Hi, I'm Christine.

I’m a graduate student completing my MEd in Educational Policy Studies at the University of Alberta (Canada). I love research, reading, writing, chai lattes, and exploring the great City of Edmonton. And as a new researcher in the field of educational administration + leadership, I'm entering the world of academia on my own, for the first time. And if I'm being honest? I'm terrified.

Maybe you can relate? Maybe you're where I was a few years ago, just starting you graduate studies with no idea how the heck to write a literature review, much less a thesis. Or maybe you've already graduated from school and you’re wondering, now what!?

Well friend, I'm right there with you. I write this blog to share helpful, actionable, and inspirational content to help academics create original research in the field of educational administration + leadership. If this sounds like you, then you’re exactly the person that I hoped would find this blog.

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About VA

I originally began Valentine Academia as an outlet to write about what I was learning about in graduate school and to share my research projects. It was a great way to combine my interests in writing and research, and to express myself creatively. However, I quickly realized that there were very few online resources that focused specifically on educational administration + leadership research. And with that, my blog had a new purpose: to help other researchers learn how to write and do research in this field.

A blog might seem like a strange place to write about academia. But I think a blog’s capacity for reaching broader audiences is far greater than traditional publishing channels (as important as they are for growing the knowledge-base in this field). In the age of the digital public sphere, the Internet provides us with a publicly-accessible venue where we can debate and share ideas openly. Ideas that have the potential of effecting positive change in our universities.

Because frankly, if we’re going to talk about something in any real way, it needs to be part of our popular imagination.

The idea of the public sphere...an idea which calls for a rationalization of power through the medium of public discussion.
— Jurgen Habermas, from The Public Sphere: An Encyclopedia Article (1964)

All of this to say, that I think a blog for educational administration + leadership research is exactly what this field needs. More of them, ideally. We need spaces where educational administration theory and practice can be discussed together and creative solutions can be explored. We need an open dialogue.

About My Research

It’s important to me that all of my research does something to contribute to positive change in the field of educational administration + leadership.

In grad school, I took a course on arts-based research methodology, and I was immediately drawn to it as a lens through which to look at research in this field. The possibilities of being creative were endlessly exciting, and before I knew it, research projects I had never even dreamed of suddenly began to feel real and tangible. My first assignment was to design an arts-based research project in my field, and I created an interventionist arts-based research project called the Adminibrary (a new word I created from combining the words “administration”, “miniature”, and “library”).

Read on below for more details and share your own research projects with me by sending them to hello@valentineacademia.com

The Adminibrary
An Interventionist Arts-Based Research Project

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The Adminibrary ("administration-mini-library")

About This Project

The Adminibrary is a mini library full of books and articles on educational administration + leadership topics that co-workers (other administrators) can borrow. It is an ongoing interventionist art-based research project that has the potential to bring educational administration theory into the university where administration is practices, and can spark meaningful conversations about our roles as administrators.

Process

As a creative means of achieving this project's objectives, I decided to create a postcard (pictured above) that communicates the purpose of the Adminibrary in a unique way. Anyone who picks up this card is encouraged to borrow any of the materials in the library and/or to fill out the back of the postcard with their own book or article recommendations.

The postcard stands up on a miniature easel to make it immediately noticeable to anyone passing by the bookshelf. Because of its distinctive name, the Adminibrary has been successful at drawing the interest of my co-workers to the bookshelf and sparking spontanous discussions around why I started the project, the applicability of arts-based research methods to the field of educational administration + leadership, and what is working well in our practices as administrators.

The Adminibrary is an ongoing interventionist art project that is also a functioning lending library system that brings educational administration & leadership research into the university where administration is practiced.

Objectives

This project has three main objectives:

  1. To SHARE educational administration books and articles with practicing administrators to bring awareness to administrative theory in a place where administration is practices.

  2. To SPARK spontaneous conversations with other educational administrators that allow them to reflect on what they are doing right in their practice.

  3. To CREATE a space in which to imagine new possibilities for the future of the field of educational administration + leadership.

Though I hope that other administrators will continue to interact with the books and articles in the Adminibrary so I can feel that I have "completed" this project, I plan on continuing the Adminibrary to see how it evolves over time.

Do you have an educational administration + leadership research project that you'd like to share, or maybe even have featured on this blog? Please email me at hello@valentineacademia.com to share your work, or just to introduce yourself.

Share your own projects with me at hello@valentineacademia.com! 

So, are you ready to get started creating your own research projects? Let's get started!

Christine Valentine