Traditionally established best practices for parent engagement cannot be assumed to be effective when serving culturally and linguistically diverse families. Such practices do not account for cultural variation and linguistic differences in family involvement with school-based activities. School leaders with a social justice orientation are key to challenging established practices and creating school cultures where multilingual families are welcomed and engaged. The authors present a qualitative case study of an administrator and the lead ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher of a large urban charter school in the northeast region of the United States, and their efforts to serve and support the families of English language learners (ELLs) to explore the question: How do school leaders exhibit a commitment to social justice in their leadership and practice? Using Furman’s (2012) dimensions of social justice leadership as a framework for analysis, we identified the following themes from interviews with the school leaders: reflexive leadership; building trust and support; building inclusive communities; creating systemic change; and supporting families in larger sociopolitical contexts. The findings of the study reveal how these two school leaders instantiated social justice perspectives and practices in creating a school that invited inclusion and full participation of multilingual families. The findings of the study can help educational researchers and practitioners rethink the sufficiency of established best practices for schools serving multilingual families.
Lee, Vera J.; Grant, Kristine Lewis; and Hoekje, Barbara
"Social Justice Leadership: A Case Study of Engagement Practices with Multilingual Families,"
Journal of Educational Leadership in Action: Vol. 6:
3, Article 1.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.lindenwood.edu/ela/vol6/iss3/1
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