Global Leadership for Social Justice: Taking it from the Field to Practice: Volume 14


Table of contents

(22 chapters)

Within this book Global Leadership for Social Justice: Taking it from the Field to Practice, editors Christa Boske and Sarah Diem, along with an array of contributors provide a variety of rich perspectives to the social justice phenomenon from the lens of empirical, and theoretical work in the area of educational leadership. Of equal importance, these scholars reiterate the importance of bridging theory and practice while simultaneously producing significant research and scholarship in the field as their work deepens understandings of what leading for social justice and equity-oriented work looks like within diverse schools. Collectively, the authors seek to give voice to empowering, social justice-focused research – an area that continues to garner much interest in the areas of educational leadership research, teaching, and learning. In conjunction with the theme of this book, the contributors offer research from an international perspective and offer suggestions, and implications for the field of educational leadership on both a national and international level.

Today's educational leaders are faced with a myriad of challenges. They must navigate through and meet the demands of a complex and ever-changing educational landscape, amidst the constant scrutiny placed on them by multiple interest groups internal and external to the school context. Further, while the concern for creating more equitable and just schools is given lip service in policy circles, the extent to which social justice and equity are placed in the forefront of existing educational leadership preparation programs remains problematic as those who prepare school leaders continue to grapple with what social justice means, as well as ways to embed such practices throughout their programs of study.

In this chapter, we argue that injustices experienced by children in Kenyan schools can be traced back to educational policies and corruption in government. However, few studies have focused on the links between policies, injustices, and the work of principals. Data collected on the work of school principals indicated that individual commitments and developing capacity for leadership in schools through the practice of dispositional values resulted in success.

The purpose of this chapter is to illustrate the value of student voice in educational leadership research and practice. While much research has explored leading schools for social justice, it has rarely considered the student perspective as an integral component of leadership decision-making. In fact, listening to the student voice should be the sine qua non of leadership responsibilities and investigations. This chapter provides examples of this more inclusive approach to researching and leading schools. It operationalizes student-focused and social justice practices that hold promise to sensitize our research efforts, destabilize oppressive school leadership structures, and create positive and innovative environments for students in all global contexts.

The continued move toward high-stakes accountability has significant consequences for public schools located within communities occupied by historically marginalized populations, as the majority of chronically low-performing (CLP) schools are housed within metropolitan areas where students of color are the primary population (Noguera & Wells, 2011). Consequently, over the course of the last decade, college- and university-based educational leadership preparation programs have been placed on the defensive (Cibulka, 2009; Goldring & Schuermann, 2009), as school leaders and those who prepare them are being increasingly held accountable for the significant escalation in the number of CLP schools. With such issues as the contextual backdrop, the purpose of this chapter is to further examine two issues critical to the field of educational leadership preparation: the need for leadership preparation programs to develop and provide curricula and pedagogical offerings that better prepare leaders to serve within diverse communities, and the potentiality of using Q-methodology as an evaluative instrument in the reformation efforts of educational leadership preparation programs attempting to better equip school leaders for diverse contexts.

The purpose of this chapter is to share a higher education leadership program at Pacific Oaks College that aims to prepare the next generation of administrators. The goal of this program is to prepare school administrators who are capable of leading school districts or schools so that they exemplify environments committed to democracy, social justice, and school improvement. The purpose of sharing this information is to get Schools of Education to consider a similar approach so that the next generation of social justice leaders can foster democratic communities and bring about the school improvements necessary to ensure that all members of their school communities have a chance to reach their full potential as teachers and learners.

The purpose of this chapter is to describe the practices being implemented within the doctorate for Educational Leadership for Social Justice (Ed.D.) program at Loyola Marymount University. Furthermore, the chapter shares data from a qualitative method of inquiry to assess the program's efficacy. The goal of the program is to produce leaders who can advocate for social justice in educational settings, implement theory into practice, and lead to facilitate transformation in the field of education. The foundational elements of the program include a cohort model, a rigorous curriculum, supportive structures, and the culminating dissertation. Data from program graduates and their supervisors suggest that students are transformed in the program to respect, educate, advocate, and lead educational settings.

This conceptual chapter argues that an understanding of racial identity development theory should be a fundamental element of school principals’ preparation and practice. The chapter includes a brief examination of the related research that merges school leadership and racial identity, and a description of three racial identity development theoretical models (Black, White, and Latino); after suggesting questions that still exist regarding racial identity development theory, the author highlights specific ways in which racial identity development can be incorporated in principal preparation programs.

Scholars have been calling for educational leadership that emphasizes socially just practices to restructure school policies and practices to create an equitable schooling experience for all students. The case of Davis K-8 exemplifies how a more traditional model of leadership (transformational leadership) coupled with a professional learning community model has created socially just practices that fully include the school's deaf and hearing-impaired students. Davis has recreated the school environment to truly value participation from all students. Utilizing a mixed-methods approach, data were gathered that highlight the practices that drive the inclusive culture of the school. Implications for practice include the impact that a socially just vision can have in more traditional leadership models and provides a model for including students with disabilities into the school culture.

