It’s interesting that graduate students in psychology don’t engage in inter-student counselling. One would have thought that the chance to practice would be exciting, just as in my own graduate studies in music, we students always formed groups with each other and tried to get as much performance opportunities as possible. Counselling, though, may involve a psychological opening up and trust that may be difficult among a cohort. The separation of counsellor and patient may provide a distance that allows for the counselling to occur; counselling as a function of interstitial relationship. Even among our own cohort here, a primary obstacle to true double- and triple-loop learning is the need to demonstrate knowledge, and the notion that we are (to be future) leaders-in-training. The speed at which we need to synthesise new information and pass off our knowledge as expertise is too great to really let developmental change take root in much of our Ed.D. study.
Your point about leaders not engaging in double-loop learning, or other kinds of reflection, is a vital one and will certainly be a focal point in the final report. Taylor and Machado-Taylor (2010) identify eight kinds of leader, of which only one type the integrator is truly transformational. Neumann and Neumann (1999), whose typography Taylor and Machado-Taylor use, analysed leadership success using enrolment and resource figures and two commercial guides to higher education study in the US as their base evidence. They found that only the integrator produced positive outcomes in all measures (Neumann & Neumann, 1999). This study provides evidence of your assertion of non-reflection in leadership and extends that to support the claim that non-reflection produces weaker leadership in higher education.
John, one thing that is missing from your posts is a critical assessment of how double-loop learning relates to your issue. You have provided some suggestions, but I feel that there is a need to relate these to your example and to the literature. Would it be possible for you to comment on that a bit?
Neumann, Y., & Neumann, E. F. (2000). The president and the college bottom line: the role of strategic leadership styles. Library Consortium Management: An International Journal, 2(3/4), 97–108. http://doi.org/10.1108/14662760010355338
Taylor, J. S., & Machado-Taylor, M. D. L. (2010). Leading Strategic Change in Higher Education: The Need for a Paradigm Shift toward Visionary Leadership. At the Interface / Probing the Boundaries, 72, 167–194.