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Leadership for Social Justice and the Characteristics of Traditional Society. Izhar Oplatka & Khalid Arar. Purposes. To re-visit the universal applicability of leadership for social justice grounded in dominant Western ideologies and values,

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leadership for social justice and the characteristics of traditional society

Leadership for Social Justice and the Characteristics of Traditional Society

Izhar Oplatka & Khalid Arar

purposes
Purposes
  • To re-visit the universal applicability of leadership for social justice grounded in dominant Western ideologies and values,
  • To highlight plausible contradictions between the principles underlying leadership for social justice and basic characteristics of traditional society, and
  • To suggest an initial alternative conceptualisation of leadership for social justice in educational systems of traditional societies in developed and developing countries.
our argument
Our argument

While the foundations of leadership for social justice are rooted deeply in an Anglo-American, English-speaking, Western perspective (Mintzberg, 2006), the application of this pattern of leadership in traditional societies located in developed and developing countries is questioned.

Because the modern society is in contrast with the traditional one…

the first element decreasing achievement gaps
The First Element: Decreasing Achievement Gaps

A basic element of leadership for social justice is about

  • achieving excellence in education for all children from diverse racial, cultural and ethnic backgrounds,
  • decreasing the achievement gap,
  • providing necessary resources for disadvantaged students,
  • reforming, aligning, and expanding curricula to meet the needs of particular populations.
but we ponder
But, we ponder …
  • Can school principals in traditional societies adopt these elements?
  • Could they and their staff understand the basic ideas underpinning decreasing achievement gaps among students from diverse ethnic and religious groups?
  • Aren’t these ideas remote culturally and emotionally from their world?
the second element intensifying social justice in schools
The second element: Intensifying social justice in schools
  • Leadership for SJ encompasses a range of terms – some more powerful than others – such as equity, equality, inequality, equal opportunity, inclusion, dialogue-driven, affirmative action, and most recently diversity” (Blackmore, 2009, p. 7).
  • It is constructed in terms of inclusiveness, just distribution of the national capital, and tolerance for others' beliefs and culture.
  • Leaders for SJ are expected to advocate for inclusion, allow every student access to resources, and acknowledge the claims of historically marginalised groups
but we ask
But we ask -
  • Can principals living and working in traditional societies promote the inherent resources of other groups without being blamed for being 'traitors' by their own group/family members?
  • Will they be able to confront the high pressure of nepotism and preference of their group members?

It is likely that they will not be able to stand these social pressures for long because their identity and social position are closely related to their family/tribal origin.

the third element the incorporation of democratic values
The third element: The incorporation of democratic values
  • The introduction of democratic and ethical organisational processes is a major element in leadership for social justice.
  • This element includes the rights of teachers and students to have their voices heard, the implementation of democratic, participatory leadership style in school, and the incorporation of democratic governance systems into the school.
  • Leaders for social justice cannot deny or disregard the rights of others.
  • They should see teachers as fellow-travellers with similar aspirations and rights with whom to consult.
as democracy is culturally based
As democracy is culturally-based,

Can we expect school principals in traditional societies to promote democratic values and human rights when they have not internalised such values in their own community?

Can they fully understand the meaning of democracy and human rights as members of a collective society led according to an autocratic spirit?

Are they 'allowed' socially to encourage personal choice and human rights that may undermine the social structure of their community?

we need a different conceptualization of leadership for sj in traditional societies
We need a different conceptualization of leadership for SJ in traditional societies

The central concepts in this model

should be

Integrity

Fairness

Respect

Marital group

Keens

Community

Location

Ancestry