amazing thing about your students, who are either preparing to become school leaders or deepening their work as school leaders?

They’re working full time and yet they put their everything into classes. It’s awe-inspiring to watch how dedicated they are and how determined they are to make a difference in society and in schools. 

Read more about Carolyn.

Learn more about becoming a school leader at Lewis & Clark.