MERN Forum Presentation id=435
MERN Forum # 26
Session: 3C
Author: Danielle Kolton
Affiliation: University of Manitoba
Title : Beyond the rhetoric of social justice: Transforming knowledge and practice through cooperative inquiry and reflective practice
Description : Social justice has become a topical and relevant focus for school principals who acknowledge that it can and should be realized through school policies and procedures (Bogotch, 2002; Gerwitz, 1998; North, 2006). However, as a concept that encompasses a wide range of orientations, claims, debates, and dialogue, social justice has been criticized as a discourse that is political and rhetorical (Apple, 2006; Griffiths, 2003; North, 2006; Trend, 1992). The intent of this research-in-progress is to analyze the social justice conceptualizations which influence the decision making of principal-reported leadership dilemmas. Using critically-oriented action research, this research acknowledges the complexities of principal leadership and seeks to understand the ways in which critical reflective practice and cooperative inquiry can enhance consciousness about socio-political and socio-historical influences on decision-making. This is intended to provide a heuristic for principals to interrogate their beliefs, question institutional routines, and more consciously examine what shapes, limits, and determines decisions they make when facing a dilemma. The intent of this MERN presentation is to detail the dissertation-in-progress and to engage in conversation about how teacher leaders and school administrators can unpack the rhetoric of social justice in order to make conscious, deliberate, and proactive choices that can positively impact equity in education.
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