The field of educational leadership is very much dominated by studies of process. That is, discourses of best practice, effectiveness, efficiency, accountability, and so on, dominate the landscape. This then feeds into those working in schools in leadership positions and leadership teams coming to value style over substance. Whether a leader is working according to a particular adjectival leadership model matters little if the purpose of schooling and education is not the priority and shared. In this chapter, I argue that leaders need to have issues of social justice and equity as central to the purpose of their work, for those in disadvantaged areas and schools, and also those working in more privileged sites. Schools have unfortunately often been sites where forms of racism and social injustices have been perpetuated. A key aspect then for leaders is to work redress these practices. However, when working with large diversities in many schools, some leaders feel they are often unprepared for such challenges. In this chapter, I explore the difficulties and challenges of this kind of leadership with a particular focus on the Australian context and examine ways that leaders can think about and act in ways that recognize and acknowledge the diversity in their schools and communities, challenge their own assumptions and beliefs, and also work toward alleviating socially unjust practices.
Niesche, R. (2016), "Perpetuating Inequality in Education: Valuing Purpose over Process in Educational Leadership", The Dark Side of Leadership: Identifying and Overcoming Unethical Practice in Organizations (Advances in Educational Administration, Vol. 26), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 235-252. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1479-366020160000026013Download as .RIS
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