School Leadership, Literacy and Social Justice: The Place of Local School Curriculum Planning and Reform
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School reform is a matter of both redistributive social justice and recognitive social justice. Following Fraser (Justice interruptus: critical reflections on the “postsocialist” condition. Routledge, New York, 1997), we begin from a philosophical and political commitment to the more equitable redistribution of knowledge, credentials, competence, and capacity to children of low socioeconomic, cultural, and linguistic minority and Indigenous communities whose access, achievement, and participation historically have “lagged” behind system norms and benchmarks set by middle class and dominant culture communities. At the same time, we argue that the recognition of these students and their communities’ lifeworlds, knowledges, and experiences in the curriculum, in classroom teaching, and learning is both a means and an end: a means toward improved achievement measured conventionally and a goal for reform and alteration of mainstream curriculum knowledge and what is made to count in the school as valued cultural knowledge and practice. The work that we report here was based on an ongoing 4-year project where a team of university teacher educators/researchers have partnered with school leadership and staff to build relationships within community. The purpose has been to study whether and how engagement with new digital arts and multimodal literacies could have effects on students “conventional” print literacy achievement and, secondly, to study whether and how the overall performance of a school could be generated through a focus on professional conversations and partnerships in curriculum and instruction – rather than the top-down implementation of a predetermined pedagogical scheme, package, or approach.
International Handbook of Educational Leadership and Social (In)Justice
Educational Administration, Management and Leadership