Baltic Social Justice School Leaders [PDF]

Jenny S. Tripses1, Ilze Ivanova2, Jūratė Valuckienė3, Milda Damkuvienė3, Karmen Trasberg4
 Bradley University, Peoria, Illinois USA
2 University of Latvia, Riga, Latvia
3 Vilnius University Šiauliai Academy
4 Tartu University, Tartu, Estonia 

Abstract: Social justice school leadership as a concept, while familiar in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United States school leadership literature, is not widely recognized in other parts of the world. Social justice school leadership appropriately differs from one culture to another and is always context-specific to a particular school setting, great organization structure or country. However, social justice is a necessary and fundamental assumption for all educators committed to combating ignorance and the promotion of student global citizenship as a central theme of school practices. The purpose of this study was to provide understandings of ways that selected social justice school leaders from three countries; Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia conceive of and practice social justice in leading their schools.
The manuscript describes how six Baltic directors, identified by local educators on the basis of research conducted by the International School Leaders Development Network (ISLDN) as social justice school leaders, responded to interview questions related to their practice. Four directors were Latvian and one each from Lithuania and Estonia. Limitations to the study include basing conclusions upon a single (or in one case, several) interview(s) per subject and limitations on generalizability of qualitative exploratory case study. By definition, every case study is unique, limiting generalizability.
Interviews were thematically analyzed using the following definition: A social justice school leader is one who sees injustice in ways that others do not, and has the moral purpose, skills, and necessary relationships to combat injustice for the benefit of all students. Findings reveal strong application of values to identify problems based on well-being of all students and their families and to work collaboratively with other educators to find solution processes to complex issues related to social justice inequities. As social justice pioneers in their countries, these principals personify social justice school leadership in countries where the term social justice is not part of scholarly discourse.
Keywords: democratic leadership, leadership values, moral leadership, qualitative case study, problem solving, social justice school leaders.

In: Human, Technologies and Quality of Education, 2021 = Cilvēks, tehnoloģijas un izglītības kvalitāte, 2021
Rīga, University of Latvia, 2021. 1148 p. Ed. L. Daniela
ISBN 978-9934-18-735-3