Lisa A. W. Kensler

Lisa A. W. Kensler
Auburn University | AU · Department of Educational Foundations, Leadership and Technology

EdD Educational Leadership, Lehigh University

About

80
Publications
11,508
Reads
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303
Citations
Introduction
Lisa A. W. Kensler is the Emily R. and Gerald S. Leischuck Endowed Professor of Educational Leadership, College of Education, Auburn University. Her work focuses on systems thinking and the challenges located at the intersection of human and nature’s systems, particularly as they appear in PK-12 schooling. In 2018, the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) recognized Lisa as one of its “Hidden Figures - behind the scenes giants in the field whose work cannot be ignored."
Additional affiliations
August 2008 - present
Auburn University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
August 2008 - November 2018
Auburn University
Position
  • Professor

Publications

Publications (80)
Article
Sustainability-focused leadership roles and functions align with and advance the leadership concepts and ideals we have embraced nationally as central to effective instructional leadership that positively influences student learning and achievement, revealing many opportunities for bringing WSS into the forefront of school leadership preparation an...
Book
Preface This book serves as a practice-oriented companion to our recent book, Leadership for Green Schools: Sustainability for Our Children, Our Communities, and Our Planet, published by Routledge in 2017. This companion book focuses on three straightforward, manageable actions living systems-minded school leaders can implement to move their schoo...
Article
Full-text available
Educational restoration, as proposed here, situates natural systems at the center of learning ecosystems, both to improve the quality of learning for students and to better align educational practice with social, economic, and environmental needs of our time. A full description of our model for educational restoration extends beyond the limits of t...
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to articulate, and advocate for, a deep shift in how the authors conceptualize and enact school leadership and reform. The authors challenge fundamental conceptions regarding educational systems and call for a dramatic shift from the factory model to a living systems model of schooling. The authors call is not a...
Chapter
Chapter Abstract The authors of this chapter utilized instrumental case study methods to chronicle a large California urban school district’s response to an intervention, aimed at “greening” the district from the inside out. A leading national, sustainability-focused organization provided a partially funded staff person to serve as the district’s...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined the relationships between enabling structures, academic optimism, and student achievement to determine whether academic optimism served as a mediator between the two. Student achievement was measured using both criterion-referenced and norm-referenced tests. Findings indicated a relationship between academic optimism, enabling s...
Article
The demographic profile of the United States has been rapidly changing; by 2020, minority students will constitute the majority of the public school student population nationwide. This makes cultural competence a necessity for today’s school leaders. Educational leadership preparation programs are responsible for preparing culturally competent lead...
Article
Messages like “Think Green,” “Go Green,” and “Be Green” fill the marketing airwaves these days and draw attention to the growing sustainability movement; a movement focused on improving the well-being of our planet’s ecological and social systems. What does it mean to Go Green in school? What does it look like to lead schools with a greener frame o...
Article
Sustainability practices that lead to greener schools are often overlooked in leadership preparation programs and in school improvement efforts. An urban middle school principal recognizes the potential to build community, foster a healthy learning environment, and redefine her school through focusing on sustainability practices in a collaborative...
Book
Full-text available
Leadership for Green Schools provides aspiring and practicing leaders with the tools they need to facilitate the design, leadership, and management of greener, more sustainable schools. Framed by theory and research, this text draws from the fields of sustainability science, built learning environment, and educational leadership to explain what gre...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined the effects of student trust in teacher and student perceptions of safety on identification with school. Data were collected from one large urban district in an eastern state. Participants included 5441 students in 3rd through 12th grades from 49 schools. Students responded to surveys that assessed student trust in teachers, saf...
Chapter
Full-text available
Beginning in 2007, the financial turbulence of the Great Recession affected public schools across the United States, and, for many schools, the challenge continues. During 2009, North Penn School District (NPSD) faced such turbulence, reflecting level three in Gross’ (1998) Turbulence Theory. This turbulence threatened the capacity of NPSD to meet...
Article
The purpose of the current study was (1) to determine if three observed variables (teacher academic press, parent academic press, and student academic press) would come together to create the latent construct school academic press and (2) to examine the utility of this construct along with instructional leadership and two control variables (element...
Chapter
Full-text available
Article
Full-text available
Sustainability is the integration of ecological, social, and economic approaches to ensuring healthy local and global communities for present and future generations. Although environmental science and social studies teachers have assumed primary responsibility for sustainability related programs and initiatives, whole school approaches to teaching...
Article
Teachers and administrators have access to large volumes of data but research suggests that they lack the skills to use data effectively for continuous school improvement. This study involved a cross-case analysis of two high school leadership teams' early stages of evidence-based practice development; differing forms of external support were prese...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this study was to examine gender dynamics in educational leadership doctoral cohorts and explore the propensity for educational leadership programs to unintentionally perpetuate inequity through continued silence and unawareness of issues related to gender. The study includes narratives from two women cohort members and two professor...
Article
When selected as a pilot redesign site, we decided to both refocus the underlying assumptions guiding our program and to engage in processes allowing us to model best practices while creating a new program. This article summarizes key aspects of our redesign work and offers reflections on the processes used and challenges faced. Murphy's (2006) gui...
Article
Conceptual in nature, this article presents a framework of ten practical democratic principles (Fenton, 2002) that will contribute towards making the practice of social justice leadership in schools more conscious, deliberate, and proactive (Dantley & Tillman, 2006). This principle-based, rather than practice- based approach to designing democratic...
Article
Full-text available
This cross-sectional explanatory study integrated three complex social processes--democratic community, faculty trust, and organizational learning--into a single testable model. The review of literature demonstrated substantial evidence for the proposed model. The data sources for the study included approximately 3,000 teachers from 79 public middl...
Article
Cynthia Uline and Lisa Kensler leverage the concept of ecological restoration as they share their vision for embracing learning as an innately natural process facilitated by healthy learning ecosystems.

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Projects

Projects (2)
Project
Paper for UCEA 2016: In this paper we challenge the mechanistic model of education and educational reform that aims to improve this ineffective model. We present a model for school improvement - restorative educational practice - that is grounded in living systems theory.