Medium 9781475811650

Jsl Vol 17-N3

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The Journal of School Leadership is broadening the conversation about schools and leadership and is currently accepting manuscripts. We welcome manuscripts based on cutting-edge research from a wide variety of theoretical perspectives and methodological orientations. The editorial team is particularly interested in working with international authors, authors from traditionally marginalized populations, and in work that is relevant to practitioners around the world. Growing numbers of educators and professors look to the six bimonthly issues to: deal with problems directly related to contemporary school leadership practice teach courses on school leadership and policy use as a quality reference in writing articles about school leadership and improvement.

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Horton, Highlander, and Leadership Education: Lessons for Preparing Educational Leaders for Social Justice

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ANDREA E. EVANS

ABSTRACT: Influenced by Myles Horton’s vision and leadership, the Highlander Folk School became an adult education program centered on social change via the labor and civil rights movements. In this article, I examine the pedagogy and practice of Myles Horton and the Highlander Folk School and identify the key themes that guided their educational approach to social justice leadership training. I then explore the ways in which educational leadership preparation may exemplify these key themes in its pedagogy and practice with the aim of moving the field and schooling closer to social justice and democratic ideals.

Recent scholarship reveals renewed interest in and focus on educational leadership oriented toward social justice and democracy (Brown, 2004, 2006; Cambron-McCabe & McCarthy, 2005; Larson & Murtadha, 2002; Marshall, 2004; Marshall & Oliva, 2006; Shields, 2004). Generally, this scholarship supports the notion that educational leaders have a social and moral obligation to foster equitable school practices, processes, and outcomes for learners of different racial, socioeconomic, gender, cultural, disability, and sexual orientation backgrounds. Specifically, Bredeson (2004) calls for democratic school leaders who act intentionally to create equitable schooling and who serve as “dismantlers who need to challenge inequities and disrupt the sources and systems that contribute to those injustices” (p. 712). These scholars argue that school leaders’ moral and social responsibility must manifest itself in the exercise of professional agency and become evident in actions, behaviors, and decisions that result in equitable schooling for children. Positioned as such, school leaders are in fact “cultural workers” (Giroux, 1992, p. 13) who, Dantley (1990) contends, “must be wedded to the notion of schools as vehicles for social and political reconstruction” (p. 594).

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Principal Leadership for Social Justice: Uncovering the Content of Teacher Professional Development

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BRAD W. KOSE

ABSTRACT: Both principal leadership for professional development and leadership for social justice offer promising but underdeveloped conceptions of professional development content that school principals promote toward teaching for academic excellence and social justice. This article examines the professional learning content promoted by three school principals for social justice. Findings reveal a nuanced understanding of two content strands of professional development: subject matter expertise and social identity development. Principals should promote both strands of professional development to support teaching for social justice and differentiate this professional learning according to teacher needs. Implications for practice, theory, and future research are discussed.

One of the most important and daunting challenges that school principals face in the United States is creating affirming, equitable, high-achieving schools that prepare all students to be multicultural, justice-oriented citizens. Theoretically, this intricate challenge positions principals as transformative leaders (e.g., Shields, 2004) who join the unfinished journey toward democracy and social justice promoted at recent national conferences, such as those held by the American Educational Research Association in 2006 and the University Council for Educational Administration in 2005.1

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The Coprincipalship: It’s Not Lonely at the Top

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ELLEN WEXLER ECKMAN

ABSTRACT: The coprincipalship has been suggested as an organizational structure that addresses the increasing workload and time demands of the principal as well as the shortage of qualified applicants for the position. This article presents the findings of a qualitative study of coprincipals in public and private schools in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maine, Oregon, and Wisconsin. The participants describe the rationale for the model, its strengths and weaknesses, and how it functions. The coprincipals expressed particular satisfaction at sharing workloads and decision making because they were not isolated as solo leaders. Though the coprincipalship model offers possibilities for making the role of principal attractive, additional information is needed to develop a sustainable model.

The role of the principal has expanded and become increasingly complex over the last 25 years (DiPaola & Tschannen-Moran, 2003; Goodwin, Cunningham, & Eagle, 2005; Institute for Educational Leadership, 2000). For many principals, meeting this workload intensification has led to increased conflicts between their personal and professional lives, along with decreased levels of job satisfaction (Eckman, 2004; Pounder & Merrill, 2001). The work demands and role conflicts have led many principals to leave their positions, thereby resulting in a high turnover in the principalship (Pounder & Merrill, 2001) and a growing shortage of qualified and experienced candidates for principal positions in nearly all districts in the United States (Houston, 1998; Protheroe, 2001; Young & McLeod, 2001).

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Dialogue, Identity, and Inclusion: Administrators as Mediators in Diverse School Contexts

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JAMES RYAN

ABSTRACT: This article describes a study that explores the identities that principals assume as they engage in dialogue in diverse school contexts. In particular, it focuses on the various dimensions of one identity—that of mediator—and illustrates how this identity shapes the way in which administrators converse with others and how it affects efforts toward inclusion. Administrators in this study assumed either active or symbolic mediator identities in their quest to communicate with their respective school communities. They also devised strategies to deal with contradictions between their expressed inclusive values and their actual communication practices.

Dialogue is important in contexts of diversity. Among other things, it can assist marginalized groups to be meaningfully included in cultural institutions such as schools. Ideally, the right dialogical practices provide the bridges that bring together disparate and different communities in ways that enable them to overcome the powerful barriers that prevent them from sharing in what schools and communities have to offer.

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