Barriers and Catalysts in Awareness-Based Learning: A Study of Transfer of Learning in Equity-Focused Leadership Development Programs
Equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) topics have become central areas of focus in leadership development programs across industries and fields. EDI leadership training efforts often involve significant focus on awareness-building of the individuals who participate. However very little is understood about how building awareness of a topic, such as EDI, leads to significant impact. This quality improvement study developed insights and recommendations for effectively designing and delivering equity-focused leadership development programs. The project, done in partnership with the Georgia Leadership Institute for School Improvement (GLISI), assessed efforts to effectively develop GLISI team members as capable and confident equity-focused leader-facilitators. The principal focus of this study was to better understand how to design and execute an equity-focused leadership development program that is transferable and useful. Transfer of learning occurs when participants are able to demonstrate skills gained in a learning program with effectiveness and through continued application in their roles (Foley & Kaiser, 2013). Holton’s Learning Transfer Model was used for the evaluation of GLISI’s equity-focused “train-the-trainer” program (Holton III, Bates, & Ruona, 2000). The findings and recommendations of this improvement study serve to inform both internal equity leadership strategy development as well as how GLISI might serve their clients in developing equity leadership capabilities.