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Looking towards the source – social justice and leadership conceptualisations from Tonga

Seu'ula Johansson Fua (The University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji)

Journal of Educational Administration

ISSN: 0957-8234

Article publication date: 2 October 2007




This article aims to explore Tongan conceptualisations of social justice and leadership from a cultural perspective.


The approach taken is from a cultural perspective based on evidence that culture influences our thinking and consequently our behaviours, and the argument that social justice is about recognising our values, philosophies, processes and structures in our education system and that theorising social justice should be founded on our knowledge systems that are embedded in our cultures.


The Tongan conceptualisation of social justice is based on Faka'apa'apa (respect) while Tongan leadership is based on Va¯ (relationships); both concepts converge on the role of leadership. The example of the Tongan conceptualisation is given as a guide for other Pacific countries to consider when confronted with global educational instruments.


By conceptualising social justice from a cultural perspective, an alternative understanding is brought forward and a more global perspective is evident.



Johansson Fua, S. (2007), "Looking towards the source – social justice and leadership conceptualisations from Tonga", Journal of Educational Administration, Vol. 45 No. 6, pp. 672-683.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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