Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Department of Educational Administration and Foundations: Educational Administration
Some students in schools are served well, whereas others are not. Students traditionally marginalized in schools are students of color, students whose native language is not English, students who receive free and reduced-price lunches, and students with an individualized education program. On nearly all measures in all schools, there exists a persistent achievement gap. The role of leadership in schools can be an important piece in addressing the achievement gap. Traditional leadership has focused on managerial skills such as efficiency, charisma, heroism, decisiveness, and confidence. Another form of leadership exists that can serve to lessen or eliminate the achievement gap: leadership for social justice. Scholars describe the theoretical "calling" for leadership for social justice, however, practical examples of how to enact social justice in schools are rare. Thus, because of the urgency to eliminate the achievement gap in schools, this autoethnographic study set out to answer the question of how learning to practice leadership for social justice manifests in practice. Through the use of short narrative vignettes, I present data depicting my learning process in trying to practice leadership for social justice. Much analysis of my vignettes occurred to try and find meaning. Vignettes were analyzed and categorized into six adjectival categories of euphoric, emotional, contentious, inconsistent, uncertain, and tentative. Each vignette was also analyzed through a Freirean lens, and Freirean concepts were applied to each vignette for deeper meaning. A conclusion emerged in a meaningful story at the end. The adjectives, the Freirean concepts, and the literature converge at the end, revealing that I "can't shake it;" that I am leading in two worlds: that of traditional leadership and that of leadership for social justice.
Martin, David S., "Learning to Practice Leadership for Social Justice: An Autoethnography" (2014). Theses and Dissertations. 170.