A view from the field: the process of improving equitable systems leadership
Journal of Educational Administration
Article publication date: 25 June 2019
Research on principal supervisors (PSs) is an emerging field, and principal supervision for racial equity has not yet been studied or theorized. Conducted in partnership with practicing district leaders, the purpose of this paper is to examine current PS leadership in three districts at various points of engagement in equitable leadership practices and set forth a framework for conceptualizing systems equitable leadership practice.
This collaborative study emerged from an EdD course project in which groups of practitioner–scholars identified and collected qualitative interview, survey and artifact data about problems of practice in their districts. University researchers supported data collection and conducted analyses across settings, building on Ishimaru and Galloway’s (2014) equitable leadership practices framework.
Equitable PS leadership practices were variable. No district engaged with “proficiency” across all drivers of equitable leadership practice, but the district that engaged in equitable PS practices most deeply framed the work of schooling as a race-explicit endeavor, suggesting that framing is a fundamental driver.
This paper builds on PS and equity-focused leadership research by adding a systems-level equity focus.
Findings suggest that districts should focus on equity framing as the foundation for principal support and development.
This researcher/practitioner–scholar collaboration shows how practitioner–scholars provide focus and expertise to the field unavailable to traditional researchers.
The authors would like to thank the L4L6 cohort for their support, challenge, and friendship. The authors would also like to thank Ann Ishimaru and Anthony Craig for their thoughts and insight on drafts of the manuscript, and the leaders in the three districts whose experiences and ideas shaped this project.
Rigby, J., Donaldson Walsh, E., Boten, S., Deno, A., Harrison, M.S., Merrell, R., Pritchett, S. and Seaman, S. (2019), "A view from the field: the process of improving equitable systems leadership", Journal of Educational Administration, Vol. 57 No. 5, pp. 484-500. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEA-09-2018-0181
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