Joan’s Writing

joan-2I am an educator, poet and writer. The power of words has always transformed the ways in which I think, learn and grow. Right now I have many projects on the go:

  • Appreciative Inquiry in Higher Education: A Transformative Force has just been published. The writing of this book with my partner Jeanie Cockell was a powerfully transformative experience. The trust, care and worthiness one must bring to co-authorship has taught be again what it means to undertake meaningful work.
  • Working Resilience: Hope, Despair and Forgiveness, Three Tenets of a Life of Leading© is a work in progress that focuses on these three tenets and how a deep understanding of them can help us in education build and sustain our resilience as we shine, stumble and grow as leaders.
  • Love and Work © is a collection of poetry related to the love of life and working in the everyday.
  • Clive and Clara © is a children’s book about a young girl and her adventures with Clive the frog.


  • Inclusive spaces: Using appreciative processes to transform social structures. In Appreciative Inquiry Practitioner, McArthur-Blair, J. & Cockell, J. (2012). August 2012.
  • Connectivity and Collectivity in a Doctoral Cohort Program: An Academic Memoir in Five Parts, Shauna Butterwick, Jean Cockell, Joan McArthur Blair, Sandy McIvor, Jennifer Rodrigues. Alberta Journal of Educational Research, Winter 2012.
  • Free Fall. In K. Parker & P. Watson (Eds.), 20 Winners at the Game of Life. Trafford: Nova Scotia. Publication date February 2011
  • Fragile Practice, Humble Learning, Extraordinary Outcomes. AI Practitioner Journal, Feb. 2010
  • Peering Through the Kaleidoscope: Emergent Design, Emerging Strengths at the Nova Scotia Community College. Co-author, McArthur-Blair, Lowry, Bryne. AI Practitioner Journal, November 2008 and Leadership – The Chair Academy Leadership Journal, Fall 2008
  • Ingenuity: A Few Observations on College and Institute Applied Research. College Canada, Spring 2007
  • The inner life : a conversation with leaders in British Columbia post-secondary education, Doctor of Education – EdD, Educational Leadership and Policy, 2004.