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Washington State University
College of Education

Jeffrey Walls

Jeff Walls, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Educational Leadership
Spokane campus
412 E. Spokane Falls Blvd.
Spokane, WA 99210-2131

Phone: 509-358-7799


Curriculum Vitae|Twitter


District Central Office Leadership for Caring and Supportive Schools
Jeff Walls’ Faculty Page

I am a faculty member in the Educational Leadership program at Washington State University. My focus as a scholar is on understanding the ethical dimensions of organizational life and on producing caring leaders for caring schools. 


My research agenda focuses on how leaders and teachers navigate the ethical crosscurrents of life in schools, and particularly on how education professionals experience and seek to shape schools as caring spaces. Links to some of my recent publications are below. If you would like to access a publication but are unable to, please contact me and I will be happy to help!

Walls, J. (2021). Tensions in Care and Control in the Middle School Classroom: Lessons for Equitable Social-Emotional Learning. Middle School Journal, 42(3), 5-14

Walls, J. (2021). Tangles and Glimmers: How African Immigrant Students in an Urban Charter School Describe Congruencies and Disconnections in Caring Between Home and School. Urban Review, Online First, 1-24.

Walls, J. (2021). Meltdown at the Academy of Fine Arts: The Role of Teachers’ Emotional Sensemaking in Planned Change. Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership, Online First.

Ryu, J., Walls, J., & Seashore Louis, K. (2020). Caring Leadership: The Role of Principals in Producing Caring School Cultures. Leadership and Policy in Schools, Online First, 1-18. 

Walls, J. (2020). Performativity and Caring in Education: Toward an Ethic of Reimagination. Journal of School Leadership, Online First, 1-26. 

Walls, J. (2020). (Don’t) lean on me: the micropolitics of caring educational leadership. International Journal of Leadership in Education, Online First, 1-25. 


I teach both in the statewide Ed.D program in Educational Leadership and in the principal credential program for students in the Spokane area/Northeast Washington. In the Ed.D program, my teaching focuses on organizational theory and ethics in educational leadership. I teach a variety of courses in the principal credential program, including courses focused on community collaboration, school improvement, and instructional leadership.


In addition to service to the Educational Leadership program, WSU College of Education, and Washington State University, I have sought to serve the broader educational community in Washington. With the help of an American Educational Research Association Educational Research Service Grant, I investigated how school district central offices support caring in schools. The research/practice product of that work is here:

District Central Office Leadership for Caring and Supportive Schools

I have also served as a member of the Washington Professional Educator Standard Board Sub-Committee on Social and Emotional Learning. The purpose of this committee was to provide guidance to teacher and administrator preparation programs as they implement Washington’s Social and Emotional Learning standards into their programs. You can view the brief for SEL Implementation in principal programs here.