Guest editorial

Jeffrey S. Brooks (Faculty of Education, Monash University, Clayton, Australia)
Anthony H. Normore (Graduate Education Division, California State University Dominguez Hills, Carson-Los Angeles, California, USA)
Jane Wilkinson (Faculty of Education, Monash University, Clayton, Australia)

International Journal of Educational Management

ISSN: 0951-354X

Article publication date: 12 June 2017



Brooks, J.S., H. Normore, A. and Wilkinson, J. (2017), "Guest editorial", International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 31 No. 5, pp. 562-563.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

Educational leadership and demographic change: perspectives on diversity, im/migration and change from cities around the world

Given unprecedented demographic shifts, immigration and migration throughout the world, this special issue of the International Journal of Educational Management is timely. That said, while there is a great deal of scholarly literature related to the topic throughout the social sciences, and a substantial corpus of such research in education as a field, there has been relatively little attention that investigates how leadership influences (and is influenced by) immigration and migration. Considered as a whole, this special issue seeks to explore this gap in the literature. On these pages, readers will find theoretical and empirical studies that examine immigration and migration in situ – that is – we recognize that while there are global issues and patterns, there is a need for studies that explore specific contexts. As such, the issue focuses on the way that immigration and migration influence leadership preparation, practice and policy in some of the world’s most dynamic cities, including Shanghai, Chicago, New York, Toronto and a few authors take broader looks at Sweden, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines and the USA.

Each article is unique, of course, but generally speaking, the editors asked authors to loosely adhere to the following outline:

  • Introduction.

  • Description of the context. This should provide some basic information about the city, include immigration and migration statistics, put current trends in an historical perspective and discuss transnational, societal, city-level or neighborhood issues related to the phenomenon.

  • Educational leadership preparation, demographic change, immigration and migration. Some questions you might consider: how are administrators and educators prepared to lead schools with diverse populations in your city? Are their local or national processes or standards that guide their preparation, and if so, how do they address or ignore issues related to migration and immigration? Is it university, school system or independently offered, if at all, and how are they connected to or serving migrant and immigrant populations?

  • Educational leadership practice, demographic change, immigration and migration. Questions to consider: what are school leaders doing to accommodate students who come to their schools through immigration and migration? Are school leaders involved with migrant and immigrant communities? What issues do school leaders take into consideration when providing a high-quality education to migrant and immigrant students?

  • Educational policy, demographic change, immigration and migration. Questions to consider: what international, national, state and local policies influence migrant and immigrant education? What policies do leaders need to understand in order to provide a high-quality education to migrant and immigrant students? How are leaders able to interpret or shape the design and implementation of policies related to migrant and immigrant student education?

  • Conclusions and recommendations. Please suggest and discuss implications for the research, preparation, practice and policies related to educational leadership, demographic change, immigration and migration in your city and country.

Again, we offered these guidelines not as a constraint, but to provide a general structure that will give the special issue a coherent focus. Readers will find that authors have approached their articles from a variety of theoretical perspectives and from several research paradigms. To give a sense of the breadth and depth of the special issue, we briefly note the title and scope of each article.

In “Leading schools with migrant children in Shanghai: understanding policies and practices,” Qian Haiyan and Allan Walker analyze policy papers and draw from literature to provide a contextualized interpretation about the status quo and challenges facing leaders of schools that enroll migrant children in Chinese schools. In their article, “An unlikely destination: meeting the educational needs of immigrant, migrant and refugee children in the suburbs of Chicago, IL,” Marla Israel, Elizabeth Vera, Amy Heineke and Nancy Goldberger build a narrative of a single immigrant and then connect this experience to education and finally to the preparation of school leaders. Stephanie Tuters and John Portelli ask whether or not leaders in Ontario prepared to lead schools that support the students of today in “Educational leadership and the students of today. A discussion of the current context in Ontario schools regarding educational leadership and diversity.” In “Against the grain: establishing school leadership opportunities for immigrants of colour in Aotearoa New Zealand,” Andrés P. Santamaría and Lorri J. Santamaría utilized critical qualitative methods to rethink transformative leadership and consider its implications for a diverse global society. Terri N. Watson’s study, “Effective school leadership and New York City’s immigrant and migrant children: a Study,” focuses on forces that shape and inform policy development and implementation for the city’s 3.5 million immigrants. In “Educational leadership and im/migration: preparation, practice and policy – the Swedish case,” Katarina Norberg explored the perspectives of seven principals and examined many issues related to both leadership for social justice and support for immigrant students and communities. “Southern Filipino school leaders and religious diversity: a typology,” by Melanie C. Brooks, is a qualitative case study of school principals in Cagayan de Oro, Philippines who work in ethnically and religiously diverse communities looks primarily at the ways that principals navigate political tensions in their diverse communities. In an article titled “Preparing transformative leaders for diversity, immigration, and equitable expectations for school-wide excellence,” Daniel Liou and Carl Hermanns examine the ways that students, school leaders and communities come together to support each other in diverse communities.

Summary: the need for more research into educational leadership, migration and immigration

Collectively considered, the articles in this special issue point out that to date, issues related to school leadership, immigration and migration are few and far between – this is an understudied, underconceptualized and poorly understood aspect of school leadership. That said, it is also an extremely important area of study, and an issue that many practitioners are facing today, and nearly all will face tomorrow. The articles in this special issue go some way toward establishing some basic concepts that need further exploration, offer useful insights in several localized contexts and point the way toward improved scholarship and practice in this area. We recognize a need for these articles to be challenged, expanded and further investigated, but as a point of departure, they constitute an important contribution.

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