I have what it takes: taking a closer look at leadership in culturally diverse schools

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jonita Dunn Taylor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Carl Lashley

Abstract: With the face of American schools changing rapidly to reflect a more diverse population, today's educators must work purposefully to create a teaching and learning environment that embraces the sociocultural differences of its students. While the ethnicity of students has become more diverse, the school principalship remains mostly white, with school leaders of color being almost non-existent (Kafka, 2009; Rousmaniere, 2007; Pollard, 1997; Tillman, 2004a; Tillman, 2004b). When combined, the demographic changes in student population, the lack of ethnic diversity in the school principalship, and the pressure of high student achievement cause educators to investigate the effectiveness of school principals in culturally diverse schools. Keeping all of these factors in mind, the purpose of this qualitative study was to better understand leadership in culturally diverse schools and to gather data from principals currently leading in these settings, utilizing Lezotte's Effective Schools Research (1990) as indicators of effectiveness. Based on interviews conducted, four commonalities were found. First, the school leaders began as teacher leaders. The principals in this study also had a keen sense of self-awareness and exhibited a sense of shared identity with the community they served. These principals all possessed a sense of urgency and no excuses mentality when meeting the needs of students. Based on observations, two additional commonalities were found. The principals all advocated for their students through relationship-building and held high expectations for teaching and learning in their schools. This study also includes implications for school leadership preparation programs. These included creating a safe place where future school leaders can become aware of their cultural selves and allowing more internship experiences in culturally diverse schools.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2013
Culturally diverse, Principal, Race, School, School leadership
Multicultural education $z United States
Educational leadership $x Social aspects $z United States
School principals $z United States

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