In spite of the abundance of literature on teaching for social justice and a recent increase in discussions of the construction of teacher leadership, there is a dearth of studies that address the intersection of teacher leadership and social justice. Additionally, scholarship focused on teacher leadership tends to focus on teaching as measurable efficiency, a mainstream orientation toward teaching that can serve to reify the very kinds of inequities such reforms are designed to interrupt. Drawing from his own experiences as a teacher educator, the author argues that strong teaching is teaching for social justice and, similarly, that a teacher cannot be a leader unless she or he explicitly attends to questions of equity, access, and justice.

The author examines how school leaders understood issues of social justice. Despite rising standards for excellence and equity, increasing demands on teachers and school leaders to raise standardized test scores, and the push for schools to achieve equal educational outcomes, many US public schools have not eliminated long-standing achievement gaps for those who live on the margins (i.e., race, class, gender, immigration status, ability (both mental and physical), and native language). The study, based in grounded theory, examined how 72 aspiring school leaders understood what was meant by leading for social justice in US public schools. Participants were more successful when they internalized an increased critical consciousness that encouraged a dialogue around issues of social justice work in schools in order to utilize their new understanding as a platform to promote this work.

This chapter presents case studies of two doctoral students in a program designed to develop leadership for social justice. Amidst criticisms that doctorate programs promote neither research nor professional expertise, the question of program relevance is addressed by asking a different question. How are urban school leaders uniquely positioned to conduct research that can transform schools? The tale of two scholar-practitioners illustrates the changes in site and district practices that result from collaborative, site-based studies. Inquiries were grounded in critical theory: by collaborating with those most affected by policy, school leaders and participants transformed inequitable practices at and beyond their schools.

This chapter offers an integrated framework for the design of educational leadership preparation programs that situate disability in the vision of social justice leadership (SJL) and equity for all students. We examine the extent to which current standards for building-level administrators inform their ability to implement programs for students with disabilities. Utilizing Theoharis’ (2007) definition of social justice leadership (SJL), we propose a broader framework for SJL that accounts for students with disabilities and present four key components upon which the broader framework of SJL rests. We align the updated standards for building-level leaders with the professional standards for special education administrators and describe how the skill sets for special education leaders complement and inform the design of leadership preparation programs to support candidates’ ability to create, sustain, and implement programs that meet the needs of all children. Finally, we argue for an integrated framework of professional standards that provides a more comprehensive set of skills necessary for meeting the needs of each and every student in the school, and we provide recommendations for leadership preparation programs to achieve this integration.

As school leaders across the world wrestle with ways to think about, respond to, and act upon social justice, this chapter provides a way for school leaders to think about what it means to lead for social justice in schools. The chapter offers a template to ground school leaders in socially just practices. The authors contend those interested in leading schools do not need to wait for external agencies to take actions that align with their beliefs and vision to serve school communities in socially just ways. School leaders have the capacity to demonstrate their convictions and commitment to foster meaningful change. The authors suggest such changes promote opportunities to frame a new common discourse in educational leadership: pursuing a new vision for leading for social justice in schools.

The facilitation of learning of leadership for social justice involves experiences which go beyond awareness (Cambron-McCabe & McCarthy, 2005; Jean-Marie et al., 2009). Brooks and Miles (2008) contend “awareness of social injustices is not sufficient, school leaders must act when they identify inequity. School leaders are not only uniquely positioned to influence equitable educational practices, their proactive involvement is imperative” (p. 107). However, if school leaders have not been exposed in their preparation programs on the “need to, why, and how to act,” they will struggle to challenge inherent practices when they are in school leadership positions. To build capacity for school leaders to take socially just actions, learning experiences about social justice should include critical literature and research that interrogate the principles of equity, access, and equality that vehemently shed light on school practices.

Carl Kalani Beyer is the dean of the College and the Founding Dean of the School of Education at Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena, California. Prior to his arrival in May 2011, he was the dean of the School of Education at National University with the rank of professor and full time faculty and chair of the Teacher Education Department at Concordia University (Chicago). He came to higher education after a 34-year career in public education. Multicultural education, Native American education, manual labor and manual training curriculum, education for Hawaiians, and higher education issues are his research interests. Since he became a professor in 2002, his scholarship consists of publishing 18 articles, a chapter in a book, a forward to a book, and 4 book reviews, and presenting over 50 papers at peer-reviewed conferences. He is currently awaiting publication of two additional articles, a chapter in a book, and the manuscript of his reworked dissertation. Dr. Beyer is a high school graduate of Kamehameha School for Boys. He received a BA in mathematics from Beloit College and earned a MA in US history from Northern Illinois University, MA in education and MS in management and organizational behavior from Benedictine University, and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Chicago in curriculum design.

Publication date
Book series
Advances in Educational Administration
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
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