A Research Study Of School Leaders Essay

A Research Study Of School Leaders Essay

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Purpose. In this paper, the co-authors draw from a research study of school leaders asked to speak on the topic of gaps in achievement and opportunity for students of color. In the initial analysis of the interview data, school leaders were found to employ what has been described in the research literature as a colorblind ideology, standpoint, or perspective (e.g., Bonilla-Silva, 2014). This paper takes up the challenge made by historian Manning Marable (2002), who argues that rather than talk about race abstractly, “we should be theorizing about the social processes of racialization” (p. 10). We explore the contours of school leaders’ use of colorblind (and related) perspectives. We identify the various ways in which colorblindness is expressed by school leaders, the values associated with these expressions, and the linkage between those beliefs and their stated practices. In our data, school leaders demonstrate a variety of strategies and use multiple conceptual tools to illustrate patterns of values, practices, and movements. Evident are multiple missed opportunities for self-reflection and practices and tangible possibilities for rethinking perspectives and practices. We address implications for leadership practice, leadership preparation, and policy.
Conceptual framework and related literature. Bonilla-Silva, Theoharis, Diem & Carpenter, Gooden, Johnson & Campbell-Stephens, Bogotch & Shields, Douglass-Herford & Clark.

For this paper we draw from the body of theory about colorblindness and the small but growing body of related scholarship about leadership practice and preparation, including work that addresses social justice leadership, cultural responsive leadership, and inclusive leadership. The salience of the ...


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... have become more specific on the more general orientation toward equity, and one area for further specificity has been race-conscious practice. It has been identified as an area of need to have a better understanding of how school leaders’ attitudes toward equity and racial difference influence their practice. Public school leadership remains predominantly white (estimated at 80% white [Bitterman, Goldring, & Gray, 2013; Hill, Ottem, DeRoche, 2016]), while the National Center for Education Statistics projects a continuing direction of greater ethnic and racial diversity among the student population in the U.S. public school system through 2021 (Hussar & Bailey, 2013). Diem and Carpenter (2012) identify colorblind ideology as the first of five important issues and concepts that school leaders must be aware of in a transformative leadership preparation curriculum.

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