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  • Enacting social justice in education through spiritual leadership.

Instead, spiritual leadership for Mary reflects Thompson's definition of spiritual leadership. He defines spiritual leadership as a "state of mind or consciousness that enables one to perceive deeper levels of existence" It is argued that Mary perceives these "deeper levels of existence" by addressing the emotional and relational needs of learners. Drawing an association between spiritual leadership and social justice presents a research finding that responds to a silence in the literature regarding the enactment of spiritual leadership in DRSCs.

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Actions that address social justice issues are realised through the "intangible and mystical concept of spirituality, and the complex nature of leadership" Smith, Therefore, it is argued that social justice is enacted through spiritual leadership when issues of social justice are addressed from a spiritual perspective. A further analysis highlights the interpretation of the school as the site for the enactment of social justice. The study found two interpretations: In the first instance enacting social justice was considered central to the preparation of learners for contribution to a just society.

Alison's statement supports this assertion:. We say we are not producing employees; we are producing employers! We are not producing followers; we are producing leaders. They don't all rise to that level, but I think for them to think that way is a good start. The phrases "we are producing employers" and "we are producing leaders" illustrate a future view of education.

This approach to education indicates that the learners are being prepared to contribute to a future society. It is anticipated that their contribution in a future society will positively address social injustice. Their actions mirror Fraser's argument that social justice feminists empower ordinary citizens to "interpret their needs democratically via political deliberation and contestation" Existing alongside the first, the second interpretation considers the school as the site for social justice.

Alison perceives the school as the site for the teaching and modelling of social justice. It [social justice] starts here. They must experience fairness here - at school. I am very ambitious about that. I think that for the learner to achieve this, we as staff have to show the way. We have to also act in a just way - to prepare them. We talk about unfairness in society, we deal with racism. They know about the past in South Africa, about Apartheid and how people were discriminated against, and we work hard to prepare them for the future.

It is more than just curriculum knowledge, it's about life! We work hard to teach the learners that they must be themselves. They need to be true to who they are, this is the [Ubuntu College] way. They are young black women and they must be proud of that. This statement was made in , twenty years into South Africa's democracy. It highlights the demand for the ongoing pursuit of justice in all areas of society.

Teasley draws on Fraser who envisions social justice as inter alia the "reinforcement of cultural recognition, the equitable redistribution of social goods through the world and a translation system of justice" Contradicting the notion that social justice as a future ideal, Alison argued that schools must be the sites where social justice is experienced.

She asserted that "It [social justice] starts here. She stated, "We have to also act in a just way". This assertion suggests that the present lived experiences of learners are an appropriate context for the development of a just society. Spiritual leadership in relation to education policies. The second aim of this paper is to interpret the principles of enacting social justice through spiritual leadership in relation to existing education policies.

This analysis is presented through two themes: i The feeding scheme at Rolling Hills High School; and ii An interpretation of learner discipline and education policy.

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The feature of care was also addressed by a feeding scheme at Rolling Hills High School. Caring for the physical needs of the learners, Thelma described their actions by stating:. As you know [Rolling Hills] is in a deep rural area. Just look around you [Thelma points to mountains and scattered settlements]. Our learners come from far and many of them are from poor families, living with grandparents.

Some of their parents are not here. We care for them by feeding them. They get a cooked meal everyday here. We usually have meat, vegetables and pap. Our feeding scheme is run by the church here; the school leadership and the church work well together. It is our way of showing that we care. If they don't eat, they won't learn anything.

Care and nurturance at Rolling Hills High are expressed through a daily contribution to the learner's nutritional needs. Thelma explained that "We care for them by feeding them. Thelma observed that "if they don't eat, they won't learn anything". This statement echoes Stillwaggon's assertion that "substantial literature supports the importance of good nutrition for learning" Thelma pointed out that the feeding scheme at Rolling Hills High School was run by the church. As such it appears not to be supported by the NSNP.

Rendall-Mkosi, Wenhold et al. It is argued, however, that the provision of a daily meals by female leaders demonstrates care and addresses social justice.

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It is therefore an enactment of spiritual leadership. Within the context of learner discipline, this study found the enactment of social justice through restorative justice. In line with Section 12 of the South African Constitution Act of states that "everyone has the right not to be treated or punished in a cruel, inhuman or degrading way", the South African Schools Act prohibits disciplinary measures such as corporal punishment.

The Act states that, "no person may administer corporal punishment at a school to a learner" South African Schools Act, During the walking interview with Jane, we passed a classroom where a senior teacher was dealing with a discipline issue involving three learners.

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She explained:. What happens in this school, from a discipline perspective, is a move away from punishment in the old way. You know, punishment for a wrong thing done. We have been trying a new method, where learners seek to hear each other's point of view. The main purpose is to listen, to forgive and solve the problem. We are trying to restore relationships. It is very time consuming through, but I think it means that we live out the Christian values in this school. I heard about it at a conference, and I have started implementing it. I have implemented it and I lead the process. Researcher: What was the reason for this change in approach?

As you might know, this province of Kwa-Zulu Natal has been very violent in the past, especially before the first elections. The violence between communities seems to be better, but the violence within communities is very bad. There is lots of family violence and our learners see this, so they then think this is the only way to solve problems. We are trying to teach something different. It is actually completely opposite to what they have experienced.

