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JSL Vol 27-N3

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JSL invites the submission of manuscripts that contribute to the exchange of ideas and scholarship about schools and leadership. All theoretical and methological approaches are welcome. We do not advocate or practice a bias toward any mode of inquiry (e.g., qualitative vs. quantitative; empirical vs. conceptual; discipline-based vs. interdisciplinary) and instead operate from the assumption that all careful and methodologically sound research has the potential to contribute to our understanding of school leadership. We strongly encourage authors to consider both the local and global implications of their work. The journal’s goal is to clearly communicate with a diverse audience including both school-based and university-based educators. The journal embraces a board conception of school leadership and welcomes manuscripts that reflect the diversity of ways in which this term is understood. The journal is interested not only in manuscripts that focus on administrative leadership in schools and school districts, but also in manuscripts that inquire about teacher, student, parent, and community leadership.

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5 Articles

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Leadership for Cultural and Language Diversity in the Context of Schools for the Deaf

ePub

CATHERINE O’BRIEN

KERRY K. ROBINSON

Cultural Leadership in Schools for the Deaf

Leadership for Cultural and Language Diversity in the Context of Schools for the Deaf

ABSTRACT: This study examined the variation in cultural competence among leaders in four different residential schools for the Deaf across the United States. The study explored where leaders fell on the cultural continuum, and how this was reflected in the schools in the way each perceived and validated Deaf culture as well as other cultures present in the schools. This qualitative multi-case ethnographic methodology utilized interviews as primary data sources which were video-taped in order to accurately transcribe them and to score concepts and themes for analysis by grounded theory methodology. The findings highlighted the complexities of culture and the ways that administrators embraced or knowingly or unknowingly overlooked the cultures that the students brought to the schools. Finally, the leadership decisions made by administrators were also tied to their own cultural proficiency.

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Authentic and Social Justice Leadership: A Case Study of an Exemplary Principal along the U.S.–Mexico Border

ePub

DAVID E. DEMATTHEWS

ELENA IZQUIERDO

Authentic and Social Justice Leadership

A Case Study of an Exemplary Principal along the U.S.–Mexico Border

ABSTRACT: Few researchers have sought to merge authentic and social justice leadership or investigate how each can be applied together to address the current school reform and social justice challenges associated with high-stakes accountability. This article presents a qualitative case study of authentic and social justice leadership practices of one exemplary principal working along the U.S.–Mexico border and how she nurtured, inspired, and motivated teachers and families to create innovative and inclusive programs to meet the needs of all students, especially Mexican American English language learners (ELLs). Two micro-cases are presented to examine the principal’s role in founding a gifted and talented dual language program for ELLs and a merger with a low-performing school. Additional findings describe how the principal developed strategic relationships and motivated families to advocate for social justice. In doing so, this article highlights areas where authentic and social justice leadership support effective practices and mitigate obstacles to adopting equity-oriented reforms. Implications are discussed which include new directions for future research and principal preparation programs.

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Exploring Empathy to Promote Social Justice Leadership in Schools

ePub

CHRISTA BOSKE

AZADEH OSANLOO

WHITNEY SHERMAN NEWCOMB

Exploring Empathy to Promote Social Justice Leadership in Schools

ABSTRACT: This study examines how 57 aspiring school leaders understand what it means to lead for social justice in K-12 schools. Grounded theory was employed for this qualitative study. The data collection included 855 audio and video reflections (15–55 minutes), 513 written narratives, 57 equity audits, and field notes. Emerging themes for this report include: (1) understanding social justice–oriented and equity-oriented pedagogies and work; (2) immersing oneself in culturally diverse contexts; (3) increasing critical consciousness; and (4) deepening empathic responses. Findings suggest promoting social justice-oriented transformative learning throughout coursework is critical to school leaders developing empathic responses toward disenfranchised populations. Implications suggest deepening empathic responses is critical to school leaders promoting social justice–oriented and equity-oriented work in schools.

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The Ontario Quandary: Principals’ Perceptions of Accountability Policy and Social Justice

ePub

FEI WANG

The Ontario Quandary

Principals’ Perceptions of Accountability Policy and Social Justice

ABSTRACT: This qualitative study examines how accountability policies impact school principals’ social justice commitment. The study involved semi-structured interviews with twenty-two Ontario principals. Findings show that principals responded to the accountability policies with strikingly mixed emotions. Some grudgingly accepted the mandates and reluctantly sought to accommodate directives in their agenda. Some critiqued the reforms by highlighting the inequities and drawbacks in the performance-based tests. Others showed significant resistance to the reform and strategically used their power to navigate toward what they felt was best for their students. Such mixed sentiments among principals revealed a deeper struggle among them in navigating the system.

KEY WORDS: Leadership, Social Justice, Accountability, Accountability Policies

There is an ongoing debate among educators and scholars (Angelis, et al., 2007; Black & Valenzuela, 2004; Diem & Boske, 2012; Haney, 2004; Ryan, 2012) about whether external, outcome-driven accountability policies enhance or hinder the promotion of social justice among students with diverse backgrounds. Some scholars contend that accountability curtails educational opportunities, and reinforces and extends social inequalities (Black & Valenzuela, 2004; Haney, 2004; McNeil & Valenzuela, 2001). Others (Skrla, Scheurich, Johnson, & Koschoreck, 2001) argue that accountability can increase educational equity by reducing the achievement gap among student groups—especially gaps between advantaged and disadvantaged students—through the establishment of standards and performance-based assessments. Regardless of the merits of the above arguments, this policy debate centers on the critical part of accountability, that is, standardized tests. School leaders who serve as policy mediators are expected to facilitate the integration of accountability policies to support student achievement. However, given the mounting accountability pressures, an increasingly diverse student population, and limited educational resources and service, the practice of leadership is fraught with tensions, contradictions, moral dilemmas, and political struggles. This study aims to examine how school principals who self-identify as social justice advocates react to the accountability movement in Ontario, Canada, how they perceive accountability and accountability policies, the actions they take, and the reasoning process they use in their attempts to satisfy accountability mandates while simultaneously tackling the various causes of social injustices in their schools.

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Within-School Differences in Professional Learning Community Effectiveness: Implications for Leadership

ePub

ROBERT H. VOELKEL, JR.

JANET H. CHRISPEELS

Within-School Differences in Professional Learning Community Effectiveness

Implications for Leadership

ABSTRACT: Research suggests effective professional learning communities (PLCs) enhance teacher collaboration and student achievement. Within-school variation in PLC processes, however, is underexplored. This study highlights differences in teacher behavior and teams’ perceptions of principal leadership in well-functioning teams versus less well-functioning ones. Analysis of interviews of principals and team members showed teams differed in intensity of analysis of student work and the level of changes in instructional practices. High-functioning teams felt supported by the principal while the less well-functioning teams did not. These findings suggest the need for more active principal facilitation of PLCs to achieve full benefits.

KEYWORDS: Professional Learning Communities, Teacher Teams, Principal Leadership, Data Use

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