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Preparing instructional leaders for social justice
Journal of School Leadership
  • Kathryn B. McKenzie, Texas A&M University
  • Linda E. Skrla, Texas A&M University
  • James J. Scheurich, Texas A&M University
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Neither providing a rhetoric of social justice in educational leadership preparation programs nor getting individual students to understand and to be committed to social justice is sufficient to enable them to succeed on the ground as leadership practitioners in creating socially just schools. They require additional practical knowledge, what might be called pragmatic knowledge, in various areas. One of these areas is instructional leadership; that is, how does the school leader facilitate teachers being successful in teaching literally all of their students well. This article offers a model of instructional leadership for social justice that school leaders can learn and apply. This pragmatic approach focuses on two specific teachable areas—equity consciousness and equity-oriented teaching skills. As three professors of educational leadership who have deep commitments to social justice, strong backgrounds as school leadership practitioners, and 22 years of combined teaching experience in universities, we believe that it has become increasingly clear that one of the most underdeveloped areas in teaching for social justice in educational leadership is knowing how to prepare students to translate their newly developed or still-developing understandings of social justice into concrete leadership practices in their schools. Specifically, what we repeatedly hear from our leadership students is “I want be a leader for social justice, but what do I actually do to get teachers to change?” In response to this urgent need for practical techniques to use in working with teachers, we have developed a model of instructional leadership for social justice (Figure 1) that focuses on what we and others consider to be the two most critical qualities of successful teachers in diverse schools—equity consciousness (Lindsey, Roberts, & CampbellJones, 2005; Theoharis, 2004) and equity-oriented teaching skills (Ladson-Billings, 1995, 1997).
Citation Information
Kathryn B. McKenzie, Linda E. Skrla and James J. Scheurich. "Preparing instructional leaders for social justice" Journal of School Leadership Vol. 16 Iss. 2 (2006) p. 158 - 170 ISSN: 1052-6846
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