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Article
Publication date: 2 May 2017

Patricia Silva, Charles L. Slater, Gema Lopez Gorosave, Victoria Cerdas, Nancy Torres, Serafin Antunez and Fernando Briceno

The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of school leaders to provide social justice in three contexts: Costa Rica, Mexico, and Spain.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of school leaders to provide social justice in three contexts: Costa Rica, Mexico, and Spain.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative study was conducted under the interpretative tradition characterized by a search for an understanding of the social world from the point of view of a school director from each of the three countries. Interviews were conducted to determine their views on social justice, the actions they took, and the obstacles they confronted.

Findings

The directors conceived of education as a right and believed in equal educational opportunity, and fair distribution of resources. They used a variety of methods to promote social justice, increase social cohesion, and provide emotional education. Obstacles came from educational authorities who tried to control rather than support their efforts. They were committed to working in schools with marginalized populations, but their efforts had taken a toll on their personal and professional lives.

Research limitations/implications

The research looked at just three principals whose experiences were unique to their context. However, the study has the advantage of looking at schools not typically included in educational research.

Practical implications

The work of these school directors underscores the need for preparation in skills, knowledge, and values to work for social justice.

Originality/value

The value of this research is to illuminate the narratives of school leaders. Working across borders can provide insights about the possibilities of change and strength to persevere.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 55 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 7 December 2009

José María García Garduño, Charles L. Slater and Gema López Gorosave

In 1992, Mexican authorities and Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación, (SNTE, National Education Workers Union) signed an agreement to decentralize the…

Abstract

In 1992, Mexican authorities and Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación, (SNTE, National Education Workers Union) signed an agreement to decentralize the educational system called ANMEB (National Agreement on the Modernization of Basic Education), in which the Ministry of Education transferred basic education services to the 32 states of the country. Secretaría de Educación Pública (SEP, the Federal Ministry of Education) still had the power to allocate money and enforce a national curriculum. SNTE, considered the largest and most powerful union in Latin America with 1.5 million affiliates, allowed the reform with the condition of keeping its status as national union.

Details

Educational Leadership: Global Contexts and International Comparisons
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-645-8

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Article
Publication date: 26 September 2008

Charles L. Slater, Jose Maria Garcia and Gema Lopez Gorosave

This case study is an attempt to understand the experience of a school principal, Arnulfo. The research question is: what are the challenges of one first‐year school…

Abstract

Purpose

This case study is an attempt to understand the experience of a school principal, Arnulfo. The research question is: what are the challenges of one first‐year school director in Baja California, Mexico?

Design/methodology/approach

Arnulfo participated in an interview and five focus groups at the Ensenada State Normal School. He kept a journal of incidents completed during April‐July 2006. A team of three researchers helped to write the case study. One researcher collected the data and wrote a summary in Spanish. A second researcher organized the material and translated it into English. The third researcher criticized and reviewed the write‐up.

Findings

Arnulfo faced a variety of challenges, but the burden of paperwork was the most serious. It can be understood on a number of levels. Bolman and Deal's four frames to understand organizations and leadership help to explain the complexity in terms of structural, human resource, symbolic, and political. The political frame was Arnulfo's greatest strength. He advocated for the school, formed alliances with parents, and took action to get the support of others.

Practical implications

The analysis, if confirmed by broader studies with larger samples, would lead to several recommendations for educational administration preparation. Principals need to know about the structural tasks of paperwork; maintain relationships with supervisors to assure adequate support; understand the symbolic culture in which they work, and become savvy in the ways of politics.

Originality/value

The International Study of Principal Preparation will compare findings and offer perspective on the extent to which these issues are representative of challenges that directors face in eight other countries.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 46 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 1 May 2013

Gema López-Gorosave and Mary Haydee Girón

This chapter examines leadership practices in a Mexican elementary school that implemented an environmental education (EE) project. The data were collected between 2010…

Abstract

This chapter examines leadership practices in a Mexican elementary school that implemented an environmental education (EE) project. The data were collected between 2010 and 2012 through document analysis and interviews with the principal, school supervisor, teachers, counselors, students, and parents. Additional data were collected through observations of classrooms, extracurricular activities, and professional development workshops. Findings from this study suggest the principal played a key role in facilitating a collective effort among the staff to transform the school through EE. The principal’s previous administrative experiences gave her credibility with teachers and the tools to lead the school improvement effort. The main challenge the principal faced was helping parents understand the transformative benefits of EE. Internal and external factors that support and threaten the sustainability of this change are also discussed.

Details

Understanding the Principalship: An International Guide to Principal Preparation
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-679-8

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Book part
Publication date: 1 May 2013

Sarah W. Nelson and Charles L. Slater

This introductory chapter provides background information and an organizational structure for the book. The authors begin with a brief history of the research project that…

Abstract

This introductory chapter provides background information and an organizational structure for the book. The authors begin with a brief history of the research project that undergirds the work presented in each chapter. Drawing from the fields of enology and viticulture, the authors introduce the concepts of terroir, millerandage, and appellations as section headings that help to frame brief descriptions of each chapter. The authors conclude with an invitation for the reader to engage with the authors in a discussion about the contents of the book.

Details

Understanding the Principalship: An International Guide to Principal Preparation
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-679-8

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Book part
Publication date: 1 May 2013

John Churchley is the Assistant Superintendent-Human Resources for the Kamloops/Thompson School District in British Columbia, Canada. He has a background in both arts…

Abstract

John Churchley is the Assistant Superintendent-Human Resources for the Kamloops/Thompson School District in British Columbia, Canada. He has a background in both arts education and educational leadership. These two fields are reflected in his work as a practitioner and leader and in his academic research. He has taught music at elementary, secondary, and university levels and has worked as a fine arts curriculum consultant and as a school principal and district administrator. John holds a Doctor of Education degree from the University of Nottingham and keeps connected academically through an appointment as Adjunct Professor at Thompson Rivers University and through his involvement in the Arts, Aesthetics, Creativity, and Organization Research Network. His research interests include: the aesthetic experience; integrated arts/aesthetic education; leadership development and its intersection with aesthetic education; and public education issues in human resources management, labor law, and labor relations. E-mail: jchurchley@sd73.bc.ca

Details

Understanding the Principalship: An International Guide to Principal Preparation
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-679-8

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part
Publication date: 7 December 2009

Abstract

Details

Educational Leadership: Global Contexts and International Comparisons
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-645-8

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part
Publication date: 1 May 2013

Abstract

Details

Understanding the Principalship: An International Guide to Principal Preparation
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-679-8

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