Researcher: What would you consider as the key feature of this approach? Well, it is about a positive outcome for all parties. They have to try and see the situation from the other person's view. It is also about making up and mending relationships. It means that people are accountable for their actions. They also have to think about what they have done and why they did it, also how they can do things differently next time.

Some teachers have been trained, but it will take some time, that's for sure! This approach represents spiritual leadership, and stresses that restorative justice is the vehicle through which it is manifested. This assertion is in line with Hadley's description. He notes that "restorative justice is at root a deeply spiritual process", and that "drawing on spiritual values, it responds to human needs holistically in order to restore the moral bond of community" Drawing further on this analysis, Jane associates restorative justice with spiritual leadership within a Christian conception of religion.

She stated that, ". Restorative justice seeks to reconcile aggrieved parties to each other through understanding, forgiveness and mutual respect Maise, Indeed, restoration, reconciliation and forgiveness are also principles of the Islam perspective Siddiqi, It is argued therefore that while restorative justice is an enactment of spiritual leadership, it is not exclusively associated with a particular religious perspective. This paper explored the enactment of social justice through spiritual leadership. The data revealed that seven participants considered spirituality as a component of their leadership.

Whilst it was established that a spiritual way of being is a prerequisite for spiritual leadership, the data presented differing interpretations of spiritual leadership. The analysis revealed that in some instances this interpretation was closely associated with sovereignty - in others spiritual leadership was motivated by a religious imperative - and in others the spiritual way of leading was non-doctrinal and non-dogmatic.

Furthermore, it was found that social justice was enacted through spiritual leadership when social justice issues are addressed from a spiritual perspective. Moreover, it was argued that while spiritual leadership provided conditions conducive for the enactment of social justice, there were differing interpretations of the school as the site at which social justice was experienced.

On the one hand, schools were perceived as preparation for a future contribution to a just society. On the other hand, some participants regarded the school as the site at which social justice should be experienced. In both interpretations, however, spiritual leadership catalysed the enactment of social justice. In relation to education policies, the study found that while feeding schemes directly address issues of social justice, the feeding scheme at Rolling Hills Hugh School was not supported by the NSNP. In addition, restorative justice is an alternative vehicle through which equity and social justice could be understood.

Social justice leadership in living systems: Max Klau at TEDxHGSE

It was argued that this approach is not the preserve of a particular religious' tradition. Yet, restorative justice is a manifestation of spiritual leadership and is a vehicle through which social justice is enacted. Allen, R. Penguin Pocket English Dictionary.

England: Clays Ltd. St Ives. Benefiel, M. Soul at work: Spirituality leadership in organizations. New York: Seabury Books. Blackaby, H. Spiritual leadership.

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Blackmore, J. Social justice and the study and practice of leadership in education: A feminist history. Journal of Educational Administration and History, 38 2 , A feminist critical perspective on educational leadership, International Journal of Leadership in Education: Theory and Practice, 16 2 , Clark, N. Pearson Education Limited.

Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, No. South African Journal of Education, 29, Dvorin, E.

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The Western Political Quarterly, 4 1 , Edwards, G. Approaches to educational leadership in disadvantaged rural communities. November 16thth, Seville, Spain. Gomez Chova, A. Lopez Martinez, I Candel Torres. Fry, l. Toward a theory of spiritual leadership. The Leadership Quarterly, 14 1 , Fraser, N.

Social justice in the age of identity politics: Redistribution, recognition and participation. Waterstone Eds. Abingdon: Routledge. Grogan, M. Women and educational leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Ginya, L. Religion, spirituality and female principals leading in disadvantaged secondary school contexts. Hadley, M. Spiritual foundations of social justice. Tifft Eds. New York: Routledge. Hesse-Biber, S. An Invitation to Feminist Research. Leavy, Feminist Research Practice pp.

London: SAGE. Hooks, B. Talking back thinking feminist, thinking black. Boston: South End Press. Jonah, H. Forgiveness and reconciliation: How to forgive others and receive forgiveness. Impact of gender and transformational leadership on organizational culture. Lyman, l. The individual stories in this volume speak to us across nations, across race and culture of the struggles and achievements of women who serve education.

This book will be a long-term resource from which we can draw ideas and moral courage to continue the fight for equality for women. The book is a testament both to how far we have yet to go and how much possibility there is to move along the road. This book wonderfully depicts the realities — triumphs and struggles — of women educational leaders in their pursuit of equity and justice. The powerful and moving use of narrative provides an important resource for educational leaders.


Readers will come away with a better understanding of essential aspects to advancing issues of justice. It is impossible to read this text and not share the joys, sorrows, successes and anxieties embedded in the narratives. This text is a renewed call for social justice leadership — leadership that matters. These stories from 14 countries illustrate how cultural context intersects with gender, race, ethnicity and class to frame personal leadership possibilities, while exemplifying how social justice values can be embedded in everyday actions and relationships. Examples of my work in this area.

Slipping the yoke of the heroic paradigm: Looking for quantum leadership. International Electronic Journal for Leadership in Education, 12 Example of my work in this area. Lyman, L. Shaping social justice leadership: Insights of women educators worldwide. Educators need information that will help them develop ways to bring equity and social justice to those who have suffered discrimination and other forms of oppression. Values are important because they have been linked to organizational effectiveness.