Lifelong learning-centred community-based leadership development in higher education.


  • Kevin Watson University of Calgary



lifelong learning, community-based leadership, business-based leadership, learning sciences, Higher Education


This article proposes a Learning Sciences framework, set within a community-based leadership lens, emphasizing the implementation of a humanistic Lifelong Learning process, towards well-being in Higher Education (HE). What makes a community focused LL environment so difficult, is the longstanding business-based model that has dominated HE institutions over the past twenty years. It has produced a politically charged marketing-style mindset within HE administration that cascades to faculty and students. This cascade has contributed to mental health issues at several levels of HE. In response, HE administration and professional developmental bodies need to reframe leadership and professional development away from this dominant model, placing humanistic-focused development at the centre. The framework focuses on individual experiential development through the tripartite of LL, Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and Learning Communities (LC) through an Integration, Continuity and Engagement (ICE) process. This framework emphasises the reciprocal relationship that HE Administration must initiate and foster within the context of community development.

Author Biography

Kevin Watson, University of Calgary

Kevin Watson is a learning Specialist at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. He is a Learning Sciences doctoral candidate at the University of Calgary. He holds an MSc. in Applied Professional Studies in Lifelong Learning from the University of Surrey (UK) and an MSc. in the Psychology and Neuroscience of Mental Health from King’s College London (UK). He holds bachelor’s degrees in Education (ESL, English Literature, Drama) and Kinesiology from the University of British Columbia (UBC). Further, he holds a Graduate Certificate in Systemic Functional Linguistics from UBC. He is Teacher Regulation Board (TRB) certified in Canada and holds a TESOL accreditation. Lastly, Kevin hold certificates in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Yoga training, Mind Body Medicine, and Fascial Stretch Therapy. He believe in the integration of Mind, Body and Spirit in learning and education.

For the past three decades, Kevin has been working as Learning Specialist and Higher Education faculty member. Kevin has taught several subjects around the globe in Abu Dhabi, the USA, Japan, Thailand, and Barbados, as well as in his home in Canada.

Kevin research focus is phenomenological hermeneutic research that is committed to exploring the interpretive lived experiences of students. He is committed to student development, curriculum design, faculty development and leadership. Kevin was most recently the Course Director for Several cohorts of the Essentials of Lifelong Learning Course for struggling medical students and the Coordinator of the Mindsets for Medicine program within his institution




How to Cite

Watson, K. (2022). Lifelong learning-centred community-based leadership development in higher education. International Journal for Leadership in Learning, 22(2), 219–265.