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Social justice leadership, instructional leadership, and the goals of schooling

Haim Shaked (Hemdat Hadarom College of Education, Netivot, Israel)

International Journal of Educational Management

ISSN: 0951-354X

Article publication date: 20 August 2019

Issue publication date: 9 January 2020

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741

Abstract

Purpose

School principals should see themselves as social justice leaders, who have the ability to allow all students to succeed, regardless of their characteristics and backgrounds. At the same time, school principals are also called upon to demonstrate instructional leadership, which emphasizes the teaching and learning aspects of school principalship. The purpose of this paper is to examine the relations between these two roles of today’s school principals.

Design/methodology/approach

To investigate the relations between social justice leadership and instructional leadership, this paper adds the question of the goal of schooling to the mix. After identifying possible goals of schooling, the paper conceptualizes social justice leadership and instructional leadership, respectively, while also examining their relations with schools’ major goals. Possible commonalities and contradictions between social justice leadership and instructional leadership are discussed.

Findings

The prevalent expectation that school leaders should give top priority to ongoing improvement of teaching quality and academic outcomes may be seen as reducing school leaders’ involvement in some aspects of social justice leadership, such as nurturing students’ active citizenship.

Research limitations/implications

This paper opens new research avenues. Based on the findings of this paper, the connection between principals’ perceptions regarding the goals of schooling and their leadership behaviors should be explored.

Practical implications

It seems advisable to discuss the interplay between social justice leadership and instructional leadership with prospective and current principals, as well as with other school stakeholders.

Originality/value

Insofar as the relations between social justice leadership and instructional leadership have not been explored so far, this paper narrows a gap in the available knowledge.

Keywords

Citation

Shaked, H. (2020), "Social justice leadership, instructional leadership, and the goals of schooling", International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 34 No. 1, pp. 81-95. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJEM-01-2019-0018

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited